Teachers working with emergent bilinguals1 face difficult dilemmas. Students who do not receive rigorous content instruction fail to acquire academic language. However, if students do not understand the content or cannot participate in content lessons, they cannot be expected to learn the academic information and the language associated with it. Confronting this challenge requires a sound knowledge of the multiple factors that play a role in developing academic language and its dependency on content area texts. Most importantly, this understanding has to be accompanied by instructional strategies that allow students to gain steady control over academic discourse. In this article, I seek to clarify the nature of academic language and describe different pedagogical approaches used to teach academic discourse to emergent bilinguals. Its focus though, is to introduce a description of how three Balanced Literacy (BL) structures: Interactive Read Aloud, Shared Reading, and Shared Writing can provide a framework where academic content and language are taught simultaneously. Using case study methodology, I document how a third grade teacher these structures in order to create a cycle of exposure, analysis, and implementation in content classes.
"Integrating Content and Academic Language Using Balanced Literacy Structures: A Framework for Instruction of Emergent Bilinguals,"
Journal of Multilingual Education Research:
Vol. 3, Article 3.
Available at: http://fordham.bepress.com/jmer/vol3/iss1/3