The Value of Growth Mindset for ELLs

Mariel Bonilla
Mariel Bonilla

Bilingual-ELL Education Manager, PSS. Mariel is a passionate educator that has been serving diverse learners in the classroom for the past 18 years. Now, she is creating bilingual educational content to support and serve students in their first language (Spanish).


Meeting the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) is a big responsibility for educators.

Diverse students learn in different ways, according to their cultural backgrounds, knowledge, skills, and interests. So, it is vitally important that we recognize the need for a growth mindset. Educators, learners, and their families around the United States left all they knew and loved to be immersed in a “new normal” in which they are trying to understand how to learn, “interact” and connect in a meaningful way.

Effective teachers understand learners’ needs and provide them with authentic learning strategies, applications, and feedback that help them close the gaps and take risks to acquire knowledge. To promote real-life experiences and roles that would help all members of the teaching/learning experience, we all need to believe that English Language Learners (ELLs) have the potential to acquire their second language. School communities set high expectations for diverse students to achieve and empower them to reduce their anxiety level and enhance learning in a meaningful way.

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Motivation and Interactions

By reflecting on the relationship among ELLs’ motivation for acquiring English, and educators’ strategies to teach them, we recognize the importance of celebrating/respecting their cultural diversity as a global learning opportunity for all members of the school community. When fostering a growth mindset, through building stamina and providing scaffolding for students to improve their achievement level, we teach them the value of overcoming obstacles.

By letting students work at their own pace, they make powerful connections to make sense of their first language (L1) and transfer that knowledge into their second language (L2). As all stakeholders embrace the value of a growth mindset, along with diverse learners, together we can all build bridges to serve and support our communities.

Topics: SEL, English Language Learners, Bilingual Content