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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


Courses:
ESL Methods

August 2009 | 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 programs

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
Key features
  • The book is designed around an original conceptual framework that describes three gaps facing English language learners (ELLs)—gaps between the learner and the text, between the learner and the teacher, and between the learner and his/her peers
  • The authors provide an array of practical strategies for bridging the three gaps and meeting the needs of ELLs in the classroom
  • Each strategy is accompanied by a classroom example and a thorough explanation of effective classrom implementation
  • Templates of conversational guides enable the reader to "hear" supportive, scaffolded language between instructor and students

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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