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Powerful Practices for Supporting English Learners

Powerful Practices for Supporting English Learners
Elevating Diverse Assets and Identities

Foreword by Jim Cummins

March 2021 | 312 pages | Corwin
Highlight the assets of English Learners in your classroom

Students do better in school when their voices are heard. For English Learners, that means not only supporting their growing language proficiency, but also empowering them to share their linguistic and cultural identities.

This practical guide, grounded in compelling research and organized around essential questions and answers, is designed to help all educators build on their current competencies to authentically harmonize home languages and cultures in the classroom. Inside you’ll find

The emotional, social, linguistic, cognitive, and academic rationale for incorporating cultural and linguistic assets
Creatively illustrated powerful practices with concrete examples of successful implementation
Myth-busting reflections to spark critical thinking about diversity, inclusive education, and family engagement 
Curriculum connections tied to American and Canadian standards

By recognizing and validating every student’s linguistic and cultural assets, you create a supportive environment for academic success.
About the Authors
Chapter 1. School and Community
A. What are some ways that schools can provide a welcoming environment for all students, families, and the local community?

B. How might initial assessment and reception services be offered to newcomer students and their families?

C. What are some ways to facilitate integration of students and families into school and the larger community?

D. What have we learned so far about supporting English Learners attending school from a distance?

Chapter 2. Classroom
A. What components of meaningful instruction are needed to support English Learners in every classroom?

B. What are some ways to expand students’ connections to new learning in an additional language?

C. What are some ways to embrace languages that we do not speak in the classroom?

D. How might we show that it is important for students to continue to develop the home language?

Chapter 3. Families
A. What are some ways to support families who are adjusting to life in a new country?

B. What are some ways to collaborate with parents?

C. What are some ways to partner with parents to support both the home language and English language development?

D. What are some ways to communicate with parents when we do not speak their languages?

Chapter 4. Students
A. What are some ways to ensure that English Learners maintain high levels of engagement in language learning?

B. What are some ways to support English Learners with exceptional needs?

C. What additional considerations are needed to help newcomers with a range of circumstances thrive and be successful?

D. What are some ways to support students with limited or interrupted formal schooling?

E. What are some ways to support newcomers who may be experiencing trauma?

Author Index
Subject Index

Fern Westernoff

Fern Westernoff is a speech-language pathologist with over 35 years of experience at the Toronto District School Board. She served on the Immigrant Assessment Team, which prompted her to pursue doctoral studies regarding  bilingualism and second language learning at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto. She co-instructed in the Kindergarten Early Language Intervention (KELI) Program, where she was also a co-program leader supporting the development of the program. Fern continues to publish and present widely in Canada, the U.S., and Israel regarding cultural and linguistic diversity and communication... More About Author

Stephaney Jones-Vo

Stephaney Jones-Vo is president of Starfish Education, LLC focusing on equity for English Learners. With over a decade of Title III grant directing, refugee sponsorship, and K-12 ESL classroom teaching experience, she served as an English Learner and Diversity consultant at a regional state education agency supporting multiple school districts to increase English Learner achievement. She has designed and facilitated ESL endorsement and cultural competence courses at several universities. A frequent presenter in the U.S. and in Canada, she has co- authored multiple books, chapters, and articles;  designed and delivered a variety of... More About Author

Paula Markus

Paula Markus served as the ESL/ELD Program Co-ordinator with the Toronto District School Board from 2001-2017. She is currently a sessional lecturer in the Masters of Teaching Program at OISE/University of Toronto, preparing pre-service teachers to support English Learners.  Paula is the founder of the annual “Celebrating Linguistic Diversity” Conference, Ontario’s largest professional gathering of K–12 teachers of English Language Learners for the past two decades. She continues to be an invited presenter at school districts and conferences across Canada and the U.S. More About Author

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ISBN: 9781544380094

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