Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2008 Issue »

    Editor's Review of Double the Work and The Language Demands of School

    Sabina Rak Neugebauer
    Full Text:

    Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

    by Deborah Short and Shannon Fitzsimmons.
    Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education, 2007. 97 pp.

    The Language Demands of School: Putting Academic English to the Test
    edited by Alison L. Bailey.
    New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006. 226 pp. $35.00.


    According to national statistics on the reading comprehension abilities of students in grades six through twelve, more than six million U.S. adolescents fall below the basic reading levels needed for high school, higher education, or workforce success. This has been referred to as the “adolescent literacy crisis” (Biancarosa & Snow, 2004; Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007). It is noteworthy that these gloomy statistics are reported to be even worse for English-language learners (ELLs; Abedi, 2006; Abedi & Gándara, 2006; August & Hakuta, 1997).1 Ninety-six percent of U.S. eighth-grade students who are limited English proficient (LEP) scored below the basic level on the reading portion of the National Assessment for Educational Progress (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007). Furthermore, students who speak a language other than English at home have an increased likelihood of dropping out of high school and of earning lower salaries, on average, than their non–ELL peers after graduating from high school (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007). Hence, the adolescent literacy crisis can be seen as particularly burdensome for students who speak English as a second language.

    Much of the early research on and recommendations for the instruction of ELLs reflects a deficit model approach. This is a lens commonly used to examine “at-risk” populations, an approach in which students’ burdens and obstacles to learning are predominately viewed as deficiencies situated within an individual child rather than as inadequacies in the child’s environment or life circumstances (Goldenberg, Rueda, & August, 2006; Harry, Klingner, Cramer, & Sturges, 2007; Valenzuela, 1999). Deficit theory as proposed by McDermott (1993) and as used here assumes that “language and culture are store houses from which children acquire their competencies” (p. 283).2 In this manner, some children are seen as needing more and others less. The result is a focus on what individual children lack as opposed to limitations in their surroundings (McDermott, 1993). Subsequent discourse for at-risk populations frames this work in terms of support and services, locating learning problems within the child and his or her “neediness” (Rappaport, 1981). This discourse, which is used frequently in the case of ELLs (Harry et al., 2007), is problematic because efforts for change are misdirected at the students rather than at the institutions that influence and guide their educational options and pedagogy. A deficit model also assumes a one-size-fits-all approach that dictates positive or desirable behavior for all students when the field in fact needs to examine more closely the pedagogical and social-cultural contexts in which these children are situated (Goldenberg et al., 2006; McDermott, 1993). The consequence of operating under a deficit model is a cycle of blaming students. The implicit message — as unjust and unfounded as it may be — is that ELL students are to blame for falling behind due to their poor motivation, because they exhibit problematic behavior, or because they altogether lack socially appropriate behavior or academic capacities (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2001; Valenzuela, 1991).

    However, many ELLs come from families that sacrifice tremendously to provide them with scholastic opportunities, are highly dedicated to learning ­English, and often are highly motivated to achieve academically (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2001). The deficit model may falsely portray ELLs as adversarial or reluctant learners, when in fact many are eager and driven to succeed. However, a contrasting perspective attributes poor educational performance to inadequate social structures and a lack of resources in schools, making it impossible for a student’s existing competencies to function or flourish despite their best intentions (Rappaport, 1981). In fact, adolescent ELL students may be better served by policies and programs based on a framework that places more emphasis on the students’ holistic context. When institutions provide programs that accommodate learners with different assets and needs, these institutions accept responsibility for students’ learning. Ideally, public schools should be dedicated to encouraging proficiency and even mastery of reading and writing by all students instead of labeling students’ inadequacies and then accepting these labels as an potential indictment of students’ capabilities without regard for possible instructional inadequacies.

    Two recent works provide the opportunity to bring increased attention to the need to reexamine deficit models and consider new structural reforms and interventions associated with supporting ELLs. Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners and The Language Demands of School: Putting Academic English to the Test, which address unresolved issues in the field of ELL adolescent literacy, are directed at educators, researchers, and policymakers. The two books represent a call to action to make collaborative and systemic changes that can resolve particular obstacles to ELLs’ literacy success. Double the Work and The Language Demands of School recommend ways to deal effectively with ELLs in the domains of pedagogy, policy, and assessments.

