Capstone Project Title
Trauma’s Effect On English Learners’ Language Acquisition: Best Practices For A Trauma-informed Classroom
Jana Lo Bello Miller
Research studies found a positive correlation between trauma and educational outcomes, the greater the traumatic experience the worse a child performs in school. Based on the existing research, conclusions can be drawn to assume a correlation between trauma and academic performance for English learners (ELs). Traumas related to pre-migration, post-migration, and COVID-19 hurt our EL populations in their effort to acquire language and live a full life. ELs face trauma throughout their lives. Events such as witnessing death, combat, destruction of important places, and separation from loved ones, harm the mental health of children who seek to flee their home country for peace in the United States. After arrival in the United States, ELs encounter discrimination, harmful social and political discourse, immigration-related stress, and school belonging. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects students of color and minorities. COVID-19 traumatizes ELs and adds to the insurmountable trauma already experienced. Educators need trauma-informed strategies to support ELs’ journeys to heal and acquire language. The project is a trauma-informed curriculum that encourages healing and successful language acquisition amongst EL first graders suffering from trauma. In total, there are two units and each unit consists of six mini-lessons. The units support English language development standards (ELD) and meet first grade Minnesota English Language Arts (ELA) standards. This curriculum arms teachers with tools to help ELs heal and succeed in their language development while overcoming barriers from trauma. Researchers helped conclude the urgent need for trauma-informed practices. This will persist as more refugees and language learners enter our school systems. The project provides a trauma-informed curriculum to be used in multiple settings: EL classrooms, grade-level classrooms, intervention groups, SPED classes, and in social workers' offices. ELs are pulled out many times during the school day, support is needed throughout their entire day. The curriculum contributes to a serious need for a trauma-informed curriculum for elementary ELs.
At-risk Students, ESL/ ELLs, Teachers/ Teaching, Trauma-Informed
Mason, Sydney, "Trauma’s Effect On English Learners’ Language Acquisition: Best Practices For A Trauma-informed Classroom" (2021). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 636.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects