By Mary Ann Zehr
When I started a new career as a high school English-as-a-second-language teacher in 2011, I figured I was better equipped than many teachers to help students learn to write. I had been a journalist for 14 years for Education Week, and for most of that time I had specialized in writing about English-language learners. Four years later, I’m still in a trial-and-error stage in finding the most effective ways to teach adolescent ELLs to write. But I have had some success.
Most of my students have made good progress in English on the standardized test, ACCESS for ELLs, developed by WIDA, a consortium in Madison, Wis., and used by about half the states plus the District of Columbia to measure ELLs’ annual progress in English.
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