    The contributors to Double the Work included a panel of researchers, policy­makers, and practitioners working in the field of ELL literacy who met to discuss matters relevant to academic literacy. The report was intended to identify the major obstacles to improving academic literacy among ELLs and to positively influence research, policy, and practice. This report identifies the obstacles as (1) a lack of consistent identification, tracking, and assessment of this population over time; (2) inadequate educator capacity and program flexibility; (3) limited use of research-based instructional practices; and (4) lack of a coherent research agenda. The authors address contextual obstacles that can impede adolescent ELLs’ scholastic experiences and propose possible solutions. The report concludes with case studies at the high school and district level, which serve as exemplars of how to implement programmatic and structural changes in schools. The report provides possible strategies for policymakers and educators of adolescent ELLs to shape the context in which ELLs learn, as opposed to promoting the status quo in which ELLs are labeled as having “deficient” characteristics.

    The contributors to The Language Demands of School, an edited volume from the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST), focus on issues of academic literacy. They review the theoretical underpinnings and empirical research that support the construct of academic English language (AEL), a concept that distinguishes between difficulty reading in specific content areas and limited language proficiency. Put simply, AEL is used to separate the language used in social settings from language used in the classroom and in content areas, although this bifurcation may not be distinct. The authors argue that AEL skills determine the academic success of ELL students and that the assessment of academic language skills will indicate whether students are able to access the content curriculum. This is in contrast to the common practice of using proficiency tests — those that assess language used in social settings — as an inaccurate barometer for determining the mainstream school readiness of ELL students. Ultimately, The Language Demands of School calls for research on the AEL abilities of ELL students, leading to the alignment of testing, instruction, and professional development for teachers grounded in this approach. By striving to improve consistency across the structural domains of testing, instruction, and professional development, practitioners in the field ELLs and all students experience greater success in school settings.

    In light of the adolescent literacy crisis, both of these works provide important and far-reaching insights into the critical role that institutions play when supporting ELLs and propose concrete programmatic changes that will surely have a positive impact on the education of this group. However, while both works rightly highlight important possibilities for environmental changes, their most significant contributions — underlying paradigmatic shifts in focus from individual to context and from deficit to enrichment — remain surprisingly implicit. By not explicitly drawing attention to this reframing, the authors of Double the Work and The Language Demands of School fail to challenge a deficit model that prevails among researchers and practitioners. Consequently, these texts do not reach their full potential to inform ELL instruction and instead tacitly reify the existing prejudicial treatment of ELLs. In the following pages I will highlight the ways these texts draw attention to structural approaches to ELL instructional reform and how the implicit underlying framework in these reports could be brought to the fore. In order to best serve ELLs, educators must acknowledge the pivotal role schools play instead of focusing on the shortcomings of students within unpredictable and often inflexible educational institutions.

    The Importance of Ecological Frameworks for ELLs

    Structural models of reform that challenge the persisting deficit model of ELLs owe a debt to theoretical work that explores the ecology of human development. An ecological framework emphasizes the importance of settings and contexts rather than focusing exclusively on individuals, and it highlights change over time and across settings (Bronfenbrenner, 1977). Seeing students as embedded in multiple settings is central to this perspective, which views schools as existing within communities, which in turn exist within social and political institutions. This ecological orientation calls for the examination of complex systems of interaction among individuals. It examines aspects of the environment beyond the individual child, exploring the “nested arrangement of structures” in which a person lives and develops.3 From this orientation, children’s behaviors are considered within concentric circles of influence — families, schools, communities, institutions, and political and social climates — that shape their learning and development outcomes. The ecological perspective proposes that contextual factors at different levels influence children’s lives both directly and indirectly. For instance, schools have a direct influence on children, while state curricular standards might affect the academic performance of children from a more indirect position. An ecological perspective requires us to consider the influence of all of the contextual factors, including the indirect trickle-down effect of societal values and scholastic standards, as well as the interplay of these factors, such as the simultaneous contribution of family and school that have similar proximity to children.

