Written from a critical perspective, this volume provides teachers, teacher educators, and classroom researchers with a conceptual framework and practical methods for teaching and researching the disciplinary literacy development of English language learners (ELLs). Grounded in a nuanced critique of current social, economic, and political changes shaping public education, Gebhard offers a comprehensive framework for designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments that build on students’ linguistic and cultural resources and that are aligned with high-stakes state and national standards using the tools of systemic functional linguistics (SFL). By providing concrete examples of how teachers have used SFL in their work with students in urban schools, this book provides pre-service and in-service teachers, as well as literacy researchers and policy makers, with new insights into how they can support the disciplinary literacy development of ELLs and the professional practices of their teachers in the context of current school reforms. Key features of this book include the voices of teachers, examples of curriculum, sample analyses of student writing, and guiding questions to support readers in conducting action-oriented research in the schools where they work.
"This book is a highly significant contribution to second language research, showing a deep respect for the needs and interests of multilingual learners, their teachers and language researchers. Informed by a critical perspective on systemic functional linguistics, Gebhard provides readers with a highly accessible and graduated introduction to SFL-informed literacy instruction and critical discourse analysis. What makes the work unique is its use of highly contextualized examples of teacher and student textual practices across the curriculum; and also its widening circles of recommended practice across the chapters that move into consideration of the institutional and societal discourses that inform the teaching/learning culture in our public schools."
— Ruth Harman, University of Georgia, USA
"Meg Gebhard does a brilliant job of translating long histories of complex theories into digestible chunks to expand understandings about how language works, and how we can best support its development in school settings. Theoretical and practical aspects are closely entwined, and the information is incrementally layered for a final result that is both enlightening and easy to read. Each chapter ends with a praxis section that nicely supports practitioners into application. Through the theory, the praxis, and the technicalities of language – as well as the personal details in the case studies – Gebhard keeps this text deeply human, illuminating, and easy to connect to."
— Fernanda Kray, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
"While we know that different content areas require the mastery of specialized terminology, Gebhard provides convincing evidence to show that it is as important to master their different grammars and genres. With the use of illustrative texts and clear explanations, she shows how teachers can use Halliday’s multi-functional grammar to give ELLs access to the language and literacies they need to succeed in content areas across the curriculum."
--Hilary Janks, Wits University, South Africa
1 Teaching and researching ELLs’ disciplinary literacy development in hard times: A critical perspective
Rationale: The making of a "perfect storm"
My literacy biography: Learning (and not learning) to become a critical reader, writer, and thinker
A critical approach to understanding language, learning, and social change in U.S. public schools
Overview of chapters
2 Celine’s questions: Race, immigration, and literacy development in schools
Celine’s literacy practices: A case study
Crossing linguistic, cultural, and institutional boundaries in schools
Celine’s educational background
Mr. Banks’ feedback
Rethinking the word "grammar" from an SFL perspective
3 Skinner, Chomsky, and Halliday: Shifting conceptions of grammar and language learning
Skinner: A behavioral perspective
Chomsky: A psycholinguistic perspective
Halliday: A social semiotic perspective
Summary and critique of different perspectives of grammar and approaches to language teaching and learning in schools
4 Genres, registers, and the teaching and learning cycle
Text/context dynamics: Analyzing email requests sent to a professor
SFL, genres, and registers
SFL in action: The teaching and learning cycle in K-12 schools
The teaching and learning cycle and Martin’s genre theory
SFL, genre theory, and the TLC in the context of U.S. school reforms
ACCELA’s approach to the TLC
5 Registers: Critically analyzing field, tenor, and mode choices
Field: Constructing content, ideas, and experiences
Tenor: Constructing voice, social roles, and power dynamics
Mode: Managing the flow of information
6 Policies and practices to support ELLs’ disciplinary literacy development: A civil rights perspective
Twenty-first century demographic changes in U.S. public schools
Students’ civil rights and approaches to language education
K-12 ESL program types
The WIDA Consortium
7 Shifting conceptions of equity: Standardization, accountability, and privatization in school reform
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
English-only policies and anti-bilingual education ideologies
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the disciplinary literacy development of all students
Standardization and accountability in teacher evaluation
8 Placing the education of ELLs in a historic, economic, and political context
The growth of the modern school system: Two faces of the Progressive Era
The schooling of immigrants in the 20th century
The schooling of immigrants in the 21st century
9 Putting it all together: SFL in Action
Text/context dynamices in U.S. public schools: A review of key concepts
Teaching and researching ELLs' disciplinary literacy development at Milltown High
Implications for classroom practice and research
This series of texts for undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher education courses focuses on the intersections of language, culture, and teaching – specifically on how language and culture inform classroom practice. Books in the series are intended as primary or supplementary texts in the growing range of courses that address issues such as, but not limited to, foundations of multicultural education; multicultural children’s literature; teaching diverse populations; foundations of bilingual education; teaching English as a second language; and sociocultural issues in teaching.
The primary objectives of the series are to challenge traditional biases about diversity and about students of diverse languages and cultures, and to reframe the conventional idea of the textbook by envisioning classroom practice as critical, creative, and liberatory.