Welcome to OPEPP​
Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation



Communicating with students who are learning English (English Learners or just ELs) should begin with admiration and respect. Your job is to help them learn English.  

Fortunately, a great many resources exist for working with emerging ELs. This unit draws upon some of these, and it provides additional links to more. For now, a few pointers will be most practical: 

  • Exhibit the admiration and respect these students deserve for speaking another language and for their eagerness to learn English.  
  • Help these students interact with classmates. Social language is extremely important, so that can expand their interactions in school and in the community. 
  • Try to make as many connections to home as possible to the point of even visiting their home with your team of educators who with child. This can help build connections and trust and personal support from home to school and school to home.  

Becoming more Culturally Responsive

1.  Demonstrate a deep level of understanding and respect of your own cultural heritage.
2.  Be curious about the customs, communication styles, and belief systems of different cultural groups. 
3. Maintain a strengths mindset instead of deficit mindset and attempt to continue to build on strengths.
4. Although your educational work with students is important your responsiveness to their culture and identity is an integral factor  in their success. 


  • Which one of these components would you like to work on?
  • Do you need more understanding of your own cultural heritage?
  • Do you need to be more open and learning about others?
  • Do you need to move away from looking at what kids are lacking instead of what they are capable of?
  • Do you need to weave in culturally responsive approaches to the academic support you give?

Module: Communication and Collaboration

Scroll to Top