    By focusing on the inadequacies of the scholastic context as opposed to weaknesses in the child, true educational reforms are likely to result, rather than theories that overemphasize why students can’t learn and which of their characteristics create obstacles to their learning. The deficit model ultimately does not provide answers for reform; rather, it offers only a negative perception of students and their abilities. Shifting the focus from students’ shortcomings to the schools’ responsibilities could remove the stigma often associated with ELL status — a stigma that often hinders learning and dampens students’ sense of self-efficacy (Valenzuela, 1991). Moreover, I and other scholars argue that the diverse linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds of adolescent ELLs demand that we reexamine the flexibility (or lack thereof) of educational systems, given that institutions, not children, are responsible for education (Goldenberg et al., 2006; Lesaux, 2006).

    One approach to improving literacy outcomes for ELLs within an ecological framework might be the consistent analysis of the educational settings from a longitudinal vantage point. This would mean tracking students across different settings over time and observing how schools help or hinder their progress, thus providing critical information needed to guide school reform and structural change (Lesaux, 2006). Although Double the Work and The Language Demands of School do not explicitly advocate for this type of ecological model, both texts do argue for consistent analyses of students across settings and over time. Their recommendations are easily linked to what might be seen as “ecologically sound” next steps: viewing literacy assessments and standards as interactions across contexts (i.e., schools, districts, and states), and monitoring the trajectory of ELL students over time. I will explore the first of these steps by looking at the way these works address student academic progress as it develops over time and their academic trajectories; I will consider the latter by examining the role of interactions or interface across levels and contexts (i.e., state, district, and schools) as marked by assessments.

    Academic Trajectories

    Double the Work criticizes current nationwide inconsistencies in how ELLs are assessed over time and across states and the resultant limited tracking of these students. This is a valid critique: In contrast to the deficit model that looks at students and ignores the resources and structures that may be marshaled to support them, an ecological approach provides a useful alternative. Measuring progress over time facilitates an analysis of the contribution of context and provides a more comprehensive picture of academic benchmarks (i.e., how many years of English immersion are really needed and do students with more time in bilingual programs do better?).

    The report argues that what constitutes an ELL varies widely. However, in the context of research or practice, members of the same population may also be labeled ELLs, limited English proficient, or English as second language (ESL) students.4 To further complicate tracking matters, criteria for reclassifying an LEP student who has mastered English and is classified as fully English proficient (FEP) varies both by state and district (Lesaux, 2006; Mahoney & MacSwan, 2005). Unfortunately, being reclassified from LEP to FEP often results in a student’s no longer being tracked as an ELL because he has “mastered” English, implicitly removing the “language learner” part of the ELL label. However, terminating the tracking of these students as ELLs prevents any longitudinal understanding of their language profiles and/or progress in language learning (de Jong, 2004; Wright, 2005). The report clearly points out these shortcomings and proposes longitudinal evaluations of the academic progress of ELL students. I argue that an ecological model provides a useful lens for correcting identification and tracking inconsistencies. Being able to keep track of individual ELLs after reclassification as an FEP would refocus energies on instructional systems and educational progress within and across diverse pedagogical settings. The report contends — without explicit mention of the ecological lens — that tracking the progress of ELLs would provide information about academic norms for ELL student progress within the educational system. Tracking students after reclassification would be in direct contrast to present practices that fail to follow ELLs beyond their being designated FEPs.

    The authors of The Language Demands of School also question the tendency to lump all ELLs into a single group: “While ELLs are acquiring English as a second language and share the need to improve their academic skills, they vary in English language proficiency levels and in a range of educationally relevant background variables such as length of time in the United States and years of formal schooling.”5 The book also points out that “there are always new ELLs entering the system; consequently, there is never a single point in time when all students will be proficient.” I contend that the diversity among ELLs highlights the importance of the instructional recommendations proposed in Double the Work with regard to more flexible pathways, as well as the need to use AEL in schools. In contrast to the deficit model’s focus on problematic behavior in the individual and the one-size-fits-all approach, the ecological approach pays special attention to student diversity.

