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ERIC Number: EJ926302
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Tiered Texts: Supporting Knowledge and Language Learning for English Learners and Struggling Readers
Moss, Barbara; Lapp, Diane; O'Shea, Mary
English Journal, v100 n5 p54-60 May 2011
One of the most persistent challenges facing teachers is the need to provide effective literacy instruction for adolescent English language learners (ELLs). The literacy crisis for these students is a compelling one; only 4% of eighth-grade ELLs scored at the proficient or advanced level on the reading portion of the 2005 National Assessment for Educational Progress. A lack of at-grade-level literacy development is exacerbated for ELLs who enter the educational system in the later grades, often with below-grade-level literacy skills in their native language. The authors propose that to address the lack of literacy among ELLs and other struggling readers, instruction must support the development of academic language and background knowledge essential for learning in high school content-area classrooms and the workplace. If English language learners in English classrooms are to succeed in critically engaging with academic texts, they need intentionally designed interventions that facilitate mastery of subject-specific academic vocabulary and background knowledge, as well as the forms and functions of academic language. To support teachers as they make these accommodations, the authors share in this article an intervention that scaffolds both background knowledge and language development through tiered texts. First the authors discuss factors involved in acquiring a school or academic discourse. Then they define and describe tiered texts as a way to differentiate literacy learning for English language learners and other struggling readers. Finally they identify ways that teachers can implement tiered texts, using a classroom-based example of how tiered texts can be used with Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." (Contains 2 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A