Beyond the English Learner Label: Recognizing the Richness of Bi/Multilingual Students’ Linguistic Repertoires

Beyond the English Learner Label: Recognizing the Richness of Bi/Multilingual Students’... The terminology that we use to refer to English learners has shifted over the past two decades, from limited English proficient to English language learner to what is now the preferred term in California and, increasingly, other states: English learner. Yet, what has not changed is how this category continues to limit our thinking about bilingual/multilingual students. English learner is a label that conceals more than it reveals. It emphasizes what these students supposedly do not know instead of highlighting what they do know. As a category, “English learner” constrains our ability to perceive the many strengths that bilingual/multilingual students bring to the classroom—strengths on which we might build to support their language and literacy learning. The author describes how this label distorts our view of bilingual/multilingual students and proposes an alternative perspective that highlights the richness of these students’ linguistic repertoires. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Reading Teacher Wiley

Beyond the English Learner Label: Recognizing the Richness of Bi/Multilingual Students’ Linguistic Repertoires

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 International Literacy Association
ISSN
0034-0561
eISSN
1936-2714
D.O.I.
10.1002/trtr.1679
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The terminology that we use to refer to English learners has shifted over the past two decades, from limited English proficient to English language learner to what is now the preferred term in California and, increasingly, other states: English learner. Yet, what has not changed is how this category continues to limit our thinking about bilingual/multilingual students. English learner is a label that conceals more than it reveals. It emphasizes what these students supposedly do not know instead of highlighting what they do know. As a category, “English learner” constrains our ability to perceive the many strengths that bilingual/multilingual students bring to the classroom—strengths on which we might build to support their language and literacy learning. The author describes how this label distorts our view of bilingual/multilingual students and proposes an alternative perspective that highlights the richness of these students’ linguistic repertoires.

Journal

The Reading TeacherWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

References

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