Recently in class we had a guest speaker, Dr. Rosa. Dr. Rosa is a Spanish professor at Mississippi State University, and for the first several minutes of class she spoke only in Spanish. A handful of students could keep up with what she was saying, but a majority of students were confused and had no idea what was happening. I believe that the point of this exercise was for us to experience what our ELL students will likely experience in our classrooms one day so that we can sympathize, understand, and be better able to respectfully interact and advocate for them when the occasion arises. Personally, I could only understand a few words or phrases in bits and pieces. So, I could figure out the gist of what was happening, but I could not know details of the conversation. It will be incredibly difficult for ELL students to learn thoroughly if they also are only getting the gist and not details. Even in classrooms with all English speaking students, students still need to hear instructions repeatedly to understand what is happening. So, our ELL students need much more, and it is our responsibility to advocate for those students and get them the resources they need to succeed.

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