English learners and the secret language of school : unlocking the mysteries of content-area texts

| December 3, 2010

Title: English learners and the secret language of school: unlocking the mysteries of content-area texts

Author: Janice L. Pilgreen

Publisher: Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann, c2010.

Call Number: PE1128.A2 P517 2010

From the Publisher:

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.

About the Author: Janice Pilgreen’s mission for English Learners and the Secret Language of School is simple: “If this book can provide some measure of guidance for teachers whose goal it is to support English learners, then it will have been a worthwhile effort.” She taught English and ESL for 22 years and was motivated to write this book because she knew firsthand the uncertainties that teachers face in trying to help ELLs acquire academic English. Today she is Professor of Literacy Education and Director of the Literacy Center at the University of La Verne and conducts workshops on content-area comprehension and sustained silent reading. Jan is also the author of the popular Heinemann title The SSR Handbook.

On the Web: http://www.heinemann.com/authors/1425.aspx