developing english language and literacy. demographics

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Developing English Language and Literacy


Who are the English Language Learners?Recent immigrants with low education and first language literacyGeneration 1.5 - educated in the U.S. schools but need better English proficiency for work and higher educationSome highly educated immigrants, literate in their native language but not in English

Learner Factors to ConsiderLanguage(s) spokenEducation levelsLiteracy skills in the first languageExisting knowledge of EnglishGoals for developing English proficiencies

Factors Influencing Language and Literacy Development First language knowledge and education levelExisting English proficiency (especially vocabulary)AgeAptitude for languageFamiliarity with U.S. cultureDisabilities

Differences Between Language Learners and Native Speakersweaker vocabulary, passage comprehension, and sight word reading skills better phonological processing (e.g., decoding nonwords) and somewhat better phonological awarenessWith good instruction, decoding skills can develop rapidly, especially if literacy in the first language is strong.Vocabulary and comprehension skills are more difficult to improve.Conversational proficiency is not always indicative of academic language proficiency.

Approaches to Second Language Literacy InstructionLimited systematic research, hence relied on these three resources:research on teaching second/foreign language in high schools and collegesresearch on young language learners in elementary/middle schoolsgood practices reported by adult ESL educators (in the US and around the world)

Practices to Apply and Study with English Language Learnersunderstanding the cognitive and affective characteristics of learnersandintegrating explicit instruction and opportunities for the implicit learning of language and literacy, with a focus on:

both linguistic form and meaning with extensive, explicit feedback rich input, development of vocabulary and content knowledge for learning and reading comprehension, integrating language and content teachingextensive practice outside the classroomleveraging knowledge of the first language multimodal instruction (speaking, listening, reading, writing; visual, digital presentations; utilizing technology)an example: sound assessment of literacy skills and affective and psychological outcomes of instructionOral language proficiency is quite relevant for literacy development (e.g., vocabulary) hence it is important to note that such effective practices also apply to native speakers with low language skills

Research Prioritiesdevelop and evaluate effective instructional methods for diverse populations of English language learnersdevelop adequate assessment methodsidentify or develop the technologies that can facilitate the learning of language and literacy skills for diverse learnersspecify the training and support that the instructors need1313Chart10.570.43

Participation in Adult Education

Sheet1Participation in Adult EducationOther Programs57%ESL Programs43%To resize chart data range, drag lower right corner of range.


281 Million >5 Years Old

Sheet1281 Million >5 Years OldEnglish at Home226Non-English at Home55To resize chart data range, drag lower right corner of range.


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