We are pleased to offer a new set of ELL resources this month, including a video interview with award-winning illustrator Rafael López! Rafael shares his passion for his work, for reading, and for art in schools in this special interview — a perfect addition to your Hispanic Heritage resources.
Also, don't miss our recommended professional book this month by experts Nancy Cloud, Fred Genesee, and Else Hamayan, as well as our new booklists highlighting immigrant stories.
All the best for the fall,
The Colorín Colorado Team
New on Colorín Colorado
Illustrator Interview: Rafael López
Rafael López is an award-winning artist and children's book illustrator. Rafael most recently received the 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award for his illustrations of Book Fiesta by Pat Mora, a children's book in honor of El día de los niños/El día de los libros. In this interview with Colorín Colorado, Rafael talks about the influence of his Mexican heritage on his work, the inspiration behind some of his favorite illustrations, and the importance of art programs for students. Also available in Spanish.
As the time for parent-teacher conferences approaches, you and your students' parents may be wondering how a conference is even possible if you speak different languages. These articles offer tips for both teachers and parents on overcoming the language barrier in order to hold a productive conference.
Reading 101 for English Language Learners
The process of learning to read can be particularly challenging for ELLs, especially if they have little or no formal schooling and they have not learned to read in their native language. In Reading 101 for English Language Learners Kristina Robertson highlights ELL instructional strategies based on the five components of reading as outlined in "Teaching Children to Read" by the National Reading Panel (2000).
Language Acquisition: An Overview
Learning a new language requires time, effort, and patience. Fortunately, language researchers have developed a general outline of language acquisition that helps explain the process that language learners go through to develop skills in a foreign language. This article provides an overview to the stages of language acquisition, and offers strategies designed to support ELL instruction at different stages of language acquisition.
Literacy Instruction for ELLs: A Teacher's Guide to Research-Based Practices
Nancy Cloud, Fred Genesee, and Else Hamayan
In this must-read guide, Nancy Cloud, Fred Genesee, and Else Hamayan lay out a research-based yet practical and accessible approach to reading and writing instruction for ELLs. Designed for ELL teachers, mainstream teachers, and reading specialists, the book offers numerous classroom strategies on topics such as: emergent literacy in a second language; helping ELLs become biliterate; academic language and literacy; connecting reading and writing; and assessment. The book is full of classroom examples, extra tips and research questions, recommended resources, and useful skill charts, presented by the authors in a thoughtful, comprehensive, and clear format.
Cloud, N., Genesee, F., and Hamayan, E. Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners: A Teacher's Guide to Research-Based Practices. Heinemann (2009).
For other related professional books, take a look at our Reading Instruction for ELLs booklist.
Literacy Foundations for ELLs
In the first chapter from Literacy Instruction for ELLs, the authors provide an outstanding introduction to reading instruction for ELLs, covering big ideas about schooling for ELLs, an overview of what we know about literacy development for ELLs, and a guide to important characteristics of individual ELLs such as educational background and native language. The authors also include a detailed literacy development framework for reading and writing which lists skills by language proficiency level.
Cloud, N., Genesee, F., and Hamayan, E. Chapter 1: "Foundations." Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners: A Teacher's Guide to Research-Based Practices. Heinemann (2009).
SchoolsMovingUp presents a new webinar series starting in late October focused on English language learners, with nationally recognized researchers and professional development providers speaking on topics covered in the recent publication from the California Department of Education, Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches. The presenters will review their respective chapters and the implications for educators and administrators nationwide.
The first webinar, Effective Literacy Instruction for English Learners, features Diane August and Timothy Shanahan and takes place on October 27, 2010.
Books and Authors
New Booklists: Immigrant Stories
Take a look at our new set of children's booklists focusing on the rich history of immigrants in the United States! Some of the books focus on the long journey to Ellis or Angel Island, while others tell stories from the U.S. border with Mexico. We hope that these selections enhance classroom discussions of immigration, whether as part of a formal lesson plan or an informal conversation about students' own experiences and family history.
Book of the Month
A Picnic in October
By: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: Nancy Carpenter
Tony is not looking forward to his family's annual picnic at Liberty Island in October. Nevertheless, his grandmother insists that they maintain the tradition of celebrating her birthday with Lady Liberty. At first it doesn't seem like much fun — until Tony finally begins to understand why the Statue of Liberty means so much to his grandmother. Lovely colorful acrylic paintings bring this special tribute to life.
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