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English Language Learners and Reading


'The most salient feature of English learners as a group is their remarkable diversity. ... Others are newcomers with no understanding of spoken English. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: English Language Learners and Reading

English Language LearnersandReading
The development of literacy skills for English
language learners (ELLs) includes all the
complexities of learning to read for English
speakers plus the additional challenges of
learning a new way of speaking, new sounds and
new symbols that represent those sounds, a new
syntactical system, a new culture, and
adjustments to the school environment.
Background Experiences
The most salient feature of English learners as
a group is their remarkable diversity. Peregoy
Boyle, 200
Background Experiences
ELLs come with a variety of experiences, prior
knowledge, and levels of academic experiences in
their first language. Some ELLs have developed
oral English skills and are still developing
English literacy skills. Others are newcomers
with no understanding of spoken English. All of
these factors will influence their rate of
mastering literacy in English.
The single most influential factor for successful
reading for an ELL is oral proficiency in
English. Oral language proficiency affects all
aspects of the reading process.
Oral Language Proficiency
Research supports that oral language development
provides the foundation in phonological awareness
and allows for subsequent learning about the
alphabetic structure of English. Snow, Burns,
Griffin, 1998
Word Identification
English language learners need to be successful
in identifying words with accuracy and
fluency. If an English phoneme is not present in
an ELLs native language, it will be difficult
for him to pronounce it or distinguish
it. Instruction in phonemic awareness or phonics
should begin with what the student knows and go
to the new and unknown.
Word Identification
Learning to decode words that have no meaning for
the ELLs has been shown to be counter
productive. Antunez, 2002
Listening Comprehension
Well developed oral proficiency in English is
associated with English reading
comprehension. Students need direct instruction
in vocabulary knowledge, the syntactical patterns
of English, and listening comprehension. Figurati
ve language and inferential demands will cause
problems for the English language learner
Listening Comprehension
All ELLs have had extensive experiences but not
all of them have prepared them for the academic
demands of school. They may also lack the prior
knowledge to understand topics encountered in
texts. Building background knowledge is
essential for ELLs.
Silent Reading Comprehension
Reading with understanding and meaning is the
goal of all reading instruction. Readers cannot
understand text without knowing what most of the
words mean. ELLs benefit from instruction in
metacognitive awareness, reading comprehension
skills and strategies, and explicit support on
how to use context to develop vocabulary and
promote understanding.
Silent Reading Comprehension
Modeling, interactive read alouds, connection
making, participation in class discussions, and
listening activities benefit ELLs comprehension.
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