[R-0008] S2. Instructional Strategies

Citation: Protheroe, N. (2011). Providing effective instruction for English language learners: The school and district context. Alexandria, VA: Educational Research Service.

Abstract: In this Informed Educator article, the author examines instruction for English language learners (ELLs) from the perspective of the context provided by district and school policies and practices. Findings are highlighted from research about factors that can help or hinder efforts to provide effective instruction.

Integration: This publication would be best used as background knowledge for instructors of Language and Literacy Experiences, EDU 280. Although most of the content covers middle and high school studies, it is notable because for many years, research on the education of English language learners focused primarily on the structure of instructional programs. More recently, there have been efforts to identify instructional strategies that are effective in providing support for ELLS. This article reviews these efforts. It cites resources such as the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth. It provides information on what programs providing effective support for ELLS look like, “contextual features-the steps that improving districts took or events that occurred that helped set the stage for districtwide change” (Horwitz, , A.R., Uro, G., Price-Baugh, R., Simon, C., Uzzell, R., Lewis, S., & Casserly, M. 2009, p.2), and shared characteristics of and strategies employed by improving districts. It also provides findings and “lessons learned” about district practices that work against the provision of effective instruction for ELL students. Research is also reviewed regarding ways in which the school context affects the potential effectiveness of instruction for ELL students. Reoccuring themes emerge that need to be addressed when discussing the language and literacy experiences of English language learners. They are the need to use a curriculum that is meaningful and academically challenging, with a clear alignment with standards and assessment; the need to build on a program model associated with an enrichment rather than a remedial model, the need to build a program that is consistent over time and is staffed by teachers who understand theories about second language development.

Content Focus: Instruction; Teaching; Language and Literacy Experiences

Notes: This article would be more relevant if it addressed preschool program research.