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ERIC Number: EJ859682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 80
ISSN: ISSN-1175-8708
Scaffolding Language, Literacy, and Academic Content in English and Spanish: The Linguistic Highway from Mesoamerica to Southern California
Hayes, Katherine; Rueda, Robert; Chilton, Susan
English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v8 n2 p137-166 Sep 2009
This article contains a description of the Dual Proficiency (DP) program in an urban elementary school located in the heart of a large south-western city, as well as the teachers who designed and now implement DP, and the immigrant community participating by choice in DP. We write from a context where, ironically, the number of English language learners (ELL) in the United States is at its highest and yet use of the children's native language for classroom instruction is severely restricted, for all intents and purposes, by law. On top of this, district, state and national accountability demands, and the resulting focus on standardised test scores as indices of achievement, have served to narrow the curriculum and to direct classroom time to intensively tested skills. For schools with large numbers of students whose scores do not meet state testing standards, the prescribed remedy is often mandated, skills-based commercial programs. In the DP program, on the other hand, thoughtful content-based instruction utilising academic language connections between the students' two dominant languages (Spanish and English) with explicit recognition of the contributions of additional heritage indigenous languages from Mexico and Central America provides the scaffold to academic understanding for participating students. DP students consistently score significantly above their non-DP peers on state-mandated achievement tests. (Contains 1 table and 2 footnotes.)
Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Mexico; United States