Wei, R. C., Darling-Hammond, L., Andree, A., Richardson, N., and Orphanos, S. (2009). Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad. National Staff Development Council, Dallas, TX, and the School Redesign Network, Stanford University.

This report examines the nature of professional development opportunities available to teachers across the U.S. and in a variety of contexts. The study uses data from multiple surveys to review the relationship between teacher professional development and student learning. It discusses the availability of the formal and informal professional learning opportunities that research finds most effective in the U.S. and in high-achieving nations around the world. The authors conclude that despite high levels of teacher participation in professional development, the U.S. lags behind other countries in providing “the kinds of powerful professional learning opportunities that are more likely to build their capacity and have significant impacts on student learning.”

Wong Fillmore, L. and Snow, C. E. (2000, August). What teachers need to know about language (Contract No. ED-99-CO-0008). U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Center for Applied Linguistics.

Why do teachers need to know more about language? This report provides a rationale, outlines five roles that teachers play, and argues that most educators haven’t had well-designed professional education to address the challenges they face. The authors specify the kinds of knowledge teachers should have about oral and written language. They offer a course list representing “a crucial core of knowledge” that teacher preparation programs should offer to future educators in order to address fundamental issues in the education of English language learners.

Gold, N. (2006, October). Successful Bilingual Schools: Six Effective Programs in California. San Diego: San Diego County Office of Education.

This report analyzes case studies conducted over a two-year period to investigate successful bilingual education programs in six California schools. The inquiry is focused on primary implementation strategies and notable instructional qualities, including leadership, accountability, teacher qualifications, and professional development. The report shows that a wide range of instructional and organizational factors can lead to academic excellence for English learners, and it lists the features of effective schools and successful programs.

Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blase, K. A., and Wallace, F. (2007, April). Implementation: The Missing Link Between Research and Practice. APSAC Advisor Excerpt, Volume 19, Numbers 1 & 2, Winter/Spring. National Implementation Research Network, University of South Florida.

For two decades, providers have attempted to integrate research-based treatment and prevention strategies into human service practices, but human services remain largely ineffective. This article proposes that implementation — the art and science of incorporating innovations — is the missing link. The authors examine the challenges of bridging the gap between evidence-based research and its application within the complex realm of human services, where “the practitioner is the intervention.” They review two theoretical frameworks for making science-to-service more effective. They recommend developing feedback systems and common outcomes, designing training academies for implementation, and aligning government systems with service providers’ needs.

Olsen, Laurie. (2012). Secondary School Courses Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long Term English Learners, Californians Together, Long Beach, California. 

The purpose of this report is to articulate the collective emerging knowledge base about how to design and implement effective courses that meet the needs of long-term English learners.

Merino, B. and Scarcella, R. (2005, Summer). Invited Essay: Teaching Science to English Learners. University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute. Newsletter, Volume 14, Number 4, 1–7.

Merino and Scarcella argue that in order to teach science successfully, educators need to teach both the rigorous academic content and the required literacy skills. The authors describe the low achievement levels of English learners in the sciences. They discuss recent developments in science curricula and the challenges posed by these changes, and then consider the literacy requirements for students in science classes. Lastly, the authors examine current practices for teaching science – including Sheltered Instruction, the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach, the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol Model, and the Focused Approach – and underscore the most effective approaches. 

Dutro, S. and Moran, C. (2003). Rethinking English Language Instruction: An Architectural Approach. Chapter 10 in Garcia, G. (Ed.) English Learners: Reaching the Highest Level of English Literacy. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

This chapter lays out an early foundation for rethinking English language instruction that Dutro and E.L. Achieve associates have evolved over the past decade. The authors introduce a metaphor of a blueprint to describe a well-designed approach to English language development (ELD) instruction throughout the day that includes Systematic ELD, front-loading language for content instruction (now Constructing Meaning: Explicit language for content learning), and maximizing the “teachable moment” (now fully developed into a vision of instruction). The authors describe the instructional theories and design components that are needed for rigorous second language teaching. They outline how to conceptualize an ELD program, how to design instruction, and how to teach English for academic purposes. 

Coleman, R. and Goldenberg, C. (2012, February). The Common Core Challenge for English Language Learners. Principal Leadership, 46–51.

Coleman and Goldenberg explain that many students who are expected to meet the Common Core State Standards are English language learners (ELLs), yet the standards don’t sufficiently acknowledge the difficulties these students face. ELLs are challenged by the dual task of studying academic content and learning oral and written language skills. Drawing on educational research, the authors suggest guidelines for content learning and English language proficiency, such as sheltered and direct instruction, incorporation of academic language, and structured student talk. They conclude that schools and districts play a key role in ELLs’ achievement, and that school-wide goals and strong leadership are paramount. 

Bunch, G. C., Kibler, A., and Pimentel, S. (2012). Realizing Opportunities for English Learners in the Common Core English Language Arts and Disciplinary Literacy Standards. Understanding Language: Language, Literacy, and Learning in the Content Areas. Stanford University School of Education.

This paper investigates what needs to be done by educators of ELLs to realize opportunities presented by the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and the literacy standards in various subjects. The authors focus on four areas that the standards highlight as required for literacy and for career and college readiness: engaging with complex texts to expand knowledge across the curriculum; using evidence for analysis in writing and research; speaking and listening in order to work cooperatively and present ideas; and developing linguistic resources. 

Saunders, W. and Goldenberg, C. (2010). Research to Guide English Language Development Instruction. Chapter 1 in Improving Education for English Language Learners: Research-Based Approaches. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education.

Saunders and Goldenberg synthesize existing research with the aim of identifying guidelines for effective ELD instruction. The authors begin with an explanation of what ELD instruction is and is not. Using data from six syntheses and meta-analyses, they present 14 guidelines organized by the strength of the evidence: 1) guidelines based on relatively strong supporting evidence from English learner research, 2) guidelines based on hypotheses emerging from recent English learner research, and 3) guidelines applicable to ELD, but grounded in non-English learner research.

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