Educating English Learners

Educating English Learners What Every Classroom Teacher Needs to Know

Joyce W. Nutta, Carine Strebel, Kouider Mokhtari, Florin M. Mihai, and Edwidge Crevecoeur-Bryant
paper, 272 Pages
Pub. Date: August 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-719-4
Price: $34.00

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In Educating English Learners, Joyce W. Nutta and her colleagues offer practical tools for helping schools and teachers successfully integrate English learners into mainstream classrooms. Drawing on the One Plus model presented in their award-winning book, Preparing Every Teacher to Reach English Learners, the authors now turn their attention to the needs of K–12 teachers who typically have two or three English learners in their classrooms.


This timely volume addresses not only what every classroom teacher needs to know about teaching English learners but, even more fundamentally, what they can do individually and collectively to put this knowledge into action in the classroom…Educating English Learners represents an invaluable resource for educators committed to implementing the Common Core State Standards in linguistically diverse schools. — Jim Cummins, professor, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, University of Toronto

This warm, wise, and practical book demystifies language acquisition and academic literacy development. It puts practical tools in the hands of mainstream teachers to empower their students in the standards-based classroom. — Elizabeth O’Dowd, professor of applied linguistics/TESOL programs director, Saint Michael’s College

This book is the foundational, comprehensive guide to ensuring the success of English learners in mainstream classrooms! Drawing on carefully developed protocols and authentic student stories, the authors skillfully blend the how of instruction and the why of understanding to enable teachers to reach ELs at multiple proficiency levels within language-diverse K–12 classrooms. — Julia A. Correia, director, ESL Graduate Academy, Henderson State University, and Arkansas TESOL Outstanding Educator

Educating English Learners is a powerful tool for new teachers, veteran teachers, and campus administrators in the quest for potent student learning. — Heather D. Carnes, assistant principal of curriculum and instruction, Robert E. Lee High School, Tyler, Texas

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About the Authors

Joyce W. Nutta began her fascination with second languages before elementary school, listening to French- and Spanish-speaking tourists at her parents’ ten-unit motel in west central Florida. In the ninth grade, she and her parents moved to a small town in the Dolomites of Italy, where she was enrolled in an Italian-speaking high school even though she knew nothing of the language or culture. She spent two years in the ninth grade and, although her social language developed by the end of her second year, she was unable to pass the rigorous essay exams of academic subjects and language arts in Italian and returned to Florida to continue high school. After volunteering to help immigrant students learn English in her academic classes, she began her profession as a teacher of English as a second language and eventually a teacher educator. She earned teaching certification followed by a master’s degree in applied linguistics, and a PhD in second language acquisition/instructional technology. Her research interests include the integration of English learner issues into teacher education curricula, the use of technology to teach second languages, and technology-enhanced instruction in teacher education. She is a coeditor of The Tapestry Journal: An International Multidisciplinary Journal on English Language Learner Education. She is a coauthor of Preparing Every Teacher to Reach English Learners: A Practical Guide for Teacher Educators (Harvard Education Press) and offers professional development based on its content as well as the content of this book. Her presentations are highly interactive and hands-on applications of research-based approaches to teaching English learners. She currently is a professor of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and the ESOL Endorsement and TESOL PhD Track Coordinator of the College of Education at the University of Central Florida.

Carine Strebel grew up surrounded by multiple languages. She spent her first five years in Biel/Bienne, a town on the language boundary between the French- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland, near the Jura Mountains. She learned French formally when the family lived in Paris for three years, a course of study that continued when they returned to Switzerland, and then learned English starting in the eighth grade. She credits her parents for inspiring her passion to learn about different cultures and languages as well as her desire to become a language teacher from a young age. After moving to the United States to complete her undergraduate studies, Strebel became a French teacher and pursued graduate studies in francophone literature, but then decided to deepen her understanding of second-language acquisition through formal studies in that field because she wanted to help immigrant children become successful in American schools. Her PhD is in instructional technology with a focus in ESOL. She is a coauthor of Preparing Every Teacher to Reach English Learners: A Practical Guide for Teacher Educators and also a coeditor of The Tapestry Journal: An International Multidisciplinary Journal on English Language Learner Education. Her research focuses on the infusion of English learner competencies throughout teacher education programs in content-based language instruction. She is the ESOL coordinator at Stetson University, where she also teaches courses in instruction for diverse learners and works with faculty and staff to provide appropriate support for the university’s international students.

