English language learners & education:

English Language Learners & Education: How to Create Success in the Classroom DeCapua, A., & Marshall, H. (2010). Students with limited or interrupted formal education in US classrooms. Urban Review, 42, 159-173. This article addresses the challenges of learning in the US for a particular English Language Learner (ELL) group known as SLIFE (students with limited or interrupted formal education), who share the characteristics of having little to no English language proficiency, native language literacy, and education. Therefore, in order to teach SLIFE, there are two cultural factors that educators must consider: high-context (HC) vs. low-context (LC) cultures and pragmatic vs. academic approach to learning. The article focuses mostly on the difficulties of SLIFE digressing from the interdependence trait of HC cultures with a pragmatic orientation into achieving academic success in the US classroom, which depicts an LC or individualistic culture where learning is based on logic, abstract reasoning, and decontextualization. In order for high-context SLIFE to prosper in schools, the article discusses the Mutually Adaptive Learning Program (MALP), which assimilates cultural factors in both learning and teaching and helps SLIFE to deviate from their HC learning standards to the LC learning standards. With ample credible, cited references, this article successfully provides in-depth details on the correlation between a subgroup of ELLs and cultural factors in learning. Furthermore, this is a beneficial source since it presents numerous teaching methods and recommendations to aid SLIFE to becoming better students in US classrooms. DelliCarpini, M. (2008). Success with ELLs. English Journal, 98(2), 98-101. The author of this article happens to be a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) teacher educator in a graduate program, and she outlines modifications in classroom lessons for English Language Learner (ELL) students. Throughout the article, she observes and documents other fellow teachers on how they interact with ELLs and later discusses with them how they make instructional decisions to support the ELLs’ development of both language and content. From her own experiences and monitoring other ELL classrooms, the author was able to make recommendations for English teachers that would create a more comfortable and successful environment for ELL students. These classroom features include understanding and respecting the students’ culture, incorporating multiple versions of texts, and creating student choice. Although there are very few references cited, this article is quite credible considering that the author has hands-on, direct experience with ELL students and what needs must be met for their academic achievements. Additionally, the author illustrates many different techniques under the new classroom features mentioned before which makes this article very resourceful. Wassell, B. A., Hawrylak, M. F., & LaVan, S. K. (2010). Examining the structures that impact English language learners’ agency in urban high schools: resources and roadblocks in the classroom. Education & Urban Society, 42, 599-619. Three authors created this qualitative study that revolved around fourteen English Language Learner (ELL) students from urban high schools and the recollection of their experiences on being mainstreamed into general education classes. This article illustrates how teachers engaged in practices that created an environment that either empowered or hindered an ELL student’s academic achievements, proficiency in English, and sometimes social success. The findings suggested that perhaps the best practice for teachers of ELL students is not based on pedagogical content knowledge, but more on kindness and compassion for the ELLs’ extraordinary situations as English and content learners. This article is an extremely credible source, for the three authors were the masterminds behind conducting reliable research and collecting data from their own program which was based on preparing the ELLs for college by providing massive assignments in scholastic English. Also, the majority of the data and analysis was centered on interview transcripts from the fourteen ELL participants. This article is undeniably valuable for teachers of ELLs, for it exposes many positive techniques, known as “ resources”, that assist ELLs to be productive learners; reveals teacher-created “ roadblocks” that would hinder academic progression; and provides recommendations on how classrooms and schools can improve on meeting the needs of ELL students.