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Essentials for Engaging Families of English Learners


Engaging Families of ELs Zip Guide Cover

Partnering with families is invaluable for a child’s social and academic development and success over time. TESOL’s Essentials for Engaging Families of English Learners Zip Guide shows you how to engage families and build long and lasting partnerships with them. This page provides some additional resources to supplement the information and strategies in the Zip Guide.








  • FamilyToolkit CoverTESOL Community and Family Toolkit (PDF): The Family, School, Community Toolkit was designed with the goal of sharing best practices in engaging the families of English learners in classrooms, schools, and communities.

  • Fostering Partnerships at School: The Zip Guide provides several questions to get you started conducting family interviews to identify families’ strengths, interests, and desires. Here are a few additional questions to ask:

  • What are some activities that you enjoy doing with your child?
  • What are some activities that you enjoy doing as a family?
  • What are your hopes and dreams for your child?
  • We welcome parent involvement! What types of activities did you engage in in your child’s previous school, or would you like to engage in here?
  • What questions do you wish I had asked and would like to be included?

Characteristics of Family Engagement Figure 

Figure based on Zacarian, D., & Silverstone, M. (2020). Teaching to empower: Taking action to foster student agency, self-confidence, and collaboration. ASCD.


  • Strengthening Community Partnerships: Whether our students are being reared by two parents, a single parent, foster parents, grandparents, a blended family, unrelated people who live cooperatively, or with extrafamilial support, the glue that binds our success is the strength of the partnerships we build with them.

  • Partnering with Multilingual Families in Brockton, MA: Learn how the public schools in Brockton, MA support partnerships with multilingual families and the impact those partnerships are having.