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ELA
Grades:
3
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ELA
Grades:
3
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8

ELs Reading in the Content Areas: An Urgent Equity Issue

Do's & Dont's

As students get older, content learning becomes more abstract and students need to develop comprehension skills particular to nonfiction texts. This information from text is often the foundation for students evaluating and communicating new information. This kind of deep engagement with texts can be particularly challenging for ELs whose background knowledge may be different from their native English-speaking peers, and who are often reading below grade level in English as they are in the midst of acquiring anew language. Additionally, ELs are often faced with the challenge of comprehending content-area texts that are routinely written at or above grade level. These challenges facing ELs highlight an urgent equity issue that further draws attention to the achievement discrepancies between ELs and their native-English speaking peers and compels us to ask, what experiences do ELs need to have with disciplinary non-fiction texts to support this critical skill development?

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