English Learners

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...

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...

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...

Culturally Mediated Writing Instruction for Adolescent English Language Learners

Author: Leslie Patterson, Carol Wickstrom, Juan Araujo Summary: Sites looking for examples of how to design a study and/or plan professional development focused on the impact of culturally mediated writing instruction (CMWI) for adolescent English learners may find this report by the North Star of Texas Writing Project a helpful...

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...

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.

“I’m a Writer Now!” The Who, Where, and When of an ELL Newspaper

Author: Joe Bellino Summary: Joe Bellino, a teacher of English language learners, describes the process of publishing “Silver International,” a newspaper written by his EL/International high school students as well as how the paper positively affected readers, writers, and the school. This resource offers inspiration for study groups and teacher...

Meeting the Needs of Racially and Linguistically Diverse Students through Courageous Conversations

Author: South Coast Writing Project Summary: Although conversations about race and diversity are not easy, they can allow teacher leaders to examine and interrogate their beliefs and practices to determine the direction of their teaching and of their writing project sites. Teachers at the UCLA Writing Project found their reading...

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...

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...