Integrating the Arts to Facilitate Second Language Learning
AbstractThe arts as a core content area are integral to a well-rounded education. The arts have a profound ability to enrich the lives they touch and can be an invaluable tool for teachers at all levels to enhance instruction for English Language Learners. English Language Learners (ELLs) or Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in New York State enter the public school facing the multiple challenges of learning English, mastering academic content, bridging distances between the home country and their new home, and negotiating new cultural and social contexts. By integrating the arts and art making into English language teaching and learning, students will develop and deepen their understanding of their own and others’ human experience. In combination with reading, writing, speaking and listening, the arts can open doors for high levels of analysis and also challenge students to explore themselves and their surroundings, and thus find avenues for sophisticated comprehension and communication. The arts convey what it means to be human, challenge the intellect and provide rich experiences in analysis, exploration, reflection, observation, imagination, experimentation, and communication.