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Bilingualism & English Language Acquisition

Many teachers and parents have questions about bilingualism and English Language Acquistion when it comes to school programs, language instruction, and decisions about language use in the home. These articles provide an excellent introduction to these topics for families and educators.

This section contains 22 articles.

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Academic Language and ELLs: What Teachers Need to Know

The Seal of Biliteracy Initiative

Language Objectives: The Key to Effective Content Area Instruction for English Learners

Bilingual Education: The Failed Experiment?

Historical Layers of English

English is a layer-cake language. Not only is it organized to represent sounds, syllables, and morphemes, but its spellings are derived from several languages that were amalgamated over hundreds of years due to political and social changes in Great Britain.

English Gets a Bad Rap!

English orthography, or the English spelling system, may not be as transparent or easy to spell as Spanish, Italian, or Serbo-Croatian, but it's not crazy! Most English word spellings can be explained and most English words do follow spelling patterns.

Retrospective: Language Instruction in Native American Communities

This article about the evolution of language instruction in Native American communities during the past 30 years was written for Colorín Colorado by Dr. Catherine Collier, a leader in the fields of cross-cultural, bilingual, and special education.

The Language Development of Younger Internationally Adopted Children

Second Language Acquisition

Anyone at any age can learn a second language after a first language is already established, but it takes a lot of practice. Second language acquisition often happens when a child who speaks a language other than English goes to school for the first time. This American Speech-Language-Hearing Association brief looks at the best way to teach a second language and how speech professionals can help.

Learning Two Languages

Learning to speak two languages is like learning any other skill. To do it well, children need lots of practice, which parents can help provide. This American Speech-Language-Hearing Association brief gives information and tips for parents.

Why Reading to Your Kids in Your Home Language Will Help Them Become Better Readers

Many parents are hesitant to read to their children in Spanish because they are afraid that it will confuse their children as they try to learn English. In fact, research shows that the opposite is true — reading to a child in their first language will make it easier for them to learn to read in their second language, and the benefits are even greater if a child learns to read in his first language. Read more about these benefits, as well as suggestions for ways to encourage your child's Spanish-language literacy skills in at home!

Academic Language and ELLs

Most scholars believe that instruction in academic English � done early, consistently, and simultaneously across content areas � can make a difference in English learners� ability to understand the core curriculum.

What Is the Difference Between Social and Academic English?

Social English, or the language of conversation, may develop very quickly, but mastering academic English, the language of school, can take years. Use these tips to lead students toward full language proficiency.

Oral language development

Instructional programs for ELLs

La diferencia entre el inglés social y el académico

El inglés social es el idioma de la comunicación cotidiana en forma oral y escrita. Este artículo tiene algunas ejemplos.

What's 'Normal,' What's Not: Acquiring English as a Second Language

How can you tell when a student has a language-learning disability and when he or she is merely in the normal process of acquiring a second language?

Raising Children With More Than One Language

Being raised with a home language that is different from the language at school is a reality for many children, and has given rise to many misconceptions about language learning. This will help parents learn the facts, and get information about helping their second language learner.

Program Models for Teaching English Language Learners

Children who are non-native English speakers are served in a variety of ways at school. Learn about English as a Second Language and bilingual education in this overview of different program models.