    I challenge current practices under the deficit model, which measure students’ educational experiences before coming to the United States. Many such assessments aimed at discovering children’s deficits focus on individual children and ultimately reflect the extensive variety of experience these students have before beginning school in the United States. The academic paths of ELLs who arrive in middle or high school may have varied significantly, ultimately resulting in their having different skills, expectations, and levels of readiness for school in the U.S. (Biancarosa & Snow, 2004). While assessments of reading readiness are common practice during elementary school, literacy and language assessments in the later grades are dedicated to other forms of testing, such as yearly achievement or exit tests, which do not adequately assess what adolescents do and do not know (Lesaux, 2006). According to Double the Work, proposed federal policies to assess English language development from grades 3 through 12 do not disentangle issues of language proficiency, years of schooling, or any of the other factors that may affect these students’ academic performance. These kinds of assessments ultimately measure the educational experiences of ELLs before arriving in the United States and lend themselves to the deficiency model of evaluation. I maintain that researchers need to focus on students’ converging experiences. When ELLs are not tracked over time and across contexts, there is limited information about the classroom pedagogy and its impact. Tracking students longitudinally after they have been reclassified allows one to see growth in achievement and thus provides the opportunity to highlight the success (or failure) of the educational environments that serve ELLs over time. In contrast, deficit models focus only on salient problematic behaviors among individual students and fail to measure progress or to consider a panoramic perspective of student achievement within a particular context. Deficit models ignore vital information about resources and structures that may help students excel. Double the Work does not explicitly acknowledge an ecological framework, but it does propose recommendations and solutions to the shortcomings of research that uses a deficit model approach. I will review the proposed research agenda in the next section with an ecological framework in mind.

    Longitudinal Solutions

    To amend the inconsistency in ELL labels, Double the Work wisely recommends that definitions for ELLs be more consistent over time and across states, and that they include clear benchmarks for the language proficiency tests used to categorize these students. From an ecological perspective, having clear benchmarks shifts the problem from the child to the pedagogical goals and progress in the scholastic environment.

    As noted above, the literacy experience of ELLs has often been tracked in the research literature by assessing their performance only in relation to specific transition points in order to identify deficiencies rather than to chart progress (August & Hakuta, 1997). As such, the ELL research agendas emphasize the importance of academic achievement at particular transitional points, such as reclassification from LEP to FEP (August & Hakuta, 1997) and from high school to college (reporting of dropout rates) (Gunderson & Clarke, 1998). A focus on transitions ignores the role of learning over time and the cumulative effect of various factors that may cause changes in performance during transitional periods. For example, these transitional phases might include research on literacy development in the early grades in second-language learners (K–4; Verhoeven, 1991), the entrance or exit of this population from special education (Artiles et al., 2002), and the use of high school exit exams or reporting of college dropout rates (Garcia, 2001). However, the diversity of English-language ability mentioned in Double the Work and the authors’ proposed shift from a focus on transition indicates a need for research that focuses on longitudinal studies.

    Beyond its emphasis on using longitudinal observations of ELLs, the report suggests promoting interactions between contexts in order to reflect the students’ diverse scholastic and life experiences. These interactions include flexible program models that accommodate the different students that have traditionally been subsumed in the ELL label (e.g., bilinguals, second-generation immigrants, newcomers, etc.). These models include allotting extra instructional time through an extended school year, year-round schooling, longer daily schedules, spending more than four years in high school, flexible school days that might enable them to participate in evening classes, weekend classes, internships, or distance-learning opportunities. Finally, the report proposes that states consider alternatives to high school exit exams. I argue that the underlying premise behind choice in assessment practices is that educational settings should adapt to different students by providing diverse forms of assessment. This report’s charge to be more flexible is an indirect attack on the deficit model and places the onus of improving student performance on the flexibility of school programs. The flexibility of these options allows schools to create more responsive learning environments for its diverse student body and their varying environmental contexts (i.e., home, work, etc.).

