To prepare for this workshop session, you will review the key terms, identify the strategies that you already use, and then read two articles on teaching English language learners.
What Do You Do?
Consider the strengths and needs of English language learners in your classroom. In what ways might their first language skills and culture support the development of background knowledge, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing? Think about how you plan instruction that acknowledges and promotes students' strengths, and addresses their needs.
Now, jot down your answers to these questions and, if you are taking this workshop for credit, save them for your Literacy Practices Portfolio:
- What specific strengths do your students demonstrate in reading and writing? How do you use and support those strengths in your instruction?
- What specific needs do your students demonstrate in reading and writing? How do you address those needs in your instruction?
- What have you done that has been most successful in teaching English language learners?
- What are your goals for improving the literacy development of your English language learners?
- Which of your colleagues teach English language learners? How can you collaborate with these colleagues to develop and discuss effective teaching strategies?
Examine the Literature
Print out two copies of the Examine the Literature Response Chart (PDF). Then read each article listed below, recording your ideas on the chart during and after reading. When you have finished, save your chart to submit as an assignment.
It's a Difference That Changes Us: An Alternative View of the Language and Literacy Learning Needs of Latina/o Students (PDF)
This article explores how teachers can discover the unique linguistic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds of their English language learners, their literacy strengths and needs, and the ways in which reading and writing are important to them.
Jiménez, R. T. "It's a Difference That Changes Us: An Alternative View of the Language and Literacy Learning Needs of Latina/o Students." The Reading Teacher 54, no. 8 (May 2001): 736-742.
Making Content Instruction Accessible for English Language Learners (PDF)
This article examines the ways in which teachers combine language instruction with subject area material.
Hernandez, A. "Making Content Instruction Accessible for English Language Learners." In English Learners: Reaching the Highest Level of English Literacy, edited by G. G. Garcia, 125-149. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2003.
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