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Stories about English Language Learners

By Sebastien Delisle 05/31/2018 3:00 PM EDT
El Summit
Read more from Jaclyn Eichenberger, Ed.M.'18, and Lena Jeong, Ed.M.'18, at Usable Knowledge: "Getting Out of the EL Silos."
By 05/03/2018 8:58 AM EDT
abstract colorful open-circle pattern
By 04/25/2018 9:17 PM EDT
Illustration of abstract geometric shapes appearing to respond to one another
By 04/24/2018 12:40 PM EDT
Abstract and colorful geometric illustration of interconnecting circles
By 11/07/2017 9:56 AM EST
A blank page in an open notebook, surrounded by cooking ingredients
By Leah Shafer 05/17/2017 4:11 PM EDT
When Reading Gets Harder
For years, we’ve thought that the answer to boosting adolescent reading comprehension lay in building students’ vocabulary. Teens often struggle with the jargon and advanced terminology they encounter as they move into middle and high school, so educators have designed curricula and interventions that explicitly teach these complex words. But these strategies aren’t always fully effective, according to literacy researcher Paola Uccelli. As she writes, many of these interventions have yielded “significant growth in vocabulary knowledge yet only modest gains in reading comprehension.” Too many...
By Bobby Dorigo Jones 05/15/2017 3:23 PM EDT
Asil Yassine
Over the course of her teaching career, Asil Yassine has witnessed many broken promises to the children of Detroit. She’s seen, she says, “poisoned water fountains, a dearth of books, or mice shooting through the hallways” of buildings. Yassine enrolled in the Language and Literacy (L&L) Program to learn how to better fight these systemic failures, and find strategies to teach English to her many immigrant students. At HGSE, Associate Professor Paola Uccelli’s Bilingual Learners course gave her important new perspective. “Before we even touch pedagogy, we have to deeply understand what it...
By Usable Knowledge 02/21/2017 7:54 AM EST
Different components of children's faces brought together to create one face
Asil Yassine, who taught English-language learners (ELLs) in Detroit before enrolling in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, was herself an ELL student as a child. Drawing on her experiences as learner, teacher, and researcher, she offers guidance about the crucial support that ELL teachers can provide. In a short video (below), she remembers her own school days — and how hard it can be to be “different.” As an ELL student, what did you wish your teachers had known? Lead the charge and encourage your entire school to make this meaningful vocabulary switch: Instead of ELLs, call them “...
By Bobby Dorigo Jones, Iman Rastegari 02/07/2017 11:32 AM EST
Asil Yassine
As Commencement approaches, we look back the impact our students made over the course of their year at the Ed School. A teacher’s first couple of years in the classroom can be trying, even more so if they are tasked with teaching children who know little English. Master’s candidate Asil Yassine admits this was true for her in her two years teaching grades 6, 11, and 12 in Detroit. “I didn’t really know how to support my own English Language Learner (ELL) population,” she says, even though Yassine herself had struggled to learn English while in elementary school in Plano, Texas. She enrolled...

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