    From an ecological perspective, the authors of Double the Work encourage a focus on the school setting and recommend opportunities for restructuring that take into account the interactions of multiple systems. They do so first by proposing that states and districts adopt practices that promote consistent identification of ELLs. Consistency across these contexts (state, district, school) is pivotal if we are to adequately measure the academic progress of these students over time, and to examine the interchange between multiple settings and their impact on academic performance. Second, the interaction between contexts acknowledges that student participation in family contexts may include a part-time job or responsibility for siblings or elders, and that this may influence their school context. Schools’ ability to accommodate and work in tandem with other contexts is crucial for the academic progress of ELLs and for future research examining such progress.

    An ecological framework that focuses on changes over time is also applicable to The Language Demands of School, in which Bailey explores the use of the concept of academic English language in addressing the context of ELLs’ diversity. AEL is relevant to ELLs in middle and high school because it accounts for students’ varying scholastic trajectories. Collecting data on ELLs’ development of AEL over time permits a more comprehensive tracking of these students and their diverse scholastic trajectories through middle and high school.

    In fact, national research and federal policies about ELLs have largely focused on interventions in the elementary and prekindergarten years, leaving little room for resources and research agendas dedicated to equally effective methods in later grades (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). The preference for focusing on the early grades is a result of the assumption that early interventions can prevent later reading difficulties, but this is problematic because it ignores the context of ELLs entering schools at different grade levels, and therefore at different points along a continuum of literacy instruction. However, the theoretical and empirical research on AEL suggests its applicability “across the grade spans and as regards the entire school curriculum,” resulting in a system that can accommodate multiple entry points into literacy instruction. The focus on AEL skills will help disentangle the issues that conflate language proficiency and content knowledge — primarily because AEL measures language that is specifically being taught in schools. Similarly, focusing on AEL skills will help create meaningful benchmarks over time, providing teachers, researchers, and policymakers with a better understanding of the instructional and policy gaps that need to be filled.

    Double the Work and The Language Demands of School do not explicitly reference ecological frameworks, but the call to restructure programs and collect longitudinal data reflects a stronger emphasis on the consideration of student ecologies and contexts, as well as methods to measure school progress as much as student progress. In addition, the two texts specifically call for an accounting of school progress across contexts. The emphasis on the multiple contexts and their interchange — in this case, between the state and district, the district and the school — appears to implicitly engage an ecological framework. Acknowledging the relationship between contexts provides a more comprehensive picture of ELL learning, allowing one to recognize the various ways in which consistency or discrepancies across contexts facilitate or hinder the ability of schools to provide for these students.

    Assessment across Time, Contexts, and Texts: Double the Work and the Language Demands of Schools

    While Bronfenbrenner’s (1977) ecological framework emphasizing the role of varied contexts in child development and learning has been around for thirty years, instructional reform policies for ELLs over the last two decades have focused primarily on elementary school literacy while virtually ignoring the diverse contexts surrounding the education of ELLs in the later grades. To shift the focus to adolescents — and subsequently to the contribution of schools to academic success — both Double the Work and Language Demands of School assert the ecologically minded importance of cross-state comparisons. Each encourages a nationwide model of consistent assessments and benchmarks called the World-Class Instructional Design Assessment (WIDA), which uses the same English-language proficiency standards, the same levels of proficiency, and the same English-language proficiency assessments for ELLs in kindergarten through grade 12. WIDA emphasizes the importance of testing throughout the upper grades as well as tracking progress over time. It provides a useful model for implementing constant assessments from kindergarten through twelfth grade and with consistency across the states that use it.

    The authors of Language Demands stress the importance of frequent and consistent summative and formative testing throughout the grades and from the classroom to the nation.6 The use of both large- and small-scale assessments applies an ecological framework and creates a coherent system for interpreting and addressing ELLs’ language proficiency. An ecological model for analyzing student performance also tracks school efforts, avoiding a deficit model approach and centering on the responsiveness of the pedagogy.

    Also in keeping with an ecological model, both Double the Work and The Language Demands of School stress the importance of multiple assessments of ELLs’ language abilities, including in their native language. Native-language assessments can better predict English-language development over time, help to identify different linguistic subgroups (i.e., Spanish dominant bilingual, English dominant bilingual, etc.), and subsequently help to determine programmatic changes.

