English Learners

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...

ELLs at the Center: Rethinking High Stakes Testing

Author: Wilma Ortiz and Karen Sumaryono Summary: How do we nurture intellectual curiosity, prepare students for a global economy, and validate and celebrate students’ cultures, language diversity and multiple literacies in an era of accountability and high stakes testing? The authors offer suggestions for ways teacher leaders can be advocates...

Writing in Home Dialects: Choosing a Written Discourse in a Teacher Education Class

Author: Eileen Kennedy Summary:In exploring how to encourage her Caribbean teacher education students to use their vernacular dialects (vernacular Englishes, Spanish, and Haitian Creole) in narrative writing, Kennedy discovered reluctant writers who lacked confidence, in part because their use of home languages had always been suppressed. Over time, she helped...

Preserving the Cultural Identity of the English Language Learner

Author: Wilma Ortiz and Karen Sumaryono Summary: With an advocacy goal of helping immigrant students retain their cultural identities and succeed within the mainstream classroom while also learning a new language, the authors share several effective writing practices that validate students’ primary language in meaningful ways and promote a strong...

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...

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...

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...

Breaking the Boundaries of Texts: Video Game and Literacy Curriculum Development for English Language Learners

Author: Nora A. Peterman, Lan Ngo, Robert J. LeBlanc, Susan Goldstein Summary: This article describes a study of a literacy video game designed to help English learners negotiate new vocabulary and unfamiliar language structures as they read. The game, collaboratively created on Gamestar Mechanic by a team including a public...

Exploring Issues of Equity: NWP’s Project Outreach Annotated Bibliography

Summary: A focus of the work of NWP’s Project Outreach—an initiative that supported resource development and program activities intended to enhance the capacity of local sites to understand and address issues of equity in their local programming– included identifying a variety of articles and book chapters to support teacher leaders...