Practices That Promote English Reading for English Learners (ELs)

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Schools are becoming increasingly diversified; however, training and professional development related to working with English language learners (ELs), especially in the area of English reading, is limited. In this article, we identify three “Big Ideas” of effective and collaborative practices that promote English reading achievement for EL students: (a) foster academic English at all stages of second-language acquisition by explicitly teaching vocabulary, emphasizing cross-linguistic transfer strategies, and supporting ongoing oral language development; (b) adopt a schoolwide collaborative approach to conduct frequent formative reading assessments and use the data to drive instruction by providing accommodations that promote English reading; and (c) implement a variety of grouping strategies to deliver reading instruction within a welcoming and sensitive learning climate. In addition, we discuss how school professionals may proactively instruct ELs and collaborate within a multidisciplinary framework to improve the English reading ability of students who are simultaneously learning the English language.