Effective Instruction for English Language Learners

Supporting Text-Based Comprehension and Communication Skills

Julie Jacobson, Kelly Johnson, and Diane Lapp

A Paperback Original
A Paperback Original
April 27, 2011
ISBN 9781609182526
Price: $29.00 $21.75
190 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"

This teacher-friendly guide is packed with motivating lessons designed to improve the content learning and literacy skills of English language learners (ELLs) in K-8. Offering research-supported strategies that teachers can implement immediately, the book explains how to use content-area texts to support ELLs' growth in five crucial areas: comprehension, pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary, and grammar.

This hands-on volume is:

This title is part of the Teaching Practices That Work Series, edited by Diane Lapp and Douglas Fisher.

“This indispensable book presents an accessible, research-driven approach to making content meaningful for English language learners. It enables teachers to put together a differentiated lesson on the run or dig further into proven teaching and learning strategies for non-native speakers. Keep this book on your desk and the sticky notes handy—you'll be marking page after page of useful, effective, and enjoyable additions to your teaching repertoire!—Kristine B. Heim, MA, ELL Teacher, Saint Paul (Minnesota) Public Schools “Standards based, practical, and flexible, this book provides tools for helping ELLs grow in critical areas of literacy. Teachers are guided to select exactly which lessons are most appropriate for the needs of their students and to determine the level of instruction: beginning, intermediate, or advanced. The 'Tech It Out' sections and many website links show how to take learning to the next level in a modern way. Teachers finally have a way to differentiate literacy skills so ELLs can actively participate with their peers. This is a 'must-have' book for every classroom teacher trying to help ELLs succeed!”

—Jacqueline Wells, MS, fifth-grade teacher, Waunakee, Wisconsin

“The book presents 25 ready-to-use strategy lessons focusing on academic language and literacy learning and growth. Common Core and TESOL Standards can be found at the beginning of each lesson. Teachers working with ELLs will find this book easy to follow and use, as it contains modeled, multistep activities with clear examples and handouts. Each chapter concludes with a technology-mediated activity and includes suggested websites and books.”

—Floris Wilma Ortiz-Marrero, EdD, ESL teacher, Amherst Regional Middle School, Amherst, Massachusetts

“The instructional strategies in this book have the potential not only to increase students' literacy and language learning, but also to deepen their content-area understanding and thus grow their knowledge across the disciplines. These authors have clearly been in the classroom; in addition to addressing instructional issues, they address classroom management. They provide solid ideas for small-group instruction and integral extension activities and strategies for teaching the rest of the class. This is a teachers' book written by teachers.”

—Sharon O'Neal, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Texas State University-San Marcos

Table of Contents


· Strategy Lesson 1: Clues for Comprehension

· Strategy Lesson 2: Talking about Sounds and Words

· Strategy Lesson 3: Sounding Out Words for Reading

· Strategy Lesson 4: Choral Reading

· Strategy Lesson 5: Talking about Visuals

· Strategy Lesson 6: Role Play with Realia

· Strategy Lesson 7: My Reading and Speaking Log

· Strategy Lesson 8: Writing for Different Purposes

· Strategy Lesson 9: Total Physical Response with Pictures

· Strategy Lesson 10: Expanding Word Knowledge

· Strategy Lesson 11: My Read-Aloud Listening/Discussion Guide

· Strategy Lesson 12: Word Maps

· Strategy Lesson 13: Scaffolding with Text-Supported Information

· Strategy Lesson 14: Text-Supported Comprehension Guide

· Strategy Lesson 15: Visualizing Steps in a Process

· Strategy Lesson 16: Text-Supported Conversations

· Strategy Lesson 17: Knowing How to Comprehend a Text

· Strategy Lesson 18: Talking about Text: The Peer Tutoring Guide

· Strategy Lesson 19: Reading Comprehension Strategy Guide

· Strategy Lesson 20: Read, Record, Report

· Strategy Lesson 21: Making Connections

· Strategy Lesson 22: My Conversation Log

· Strategy Lesson 23: Character Analysis

· Strategy Lesson 24: Interview/Conversation with a Character

· Strategy Lesson 25: Composing with Computers


· Teacher Resource A: Charting Intervention Information

· Teacher Resource B: Suggested Books Listed by Strategy Lesson

About the Authors

Julie Jacobson, PhD, is an English language and Spanish teacher at Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego and a faculty member in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. Dr. Jacobson has published articles in many journals. Her focus is on supporting the language development of students who are acquiring English as an additional language.

Kelly Johnson, PhD, is a faculty member in teacher education at San Diego State University and a classroom teacher at Health Sciences High and Middle College in San Diego. She has taught grades from kindergarten to college and has appeared in many instructional videos on teacher modeling, assessment and instruction, effective grouping, and writing instruction. A recipient of the California Reading Association’s Constance McCullough Research Award, Dr. Johnson (formerly Dr. Kelly Moore) has published a number of journal articles and books. Her focus is on assessment and small-group guided instructional practice.

Diane Lapp, EdD, is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. She has taught elementary, middle, and high school and serves as Director of Learning at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Her research and instruction focus on issues related to struggling readers and writers who live in economically deprived urban settings, and their families and teachers. Widely published, Dr. Lapp has received the Outstanding Teacher Educator of the Year Award from the International Literacy Association, among other honors, and is a member of both the International Reading Hall of Fame and the California Reading Hall of Fame.


K–8 teachers; ESL specialists; literacy coaches.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses.