English Learners

A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners in Secondary School

Author: Carol Booth Olson and Robert Land Summary: This article documents a longitudinal research study conducted by members of the UC Irvine Writing Project in partnership with a large, urban school district in which 93 percent of the students are English language learners. Over an eight-year period, 55 secondary teachers...

Theory, Politics, Hope, and Action: Building Immersive Writing Experiences for Bilingual Writers

Author: Carole Edelsky Summary: This article is a great resource for study groups, inquiry communities, and professional learning of all types with a focus on English learners and writing. After introducing two pieces of “gorgeous” writing from fifth graders in a dual language classroom, Edelsky explains how this writing came...

Long-Term English Learners Writing Their Stories

Author: Lynn Jacobs Summary: Long-term English learners—those who typically have attended school for at least seven years—speak English well but are often considered below grade level. Because they assume many adult responsibilities in their out-of-school lives, including household duties and translating for family and others, they present opportunities for teachers...

Digital Storytelling for Language and Culture Learning

Author: Judith Rance-Roney Summary: Interested in introducing digital storytelling in a writing classroom? Rance-Roney, a teacher with the Hudson Valley Writing Project, explains digital storytelling, discusses its strengths in promoting literacy, and, by documenting her own multilingual classroom work, suggests a path for getting started with this technology.

Bicultural Literacy: A Personal Exploration

Author: Marcia Venegas-Garcìa Summary: Educator Marcia Venegas–Garcia tells her personal bicultural story to “encourage…particularly those in power, to recognize that all children have their stories of literacy,” and to encourage a “less myopic,” more diverse view of teaching and learning. This personal essay, along with others, could well serve as...

Voces del Corazón: Voices from the Heart

Author: Dolores S. Perez Summary: Family Literacy Nights were created by teacher-consultants from the Sabal Palms Writing Project who partnered with two middle schools to reach out to parents and families in low-income communities. The article tells their story through examples and parents’ and students’ words (Spanish and English). It...

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...

English Language Learners, Classroom Drama

Author: Dana Loy Summary: Through a year-long drama and playwriting project with her bilingual class of 8th graders, Dana Loy and a visiting artist engaged her students in writing stories that could be dramatized, learning about playwriting and working together as actors with the goal of developing a script that...

Creating Intentional Communities to Support English Language Learners in the Classroom

Author: Judith Rance-Roney Summary: How can teachers support English learners, including recent immigrants, in language acquisition while also investing all students in creating a classroom culture that encourages shared experiences, knowledge construction and the integration of resources that ELs bring? Judith Rance-Roney’s answer was to create the Culture Share Club...

How Language Minority Students Can Learn in the Content Areas: An Alternative to Silence

Author: Beth Winningham Summary: A teacher researcher who studied the experiences of five language-minority students over the course of a school year offers concrete suggestions for improving the learning experience of middle/high school students in general, and English learners in particular. This article could be examined as a model of...