Teaching English Language Learners

Literacy Strategies and Resources for K-6

Shelley Hong Xu

Paperbacke-bookprint + e-book
January 15, 2010
ISBN 9781606235294
Price: $34.00
304 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
March 1, 2011
Price: $34.00
304 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $68.00 $37.40
304 Pages

Grounded in research and practical expertise, this volume helps K–6 teachers skillfully support all of their English language learners (ELLs)—from a single student to an entire classroom. Ideas for teaching ELLs across different grade and proficiency levels include ways to link instruction to students’ lived experiences, use a variety of motivating print and electronic texts and materials, engage families, and conduct effective assessments. Chapters are packed with tools and activities for promoting ELLs’ development in oral language, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and grammar. Handy reproducibles and “Voice from the Classroom” teacher vignettes enhance the utility of the book.

“This book places ELLs and their teachers at the center of instructional practice. Using powerful examples, Xu convincingly demonstrates how knowledge of theory and research can help teachers make informed instructional decisions. She explains how to modify literacy strategies that are effective with all students to address ELLs' diverse literacy and language learning needs.”

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

“Xu gives teachers exactly what they need to assess, teach, and evaluate English language learners’ progress in all aspects of literacy. She speaks with knowledge and experience about the needs and feelings of the ever-growing population of language-minority students. This book is a 'must have' for preservice and inservice teachers.”

—MaryEllen Vogt, EdD, Distinguished Professor Emerita, College of Education, California State University, Long Beach; past president, International Reading Association

“Xu provides invaluable insights into the daunting task that ELLs embark on as they master everyday and academic English. Elementary teachers will be motivated by Xu’s sensitive, highly practical teaching strategies. The book addresses the barriers that ELLs may face and shows how to implement high-quality explicit instruction.”

—Rachael Sawyer Perkins, MA, fourth-grade teacher, Dolores Street Elementary School, Carson, California

Table of Contents

1. Guiding Principles of Teaching Literacy to English Language Learners

2. Language Acquisition and Linguistic Interferences

3. Instruction for Oral Language Development

4. Instruction for Phonological and Orthographic Knowledge and Fluency Development

5. Instruction for Vocabulary Development

6. Instruction for Reading Comprehension Development

7. Instruction for Writing Development

8. Instruction for Grammar

Appendix A. Reflection on Modifications of Instructional Strategies and Materials

Appendix B. Similarities and Differences between English and L1

Appendix C. Student Errors and Possible Explanations for the Errors

Appendix D. Instructional Focus Based on Interferences

Appendix E. Oral Language Assessment Chart (Say Something and Oral Retelling)

Appendix F. Conversation Assessment Chart

Appendix G. Anecdotal Record Form

Appendix H. Factors to Consider in Selecting Books for Read-Aloud

Appendix I. Fluency Assessment Chart

Appendix J. Self-Assessment of Words

Appendix K. A Lesson Plan for Morphemic Analysis, Spelling, and Grammatical Features

Appendix L. Personal Vocabulary Journal

Appendix M. Think-Aloud Guide

Appendix N. Writing Strengths and Needs

Appendix O. Peer-Revision and Editing Form

Appendix P. A Summary of Components of English Grammar

Appendix Q. Documenting Student’s Needs and Instructional Focus

About the Author

Shelley Hong Xu, EdD, is Professor of Teacher Education at California State University, Long Beach, where she teaches literacy courses in a graduate reading program and a teaching credential program and a research course in the educational leadership doctoral program. She previously taught English as a foreign language and as a second language. Her research interests include preparing teachers for teaching English language learners and integrating multimedia texts into the literacy curriculum. Dr. Xu’s work has appeared in literacy journals and edited books, as well as several coauthored books. She was formerly the Essay Book Review Editor for Reading Research Quarterly and Chair of the Publications Committee of the National Reading Conference.


K–6 classroom teachers; ELL/ESL specialists; reading specialists and coaches.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in elementary literacy methods courses and ESL/TESOL certification programs.