    In addition, multiple assessments and native-language assessments resonate with the need to eliminate the use of the deficiency model for this population. Consistent, diagnostic, and responsive assessments can shift the focus to instruction, professional development, and standards that align with the concept of AEL.

    Shifting the Paradigm

    Both of these works present research, policy, and instructional agendas for amending the environments in which ELL students learn. The authors’ recommendations reflect ecological changes — their visions for systemic improvement. However, this agenda is not explicitly acknowledged as being ecologically minded, and as a result it fails to challenge the predominant deficit-based paradigm for serving ELL students. Ultimately, the failure of these authors to explicitly name this shift in understanding may be a disservice to the potential impact of these reports. Educators, policymakers, and researchers may continue to evoke a deficit paradigm, thus encouraging the continued stigmatization of ELLs and escaping institutional responsibility that could be channeled into important reform efforts. The use of an explicit theoretical framework may prevent a possible misinterpretation of these recommendations. For example, consider how the title Double the Work seems to emphasize the idea of learning as burdensome. More important, the idea of doubling the work seems to suggest that an ELL student will have twice as much work to do or, alternatively, that they will have twice as many obstacles preventing their success.

    Instead of thinking of ELL education as “double the work,” perhaps future research would do better to conceptualize learning contexts, literacy agendas, and policy implications for ELLs as convergent pathways. This new research agenda would stress the convergence of all the factors that contribute to the literacy and language education of ELLs onto paths that lead toward a distinct goal — in this case, achieving academic success. These paths, composed of concentric circles representing the distinct environments that affect ELLs, all converge at a fixed point — academic mastery. This proposed model for future research acknowledges that scholastic paths may vary from student to student, but how these environmental factors meet and interact is important to understanding how to improve the educational experience of ELLs.

    In Double the Work we see the variability in the academic, linguistic, immigration, and cultural experiences of ELL students. Research suggests that a multiplicity of experiences brings with it an assortment of assets, including increased metalinguistic capacities (Bialystok, 1997) and often increased motivation for learning (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2001). Given the diversity of linguistic and academic profiles among ELLs, the focus of research assessment must be on different points of entry into the school system, and on different ways of accessing the academic English language needed for literacy acquisition in the upper grades.

    Double the Work and The Language Demands of School provide valuable perspectives on how structural changes may promote ELLs’ English-language acquisition and literacy skills. However, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners should consider ELL students within an ecological framework in order to avoid any devaluation of linguistic differences and to provide a systemic lens for observing and monitoring the experiences of ELL students.

    Notes

    1. I use the term English-language learners (ELLs) to refer to students who speak a language other than English at home or who have a family member in their household who speaks a language other than English. This definition is drawn from the work conducted by August and Hakuta (1997) and is intended to be an expansive definition to account for the variety of different language backgrounds of this group of learners. This definition also lends itself to definitions proposed in both texts analyzed in this review.

    2. McDermott (1993) discusses deficit approaches in the context of students labeled as having disabilities. He argues that learning disabilities are largely a social construction. Disability labels reflect environmentally imposed values as opposed to an actual deficit that resides in the child.

    3. While Bronfenbrenner also emphasizes the role of individual agency in child development, this review will focus largely on the roles of structures and context.

    4. For instance, the federal government labels LEP students as those between the ages of three and twenty-one who are enrolled in elementary or secondary education, born outside the United States, speaking a language other than English, and without sufficient mastery of the English language to meet state standards and excel in an English-language classroom.

    5. Double the Work also acknowledges that the diversity of these learners is problematic, not only for tracking purposes but also in regard to instruction.

    6. Summative testing helps teachers make programmatic changes, and formative testing helps teachers make appropriate and adaptive lesson plans that help students grasp the academic language and content knowledge simultaneously.

    References

    Abedi, J. (2006). Language issues in item development. In S. M. Downing & T. M. Haladyna (Eds.), Handbook of test development (pp. 377–398). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Abedi, J., & Gándara, P. (2006). Performance of English language learners as a subgroup in large-scale assessment: Interaction of research and policy. Educational Measurement Issues and Practice, 25(4), 36–46.

