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Mary Ann Zehr of EdWeek’s Learning the Language (a favorite blog of mine, as evidenced by the rss feed below-right), just wrote a quick piece about a new book published by Corwin, called Promoting Academic Achievement Among English Language Learners by Claude Goldenberg (<– that links to his site at Stanford, which has links to other research, books, and articles he has written, if you want to look more into him before purchasing the book). NYC teachers may remember an article he published in the Summer 2008 issue of American Teacher magazine, which sounds like a precursor to his book, appropriately titled, Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does —and Does Not— Say.
This new title from Goldenberg examines the research that’s out there on ELLs and education, according to the article. I know teachers can feel like they’re always having new research thrown at them, so this book may be a welcome analysis tool, in a sense. I feel teachers really ought to be familiar with the research studies themselves because I am realizing there are so many different ways that research can be interpreted and turned into policy/approaches/curriculum in schools. Those of you who are using Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore’s “Juicy Sentences” approach, know that that is one such example.
Some of the new book’s chapters include the role of the home language (which spurred a recent post here just yesterday), literacy in the L2 (related to my own research for my MA), and social, cultural, and family influences. So, I’m definitely psyched. I wonder how it will compare with other books I’ve read on this topic such as Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners, by Nancy Cloud, et al (2009). I liked Cloud’s book, but many such books often leave me feeling like the authors water down (or oversimplify) the research for public consumption.
I recommend reading Zehr’s piece, as she appears to have read the book, and there are already two comments on her article, if you are interested in discussing it.
It definitely sounds like a worthwhile book and, as a book glutton, I’m guaranteed to read it. I will review it once I have. As an ESL teacher who’d like to pursue research as a full-time focus someday, reading books like this is both a professional adventure (as a teacher trying to both implement approaches based on recent research and still doing what my school requires), and an inspiration.
I’m crossing my fingers to get a review copy before I go and purchase it. Hey, I’ve got a new teacher salary! :)