A Story of Second Language Acquisition Using Children's Literature to Teach English as a Second Language

What is ESL?

  • 4.6 million students
  • 16% of the country's student population

("English Language Learners in Public Schools")

Languages Spoken by ESL Students in the U.S. ("English Language Learners in Public Schools")
Distribution of ESL Students in the United States ("English Language Learners in Public Schools")

Interview Questions

  • Are ESL students integrated into the general education classroom?
  • Are students pulled out for any sort of special instruction?
  • What textbooks are utilized? Are these the same textbooks that general education students are utilizing?
  • Are they frequently exposed to children's literature and if so, could you give specific examples of how it is used and/or any specific texts used?
  • Are simplified versions of texts given to ESL students?
ESL Materials used in Cabell County Schools

Appropriate Education

  • Lau et al. v. Nichols et al.
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act


Language Acquisition Theory

  • second language acquisition lays in the context
  • induced vs. natural language learning
  • a semantic-based method

(Language and Education)

When children learn language, they are not simply engaging in one kind of learning among many; rather they are learning the foundation of learning itself.

- Michael Halliday (The Language of Early Childhood 327)

Why Children's Literature?

  • authentic context
  • assimilation (We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio)
  • motivation
  • relevant content
  • universal themes (The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf)
  • informal language
  • visual literacy (Flotsam by David Wiesner)
  • Dual Coding Theory
  • scaffolded approach
Language is not a domain of human knowledge...language is the essential condition of knowing, the process by which experience becomes knowledge.

- Michael Halliday (The Language of Early Childhood 328)

Works Cited

Bland, Janice, and Christiane Lütge, editors. Children’s Literature in Second Language Education. Bloomsbury, 2014.

“English Language Learners in Public Schools.” National Center for Educational Statistics, Mar. 2017, nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cgf.asp.

Ghosn, Irma-Kaarina. Storybridge to Second Language Literacy: The Theory, Research, and Practice of Teaching English with Children’s Literature. Information Age Publishing, 2013.

Halliday, M.A.K., and Jonathan Webster. Language and Education. Vol. 9, Continuum, 2007. eBook Collection, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=niebk&AN=290859&site=ehost-live.

---. The Language of Early Childhood. Vol. 4, Continuum, 2004. eBook Collection, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=226786&site=ehost-live.

Legg, Megan. “Re: Cabell County ESL Program.” Received by Ashley Young, 15 Mar. 2018.

Louie, Belinda, and Jarek Sierschynski. “Enhancing English Learners’ Language Development Using Wordless Picture Books.” The Reading Teacher, vol. 69, no. 1, 15 May 2015, pp. 103-111. International Literacy Association, doi:10.1002/trtr.1376.

Spring, Joel. American Education. 17th ed., Routledge, 2016.

“zone of proximal development.” The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, Arthur S. Reber, et al., Penguin, 4th edition, 2009. Credo Reference, http://marshall.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/penguinpsyc/zone_of_proximal_development/0?institutionId=3309.

Created By
Ashley Young


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