Writing Between Languages: How English Language Learners Make the Transition to Fluency, Grades 4-12

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Overview

"Most literacy instruction for ELLs in the United States focuses on grammar, vocabulary, content reading, or speaking and listening. The focus on the surface structure of English may lead to enough English proficiency to compose proper English sentences in correctly formatted papers, but it does not support ELLs as competent writers and thinkers."

-Danling Fu

With Writing Between Languages, Danling Fu provides an effective alternative. She proves that by beginning with the literacy knowledge students bring from their native language and putting writing at the center of the curriculum, we can help them make a smoother transition to English while we support their academic literacy. With Writing Between Languages, you'll learn to

understand the crucial and helpful role native literacy plays in building written English fluency

assess where English learners-including beginners-are in their development as writers

use code-switching and movement between languages to scaffold transitional writing-no matter whether you know a student's home language

implement instructional strategies to support development in writing and other literacy and language skills in meaningful contexts.

"ELLs should develop their writing ability as well as language skills through writing practice from the beginning," writes Danling Fu. Read Writing Between Languages, use its study guide with your colleagues, and discover how "writing instruction for ELLs that goes beyond language practice, can help them achieve real expression and communication"-skills they'll use in the classroom and in life.

"I believe that we are at the beginning stages of a radical shift in pedagogical assumptions regarding effective instruction for ELL students. Writing Between Languages makes a highly significant contribution to our understanding of what teaching for transfer entails and what it can achieve in the area of ELL students' writing development."

-Jim Cummins

University of Toronto

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325013954
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 9/25/2009
  • Pages: 141
  • Sales rank: 479,740
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

"When I started my work in the New York City schools with ELLs," writes Danling Fu, "I identified with students struggling to write in English." A Chinese immigrant, Danling learned to write in English as a graduate student. Her experience continues to motivate her to teach other English learners and to discover effective teaching methods to support them. "Determining the best way to help ELLs develop their writing skills while they were learning English was a puzzle," she writes, but in her latest Heinemann book, Writing Between Languages, she shares insight from a decade's work in schools populated with ELLs, where she "gradually learned-through observing them in classrooms, examining their writing samples, and listening to teachers and students-how ELLs developed as writers in English." Danling is currently Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Florida, and she is the author of two other books with Heinemann: An Island of English and "My Trouble Is My English."
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