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Academic Language: Everyone’s “Second” Language

Being able to speak English fluently does not guarantee that a student will be able to use language effectively in academic settings. Fluency must be combined with higher order thinking skills to create an “academic language,” which allows students to effectively present their ideas in a way that others will take seriously. The author, an ELL teacher, describes her use of “protocols” (a cheat sheet of sentence starters) to build students’ cognitive academic language proficiency.

Wire basket with several books in it

Blending Multiple Genres in Theme Baskets

The theme-basket concept of literature instruction combines several approaches known to work with marginalized readers, students with learning disabilities, and ELLs.

Cognitive Strategies Toolkit

This article describes eight cognitive strategies — including monitoring, tapping prior knowledge, and making predictions — to help readers develop their comprehension skills.

Create Reading Accountability

Engaged, accountable reading requires students to interpret, and respond, often creatively. This article suggests several personalized ways to hold students accountable for their reading.

Enhancing Outcomes for Struggling Adolescent Readers

With so much required of high schools today, there is little time or money to spend on the students who lack basic skills. This article presents important factors leading to success for struggling adolescent readers, taken from successful reading programs.

Enhanced Reading Opportunities Study: Key Findings

An overview of findings from the second year of the Enhanced Reading Opportunities (ERO) study, an evaluation of two supplemental literacy programs — Reading Apprenticeship Academic Literacy and Xtreme Reading — that aim to improve the reading comprehension skills and school performance of struggling ninth-grade readers.

Expect Students to Activate, Connect and Summarize Daily

The activate, connect, and summarize daily routine can help struggling adolescent readers acquire new content. It consists of asking students to activate (what did we learn yesterday?), connect (draw a connection between your life and the topic that we’ll discuss today), and summarize (give me a keyword or phrase that describes today’s lesson) in the classroom everyday.

Explicit Comprehension Strategy Instruction

Use explicit strategy instruction to make visible the invisible comprehension strategies that good readers use to understand text. Support students until they can use the strategies independently. Recycle and re-teach strategies throughout the year.