English Learners

Demystifying the College Admission Essay Genre

Author: Jessica Singer Early and Meredith DeCosta Summary: This chapter from Jessica Singer Early and Meredith DeCosta’s Real World Writing for Secondary Students presents a writing workshop for ethnically and linguistically diverse high school students in which students receive instruction on specific genre features of the college admission essay. The...

The Family Writing Project Builds a Learning Community in Connecticut

Author: Valerie Diane Bolling Summary: Family writing projects are an powerful resource for families for whom English is not a first language and who are sometimes unfamiliar with the dominant school culture. The projects provide opportunities to build relationships among families, students and teachers while strengthening literacy. This article describes...

Literacy, ELL, and Digital Storytelling: 21st Century Skills in Action

Author: Yumi Matsui and Clifford Lee Summary: This inspiring video documents how an English and a history teacher collaborated to have their high school history students created digital stories as part of the American Immigration Project. The semester-long multimodal project incorporated interviews, transcription. discussion, writing voiceover scripts, and digital production....

Teaching Writing in an Assessment Era: Passion and Practice (NWP Radio)

Guests: Jonathan Lovell, Mary Warner, Marie Milner, and Brandy Appling-Jenson Summary: Directors and teacher-consultants from the San Jose Area Writing Project discuss their book, Teaching Writing Grades 7-12 in an Era of Assessment: Passion and Practice. The following key questions guided their work: “Why might my students wish to engage...

Technology in the English Learner Classroom?

Author: Judith Rance-Roney Summary: How can new technologies foster the love of writing for students in the English learner classroom? How can our integration of technology narrow the digital divide? Sites or schools looking for specific ideas and strategies to frame a conference workshop or PD session might easily draw...

Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELLs: A TESOL Issue Brief

Summary: This issue brief, from the TESOL International Association, is an overview of the Common Core State Standards that also outlines some of the initiatives in place to address the needs of English learners (ELs) in relation to the Standards. Excerpts from this resource may be useful in study groups...

Whose Core Is It?

Author: Christina Puntel Summary: An elementary school teacher and bilingual coordinator pushes back against the mandated content/performance descriptors provided by her district to assert that the “core” of her curriculum is her students’ learning. “I teach with an ear close to the core of each child, to the core of the...

Community Connections for English Learners: Changing the World Starts with Just a Few Words

Author: Art Peterson Summary: This short article illustrates ways a teacher can engage colleagues in professional learning and provides examples of classroom activities that build connections between EL students, their parents and their community. Engaging students in creating digital movies to document the history of discrimination along with the impact...

Culturally Mediated Writing Instruction for Adolescent English Language Learners

Author: Leslie Patterson, Carol Wickstrom, Juan Araujo Summary: Sites looking for examples of how to design a study and/or plan professional development focused on the impact of culturally mediated writing instruction (CMWI) for adolescent English learners may find this report by the North Star of Texas Writing Project a helpful...

Building Culturally Responsive Units of Study: From Texas to Mexico and Back

Author: Katie McKay Summary: By crafting units of study that cast immigration as part of the American historical process, a teacher-consultant at the Heart of Texas Writing Project creates opportunities for her bilingual fourth-graders to explore immigration in a trusting and productive classroom environment. This article can support discussions about...