Guest Post by Dr. Eugenia Krimmel
As is made clear when working with a struggling reader or English Langauge Learner - reading is a complex language skill. Each aspect of reading has its own skill set and only when all of these skill sets are linked together are students able to achieve the ultimate goal of reading: to read to learn. But too often, one of these essential skill sets goes missing from reading instruction.
Often educators teach reading skills to English Language Learners (ELL's) in a process paralleled to the process used for native English speakers (Robertson, 2009). The basis for this parallel is simple: ELL's and native English speaking children can learn from the same approach because they are all learning to read English for the first time. However, ELLs’ literacy assessments across the country show that as a group they are lagging behind their native English speaking peers despite being taught with the same approach (US Department of Education, 2011).
In order to know how to decrease the disparity between ELL's and native speakers literacy skills, it is important to understand what effective reading instruction includes. ...