English Learners

Theory, Politics, Hope, and Action: Building Immersive Writing Experiences for Bilingual Writers

Author: Carole Edelsky Summary: This article is a great resource for study groups, inquiry communities, and professional learning of all types with a focus on English learners and writing. After introducing two pieces of “gorgeous” writing from fifth graders in a dual language classroom, Edelsky explains how this writing came...

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...

Narrative Writing Works Magic with Children Learning English

Author: Lisa Ummel-Ingram Summary: Lisa Ummel-Ingram tells the story of engaging her third graders in creating books that honored their lives, language and cultures through storyboarding, sharing, conferencing, gathering information, and illustrating. Student ownership, confidence and language development extended into subsequent years as students saw themselves as authors and learners....

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...

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...

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...

We Are All Teachers of English Learners (NWP Radio)

Summary: Many NWP sites have retooled their recruitment efforts, inservice offerings and institutes in light of the significant demographic changes that have placed English learners in almost every classroom. On this NWP Radio show, teacher consultants from four sites offer a look at their work with multilingual students as a...

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...

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...

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...