LMU Center to Address English Learners Amid COVID-19 Changes

UNIVERSITY NEWS | Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Equity for English Learners has been awarded a grant to develop resources to support educators of English learners as they negotiate the changes brought on by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“CEEL is immensely grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation’s enduring commitment to ensuring that the promise of equity is realized for the state’s 1.2 million English learners,” said Magaly Lavadenz, Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership at LMU School of Education and executive director of CEEL.

Research shows that even before the epidemic, English learners in California faced many barriers to obtaining an equitable, high-quality education. When TK-12 schools closed and instruction moved online, many of the gaps were intensified, particularly in access to digital devices and internet connections. Educators are faced now, more than ever, with providing emotional, language and cultural learning supports to prevent even greater learning gaps from occurring.

CEEL will use the grant from the Sobrato Family Foundation to develop a series of communications, each highlighting “voices from the field,” with educators’ experiences and efforts, and offering resources and research that address best practices on a variety of topics concerning teaching under these difficult circumstances. In addition, CEEL will produce webinars focused on ELs and distance learning reflecting their Equitable Distance Learning Principles for English Learners.

The Sobrato Family Foundation, which conferred the grant through their Rapid Response Funds, has been a continuing supporter of CEEL, including a current grant examining California’s policy infrastructure for English learner research, policy and practice, and promoting improvements in school districts and higher education in the implementation of quality bilingual teacher pre- and in-service professional development.

“The Sobrato Family Foundation’s strategic investment supports CEEL’s mission and responds to the moral and legal imperative for educational systems and educators to implement equitable approaches that meet the socio-emotional, academic, and linguistic needs of California’s 1.2 English learners during these unprecedented times,” said Elvira Armas, CEEL’s director of programs and partnerships.