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ERIC Number: EJ1131469
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1056-7941
English as a Second Language and World War II: Possibilities for Language and Historical Learning
Stewart, Mary Amanda; Walker, Katie
TESOL Journal, v8 n1 p44-69 Mar 2017
Although, traditionally, the purpose of the social studies class in secondary schools is to teach content knowledge, this article argues that historical learning can be a powerful vehicle for English language development for late-arrival English learners (ELs) in middle and high schools. ELs bring a wealth of life experiences, diverse perspectives, and global travel into the classroom that can nurture a dynamic learning environment when English as a second language (ESL) and social studies instruction are juxtaposed as content and language are taught simultaneously. This article details the learning results of a thematic unit on World War II for late-arrival refugee ELs in one high school using a formative design approach. Using the award-winning historical fiction novel "Sylvia and Aki" (Conkling, 2011) as well as other supporting texts, the teacher leveraged students' experiences to help them gain historical knowledge, literacy skills, and universal perspectives, all while acquiring English. Findings suggest that the social studies provide a rich space to naturally acquire a second language while simultaneously gaining a variety of content area knowledge. Specifically, World War II may provide ESL teachers with a wealth of literary resources to engage ELs in deep language and content learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A