English Learners

A Fourth Grade Service Learning Project Engages English Learners

Author: Robert Rivera-Amezola Summary: In this video, a teacher of fourth-grade English learners describes how he integrated service learning and digital literacy in a civic engagement project. They used “My Voice,” a service-learning framework, as a guide to choose a project about water conservation and pollution. The teacher made information...

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...

Know ELLs: Support for Teachers of English Language Learners

Author: Great Valley Writing Project Summary: This Ning, a social website/blog developed and maintained by several teacher leaders from the Grand Valley Writing Project in Central California, focuses on issues related to teaching English Language Learners. Sites and teacher leaders looking to maintain momentum after the conclusion of an institute or...

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...

Are You the Teacher Who Gives Parents Homework?

Author: Carole Chin Summary: In this chapter from the NWP publication, Cityscapes, an elementary teacher describes how she uses the writing of students and their families to build community, honor family cultures and languages, and provide a forum to address fears, anxieties, and concerns. Threaded through the narrative are many...

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...

Con Respeto, I am Not Richard Rodriguez

Author: Norma Mota-Altman Summary: Bilingual teacher Norma Mota–Altman recounts her experience as a Spanish–speaking child in school and explains why “English only” policies exact too high a price from English learners and their families. In telling her story, she brings a human face to critical terms such as “funds of...

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...

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...

We Are All Immigrants

Author: Robert Brooke, Cara Morgenson Summary: In this episode of the Nebraska Writing Project 4-part series on place-conscious education, Cara Morgenson talks with Robert Brooke about an extensive project for her high school English learners with the Homestead National Monument and Brooke’s college juniors.