“Are you teaching them to read?” asked the custodian as she unlocked the door to my classroom. I had forgotten my key and needed to get ready for my before-school class with English learners (ELs). I didn’t have time to go in to detail so I simply replied, “I’m teaching them English!” Unlike the helpful custodian, we TESOLers know that English language development for ELs is so much more than reading. In fact, the best way to help ELs learn to read better in English is to help their overall English language development.
So what do teachers of ELs do differently compared to reading teachers for native speakers? Last month’s blog with Pat Lathers discussed the differences when teaching adults; this month. let’s focus on how teachers of younger ELs may differ from their reading teacher counterparts: Continue reading