Teaching English Learners After the Pandemic Shutdown: What Reporters Need to Know

Conversations in English that never happened. Students struggling to follow a teacher’s demonstration of how to enunciate during lessons on Zoom. These were among the hurdles facing English language learners during the pandemic shutdown.

Now, schools nationwide are tasked with addressing language barriers for an estimated 5 million English learners while simultaneously helping them recover academically. A U.S. Department of Education report points to “mounting evidence” that ELLs have been among the students hardest hit by COVID-19’s disruption to in-person learning. 

Register now for this Education Writers Association webinar on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Presenters will help education journalists better understand how the pandemic shutdown impacted English learners and share insights to inform smart, nuanced news stories on a critical but under-covered dimension of the education recovery.  

Along the way, participants will discuss how schools are responding this academic year to better support ELLs and what intervention strategies are most effective. The webinar will also share updates from survey data that originally showed challenges for rural schools and those that educate a smaller share of English learners. Additionally, bilingual journalist Zaidee Stavely of the California-focused news outlet EdSource will provide advice and story ideas for fellow reporters. Stavely has reported extensively on ELLs and immigrants.


  • Patricia Garcia-Arena, principal researcher, American Institutes for Research
  • Jessica Meléndez-Carrillo, principal, Congressman Silvestre & Carolina Reyes Elementary School (El Paso, Texas)
  • Zaidee Stavely, reporter, EdSource (moderator)

Register to Attend