Blog: Reading Non-fiction Text with ELLs

Cherry blossom branch.

Since teachers will need to plan their CCSS-based instruction around the CCSS standards as well as the CCSS-based assessments, I thought it would be helpful in part 1 of this post to dissect a sample test task from an ELL point of view in order to take a closer look at what the item might mean for ELLs and those who teach them.

A woman helping a young girl with her reading.

Part II of the series on informational text will first provide an overview of what close reading is and could mean for ELLs, including some definitions of close reading. Then I’ll present the role of background knowledge, which is a major consideration with teaching ELLs close reading, and share some recommended resources.

The blue and white Center for Applied Linguistics logo.

http://www.cal.org/resource-center/briefs/implementing-the-common-core-for-english-learnersNow that educators and researchers alike are digging into the Common Core, more substantive conversations are emerging about what the new standards mean for ELLs, and this CAL brief does a good job painting the big picture as well as offering specific and practical ideas for the classroom.

Drawing of children watching people on a stage.

In this post, I’ll highlight some information from Tim Shanahan’s article about background knowledge in American Educator. I’ll then share a table and flow chart adapted from the article that will help you decide how much background knowledge to teach to ELLs.

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