But Does This Work With English Learners?
A Guide for English Language Arts Teachers, Grades 6-12
- Mary Amanda Stewart - Texas Woman's University
- Holly Genova
Foreword by Gretchen Bernabei
Bilingual/EAL Learners | English/Language Arts (Middle/High School) | Literacy
Secondary ELA teachers, be excited: here at last is that crash course in utilizing the best of what we already know about teaching reading, writing, and language to ensure our English learners thrive.
Take Penny Kittle and Donalyn Miller’s reader’s workshops. Take Kylene Beers and Robert Probst’s “signposts.” Take the best writing techniques advanced by the National Writing Project. Take Jim Burke’s essential questions for life. Award-winning EL authorities Mandy Stewart and Holly Genova describe immediate adaptations you can put in place to simultaneously build your ELs’ language and literacy, while affirming their languages, cultures, and unique lived experiences.
A rare blend of the humane and practical, But Does This Work with English Learners? is a book on how to leverage our ELs’ full linguistic repertoires in the ELA classroom, while remaining sensitive to those barriers that could restrict learning. With this book as your guide, you’ll learn how to:
- Look beyond the labels, and better understand the diversity of ELs, English language proficiency levels, and sociopolitical influences
- Teach and assess through reader’s workshop, recognizing where comprehensible input fits in and adapting recurring features like support, choice, conferencing, and academic conversations
- Teach and assess through writer’s workshops, including modifications to quick-writes, minilessons, conferencing, sharing, and more
- Teach through structures and community with classroom schedules and behavior norms, and activities like All About Me Paragraphs and Six Things You Need to Know About Me Listicles
- Embrace identity in inquiry cycles via research and family interviews, mentor texts and essays, pictorial autobiographies, memory paragraphs, and more
- Answer your own FAQs such as How do I teach students if I don’t know their language? What about grammar? How do I teach the grade-level ELA standards while I teach the language?
“As you read this book,” Mandy and Holly write, “our hope is that you will begin to see your students as multilinguals—people who already have language as well as a wealth of knowledge and are just adding English to that great repertoire.” If you have even a single English learner in your classroom, we urge you to read this book and institute its practices. Right away!
“Mandy Stewart and Holly Genova have given us a primer for the evolving complexities of our classroom melting pots, a map for navigating the murky waters of regulations, and most importantly, a recipe for opening our arms to children from all over the world. They welcome them with thoughts like ‘A foreign accent is a sign of bravery.’”
~Gretchen Bernabei, Coauthor of Fun-Sized Academic Writing for Serious Learning
“After reading this book, I was left with the feeling that I learned something new on every page--something that I had previously either wondered about or struggled to understand. Mandy Stewart and Holly Genova are the guides we all need to help us understand and better address the needs of our English learners.”
~Jim Burke, Author of The English Teacher’s Companion