1st Edition

Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners Pre-K-2

By Diane M. Barone, Shelley Hong Xu Copyright 2008

    Summarizing current research and weaving it into practical instructional strategies that teachers can immediately use with young English language learners (ELLs), this book addresses a major priority for today's primary-grade classrooms. All aspects of effective instruction for ELLs are explored: oral language development and instruction, materials, word study, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and home-school connections. Assessment is discussed throughout, and is also covered in a separate chapter. The volume is packed with realistic examples, lesson planning ideas, book lists, online resources, and reproducibles. Discussion and reflection questions enhance its utility as a professional development tool or course text.

    1. Creating Classrooms to Engage Learners

    2. Working with Families

    3. Assessment

    4. Oral Language Development and Instruction

    5. Encouraging All Students to Become Writers

    6. Instructional Materials Supportive of Student Learning

    7. Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary

    8. Engaging English Language Learners in the Comprehension Process

    9. Visits to Classrooms and Schools


    Diane M. Barone, EdD, is Professor of Literacy at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she teaches courses in literacy and qualitative research methods and conducts research on young children’s literacy development and instruction in high-poverty schools. She has directed two longitudinal studies of literacy development: a 4-year study of children prenatally exposed to crack/cocaine, and a 7-year study of children, predominantly English language learners, in a high-poverty school. Dr. Barone has published numerous articles and book chapters as well as several books. She served as Editor of Reading Research Quarterly for 8 years and is currently a board member of the International Reading Association. In addition, Dr. Barone is the principal investigator of the Reading First grant in Nevada.


    Shelley Hong Xu, EdD, is Professor of Teacher Education at the California State University, Long Beach, where she teaches literacy courses in a graduate reading program and a teaching credential program. She previously taught English as a foreign language and as a second language. Dr. Xu’s research includes preparing teachers for teaching English language learners and integrating multimedia texts into literacy curriculum. Dr. Xu has published articles and book chapters and is the coauthor of two previous books.


    "Barone and Xu provide a much-needed, comprehensive look at how to become a more culturally responsive teacher. They skillfully weave research, theory, and practice throughout the text while educating the reader about the unique needs of ELLs. This book is a 'must read' for teachers who want to better support the literacy needs of a linguistically diverse student population. It would also be an excellent supplemental text for preservice teachers enrolled in literacy methods courses."--Erica C. Boling, PhD, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

    "Well written, thoughtful, and user friendly. Barone and Xu have done a wonderful job presenting a comprehensive approach to working with ELLs by taking into consideration the home and school contexts of learning. The book provides a good balance between research, theory, and practice, and contains lots of useful details, strategies, and activities. Preservice and inservice teachers will find this book very useful and practical."--Guofang Li, PhD, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

    "If you are looking for a book jam-packed with practical, evidence-based strategies for effectively teaching young English language learners to read and write, this book is a virtual gold mine. Teachers in today’s classrooms will find that this book answers many of their questions about how to meet these students' diverse social, cultural, and intellectual needs. Not only is this book practical, but it also is anchored firmly in a well-chosen variety of research studies. This book is perfect for an introductory course or as a study group book for professional development with practicing teachers in the schools."--D. Ray Reutzel, PhD, Emma Eccles Jones Endowed Chair Professor of Early Childhood Education, Utah State University

    "This teacher-friendly book models exemplary strategies for reflective classroom instruction, integration of home and school values, and the development of parental academic support. The ready-to-implement activities are clearly identified as best instructional practices. Barone and Xu help teachers build on the experiences that all children bring into the classroom from their homes, communities, and cultures, while creating environments that promote lifelong learning. This book will be a valuable asset to my teaching. I recommend it for every early childhood classroom and teacher training program!"--Kamaria Osayande, MEd, kindergarten teacher, Glenn Duncan Elementary School, Reno, Nevada

    "A comprehensive and accessible presentation of the cultural, social, and academic issues confronting young English language learners. Barone and Xu show how children's home culture and language can be respected and used in the service of teaching English in the classroom. Clear learning outcomes are provided at the outset of each chapter, and guiding questions throughout help readers reflect on their own instructional practices. The observational checklists are valuable resources for teachers to use in making informal assessments of student progress, adjusting their classroom setup, and modifying their instructional practices to improve learning outcomes. The instructional strategies suggested are grounded in thoroughly presented research."--Pamela A. Mason, EdD, Director, Language and Literacy Master's Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education