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Literacy Development with English Learners

Second Edition
Research-Based Instruction in Grades K-6

Edited by Lori Helman

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August 1, 2016
ISBN 9781462526604
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350 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
August 2, 2016
ISBN 9781462526598
Price: $36.00
350 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
July 11, 2016
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350 Pages
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As the number of students learning English in elementary schools across the country continues to grow, so does the body of research on their literacy development. This respected course text and teacher resource synthesizes cutting-edge scholarship on how to teach English learners (ELs) at all levels of English proficiency. Accessible chapters on key components of reading and writing combine theoretical issues with practical suggestions for the classroom. Case studies, vignettes, and samples of student work illustrate both the challenges facing emergent bilingual students and the types of high-quality instruction that can help them succeed.

New to This Edition

“I enjoyed reading this whole volume—it covers all the current topics in the field. The book's strength lies in its grounding in a comprehensive literacy development framework that integrates linguistic, psychological, sociological, cultural, and educational perspectives, and that views the teacher as a reflective practitioner and collaborator. All components of literacy (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing) are addressed, making the book a valuable resource for preservice and inservice elementary educators.”

—Margarita Calderón, PhD, Professor Emerita and Senior Research Scientist, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University

Literacy Development with English Learners, Second Edition, affords teachers, instructional coaches, and teacher educators the opportunity to have an up-to-date, research-based guide at their fingertips. This edition provides a thorough look at the critical components educators need to help our growing population of English learners achieve academic success. Taking a multifaceted approach that involves both classroom instruction and culturally relevant practices, the book provides usable suggestions for establishing an effective literacy program for English learners.”

—Lori Henry, EL Coordinator, Austin Public Schools, Minnesota

“I only wish this book were small enough to fit into my pocket, because it gives teachers, principals, and literacy coaches exactly what we need as we work every day to create the richest possible environments for English learners—and to deliver the kind of specific, targeted, explicit instruction that will accelerate their progress. The authors in this all-star cast draw on up-to-date research while keeping the hectic pace of classroom life in mind. The book is studded with stories of kids, lists of tips, and inspirational passages that can provide us with North Star guidance.”

—Lucy Calkins, PhD, Robinson Professor of Children’s Literature and Founding Director, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Kudos to Helman and her contributors for providing a comprehensive and cohesive text designed for courses targeting the language and literacy development of ELs. The expanded second edition communicates theoretical foundations, positive dispositions, and research-based practices that preservice and inservice teachers can enact to upgrade instruction. This teacher-friendly book is infused with respect for students, teachers, and the processes they engage in to be successful.”

—Kathleen A. J. Mohr, EdD, School of Teacher Education and Leadership, Utah State University

“Offers literacy instructors contextualized discussions of the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and issues associated with teaching English language learners. The chapters include real-life scenarios that ground the content in relatable situations.”

—Kathryn Prater, PhD, elementary English teacher, The Magellan International School, Austin, Texas

Table of Contents

1. Factors Influencing Second Language Literacy Development: A Roadmap for Teachers, Lori Helman

2. Culturally Responsive Instruction: Application to Multiethnic, Multilingual Classrooms, Kathryn H. Au

3. Explicit Language Instruction: A Key to Academic Success for English Learners, Susana Dutro, Raquel Mendia Núñez, & Lori Helman

4. Improving the Language and Literacy Assessment of Emergent Bilinguals, Georgia Earnest García & Christina P. DeNicolo

5. The Literacy Development of Emergent Bilinguals: What Do We Know about Each Student's Literacy Development?, Donald R. Bear & Regina E. Smith

6. Emergent Literacy: Planting the Seeds for Accomplished Reading and Writing, Lori Helman

7. Opening Doors to Texts: Planning Effective Phonics Instruction with Emergent Bilinguals, Lori Helman

8. English Learners and Fluency Development: More Than Speed and Accuracy, M. Kristiina Montero & Melanie R. Kuhn

9. Exploring Ways to Foster the Reading Comprehension of English Learners: Learning from Yeng and Luis, Cynthia H. Brock, Rachel G. Salas, Suzette Serafini Youngs, & Eleni Oikonomidoy

10. Vocabulary Instruction for English Learners across the Elementary Grades, Rebecca D. Silverman, Ana Taboada Barber, C. Brie Doyle, & Shane Templeton

11. Examining Teacher Dispositions toward Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students, Julie L. Pennington & Rachel G. Salas

12. Collaborative Practices to Support Implementation of the Common Core State Standards with K–5 English Learners, Andrea Honigsfeld & Maria G. Dove with Christine Seebach & Kyriaki Dimitrakakis

13. Effective Instructional Practices for Emergent Bilinguals, Lori Helman

14. Literacy Development with English Learners: Concluding Thoughts, Lori Helman


About the Editor

Lori Helman, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, where she is also Director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research. Her research investigates literacy development and effective teaching practices for emergent bilinguals at the elementary school level. She teaches classes on literacy learning in diverse contexts, literacy instruction with English learners, reading assessment and reading difficulty, and literacy leadership for reading specialists as they develop expertise across their professional careers. Dr. Helman is the author or coauthor of seven other books and has written chapters, articles, and curriculum support materials that investigate second-language literacy learning and guide teachers to apply this research in their classrooms.


Kathryn H. Au, PhD, SchoolRise, LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii

Ana Taboada Barber, PhD, College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland

Donald R. Bear, PhD, School of Education, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Cynthia H. Brock, PhD, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming

Christina P. DeNicolo, PhD, College of Education, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Kyriaki Dimitrakakis, MS, Riverton Street Charter School, Queens, New York

Maria G. Dove, EdD, Education Division, Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York

C. Brie Doyle, PhD, College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland

Susana Dutro, MA, EL Achieve, Aptos, California

Georgia Earnest García, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Champaign, Illinois

Lori Helman, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Andrea Honigsfeld, EdD, Education Division, Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York

Melanie R. Kuhn, PhD, College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

M. Kristiina Montero, PhD, Faculty of Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Raquel Mendia Núñez, PhD, EL Achieve, Aptos, California

Eleni Oikonomidoy, PhD, Department of Educational Specialties, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nevada

Julie L. Pennington, PhD, Department of Educational Specialties, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nevada

Rachel G. Salas, PhD, Department of Educational Specialties, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nevada

Christine Seebach, MA, Brentwood Union Free School District, Brentwood, New York

Rebecca D. Silverman, EdD, College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland

Regina E. Smith, PhD, Patriot Elementary School, Lee County, Cape Coral, Florida

Shane Templeton, PhD, Department of Educational Specialties, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nevada

Suzette Youngs, PhD, School of Teacher Education, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado


Teacher educators and students; K–6 classroom teachers; reading specialists and coaches.

Course Use

Serves as a primary text in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses such as English as a Second Language and Teaching English Language Learners, and as a supplemental text in Elementary Literacy Methods.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2009
ISBN: 9781606232422
New to this edition: