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Linguistic and Cultural Issues in Developing Disciplinary Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

de Schonewise, Estella Almanza; Klingner, Janette K.

doi: 10.1097/TLD.0b013e3182474c33
Disciplinary Literacy

English language learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing segment of the student population. An understanding of the diversity these students bring to contexts of disciplinary learning is critical to determining how best to teach them. At the secondary level, ELLs are required to learn content and build English language proficiency simultaneously. Teachers who work with ELLs should be knowledgeable about (a) linguistic issues and the second language process, (b) cultural issues and cultural-responsive pedagogy, (c) assessment considerations, and (d) instruction that supports language and literacy development in the content areas. The aim of this article is to contribute to basic cultural and linguistic understandings relevant to supporting theoretically sound, culturally sensitive, research-based clinical practices for ELLs.

School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding Author: Estella Almanza de Schonewise, PhD, School of Education, BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, University of Colorado at Boulder, 247 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (Estella.Almanzadeschonewise@colorado.edu).

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins