English Learners

Bicultural Literacy: A Personal Exploration

Author: Marcia Venegas-Garcìa Summary: Educator Marcia Venegas–Garcia tells her personal bicultural story to “encourage…particularly those in power, to recognize that all children have their stories of literacy,” and to encourage a “less myopic,” more diverse view of teaching and learning. This personal essay, along with others, could well serve as...

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...

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...

Love Ties My Shoes: Long-term English Learners as Thoughtful Writers

Author: Lynn Jacobs Summary: Students in a high school English Language Development class writing a book? Lynn Jacobs’ story of her students success can inform teacher study groups and inspire professional development sessions. For details about the project, powerful student voices describing the process, and ties to professional literature that...

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.

Cultural Citizenship and Latino English Language Learners

Author: Maria Franquiz and Carol Brochin-Ceballos Summary: This short article emphasizes the importance of creating “a safe space for language and literacy development.” The authors argue for students’ rights to use their own “linguistic and cultural resources for learning.” Teachers who are eager for a conversation about about advocacy and...

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...

Supporting English Language Learners: What Happens When Teaching in Students’ Native Language is Made Illegal?

Author: Art Peterson Summary: This inspiring story of Floris Wilma Ortiz-Marrero, a teacher-consultant with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project and 2011 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, describes how she became a vocal advocate for her ELL students in a time when the state made it illegal to teach students in...

When Third-Grade Writers Do Case Studies

Author: Janet Kiddoo Summary: Bilingual third grade students acted as helpers to first graders in a collaborative writing workshop. The third grade teacher guided her students through a process similar to teacher inquiry–to reflect on their own experiences as writers in order to help the younger writers, to take notes...

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...