Colorin Colorado: Helping children read... and succeed!
A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners
  • small text
  • medium text
  • large text
  • print

Writing Instruction for ELLs

Boy writing at desk

Writing is a key to academic success, but it can be a challenging skill for English language learners to master.

This section offers a number of tips, activities, and videos to help ELLs develop their writing skills in school and at home.

Writing Strategies and Activities

Writing webcast

This section presents classroom ideas, tools, and activities geared towards ELLs in grades K-12. Topics include getting started with spelling and graphic organizers and tips for writing non-fiction, poetry, and personal essays.

Writing and ELLs: Video Resources

Michelle Lawrence Biggar

In these Colorín Colorado interview clips, educators and authors offer writing advice for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. The section also features popular writing videos from Reading Rockets.

Research and Guides

Professional Booklist: Writing and ELLs

Writing Instruction & Assessment for English Language Learners K-8

The titles on our writing booklist include step-by-step writing processes, prompts from a variety of genres, vocabulary lists, and many examples of student work that educators can use in their writing instruction. In addition, many of the titles address the assessment of writing with ELLs, including the ongoing use of student portfolios.

Research reports on writing

These reports provide an overview of writing instruction being used to engage ELLs and help them succeed in writing-based tasks.

Writing at Home

There are a number of ways in which parents can help their children become writers, from making grocery lists to sending an e-mail to a relative. Here are some bilingual tips on how parents can encourage children and teens write at home.

From Our Sister Sites

Reading Rockets: Writing Resources for Grades PreK-3

From handwriting to creative writing, learn more from Reading Rockets about ways to encourage kids' writing. An often overlooked topic area, writing can provide a means to enhance students' vocabulary, comprehension, and spelling skills.

AdLit.org: Writing Resources for Grades 4-12

Writing is an often overlooked component of literacy, but the ability to write clearly and communicate effectively is critical to students — classroom and workplace success. And writing assignments can provide a means to enhance students' vocabulary, comprehension, and spelling skills.

LD OnLine: Writing & Spelling

Articles within this section cover a broad range of topics, including writing disabilities, understanding dysgraphia (a term used to describe difficulty in writing and particularly handwriting), teaching writing skills, and technology resources for writing.