Reading Instruction for English Language Learners

Authored by: Claude Goldenberg

Handbook of Reading Research

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780805853421
eBook ISBN: 9780203840412
Adobe ISBN: 9781136891427


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The number of students arriving at school not fully proficient in English has grown enormously over the past half century. Forty years ago, the achievement of children from non-English-speaking homes was hardly a national issue. Today it is. The number of students limited in their English abilities has multiplied by 150% nationwide just in the past 15 years; the growth has been even more dramatic in some regions of the country. This demographic change has had a profound impact on schools. Teachers must adjust to the different needs of students from highly diverse backgrounds and with varying degrees of English proficiency. Federal and state accountability requirements since No Child Left Behind was signed into law in 2002 have raised the stakes ever higher, since schools cannot make “adequately yearly progress” unless all student subgroups meet targeted progress benchmarks. But no matter the pressures created by high-stakes testing (which in any case might change under the Obama administration), the moral imperative to improve achievement and opportunities for this group of students grows as their numbers increase. The need for valid research-based knowledge of how to improve these students’ literacy attainment has never been greater.

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