Unlocking English Learners Potential: Strategies for making content accessible

Unlocking English Learners Potential: Strategies for making content accessible by Diane Staehr and Sydney Snyder is available from Amazon in the UK by clicking on this link.

I bought this book a few weeks ago and love it. It is full of great ideas, strategies and approaches to supporting EAL learners in the mainstream classroom. The book is separated into 9 chapters with chapter titles including:

  • Using a Culturally Responsive Framework to Meet the Need of ELs (English Learners)
  • Scaffolding instruction for ELs
  • Academic Conversations
  • Teaching Academic Language to ELs
  • Vocabulary Instruction for ELs

As you can see you can learn a great deal from reading this book and there are more chapters included.

I particularly like the chapter ‘Scaffolding Instruction for ELs’ especially the part that describes the three types of scaffolding that we can use with EAL learners: materials and resources, instruction and student grouping. Within each category examples are given of how to provide specific scaffolding for EAL learners in mainstream classrooms.

Each chapter is accompanied by ‘application activities’ in which you are given a scenario (related to the chapter you are reading) and then some discussion questions to consider about the scenario. This allows you to consider further how to apply the knowledge they give you in the mainstream classroom to develop your EAL learners content and language knowledge. Furthermore, ‘next steps’ follow in which the authors ask you to consider things such as how you will use the ideas to further develop your own practice. Each chapter is accompanied by references which allow you to explore further readings.

If you are either an EAL specialist or a mainstream teacher, I would recommend buying this book because it gives you lots of practical strategies and approaches that you can use with your EAL learners. In addition, the scenario’s enable you to apply the theory to actual lessons.

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