Educator's Voice IX - English Language Learners: A Mosaic of Languages and Cultures

Welcome from Catalina Fortino

Posted April 8, 2016 by NYSUT Vice President Catalina R. Fortino

Download: Introduction / Welcome from NYSUT Vice President Catalina R. Fortino / Table of Contents (pdf)

In this issue …

Authors share how they engage their English language learners (ELLs) in activities that boost both their academic knowledge and linguistic skills, crucial in this era of increased rigor. This is vital to the Blueprint for ELLs’ Success, which recognizes that all teachers are teachers of ELLs.

This issue highlights 11 groups of educators whose work with language learners ranges from our youngest prekindergartners to high schoolers on the road to graduation. Authors present ways to consider the budding duallanguage skills of toddlers, explore avenues to support multilingual readers and writers, and describe ways to build community among ELL parents and families. Teachers share their stories of collaboration on social justice projects, peer-assisted activities and video projects, and engaging newcomer ELLs in their classrooms, all of which activate learning across several content areas in all four modalities of listening, speaking, reading and writing, in addition to cultural reflection. Finally, bilingual educators and teachers of English to Speakers of Other languages (ESOL) discuss ways to successfully partner with colleagues and families to enhance the success of ELLs at school. This collection of best practices and thoughtful innovation will help all teachers educate and play to the many strengths that ELLs bring to our classes.

Dear Colleagues,

This Volume is about sharing insights into the realities that our English language learners experience as they progress through our school systems. It’s about the caring and supportive learning environments created by teachers, school-related professionals and other specialists. It’s about engaging families and shepherding them into the larger school community. Since English language learners are a heterogeneous group, this means that our educators are continuously growing their knowledge base by building an understanding about language acquisition, social and emotional learning, culture, and content development in order to best serve the complex needs of this diverse population.

The articles that follow contain stories about moving across cultures, illustrations of effective practices, and research-based findings intended to contribute to the growing knowledge of New York State’s educators.


Catalina Fortino


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