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Voices from the Middle, Vol. 11, No. 4, May 2004

Cover Art for Voices from the Middle, Vol. 11, No. 4, May 2004

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Teaching English Language Learners

  • Teaching ELL Students in Regular Classrooms at the Secondary Level

    Danling Fu

    Abstract: Fu highlights the large percentage of students in our classrooms for whom English is a second language and recommends strategies for helping them to adjust and to succeed in mainstream situations. Advice such as “Just teach from where they are,” “Diversify instruction,” and “Recognize that oral language development is essential,” among others, guides teachers who are not trained specifically in English as a Second Language to make these students comfortable and productive in the classroom and to prepare them for future success with academic skills and pesonal confidence.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Preserving the Cultural Identity of the English Language Learner

    Karen Sumaryono and Floris Wilma Ortiz

    Abstract: In our enthusiasm for teaching English to English Language Learners, we often forget to celebrate the multiple cultures and languages in our classrooms. Sumaryono and Ortiz help us walk this fine line, offering advice, examples, and resources for maintaining a critical but often-overlooked area—cultural identity.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Helping ELLs Look at Stories through Literary Lenses

    Pamela Sissi Carroll and Deborah J. Hasson

    Abstract: Teachers who are facing multiple languages and cultures in their classrooms for the first time may be fooled by the English Language Learner who has become proficient in English. That competence in social communication may disguise difficulty with understanding and generating academic language. Through two profiles of middle school students who fit this category, Carroll and Hasson help teachers learn to identify this problem in their own students; their specific strategies for teaching academic language within the context of literature study build a foundation for current and future academic success.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Working under Lucky Stars: Language Lessons for Multilingual Classrooms

    Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen

    Abstract: There is nothing more motivating than to feel you have something to contribute to a group situation. The Nilsens have used that basic premise to devise activities that teach all students about the connections between languages while highlighting the special expertise that bilingual students can add to such a conversation. Activities and word lists give valuable practical support to this principle.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • "We could do that!" Improving Literacy Skills through Arts-Based Interdisciplinary Teaching

    Mary Ann Saurino

    Abstract: A visit to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis provided one teacher with a vehicle for improving the language and literacy skills of a group of students from varied backgrounds. Using art as a basis for lessons that used academic language, cultural expertise, and writing, Saurino links creative expression with a host of skills and perspectives to free her students’ minds and bodies to imagine.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Learning the Language of Academic Study

    Jim Burke

    Abstract: Jim Burke is a master at making pedagogical principles accessible with practical teaching aids, most notably graphic organizers. Here, he begins with a question, “What can teachers do that makes a difference for all students, that meets them where they are and helps get them where they need to be as reader and writers—as students?” Then he finds answers in an academic vocabulary list, a main idea organizer, a comparison organizer, and a list of practical teaching principles.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • Manuscripts

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • EDITOR'S MESSAGE: From Many to One

    Kylene Beers, editor

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • A HAND UP: Politically Correct: A "Conservative" View

    Chris Crutcher, editor

    Abstract: Crutcher tackles the question of what issues are appropriate for examination in young adult literature, making the case that keeping kids safe means recognizing the need to examine tough issues openly.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • ONE LAST THOUGHT: Learning from ELL Kids: How to Teach Writing

    Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, editor

    Abstract: Wilhelm takes the stance that the best way to increase the word knowledge of English Language Learners is to use their “primary discourse”—their first language, cultural knowledge, and sense of identity.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • THE LITERATURE CIRCLE: Building a Classroom Library

    Harvey Daniels, editor

    Abstract: What interests students? What will get them reading? Look at the adult lifelong readers in their lives and you’ll find a broad collection of genres. With this list in hand, Daniels offers suggestions for scrounging, borrowing, and taking advantage of teacher-friendly programs to fill your classroom library with something for everyone.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • THE WORD MARKET: Making Language Visible

    Janet Allen, editor

    Abstract: Making words “visible” is at the heart of helping students to expand their personal vocabularies, especially English Language Learners. Students talk about words, draw them in context, and use graphic organizers to organize their thinking and see connections among words.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • SPELLING LOGICS: Spelling and the Middle School English Language Learner

    Shane Templeton, editor

    Abstract: Understanding the consistent system that underlies English spelling can be a huge step in making that spelling predictable for all students. Templeton maintains that English Language Learners can benefit from this understanding as much as anyone, if not more. Explaining this system to students, assessing their current spelling knowledge, and employing specific instructional strategies will go a long way to developing their literacy.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • LITERATURE: ELEMENTS OF STYLE: Stop Pretending and Think about Plot

    Carol Jago, editor

    Abstract: “. . . to make the language of literature useful to readers, students need to practice using academic vocabulary in ways that deepen their understanding of how stories work.” To that end, Jago offers a review of Freytag’s Pyramid and an example of how work with the concept of plot structure positively affected student understanding and writing.

    Keywords: Literature, Middle, Secondary


    Linda Rief, editor

    Abstract: Sign language is no less a second language that Spanish or Tagalog or German. With that in mind, Rief tackles the challenges of maintaining the strategies and expectations that she knows work for all students, including English Language Learners, thus giving this deaf student the same strong foundation, the same experiences, and the same pride as her hearing peers.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • TECH CONNECT: ESL Resources Online: Making Good Connections

    Nancy Patterson, editor

    Abstract: Making a difference in the literacy development of English Language Learners can be a daunting goal. Here are online resources that offer support for teachers in their efforts to advance literacy for English Language Learners at all levels of competency.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • PROFESSIONAL BOOK REVIEWS: These Texts + These Ideas = Success

    Leigh Van Horn, editor

    Abstract: Reviews of: Multicultural and Multilingual Literacy and Language: Context and Practices, Promoting a Global Community through Multicultural Children’s Literature, Change My Life Forever: Giving Voice to English Language Learners, and An Island of English: Teaching ESL in Chinatown.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

  • STUDENT TO STUDENT: The Language of Literature Speaks to Everyone

    Kim Ford, editor

    Abstract: Students who want to share their love of reading have contributed books from classics to fantasy to basketball to Harry Potter.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary


    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary


    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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