Very often, writing instruction for ELs is overly focused on precision and accuracy instead of meaning. Furthermore, the use of sentence frames and starters, when not integrated with content that ELs are learning, do not support students with expressing increasingly complex ideas.
The following sentence-level content-integrated writing strategies are meant to support emerging and newcomer ELs in simultaneously developing sentence fluency, content knowledge, and analytical thinking.They should be used when evidence from student work suggests that students are struggling with sentence fluency in academic and disciplinary writing.
The strategies can be used across content areas and should be designed to target content and academic concepts, as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary, that ELs are learning in subject area instruction. ELs will need models of how to use these strategies at first. Teachers should implement guided instruction when beginning to use them, first with close to home content and transitioning to academic content. The strategies can be rolled out over time to progressively build students’ language and writing skills. Home language should be leveraged as well to support students in the use of these strategies, or tasks can be provided in home language entirely.