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Advocacy for English Learners With Interrupted Formal Education

My population of interest includes English learners (ELs) lacking formal education and students with limited or interrupted formative schooling, known as SLIFE. At the school where I work, Nantucket Intermediate School, the SLIFE population is on a continuous increase, and this has resulted in poor performance in class as well as bad social behavior due to a lack of basic skills. My targeted audience for advocacy is other educators, teachers who teach in grades 3 to 5, special education staff, ESL personnel, and administration. Both my colleagues engage with ELs/SLIFEs, so I believe that they are the ones better placed to understand their needs and contribute toward solutions. Thus, a multi-pronged approach addressing professional development, instructional accommodations, student monitoring teams, and resource allocation offers the most viable path toward equitable achievement for English Learners with interrupted formal education in our school.

Presentation Summary

This discussion starts with the introduction of educators to critical features, inheritances, and difficulties in working with SLIFEs. An active matching activity challenges the audience to examine real-life situations and identify commensurate modifications according to individual student needs (Herrera et al., 2022). This helps the staff understand SLIFE diversity and builds capacity that will enable them to respect SLIFE when they are in class. Recognizing the gaps in both system-wide policies and current classroom practices for SLIFE achievement, A specific action plan is proposed. The first step involves the Creation of Student Support Teams who case manage ELs/SLIFEs through regular data reviews, goal setting, family communication, and coordination of response strategies across school staff. The second idea involves the Implementation of specific instructional accommodations, including additional time, modified assignments, explicit vocabulary instruction, visual supports, flexible grouping, and assistive technology. The final idea entails professional development for staff on assets-focused SLIFE inclusion. These measures are expected to improve the quality of learning.

Colleague Feedback

I showed my presentation to a fourth-grade teacher who teaches newcomers to EL in classes. She remarked that the content reeked of personal identification since our district needs to be corrected in terms of teams, staffing, and PD following their EL/SLIFE requirements. She consented to the assignment accommodations that have been considered as researched evidence for these people, and she found an appreciation for features rather than deficits. Improved practice could be delivered by giving concrete examples of Student Support Teams operating in real life. As a result, the staff would have an idea of how this model works(Herrera et al., 2022). She wanted to hear how she would have liked an EL/SLIFE parent and student to voice undrafted changes via quotations or interview excerpts. In addition, Diana wanted to hear more about the definition of “ongoing professional development,” wondering how I would manage your schedule and job-related finances alongside determining topics annually.

Response to Feedback

Having passed through the same paths, I highly appreciated Diana’s sharp suggestions. The notion of Student Support Teams is still abstract for many staff members, therefore, adding case studies showing how they would work will make my vision more clear and implementation easier. The inclusion of direct stakeholder voices is also incredibly powerful. For instance, even small pieces of EL/SLIFE views on belonging, accessibility, identity, and aspirations could awaken educators to a strong mindset and gain support for change(Abdullaev, 2021). However, making the details of what and when professional learning will take place may also calm staff concerns over adding yet another burden to their workload. These recommendations will be included in my next iteration of the presentation.

Responding to Disagreement

Diana’s confirmation has given me hope, even though there must be clear dissent during a full-staff rollout. Veteran teachers may resist new initiatives as administrators hesitate to meet the resource requirement. I am ready to listen freely regarding all worries and ensure they are heard and well understood. I may remind you to link proposed changes to the promotion of equitable access and outcomes for all others as a final goal. If philosophical differences remain, then I will be curious to ask what certain objections one has against Student Support Teams and how we could work together simultaneously to overcome these(Abdullaev, 2021). This issue makes the dialogue move towards getting concrete solutions and finding common ground. I will counter such statements with research on acculturation stages and SLIFE best practices, which would make current barriers viewed as surmountable rather than inevitable.


Conclusively, advocating for ELs with interrupted formal education requires that I look inward first and outward afterward. I know that while SLIFE inclusion is based on shared visioning skills and resources by administrators, teachers, and families, there needs to be more than isolated action. My presentation provided preliminary concepts that will be strengthened with stakeholder input and operationalization detail, along with flexibility in the face of limitations. To truly transform SLIFEs’ systems and mindset at our school, there is a lot more work to be done. The provision of solutions that focus on the individual needs of the students can produce outcomes that improve the learning process. Thus, through systematic and mutual effort our practice might ultimately become transformed into reality for teachers and their students in the community.


Abdullaev, Z. K. (2021). Second Language Learning. Mental Enlightenment Scientific-Methodological Journal2021(06), 1-11.

Herrera, L. J. P., Custodio, B., & O’Loughlin, J. (2022). Providing Social-Emotional and Academic Supports to SLIFE: What Every Teacher Needs to Know. TESL-EJ26(3), 1-17.


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