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Resources for Educators
of English Language Learners

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Resources for Grades 9-12
Curricula and Standards
Classroom Resources
and Instructional Strategies
Culture and Orientation
Professional Development
Sample Search
of the ERIC Database
Resources for Grades K–12
Curricula and Standards
Classroom Resources
and Instructional Strategies
Culture and Orientation
Professional Development
Sample Search
of the ERIC Database

Culture and Orientation: Grades K–12


August, D. (2002). Transitional programs for English language learners: Contextual factors and effective programming. Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Johns Hopkins University.
Available online.

This report examines how the development of literacy in the native language plays a role in the acquisition of second language literacy, and how educators may determine when a student is ready to transition into English-only literacy programs by assessing the transfer of skills. This paper highlights school-age children who are acquiring English as a second language, where English is the societal language.

August, D., & Hakuta, K. (Eds.) (1998). Educating language minority children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

This book summarizes for teachers and education policy makers what has been learned over the past three decades about educating language minority students. It discusses a broad range of educational issues: how students learn a second language; how reading and writing skills develop in the first and second languages; how information on specific subjects (e.g., biology) is stored and learned and the implications for second-language learners; how social and motivational factors affect learning for English language learners; how English proficiency and subject matter knowledge of English-language learners are assessed; and what is known about the attributes of effective schools and classrooms that serve English language learners.

Delpit, L. (1995). Other people’s children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: New Press.

This collection of nine essays suggests that many academic problems attributed to children of color actually stem from a power structure in which the worldviews of those with privilege are taken as the only reality, while the worldviews and culture of those less powerful are dismissed as inconsequential or deficient. Part 1 discusses controversies about the relative merits of skills-based and process-based literacy instruction for Black children. Essays in part 2 describe village primary schools in Papua New Guinea that give children a solid base in their own language and culture while preparing them for later Western-based schooling in English. Part 3 comments on issues of cultural difference and equity in new performance-based teacher assessment.

Fantini, A. E. (Ed). (1997). New ways in teaching culture. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

This collection of essays and ideas for exploring culture in the ESL classroom begins with an introductory section that offer a theoretical and conceptual framework for including culture and intercultural dimensions in ESL instruction. The subsequent sections contain 50 classroom activities grouped in four areas: activities to explore the nexus of language and culture; activities for sociolinguistic exploration; activities for culture exploration; and activities for intercultural exploration. Each includes information about appropriate instructional level, instructional aims, and needed class time, preparation time, and resources as well as specific procedures.

Henze, R., & Hauser, M. (2000). Personalizing culture through anthropological and educational perspectives. Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence: University of California, Santa Cruz.

This report shows teachers and teacher educators how to gain specific knowledge about the cultures of their individual students and their families. Through this personalization of culture, teachers can use students’ prior knowledge and skills as rich resources for teaching and learning, and help create culturally responsive schools.

Holt, D. D. (Ed.). (1993). Cooperative learning: A response to linguistic and cultural diversity. McHenry, IL and Washington, DC: Delta Systems and Center for Applied Linguistics.

Essays on cooperative learning focus on the use of this strategy to address the special needs of linguistically and culturally diverse student groups in elementary and secondary education. This volume contains several essays on theory, principles, and techniques of cooperative learning and a series of model instructional units for a variety of grade levels and subject areas.

Kugler, E. (2003). Debunking the middle-class myth: Why diverse schools are good for all kids. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

This book provides guidance on how schools can nurture the unique opportunities that diverse schools offer. In addition to sharing real life experiences from an array of school communities, Kugler offers specific strategies for dealing with diversity challenges and opportunities for each of the key stakeholders—school boards, superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, students, and community members.

McIntyre, E., Rosebery, A., & Gonzalez, N. (Eds.). (2001). Classroom diversity: Connecting curriculum to students’ lives. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

This book draws from nine different CREDE research projects and presents both the theoretical framework for linking students’ lives with curriculum and specific strategies from teachers who have done so successfully.

Ovando, C. J., Collier, V. P., & Combs, M. C., (2002). Bilingual and ESL classrooms: Teaching in multicultural contexts. (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

Demographic predictions are that students with close connections to their bilingual/bicultural heritages (now labeled language minority students by the federal government) will be very large in number in the near future, becoming the majority in many states over the next three decades. This text integrates theory and practice and provides comprehensive coverage of bilingual, ESL, and multicultural education issues. It provides rich examples of effective practices and their underlying research knowledge base.

Tse, L. (2001). Why don’t they learn English? Separating fact from fallacy in the U.S. language debate. Oakland, CA: CES National.

Through a synthesis of recent research and individual stories, Lucy Tse debunks persistent, widespread misconceptions about immigrants’ language use patterns in the United States. Tse demonstrates that, on the whole, adult immigrants and their children learn English rapidly, but as they do, they lose facility with heritage language use, often putting family and community connections at risk.

Weinstein-Shr, G., & Quintero, E. (Eds.). (1994). Immigrant learners and their families: Literacy to connect the generations. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.

Scholars and educators are discovering what children, parents, and grandparents have known all along: Families and communities have a profound impact on the language and literacy acquisition of their members. Drawing on the experiences of learners and educators across the country, this collection provides examples of innovative models of intergenerational programs, curricula, and program evaluation.


Language & Intercultural Communication

This journal aims to promote an understanding of the relationship between language and intercultural communication. Language & Intercultural Communication seeks to disseminate new ideas and examples of good practice in educating students in language and intercultural communication.

Language, Culture and Curriculum

Language, Culture and Curriculum provides a forum for the discussion of factors that are relevant to the formulation and implementation of language curricula. Second languages and minority and heritage languages are a special concern.

Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development

The Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development is published six times per year by Multilingual Matters. This international journal includes articles on multilingualism and multiculturalism and covers a wide range of topics, including contributions to theory, research studies, educational policies and systems, teaching and learning strategies, and assessment procedures.

Teaching Tolerance

This online magazine is published twice a year and profiles educators, schools, and programs that promote diversity and equity in replicable ways.

Digests and Reports

Building Partnerships with Latino Immigrant Parents

Cultural Learning Styles

Hispanic Parental Involvement in Home Literacy

Language Learning in Social and Cultural Contexts

Parent Involvement in Culturally Diverse Classrooms

School/Community Partnerships to Support Language Minority Student Success

Valuing Diversity in the Multicultural Classroom

Online Resources

Foreign Language and Culture

This site offers many links to sites combining culture and language learning and teaching.


Several companies have produced educational or classroom aids called variously “Culturgrams” or “Culturegrams.” They offer an introduction to the cultures of many areas of the world.

Krannert Memorial Library

This site offers reference books with information on specific areas. The section on Cultural Anthropology could prove useful in learning about students’ cultural backgrounds.

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)

This site provides useful information about language and culture. For example, see “Culture as a Contextual Variable”. This site also provides a list of links to resources on teaching language and culture.

Looking at Ourselves & Others Teachers Guide

This publication of the Peace Corps World Wise Schools introduces students to the concepts of perspective, culture, and cross-cultural relations. The guide is designed to help students recognize and appreciate differences in perception among individuals and cultures, define culture and recognize its role in developing perceptions of ourselves and others, challenge assumptions, promote cross-cultural awareness, and provide opportunities to practice the behaviors that make cross-cultural communication possible.

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