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English Learners and the Secret Language of School

Unlocking the Mysteries of Content-Area Texts

By Jan Pilgreen
Foreword by David E Freeman

With a focus on Academic English, Janice shows how to incorporate literacy strategies into your content teaching to ensure that English learners develop proficiency with vocabulary, sequencing, inferring, cause/effect, and other aspects of academic language.

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Let English learners in on the secret that will forever change their lives.

By teaching English learners academic language, the “secret language of school,” within the framework of content-area instruction, we can demystify the comprehension process and move these students toward becoming independent readers and writers.

—Janice Pilgreen

“For older immigrant students, school presents greater challenges with second-language proficiency than for younger ones—they have more to achieve and less time to do it.” With Janice Pilgreen’s help you’ll let them in on the Secret Language of School just in time to change their lives and narrow the achievement gap in your classroom.

“Teachers may view themselves as subject-matter experts and not reading teachers,” but as Jan notes in English Learners and the Secret Language of School, “today we’re all being asked to provide access to the core curriculum for all students.” She shows how to plan literacy strategies into your teaching so that:

· comprehension skills sharpen and engagement deepens, to the benefit of content retention

· ELLs learn to demonstrate what they know in a wide variety of testing contexts

· all students find ways into grade-level texts and meet content standards

· English learners—and everyone in class—develop proficiency with vocabulary, sequencing, inferring, cause/effect, and other aspects of academic language.

Even if you’ve never taught reading, Jan gives you every tool you’ll need:

· classroom structures for instruction with individuals, small-groups, or the whole class

· reproducible response pages and graphic organizers that help students apply literacy strategies

· “testing links” for weaving in test preparation without interrupting curricular flow.

Academic language is more than merely the key to unlocking content-area texts and improving comprehension. Read English Learners and the Secret Language of School, and help English learners discover the secret that will improve their performance in school and open a world of new possibilities in their lives.

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