English 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...

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...

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...

We Are All Immigrants

Author: Robert Brooke, Cara Morgenson Summary: In this episode of the Nebraska Writing Project 4-part series on place-conscious education, Cara Morgenson talks with Robert Brooke about an extensive project for her high school English learners with the Homestead National Monument and Brooke’s college juniors.

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....

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...

Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

Summary: This 2007 report by the Carnegie Foundation and the Center for Applied Linguistics identifies challenges faced by adolescent ELs in meeting grade-level academic expectations. It also provides recommendations for teacher education, educational research, school administrators and policy makers, along with instructional approaches likely to increase student achievement. The downloadable...

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...