California State University, Long Beach
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Author of the Month: November 2008

Published: November 17, 2008

Engaging English Learners: Exploring Literature, Developing Literacy, and Differentiating Instruction

Carole Cox, Professor, Teacher Education, and Paul Boyd-Batstone, Associate Professor, Teacher Education.

Published in 2008 by Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson, Engaging English Learners presents a research-based instructional approach to developing English learner literacy through culturally responsive reading and writing activities. The text opens with a description of a first meeting between Cox and Boyd-Batstone in his third grade classroom in 1989 when he was a bilingual teacher in Long Beach. The book has emerged from their ongoing conversation since then about the ways teachers can engage English learners to develop literacy and differentiate instruction through explorations with literature. Cox joined the faculty in 1988 and has conducted longitudinal research on children’s responses to literature from a reader-response perspective. Boyd-Batstone joined the faculty in 2000 and has written extensively about second language literacy and learning. Together, they studied and practiced the use of reader-response theory in classrooms and uncovered how it can affect literacy learning and second-language acquisition. The book is a testament to their philosophical approach, illustrating how a student-centered approach to using literature can differentiate instruction for English learners, engaging them in purposeful reading and writing. “A fundamental premise of this book is that all children explore their own paths with literature and open avenues of culturally responsive literacy development,” said Boyd-Batstone.

Book of the Month 2008