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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Promoting Academic Literacy Among Secondary English Language Learners: A Synthesis of Research and Practice


This report is a synthesis of research, challenges, and best practices in the education of secondary English Learners (ELs). It incorporates a summary of three days of presentations and discussions by key national experts in the spring of 2005, observations and findings from our own research, and key issues from the research literature. The report provides an overview of the most pressing issues facing schools in the instruction of secondary English Learners. It also includes the perspectives of people in the schools and in the classrooms who are attempting to meet these students’ needs, as well as individuals who have been grappling with the challenges from the world of policy. The report concludes with our recommendations for California education policy informed by all of the above: the challenges that secondary EL students and teachers face, the needs and limitations of teachers and schools in the state, and the best practices cited by both researchers and practitioners. Many recommendations were suggested. We have, however, attempted to highlight just a few that we consider to be the most immediately actionable. A list of participants in the conferences is included in the Appendix.

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