2nd Edition

Building Literacy with English Language Learners
Insights from Linguistics

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ISBN 9781462531592
Published September 7, 2017 by Guilford Press
334 Pages

USD $32.00

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Book Description

How can linguistics help teachers of English language learners (ELLs) improve their instruction? What specific competencies do ELLs need to build in order to speak, listen, read, and write in a new language? Now revised and expanded with a broader view of literacy, this book has guided thousands of inservice and preservice teachers to understand the processes involved in second-language acquisition and help ELLs succeed. The authors explain relevant linguistic concepts with a focus on what works in today's diverse PreK-12 classrooms. Effective teaching strategies are illustrated with engaging classroom vignettes; the volume also features instructive discussion questions and a glossary. (First edition title: Teaching Reading to English Language Learners.)

New to This Edition
*Broader view of literacy; increased attention to oral language and writing as well as reading.
*Chapter on digital learning, plus new content on digital technology throughout the book.
*Even more user friendly--additional classroom suggestions from real teachers, vignettes, and examples and graphics illustrating linguistic concepts.
*End-of-chapter "challenge questions" that inspire deeper reflection.
*Coverage of timely topics, such as numeracy and the language innovations of text messages.

Table of Contents

Guide to Pronunciation in This Book
1. Big Ideas and Research That Guide the Profession
2. First-Language Influence in Second-Language Acquisition
3. ELL Oracy: Listening Comprehension and Oral Language Development
4. Learning to Read, Write, and Spell Words in English as a New Language
5. Using Morphemes to Learn Vocabulary
6. Word Formation Processes, Cognates, and Collocations
7. “The Same, but Different”: Reading Fluency in English as a New Language
8. Achieving Comprehension in L2 English Reading
9. Writing to Learn in English across the Curriculum
10. Literacy, Language Learning, and the Digital Revolution

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Kristin Lems, EdD, is Professor in the ESL/Bilingual Education Program at National Louis University, where she directed two 5-year grants from the U.S. Department of Education in ESL teacher education. A two-time Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Lems consults on literacy and ESL in area school districts and presents her research nationally. Her dissertation on adult ESL oral reading fluency was a finalist for Outstanding Dissertation of the Year from the International Literacy Association. She has coauthored or coedited several books, including Building Literacy with English Language Learners, Second Edition, and Fluency Instruction, Second Edition: Research-Based Best Practices, which was a finalist for the Edward B. Fry Book Award of the Literacy Research Association.

Leah D. Miller, MA, was a full-time faculty member in the ESL/Bilingual Education Program at National Louis University before retiring in 2012. She taught linguistics, cross-cultural education, and reading courses at National Louis, and also taught composition at Northwestern University and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has presented on linguistics and ESL topics at state and national conferences, including TESOL and the American Educational Research Association.

Tenena M. Soro, PhD, teaches courses in linguistics, cross-cultural education, foundations, and reading in the ESL/Bilingual Education Program at National Louis University, where he received the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. Dr. Soro has also taught courses in ethics and philosophy, linguistics, and social science at Columbia College, Northeastern Illinois University, and Northwestern University. He has presented on linguistics and ESL topics at state and national conferences.


"Lems, Miller, and Soro offer unusually well-constructed linkages between theories of second-language and literacy development and relevant instructional practices. The book is rich with illustrative examples as well as many useful strategies that educators can immediately implement in their classrooms. The authors are particularly effective in engaging and raising the reader’s interest--not only will educators gain enormous insight into the teaching and learning of second languages, but they also will enjoy the journey. This is an excellent text for teacher preparation courses related to second-language acquisition and bilingual education. I used the book in one of my classes and loved it. The content can serve as a basis for writing assignments, in-class discussion and analysis, presentations, and demonstrations of the sample teaching strategies."--Sonia W. Soltero, PhD, Chair, Department of Leadership, Language and Curriculum, DePaul University

"This book is easy to read and does a superb job of combining theory with application. The authors introduce linguistic concepts in an accessible manner and present practical activities that teachers can start using right away to help ELLs master the pillars of reading. The chapter on the digital revolution provides a bridge to understanding the next generation of technology and how to incorporate it into language learning."--Margaret Gigous, MA, ELL specialist, Villa Park School District 45, Illinois

“This practice-focused book is informed by current interdisciplinary research in reading, linguistics, second-language acquisition, and ESOL pedagogy. The authors provide a thorough, nontechnical explication of the relevance of language systems to reading and writing instruction. Important topics include how good readers sound out words and map phonemes onto graphemes. This is a valuable text for a range of graduate-level classes. The questions and exercises at the end of each chapter help readers apply what they have learned."--Kyle Perkins, PhD, Department of Teaching and Learning, Florida International University

"An essential resource for teachers and researchers of ELLs. This book takes you on an exciting journey of learning about the critical role of literacy instruction in promoting L2 (second-language) acquisition. The book provides many useful ideas about how to turn what you have learned into good classroom teaching practice."--Etsuo Taguchi, MA, Professor in Applied Linguistics, Daito Bunka University, Japan