English Learners

Narrative Writing and the Common Core State Standards, from Helping English Learners to Write

Authors: Carol Booth Olson, Robin C. Scarcella, Tina Matuchniak Summary: In this chapter from Helping English Learners to Write, the authors explain the critical role of narrative writing in helping English learners develop their English language skill and succeed in English Language Arts coursework in the secondary grades. Building upon...

When Third-Grade Writers Do Case Studies

Author: Janet Kiddoo Summary: Bilingual third grade students acted as helpers to first graders in a collaborative writing workshop. The third grade teacher guided her students through a process similar to teacher inquiry–to reflect on their own experiences as writers in order to help the younger writers, to take notes...

Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

Summary: This 2007 report by the Carnegie Foundation and the Center for Applied Linguistics identifies challenges faced by adolescent ELs in meeting grade-level academic expectations. It also provides recommendations for teacher education, educational research, school administrators and policy makers, along with instructional approaches likely to increase student achievement. The downloadable...

A Social Networking Space for Teachers of English Language Learners

Author: Lynn Jacobs Summary: This article provides the background story of the development of the Know ELLs Ning, “a space where teachers come together to share resources, support one another, and discuss their successes and challenges in teaching English language learners.”  The Know ELLs Ning is a useful resource for individual...

Immigrant Teens in the South Bronx Learn the Art of Online Discussion

Author: Kathleen Costanza Summary: This article describes the work of immigrant youth in the South Bronx as they discuss Sold, a novel about a Nepali girl whose stepfather sells her into slavery. A LRNG grant developed by the NYC Writing Project and four teachers enabled youth and teachers to use the Youth Voices...

Cultural Citizenship and Latino English Language Learners

Author: Maria Franquiz and Carol Brochin-Ceballos Summary: This short article emphasizes the importance of creating “a safe space for language and literacy development.” The authors argue for students’ rights to use their own “linguistic and cultural resources for learning.” Teachers who are eager for a conversation about about advocacy and...

Grammar—Comma—a New Beginning

Author: Mary Ehrenworth Summary: Teaching grammar through inquiry and seduction? In this piece, Mary Ehrenworth shares strategies for moving away from direct instruction (which seldom works) to making it possible for students to “have an apprenticeship relation with great authors, even at the sentence structure level.” By honoring diverse dialects...

Responsive Teacher Inquiry and Innovation in Teaching ELA with Diverse Learners (NWP Radio)

Guests: Steve Athanases and Juliet Wahleithner Summary: In this clip from NWP Radio, Steve Athanases and Juliet Wahleithner describe a preservice program at UC-Davis that incorporates teacher inquiry. The speakers provide a rationale for including inquiry during field experiences in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms as a way to turn students’ attention...

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...

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...