Serving English Language Learners in Higher Education: Unlocking the Potential

Ashley Simpson Baird
Ann-Marie Faria

Image of group of college-age English learnersClassrooms in the United States face an increasingly diverse student population. In higher education, increases in immigration as well as growth in international student enrollment means that institutions are faced with the challenge and opportunity of serving English learners (ELs) on their campuses.

This white paper describes profiles of three English learners in higher education, each from a distinct group: international students, recent immigrants, and Generation 1.5 students. The profiles detail the motivations, experiences, and challenges that each EL faces in his or her academic pursuits. The paper offers considerations for serving ELs in colleges and universities at both the institutional level and classroom level, with an emphasis on how technology can be used to leverage research based practices. Examples in practice illuminate the recommendations by providing case study examples. 

The white paper served as the foundation for a convening of researchers, practitioners, and program administrators at the TESOL 2018 conference. In this follow-up webinar in July, we summarized key areas of discussion from the TESOL convening and followed up with next steps for serving ELs in higher education.