I share this video in many of my workshops, because it is powerful and contains many accurate reenactments of typical scenes I have seen working with ELLs.

I have seen English learners struggle, I have seen students not want to help their English learner peers, I have seen bullying of English learners, I have seen teachers -inadvertently and purposefully- shame and embarrass English learners in front of the class, I have had administrators tell me not to focus on my newest students, but instead to focus on bubble kids.

However, I really like this video because of some of the positive things it highlights. The teacher, even if she doesn't really know how wants to help Moises. She's trying to do the best she can, and she cares about Moises. Moises is shown as hardworking, he understands the content, even better than his peers, but doesn't have the language to share the knowledge.

So often I hear teachers complain about English language learners. Things such as: Why don't they try harder? They are just lazy. But the reality is much different. English learners are trying very hard to learn English, learn how to communicate, and learn academic content, but it takes time. Research says it can take as many as 4-9 years. All we can do is support our English learners, and help them grow in their English.

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