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ERIC Number: EJ1152463
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0192-401X
L1 Literacy and ESL Reading Instruction: Strategies for Maximizing Student Success
Johnston, Catherine
ORTESOL Journal, v30 p21-25 2013
Teaching reading to low-level English as a Second Language (ESL) students can be a challenge, according to the author. At times, teachers are teaching adult students to read in English when some in class are not literate in their first language. In such a situation, they are not mapping a sound-symbol correspondence onto a known oral language, as in native-language reading instruction, but instead teaching the decoding of language while also teaching vocabulary and oral/aural aspects of language. Furthermore, literacy students--those learning to read for the first time--are often a minority in ESL classes to students with higher levels of formal education and thus, have an advantage in learning to read--often more swiftly. Accommodating the needs of literacy students alongside "traditional" low-level ESL students is an organizational and pedagogical challenge for even the most seasoned ESL professionals. With these challenges and characteristics in mind, and with a commitment to maximizing the success of this vulnerable student population, the author began to focus on how her students' literacy level in their first language affected their process of learning to read in English. Her goals, based on the aforementioned concerns and her experience, for this research were: (1) To develop an understanding of how awareness of adult ESL students' Level 1 (L1) literacy and education level can inform teachers' decisions about which strategies and materials in ESL reading are most appropriate; and (2) To explore and/or invent teaching strategies, materials, and innovative practices in order to maximize students' success and progress in L2 (English) reading.
Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. PO Box 15148, Portland, OR 97293. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A