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Writing Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners K-8

Susan Lenski and Frances Verbruggen

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
April 22, 2010
ISBN 9781606236673
Price: $48.00
176 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
April 23, 2010
ISBN 9781606236666
Price: $32.00
176 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
March 1, 2011
Price: $32.00
176 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $64.00 $35.20
176 Pages
bookProfessors: request an exam copy

Many English language learners (ELLs) require extra support to become successful writers. This book helps teachers understand the unique needs of ELLs and promote their achievement by adapting the effective instructional methods teachers already know. Engaging and accessible, the book features standards-based lesson planning ideas, examples of student work, and 15 reproducible worksheets, rubrics, and other useful materials. It describes ways to combine instruction in core skills with ample opportunities to write and revise in different genres. Invaluable guidance is provided for assessing ELLs' writing development at different grade levels and language proficiency levels.

“A 'must read' for all teachers of ELLs in mainstream and ESL classrooms. Employing realistic classroom examples, the authors bring to life the theory and methods of ELL writing instruction. The book presents step-by-step ways to implement innovative methods and activities, emphasizing the importance of carefully planning instruction and creating a culture of collaboration in a school. I found the cross-cultural information about writing very important for understanding the interaction of native language and writing development in English. I would use this text in my ESL methods class to complement a more general textbook. I could definitely see my students creating lesson plans using the principles that Lenski and Verbruggen outline.”

—Carla Paciotto, EdD, Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Illinois University

“Lenski and Verbruggen have tackled the subject of writing for English language learners in a way that few others have. Starting with engaging classroom vignettes that readers can relate to, the authors continue with a toolbox of practical and effective strategies that can be used immediately by teachers who are working to enhance their writing instruction. Teachers in all subject areas will find these strategies useful.”

—Penny Plavala, MEd, school improvement specialist, Multnomah Education Service District, Portland, Oregon

“The demand for this book has been loud and clear from teachers, teacher educators, researchers, school administrators, and educational policy developers. Lenski and Verbruggen focus on real-world contexts in their discussion of how to teach English language learners to write well. The instructional strategies, student activities, and assessment tools are grounded in current theory, research, and best practices. This book exemplifies clear writing and clear thinking.”

—Paul Boyd-Batstone, PhD, Department of Teacher Education, California State University, Long Beach

Table of Contents

1. English Language Learners and Writing Research

2. From Theory to Practice: Writing with English Language Learners

3. Facilitating Writing Fluency

4. Teaching Narrative Writing

5. Academic Writing Genres: Description, Exposition, and Persuasion

6. How Language Works: Grammar and Usage

7. Assessing Writing

About the Authors

Susan Lenski, EdD, is Professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches graduate reading and language arts courses. Before joining the faculty at Portland State, she taught in public schools for 20 years and at Illinois State University for 11 years. Her teaching experiences include working with children from kindergarten through high school. Dr. Lenski has been recognized by several organizations for her commitment to education. She is a recipient of the Nila Banton Smith Award from the International Reading Association; was instrumental in her school receiving an Exemplary Reading Program Award from the International Reading Association; and was inducted into the Illinois Reading Hall of Fame. She also served as a member of the International Reading Association Board of Directors. Dr. Lenski has conducted numerous presentations and has published over 60 articles and 15 books. Her research interests focus on strategic reading, English language learners, and adolescent literacy.
Frances Verbruggen, MA, is a student in the Doctor of Education program at Portland State University. She earned a BA in Spanish from the University of Maryland and an MA in teaching French from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She became fluent in Dutch while living for 7 years in Belgium. Ms. Verbruggen has worked as an elementary-level classroom teacher and a reading specialist in the Portland area since 2003. Her areas of research interest include struggling readers and writers and English language learners.


Teachers in K–8 general education and ESL classrooms; literacy specialists and coaches; graduate students in literacy and ESL programs.

Course Use

May serve as a text in graduate-level courses such as Writing Instruction, Teaching English Language Learners, and Teaching English as a Second Language.