English Learners

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....

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Literacy, ELL, and Digital Storytelling: 21st Century Skills in Action

Author: Yumi Matsui and Clifford Lee Summary: This inspiring video documents how an English and a history teacher collaborated to have their high school history students created digital stories as part of the American Immigration Project. The semester-long multimodal project incorporated interviews, transcription. discussion, writing voiceover scripts, and digital production....

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...