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ERIC Number: EJ812707
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Behind the Mask: Social Studies Concepts and English Language Learners
Beck, Terence A.
Social Education, v72 n4 p181-184 May-Jun 2008
Social studies educators are constantly teaching concepts. From culturally universal concepts in the early grades to highly contested concepts such as "democracy" in later grades, good social studies instruction often centers on helping students form key concepts. As anyone who has spent time in twenty-first century social studies classrooms knows, immigrant and English language learners struggle mightily with learning these concepts. If forming key concepts such as civil rights, liberty, and representative government, is critical to social justice and to assisting all Americans in becoming full citizens, then it is important to attend to the particular challenges immigrant and English language learners face. In this article, the author begins with the challenges he faces as someone foreign to a country and a language when trying to learn particular civics concepts. He then notes strategies he found himself using to mask his general lack of comprehension, followed by suggestions for what educators might do in their classrooms. (Contains 13 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A