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How can I invite participation and create a sense of belonging for English as a Second Language (ESL) students?

Integrating ESL students into the classroom can often prove challenging when the primary objective is to balance the needs of all students within the classroom. The best way to prepare is to research and learn about a variety of successful integration techniques and programs. Listed below are some resources that you may want to contact: Teachers specializing in ESL or Special Education. Teachers with a background in ESL, special education, or the like have direct experience integrating students with a variety of needs into the classroom. These educators can provide you with important information on the value of being cognizant of a given group's unique needs, plus they can also identify some of the successful techniques that they have used when working with like populations.

School. Many schools incorporate multicultural education programs and activities that aid in enhancing participation and fostering a sense of belonging for ESL students. Check with your school to see what resources are available.

School district. Many school districts have a department that focuses on ESL students or populations with special needs. This department may be able to provide you with useful information and resources. Your school district may also have a resource library for teachers that you can consult for relevant information.

California Department of Education (CDE). The California Department of Education has compiled a wealth of information on programs and resources for English language learners that you may wish to peruse. Visit the website:

You may also want to contact the following CDE departments for more information:

  • Comité Follow-up Monitoring, (916) 657-4674
  • Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources, (916) 657-3023
  • English Learner Monitoring, (916) 657-2973
  • Language Policy and Leadership, (916) 657-2566

Internet. There are many Internet sites in existence that focus on the needs of ESL students, and some offer suggestions on classroom integration techniques that you may find valuable. Listed below are some of those resources to get you started:

Local or online bookstore. Many bookstores have teacher resources and materials available for purchase. Some publications to consider include:

  • Mainstreaming ESL: Case Studies in Integrating ESL Students into the Mainstream Curriculum (Multilingual Matters Series)
    Author: John Clegg
    Price: $28.95
    ISBN: 1853593486

  • Working with Linguistically and Culturally Different Children: Innovative Clinical and Educational Approaches
    Author: Sharon-Ann Gopaul-McNicol, Tania Thomas-Presswood
    Price: $69.00
    ISBN: 0205199860

  • The following resources are available through Brookes Publishing:

    • Cooperative Learning and Strategies for Inclusion: Celebrating Diversity in the Classroom, Second Edition
      Editor: JoAnne W. Putnam, PhD
      Price: $26.95
      ISBN: 1-55766-346-7
      Stock#: 3467

    • Inclusion 101: How to Teach All Learners
      Authors: Anne Bauer, EdD and Thomas Shea, EdD
      Price: $35.00
      ISBN: 1-55766-372-6
      Stock#: 3726

    • Inclusive Middle Schools
      Author: Craig Kennedy, PhD and Douglas Fischer, PhD
      Price: $27.00
      ISBN: 1-55766-486-2
      Stock#: 4862

    • Making Friends: The Influences of Culture and Development
      Editors: Luanna Meyer, PhD, Hyun-Sook Park, PhD, Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, PhD, Ilene Schwartz, PhD and Beth Harry, PhD
      Price: $48.95
      ISBN: 1-55766-301-7
      Stock#: 3017

    • Modifying Schoolwork: Teachers' Guides to Inclusive Practices
      Author: Rachel Janney, PhD and Martha Snell, PhD
      Price: $25.00
      ISBN: 1-55766-354-8
      Stock#: 3548

    • The Paraprofessional's Guide to the Inclusive Classroom: Working as a Team, Second Edition
      Author: Mary Beth Doyle, PhD
      Price: $27.00
      ISBN: 1-55766-538-9
      Stock#: 5389

    • Teacher's Guides to Inclusive Practices
      Authors: Martha Snell, PhD and Rachel Janney, PhD
      Price: $25.00

    For more information on Brookes publications, call or visit the website at:

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