Empathizing and Connecting with Your ELLs with Author and Educator Emily Francis

building connections with ell students


In the field of education, establishing meaningful connections with students is crucial. As teachers, we recognize the challenges that accompany this endeavor.

In this episode we welcome to the show special guest, author Emily Francis. Emily Francis is a nationally recognized ESL teacher, serving students in 9th-12th grade with various English proficiency levels. She is a native Spanish-speaker who is originally from Guatemala and came to the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor. Her experience as an ELL inspired her to become an ESL teacher and affords her a deep understanding of the challenges her students must overcome to find success.

Emily earned a BA in Spanish and a MAT in ESL from UNC-Charlotte. She serves as a professional development facilitator, motivational speaker, and keynote. Emily forms part of the Executive Board of The Carolinas TESOL (teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).  Emily’s exceptional contributions were recognized when she was selected as the Teacher of the Year in 2016 and served as the teacher liaison to the Cabarrus County Board of Education. As a leader, Emily’s focus is to inspire students to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.

We highly recommend Emily Francis’ book If You Only Knew: Letters from an Immigrant Teacher. In her book, Francis shares her captivating life story through a series of letters she writes to eight immigrant students in whom she sees pieces of herself.

This inspiring conversation with Emily Francis will deepen your understanding of the challenges faced by the English language learners in your classroom. Emily’s experience and wisdom will foster empathy and provide valuable insights to help you establish meaningful connections with your students, leaving you encouraged and motivated!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to win a free copy of Emily’s book! Leave a review of the episode on Apple Podcasts for a chance to receive this insightful resource.

* Leave a review of the episode on Apple Podcasts for your chance to win a free copy of the book! *

Topics Discussed in this episode:

  • Emily Francis’ story
  • Insight into the life of the ELLs in your classroom
  • The difference between a “relationship” and a “connection”
Connect with Beth:
More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.



Find a variety of best selling resources created specifically with the diverse needs of ELLs in mind.