Harvard EdCast: What Do Immigrant Students Need? It Isn’t Just ELL

02/25/2023 - Harvard EdCast: What Do Immigrant Students Need? It Isn’t Just ELL

Educators need to do more to address the basic social-emotional needs of immigrant children if they are to advance in learning, says Professor Carola Suárez-Orozco. She is the director of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, where she’s focused on the practices that can change immigrant children’s lives in the classroom.

Immigrant children make up 27% of student population in the United States, face many challenges, and also have many strengths and resiliences. However, those qualities often go unnoticed in the quest to learn English. “You have to address the social-emotional needs, and immigrant-origin kids have a number of them that a lot of educators are oblivious to. That’s my mission, is for educators to have a better sense of the whole child, to realize that there are a lot of challenges. There are also a lot of strengths and resiliencies,” Suárez-Orozco says. “They just have to have a better understanding of who these kids are. And most educational systems don’t address — most education schools don’t address this as part of education.”

In this episode, she talks about the value of understanding the whole immigrant child and how to incorporate their personal stories into the classroom. To listen to the episode click here