Literacy/ESL

Mother Language Dictates Reading Strategy

Research Offers Insight to the Way ELLs Learn to Read

New Directions for Technology Use in ELL Instruction

As K–12 districts aim to improve learning for a wide range of students facing unique challenges, education leaders need to be particularly mindful of the English language learning (ELL) student population. Of all the students in public schools in the U.S., an estimated 9.3% were ELLs in the 2013–14 school year. Though ELL students have made strides in reading, leaping 22 points in average fourth-grade reading scores from 2000 to 2015, this group of students is consistently behind their non-ELL peers in this area.

Summer Literacy Resources

Language Magazine explores different methods and resources for students to keep up with their studies over the summer in fun ways.   Start With a Book To ward off the learning loss that many children experience over the summer, Start With a Book (www.startwithabook.org) offers parents, caregivers, summer program staff, and librarians lots of engaging ideas for getting young kids hooked on...

Help Your Students Slide Up, Not Down, Over the Summer

During the summer months, young children lose literacy gains made during the school year, a phenomenon known as “summer slide.” The most important thing teachers can do to reverse this trend is to help families adopt family literacy routines and promote opportunities for families to talk, read, and write...

Fluency Matters to Readers

Fluency Matters offers a wide range of compelling leveled readers specifically designed to facilitate language acquisition with novice to intermediate level students. All readers are strategically written with a manageable number of unique words, making them highly comprehensible to even novice-level students. Core vocabulary is masterfully woven into a compelling story, which inconspicuously provides repeated exposure to key language structures...

A Futile War

  Ross Thorburn rejects the illogical insistence upon banning mother tongues in the second-language classroom The War on Drugs In 1998, the United Nations decided that it was going to eradicate drugs from planet Earth by 2008. The project was doomed to failure from the start. Human beings have been getting high since prehistoric times. How could the UN hope to eradicate...

Tensions in Teaching Spanish

Ann Abbott sees tensions in Spanish programs that cannot hold In one of my roles as a director of Undergraduate Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), I work closely with our advisor, I speak directly with potential students and their parents, and I am on our department’s...

The Art of Teaching

M. Elhess, E. Elturki, and J. Egbert offer strategies to support creativity in the language classroom “Our students aren’t creative,” claimed one of the language teachers in the professional development workshop. The other participating teachers nodded in agreement. “How do you know?” asked the workshop facilitator. The teacher hesitated. “Well,” she said, “I guess I don’t. We don’t ask them to do anything creative, mostly...

What Does Good Blended Learning Look Like?

Stephen Noonoo shares best practices for blended learning programs that work During the past few years, blended learning has been hailed by schools worldwide as everything from the future of education to the conduit that will finally make true differentiated instruction a reality. And it is not all hype: the best blended-learning programs truly can move away from the lecture-based...

Helping Academic English Learners Develop Productive Word Knowledge

Dr. Kate Kinsella offers evidence-based instructional practices to advance students’ verbal and written command of critical words Vocabulary Knowledge and Overall Academic Achievement Vocabulary plays a crucial role in all aspects of academic competence in K–12 schooling. Certainly, one of the most consistent findings in reading research is the extent to which students’ vocabulary knowledge directly supports their reading comprehension (Baumann and...