English Learners

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.

Book Review: English Learners, Academic Literacy, and Thinking: Learning in the Challenge Zone

Author: Debra Schneider Summary: How can we best support English learners in classrooms where rigorous curricula focus on intellectual practices across content areas? How can we engage in practices that enable students to construct rather than reproduce knowledge, develop deep understanding of disciplinary knowledge and forge connections between school and...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Lost in Translation: Assessing Writing of English Language Learners

Author: Tom Meyer, Fabiola Lieberstein-Solera, and Martha Young Summary: If you are planning professional development on the assessment of writing that involves students whose first language is not English, you may want to read this thoughtful article. The authors, the site director and two bilingual teacher leaders from the Hudson...

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.

Understanding Community Literacies as Foundational to Teaching Excellence

Author: Toni M. Williams, Diane DeFord, Amy Donnelly, Susi Long, Julia López-Robertson, Mary E. Styslinger, and Nicole Walker Summary: This article from the NCTE journal Language Arts reviews several professional books that explore issues of equity and access. The books reviewed share the view that, as educators, we can support...

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...