English Learners

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...

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...

Voces del Corazón: Voices from the Heart

Author: Dolores S. Perez Summary: Family Literacy Nights were created by teacher-consultants from the Sabal Palms Writing Project who partnered with two middle schools to reach out to parents and families in low-income communities. The article tells their story through examples and parents’ and students’ words (Spanish and English). It...

Breaking the Boundaries of Texts: Video Game and Literacy Curriculum Development for English Language Learners

Author: Nora A. Peterman, Lan Ngo, Robert J. LeBlanc, Susan Goldstein Summary: This article describes a study of a literacy video game designed to help English learners negotiate new vocabulary and unfamiliar language structures as they read. The game, collaboratively created on Gamestar Mechanic by a team including a public...

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...

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...

“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...

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...

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...

Long-Term English Learners Writing Their Stories

Author: Lynn Jacobs Summary: Long-term English learners—those who typically have attended school for at least seven years—speak English well but are often considered below grade level. Because they assume many adult responsibilities in their out-of-school lives, including household duties and translating for family and others, they present opportunities for teachers...