ERIC Number: EJ684275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct
Misconceptions about Teaching English-Language Learners
Harper, Candace; de Jong, Ester
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, v48 n2 p152-162 Oct 2004
English language learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing group of K-12 students in the United States. Most ELLs spend the entire school day in mainstream classrooms where instruction is in English. It is therefore important for all teachers to have the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate these students' academic language development and content area achievement. However, efforts to include ELLs in general education reforms are often based on misunderstandings about effective instruction for linguistically and culturally diverse learners. These misunderstandings stem from two basic assumptions that guide much current teacher preparation for diversity: (a) the needs of ELLs do not differ significantly from those of other diverse learners, and (b) effective instruction for ELLs is primarily a menu of pedagogical adaptations. This article examines the problematic nature of four popular misconceptions about teaching ELLs and discusses the implications for effective instruction in truly inclusive mainstream classrooms.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Misconceptions, Learning Processes, Teaching Methods, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Academic Discourse, English (Second Language), Academic Achievement, Student Needs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - General
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A