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The Literacy Gaps
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The Literacy Gaps
Bridge-Building Strategies for English Language Learners and Standard English Learners



June 2012 | 272 pages | Corwin
'The book makes a contribution to the education of English language learners. It provides practical instructional suggestions for teachers of both ELLs and SELs that are informed by a deep understanding of theories of second language and second dialect acquisition and the development of reading and writing proficiencies'—Guadalupe Valdés, Professor of Education, Stanford University

'The concepts of gaps and bridges are clearly articulated up front and provide a well-structured theme that unites the various parts of the text. The use of this structure provides a logical and coherent mechanism for providing a complete picture of the problem—the literacy gap between ELs and native speakers—and a means for addressing this problem'—Kristina Anstrom, Senior Research Scientist, The George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education

Build bridges of support so English language learners can learn alongside their peers!

English language learners (ELLs) and standard English learners (SELs) face multiple gaps as they strive to achieve, so educators need to take a holistic, comprehensive approach to bridge those gaps and meet the needs of ELLs and SELs in the classroom.

Based on an original, well-researched framework, this much-needed resource provides practical strategies for supporting learning and success for ELLs. The authors provide strategies, examples, and classroom tools to address:

- The gap between students and texts: covering word recognition, background knowledge, comprehension, and academic language development

- The gap between students and teachers: including socio-cultural differences between teachers and students, and teacher perceptions and expectations

- The gap between students and their peers: discussing language proficiency differences, grouping strategies, and grade-level and schoolwide programmes

The Literacy Gaps helps educators give ELLs the skills they need to close the most important gap of all: the achievement gap.

 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Introduction to the Achievement Gap and the “Literacy Gaps Model”
Demographic Patterns  
Language Spoken and Socioeconomic Factors  
ELL Achievement  
Standard English Learners  
The National Literacy Panel  
The Literacy Gaps Model  
Overview of Book Chapters  
Summary  
 
2. Decoding: Word Recognition Strategies and Fluency
Introduction  
The Gap Between the Student and the Text  
Decoding and Readability of Text  
Decoding  
English Language Development  
Background Knowledge  
Summary  
 
3. Background Knowledge and Experiences
Schema Fit: Becoming a Text Participant  
Context: Becoming a Text User (Active Participant)  
Linkages: Becoming a Text Analyst (Reading Critically)  
Summary  
 
4. Comprehension
Comprehension Gap  
Academic Language  
Passage Comprehension  
Summary  
 
5. English Language Development and Academic English
Specialized Language Needs of ELLs  
Needs of Standard English Learners  
Academic Language Development Lesson Plan  
Summary  
 
6. Perceptions and Expectations
Were Called on Less Frequently and Were Provided Less Time to Respond  
Were Given the Answer Rather Than Helped to Solve the Problem Themselves  
Were Criticized More Often, and Praised Less  
Were Paid Less Positive Attention, but Disciplined More Strictly  
 
7. Cultural Differences
Connecting the Literacy Domains in Second Language Acquisition  
Parental Involvement and the Literacy Domains  
Culturally Responsive Teaching  
Comprehensive Education  
Multidimensional Approaches  
Empowerment  
Transformative Learning  
Emancipatory Education  
Summary  
 
8. Socioeconomic Differences
Implicit and Explicit Codes  
Discourse Patterns  
Interactional Styles  
Written Language Codes  
Resource Access  
Summary  
 
9. Language Variables
Academic Language Competence  
Summary  
 
10. Grouping Strategies
Micro Structures That Bridge Language Proficiency Gaps  
Macro Structures That Bridge Language Proficiency Gaps  
Summary  
 
11. Beyond the Gap/Envisioning the Future
The Literacy Gaps Model  
Summary  
 
Glossary
 
Index

"The book makes a contribution to the education of English language learners. It provides practical instructional suggestions for teachers of both ELLs and SELs that are informed by a deep understanding of theories of second language and second dialect acquisition and the development of reading and writing proficiencies."

Guadalupe Valdes, Professor of Education
Stanford University

"The concepts of gaps and bridges are clearly articulated up front and provide a well-structured theme that unites the various parts of the text. The use of this structure provides a logical and coherent mechanism for providing a complete picture of the problem—the literacy gap between ELs and native speakers—and a means for addressing this problem."

Kristina Anstrom, Senior Research Scientist
The George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education

"The strategies are clearly presented and there is just enough research cited to provide the rationale for incorporating ideas into instruction. Any teacher will find this book practical, and the discussions will provide meaningful ideas for study groups at the school site."

Ron Klemp, Secondary Literacy Coordinator
Los Angeles Unified School District, CA

"This book presents content that is crucial for narrowing the achievement gap and powerful practical instructional strategies for increasing student achievement."

Yee Wan, Coordinator, English Language Learners Program
Santa Clara County Office of Education

Text was highly detailed and clear

Professor Amber Pabon
Teaching and Learning , LIU Brooklyn
December 21, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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