As districts all across the country let out for the summer, it’s important to consider the role Summer Learning and Enrichment programs play in academic progress. Summer programs can help students become more confident in their academic abilities, ensuring a successful transition between grades.
This is particularly true for groups like English Language Learners (ELL), who might spend the duration of their summer at home with their families who do not speak English. Fortunately, tutoring can help.
The Summer Slide
The average K-12 student, for whom English is their first language, loses 17- 38% of the gains of a school-year over summer break. This percentage is often greater among students of non-English speaking households. Without a full school day of peer communication or teacher instruction in English, ELL students are one of the most likely groups to experience a “summer slide”.
The summer slide is also disproportionately larger for lower-income students. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “students from low-income homes often don’t have access to the same academically focused summer camps and programs as their higher-income peers.” These students need accessible solutions, like district-provided summer Learning and Enrichment programs in order to keep up with their peers.
How Students Benefit from Summer Learning
So why is summer enrichment impactful for at-risk students? Many of these students do not have consistent access to technology until school starts again.
Exposure to social interaction alone promotes better reading, speaking, and listening skills. Summer learning helps give at-risk students the social tools to better comprehend classroom instruction in all subjects.
Summer enrichment also helps at-risk students in the 3 Areas where ELLs struggle most, which according to the College of English Language are:
- Self-Esteem: Because of their home circumstance, students feel isolated causing them to struggle in communicating with teachers and peers.
- Motivation: At-risk students are more likely to give up paying attention in class when they can’t fully understand the lesson.
- Academic Displacement: These students also have difficulty articulating when they understand a subject so they are often placed higher or lower than their true learning abilities.
Summer school programs combat all three of these areas by providing exposure to peers and adult supervisors. Continued exposure builds stronger casual speaking and communication skills, which then carry over to the classroom.
A 2014 study by CIMLE (Current Issues in Middle Level Education) found that deliberate community effort was the most effective indicator of predicting student success. Offering community enrichment to at-risk students, through tutoring programs or enrichment camps, helps ensure ELLs and economically disadvantaged students don’t fall behind.
Intervene K-12 Summer Resources
Intervene K-12 helps students in K-12 school districts improve in all subject areas including Math, Reading, and English. Through a comprehensive intervention program, interventionists work with students in 3:1, 4:1, or 5:1 small group face-to-face online tutoring. English Language Learners (ELL) can benefit from Intervene K-12’s platform offering a chance to practice their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Learn more here.