National Writing Project

Helping English Learners to Write: Meeting Common Core Standards, Grades 6-12

Carol Booth Olson, Robin C. Scarcella, Tina Matuchniak

List price: $31.95
NWP's Price: $23.96

Using a rich array of research-based practices, this book will help teachers improve the academic writing of English learners. It provides specific teaching strategies, activities, and extended lessons to develop EL students' narrative, informational, and argumentative writing, emphasized in the Common Core State Standards. It also explores the challenges each of these genres pose for ELs and suggests ways to scaffold instruction to help students become confident and competent academic writers. Showcasing the work of exemplary school teachers who have devoted time and expertise to creating rich learning environments for the secondary classroom, Helping English Learners to Write includes artifacts and written work produced by students with varying levels of language proficiency as models of what students can accomplish.


"These authors are at the very forefront of scientifically testing and validating instructional practices for improving the writing and reading of adolescents who are English learners. Why is their research so good? It is informed by years of experience in the classroom and working with hundreds of teachers across California. What a powerful combination. My advice: ingest, consider, and employ the strategies described here. Your students will become better writers if you do."
— From the foreword by Steve Graham, Warner Professor of Educational Leadership & Innovation, Arizona State University
"This book is a tour de force. It's up-to-the-minute in offering what teachers and administrators need, and what parents want. With examples of classrooms in action, it incorporates what research tells us about effective teaching and learning, and what the Common Core Standards and related policy are demanding, into successful and engaging activities that the authors' extensive research shows works. Helping English Learners to Write is a must-read. You will dog ear many pages for future use."
Judith A. Langer, director, Center on English Learning & Achievement, University at Albany-SUNY
About the Authors
  • Carol Booth Olson is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, and director of the UCI site of the National Writing Project.
  • Robin C. Scarcella is a professor in the School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine, and director of the Program in Academic English.
  • Tina Matuchniak is the director of research for the UCI Writing Project and a lecturer at California State University, Long Beach.

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