Kouider Mokhtari grew up in Morocco, a multilingual country, where he learned to read in two languages: Arabic and French. Outside of school, he spoke Moroccan Arabic, which is a colloquial version of Modern Standard Arabic that is rarely written or used in any formal communication. His fascination with the nature of language and its role in learning to read and write intensified in the first year of high school, when he started learning English. After completing teacher certification, he taught English as a foreign language in high school in Rabat and Casablanca, Morocco. He earned a master’s degree in applied linguistics and an interdisciplinary doctorate from Ohio University. His research focuses on the acquisition of language and literacy by first and second language learners, with particular emphasis on children, adolescents, and adults who can read but have difficulties with reading comprehension. Mokhtari is a coauthor of Preparing Every Teacher to Reach English Learners: A Practical Guide for Teacher Educators (Harvard Education Press) and a coeditor of The Tapestry Journal: An International Multidisciplinary Journal on English Language Learner Education, which is dedicated to the advancement of research and instruction for English learners. He currently serves as the Anderson-Vukelja Wright Endowed Professor of Education within the School of Education at the University of Texas at Tyler, where he engages in research, teaching, and service initiatives aimed at enhancing teacher practice and increasing student literacy achievement outcomes.

Florin M. Mihai grew up in Iasi, Romania. In second grade, he started learning English and became fascinated by it. After earning a BA in English and Romanian from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iasi, he taught English as a foreign language at a private language school in his hometown for several years. Because he wanted to further his education and pursue a postgraduate degree, he enrolled in the Multilingual and Multicultural Education program at Florida State University, where he earned a master’s and a PhD. His research interests include language and content-area assessment for English learners, grammar instruction, pre- and in-service teacher education, and curriculum development in global contexts. He is the author of Assessing English Language Learners in the Content Areas: A Research-into-Practice Guide for Educators (University of Michigan Press, 2010) and a coauthor of Language and Literacy Development: An Interdisciplinary Focus on English Learners with Communication Disorders (Plural Publishing). Mihai is a coeditor of The Tapestry Journal: An International Multidisciplinary Journal on English Language Learner Education. Currently, he is an associate professor in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program at the University of Central Florida.

When Edwidge Crevecoeur-Bryant immigrated to the United States from Haiti with her family, she had no idea what awaited her. Upon arriving in New York, in the winter, she did not expect to see “white things” fall from the sky that caused her toes to feel numb nor to be driven to school on a noisy bus with children laughing and talking instead of walking! More startlingly, she did not expect to paint all day, every day, while the other students did work that she had previously done in Haiti. She could not understand the language but knew she could do the work if the teacher just gave her a chance. At the tender age of seven, during one of those “painting in the back of the classroom” moments, she decided that she would become a teacher to help students who could not speak English. Taught English by her father, she became that teacher! Edwidge C. Bryant was the first student in the United States to earn a bachelor of science degree in bilingual education with an emphasis in Haitian Kreyòl and English from City College of the City University of New York. She continued her education at Teachers College Columbia University, where she earned a master’s degree in educational administration and a doctorate in applied linguistics with an emphasis in bilingual education. She has coauthored five bilingual English-Haitian Kreyòl dictionaries, including the latest, Word by Word, published by Prentice Hall. Crevecoeur-Bryant serves as codirector of five literacy centers in Petit Goave, Haiti. She also serves as the educational director of the TELL (Technology and English Learning in Leogane) Project in Haiti. She enjoys a national and international reputation for presenting her work on Haitian education, language, and technology. Crevecoeur-Bryant has devoted her career to improving the lives of second language learners in the United States and Haiti through directly teaching ESOL students as well as undergraduate and graduate students at various institutions of higher education. She currently serves as the ESOL coordinator in the College of Education at Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida.

Table of Contents

Blog Post: "Are We Building a Wall Inside Our Schools?"

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English Learners at Home and at School

Joyce W. Nutta, Foreword by Carine M. Feyten

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