Volume 3, Number 1, Summer 2011

ISSN: 1949-8268

Editors’ Note | pdf

Teaching Inclusivity: Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of their Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes toward Working with English Language Learners in Mainstream Classrooms

Phil Smith

pp. 1-21 | pdf

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of one semester of ESOL education on preservice teachers by examining their perceived knowledge and skill in working with English Language Learner (ELL) students, and their attitude toward having ELL students in their mainstream classrooms. The survey identified two factors: a) Perception of ESOL Knowledge and Skills (PEKS) and b) Attitude Toward Inclusion (ATI). Results showed that preservice teachers’ perceptions of both knowledge & skill (PEKS) changed from introductory to the final ESOL course, and that PEKS changed significantly from pre- to post-test within the same course. No significant changes were found in students’ attitude toward inclusion (ATI) either from course 1 to course 2 or from pre- to post-test within the same course.

In English You Read with a Stopwatch: A Journey towards Biliteracy in Two Older Adopted Salvadoran Children

Mary A. Patron and Barbara Greybeck

pp. 22-37 | pdf

Abstract

This longitudinal case study provides an in-depth exploration of the journey toward bilingualism and biliteracy of two older adopted Salvadoran siblings in U.S. schools. Data sources include observations in the home and school, interviews, written artifacts, field notes, and various reading test scores. Analysis suggests that literacy instruction in English tended to focus more on phonics and fluency than comprehension and vocabulary, and it assumed a level of oral proficiency in English that neither of the children had. Spanish literacy instruction was aimed toward children of Mexican origin that was neither culturally relevant nor geared toward their specific language needs. The authors recommend that educators recognize the importance of linguistic and cultural differences when working with both first and second language literacy.

Enhancing Reading Proficiency in English Language Learners (ELLs): The Importance of Knowing Your ELL in Mainstream Classrooms

Martha Castaneda, Eva Rodriguez-Gonzalez, & Melissa Schulz

pp. 38-64 | pdf

Abstract

In this manuscript, the authors encourage classroom teachers and school leaders to learn about the home culture and language of the growing English learner population if they are to respond effectively to these students’ language, literacy, and content learning needs. These funds of knowledge have been shown to help teachers adjust instruction in ways that permit students to engage more actively in language, literacy, and content learning tasks. In addition to offering recommendations for administrators and teachers working to improve literacy of ELLs within and outside the school setting, the authors share sample surveys that can be used to gather information about students’ home, language, and educational background as well as reading habits and preferences.

Book Review of Differentiating Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners: A Guide for K-12 Teachers

Melanie C. Gonzalez

pp. 65-67 | pdf

Text

Fairbairn, S. & Jones-Vo, S. (2010). Differentiating Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners: A Guide for K-12 Teachers. Philadelphia: Calson.