English Learners

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...

Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELLs: A TESOL Issue Brief

Summary: This issue brief, from the TESOL International Association, is an overview of the Common Core State Standards that also outlines some of the initiatives in place to address the needs of English learners (ELs) in relation to the Standards. Excerpts from this resource may be useful in study groups...

Technology in the English Learner Classroom?

Author: Judith Rance-Roney Summary: How can new technologies foster the love of writing for students in the English learner classroom? How can our integration of technology narrow the digital divide? Sites or schools looking for specific ideas and strategies to frame a conference workshop or PD session might easily draw...

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...

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...

Responsive Teacher Inquiry and Innovation in Teaching ELA with Diverse Learners (NWP Radio)

Guests: Steve Athanases and Juliet Wahleithner Summary: In this clip from NWP Radio, Steve Athanases and Juliet Wahleithner describe a preservice program at UC-Davis that incorporates teacher inquiry. The speakers provide a rationale for including inquiry during field experiences in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms as a way to turn students’ attention...

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...

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...