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Double The Work: Challenges And Solutions To Acquiring Language And Academic Literacy For Adolescent English Language Learners


A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York

Over the past several years, education leaders and policymakers have come to understand that the nation needs to dramatically improve the literacy levels of its adolescents. But the policy discussion has focused, in large part, on the literacy needs of native English speaking students – to date, much less attention has gone to the specific challenges involved in teaching reading and writing to adolescents for whom English is not a first language.

Commissioned by Carnegie Corporation of New York, written by Deborah Short and Shannon Fitzsimmons of the Center for Applied Linguistics, and published by the Alliance for Excellent Education, this report makes a powerful case for particular teaching practices and educational policies designed to help English language learners master the reading and writing skills they need to succeed in high school, college, and the workforce. Not only is Double the Work grounded in the existing research literature on adolescent literacy and the teaching of ELLs, but it also draws from a thorough demographic analysis of the nation’s non-native English speaking students—an analysis performed by the Migration Policy Institute and commissioned specially for this project.


Event  Audio (MP3)*

I. Welcome & Introductions

Bethany Little, Vice President for Federal Advocacy and Policy Development, Alliance for Excellent Education






Andrés Henríquez, Program Officer, Carnegie Corporation of New York






Deborah Short, Senior Research Associate, Center for Applied Linguistics






II. English Language Learners in the U.S.: Demographic Trends

Jeanne Batalova, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute






III. Presentation of Double the Work

Deborah Short, Senior Research Associate, Center for Applied Linguistics






IV. Panel Discussion and Q & A: Implications for Teaching, Research, and Policy  Video

Nancy Zelasko, Director, National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs (Moderator)
Fred Carrigg, Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Urban Literacy, New Jersey Department of Education
Delia Pompa, Vice President for Education, National Council of La Raza
Roberto Rodriguez, Senior Education Advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy




Access Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners.

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