How the ELL Brain Learns

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Raise your ELL success quotient and watch student achievement soar!

How the ELL Brain Learns combines current research on how the brain learns language with strategies for teaching English language learners. Award-winning author and brain research expert David A. Sousa describes the linguistic reorganization needed to acquire another language after the age of 5 years. He supplements this knowledge with immediately applicable tools, including:

  • A self-assessment pretest for gauging your understanding of how the brain learns languages
  • Brain-compatible strategies for teaching both English learners across content areas
  • An entire chapter about how to detect English language learning problems

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Editorial Reviews

Sharon Latimer
"This book puts all of the research about the brain together to show what is happening during the process of learning multiple languages. It is very informative in showing how to implement effective teaching strategies with quality instruction."
Irma Guadarrama
"This book is one of the best I’ve read on how the brain functions in second language learners, and is invaluable for learning about ELLs with learning disabilities."
Education Review, 14, June 2011 - Gita Upreti
"David Sousa's books serve as manuals for the application of empirically-validated strategies, meeting the needs of hopeful teachers and parents alike in almost any instructional context: home-school, classroom, or higher education. I would be excited to use this text with my students who are unfamiliar with the issues involved in reaching ELL students in the classroom."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412988346
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Pages: 273
  • Sales rank: 284,649
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. David A. Sousa is an international consultant in educational neuroscience and author of 15 books that suggest ways that educators and parents can translate current brain research into strategies for improving learning. A member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, he has conducted workshops in hundreds of school districts on brain research, instructional skills, and science education at the Pre-K to 12 and university levels. He has made presentations to more than 100,000 educators at national conventions of educational organizations and to regional and local school districts across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

Dr. Sousa has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bridgewater State University, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in science from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Rutgers University. His teaching experience covers all levels. He has taught senior high school science, served as a K-12 director of science, a supervisor of instruction, and a district superintendent in New Jersey schools. He has been an adjunct professor of education at Seton Hall University and a visiting lecturer at Rutgers University.

Prior to his career in New Jersey, Dr. Sousa taught at the American School of Paris (France), and served for five years as a Foreign Service Officer and science advisor at the USA diplomatic missions in Geneva (Switzerland) and Vienna (Austria).

Dr. Sousa has edited science books and published dozens of articles in leading journals on staff development, science education, and educational research. His most popular books for educators, all published by Corwin Press, include: How the Brain Learns, fourth edition; How the Special Needs Brain Learns, second edition; How the Gifted Brain Learns; How the Brain Learns to Read; How the Brain Influences Behavior; and How the Brain Learns Mathematics, which was selected by the Independent Publishers’ Association as one of the best professional development books of 2008. The Leadership Brain suggests ways for educators to lead today’s schools more effectively. His books have been published in French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and several other languages.

Dr. Sousa is past president of Learning Forward (formerly NSCD). He has received numerous awards from professional associations, school districts, and educational foundations for his commitment to research, staff development, and science education. He recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award and an honorary doctorate from Bridgewater (Massachusetts) State University, and an honorary doctorate from Gratz College in Philadelphia.

Dr. Sousa has been interviewed by Matt Lauer on the NBC Today Show and by National Public Radio about his work with schools using brain research. He makes his home in south Florida.

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Table of Contents

List of Teaching Tips
About the Author
Who are English Language Learners?
About This Book
What Do You Already Know?
1. Learning the First Language(s)
Spoken Language Comes Naturally
Structure of Language
Levels of Language Comprehension
Learning Two First Languages
What's Coming
Key Points to Ponder
2. Learning a New Language (English) Later
The Challenge of Acquiring a New Language Later
Learning English Is Not Easy
What’s Coming
Key Points to Ponder
3. Teaching English Language Listening and Speaking
Searching for the Best Model
What's Coming
Teaching Tips
Key Points to Ponder
4. Teaching English Language Reading and Writing
What's Coming
Teaching Tips
Key Points to Ponder
5. Teaching Language Arts and Social Studies
The Language Components of Learning Content in English
Teaching English Language Arts to ELLs
Teaching Social Studies to ELLs
What’s Coming
Teaching Tips
Key Points to Ponder
6. Teaching Mathematics and Science
Teaching Mathematics to ELLs
Teaching Science to ELLs
What’s Coming
Teaching Tips
Key Points to Ponder
7. Recognizing and Addressing Problems in Learning English
Learning Problem or Learning Disability?
Helping ELLs With Learning Disabilities
What’s Coming
Teaching Tips
Key Points to Ponder
8. Putting It All Together
The Diversity of English Language Learners
Misconceptions About ELLs and English Language Acquisition
Basic Components for ELL Instruction
Gifted and Talented ELLs
Teaching Tips
Key Points to Ponder
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