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ERIC Number: EJ936196
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1060-3743
Newcomers Developing English Literacy through Historical Thinking and Digitized Primary Sources
Franquiz, Maria E.; Salinas, Cinthia S.
Journal of Second Language Writing, v20 n3 p196-210 Sep 2011
The traditional approach to the education of newcomer students separates English language development from content instruction. It is assumed that English language proficiency is a prerequisite for subject-matter learning. The authors take the alternate view that the integration of historical thinking and digitized primary sources enhances English language acquisition and learning of the social studies. Specifically, we show how eleven late arrival immigrant students using primary source digitized documents responded to three lessons in a History class: the crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957; the Chicano "Movimiento" of the 1960s; and the 21st century response to immigration as manifested in Arizona Senate Bill 1070 in 2010. The study of these historical events required that the adolescent newcomers systematically examine sources, contexts, and historical significance as well as notions of agency, empathy, and moral judgment. Assignments for students to position themselves in relation to these historical events provided opportunities for authoring identity texts (Cummins, 2001, 2004, 2006). These student written artifacts were examined for length, voice, grammatical conventions, organization and ability to understand multiple perspectives, complex context, and conflicting (if not persistent) historical tension. Findings show that the use of digitized documents, document-based questions, and written responses in the form of letters or telegrams made the subject relevant and meaningful to the newcomer students and elicited their cognitive engagement and identity investment in the production of writing. The choice to use (or not) the home language played a significant role in the creation of students' identity texts. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A