    Artiles, A., Rueda, R., Salazar, J., & Higareda, I. (2002). English-language learner representation in special education in California urban school districts. In D. Losen & G. Orfield (Eds.), Racial inequity in special education (pp. 117–136). Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University and Harvard Education Press.

    August, D. E., & Hakuta, K. E. (1997). Improving schooling for language-minority children: A research agenda. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

    Bialystok, E. (1997). Effects of bilingualism and biliteracy on children’s emerging concepts of print. Developmental Psychology, 33, 429–440.

    Biancarosa, G., & Snow, C. E. (2004). Reading next: A vision for action and research in middle and high school literacy — A report from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.

    Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977). Towards an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist, 32, 513–531.

    de Jong, E. J. (2004). After exit: Academic achievement patterns of former English language learners. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 12(50). Retrieved on January 21, 2008, from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v12n50/

    Garcia, E. E. (2001). Hispanic education in the United States: Raices y alas. New York: Rowan & Littlefield.

    Goldenberg, C., Rueda, R. S., & August, D. (2006). Social and cultural influences on the literacy attainment of language-minority children and youth. In D. August & T. Shanahan (Eds.), Developing literacy in second-language learners: Report of the national literacy panel on language minority children and youth (pp. 269–318). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Gunderson, L., & Clarke, D. (1998). An exploration of the relationship between ESL students’ backgrounds and their English and academic achievement. In T. Shanahan, F. V. Rodriguez-Brown, C. Worthman, J. C. Burnison, & A. Cheung (Eds.), 47th yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 264–273). Chicago: National Reading Conference.

    Harry, B., Klingner, J., Cramer, E. P., & Sturges, K. M. (2007). Case studies of minority student placement in special education. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Lesaux, N. (2006). Building consensus: Future directions for research on English language learners at risk for learning difficulties. Teachers College Record, 108, 2406–2438.

    Mahoney, K., & MacSwan, J. (2005). Reexamining identification and reclassification of English language learners: A critical discussion of select state practices. Bilingual Research Journal, 29, 1, 31–42.

    McDermott, R.P. (1993). The acquisition of a child by a learning disability. In S. Chaiklin & J. Lave (Eds.), Understanding practice: Perspectives on activity and context (pp. 269–305). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

    Rappaport, J. (1981). In praise of paradox: A social policy of empowerment over prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 9, 10–25.

    Snow, C. E., Burns, M. S., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

    Suárez-Orozco, C., & Suárez-Orozco, M. (2001). Children of immigration: The developing child series. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Valenzuela, A. (1991). Subtractive schooling: U.S.-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. Albany: State University of New York Press.

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    Wright, W. E. (2005). Evolution of federal policy and implications of No Child Left Behind for language minority students. Tempe, AZ: Education Policy.
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    Spring 2008 Issue

    Abstracts

    Introduction
    Why Adolescent Literacy Matters Now
    Jacy Ippolito, Jennifer L. Steele, and Jennifer F. Samson
    Adolescent Literacy
    Putting the Crisis in Context
    Vicki A. Jacobs
    Teaching Disciplinary Literacy to Adolescents
    Rethinking Content-Area Literacy
    Timothy Shanahan and Cynthia Shanahan
    Redefining Content-Area Literacy Teacher Education
    Finding My Voice through Collaboration
    Roni Jo Draper
    Cognitive Strategy Instruction for Adolescents
    What We Know about the Promise, What We Don’t Know about the Potential
    Mark W. Conley
    The Complex World of Adolescent Literacy
    Myths, Motivations, and Mysteries
    Elizabeth Birr Moje, Melanie Overby, Nicole Tysvaer, and Karen Morris
    Toward a More Anatomically Complete Model of Literacy Instruction
    A Focus on African American Male Adolescents and Texts
    Alfred W. Tatum
    Implementing a Structured Reading Program in an Afterschool Setting
    Problems and Potential Solutions
    Ardice Hartry, Robert Fitzgerald, and Kristie Porter
    State Literacy Plans
    Incorporating Adolescent Literacy
    Catherine Snow, Twakia Martin, and Ilene Berman
    Beyond Writing Next
    A Discussion of Writing Research and Instructional Uncertainty
    David Coker and William E. Lewis