Accessibility navigation

Language and literacy for children who are English language learners(ELLs): developing linguistically responsive teachers

Flynn, N. ORCID: (2017) Language and literacy for children who are English language learners(ELLs): developing linguistically responsive teachers. In: Goodwin, P. (ed.) The Literate Classroom (4th edition). Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 87-100. ISBN 9781138282605

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

Official URL:


Teaching children who come from language backgrounds other than English is increasingly common both in the UK and globally. The changing nature of 21st century migration, and the flight of refugees from areas of conflict, has impacted profoundly on schools, both urban and rural, and in ways not seen in earlier decades. Thus, those of you setting out on your teaching careers are very likely to need to understand what effective pedagogy for teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) might look like. Central this is knowing that success in English literacy for children with English as an additional language (EAL) is inextricably tied up with their understanding and use of spoken English. With this in mind, in this chapter I focus on: stages of children’s proficiency in English; some theory that relates to these; and how teachers can take account of children’s funds of knowledge about language and literacy in planning engaging classroom activities. During the chapter reference is made to two research projects which have explored teachers’ responses to Polish children, and to a set of case studies where teachers explored their teaching for their ELLs, so that discussion has a real classroom context. In this chapter the term EAL (English as an additional language) is used because this is the convention in UK classrooms. However I also use the term ELLs (English Language Learners) which is common among practitioners in the US and elsewhere. The term ELLs is useful because it encourages us to think positively of our children as speakers of other languages who happen to be learning English. I use the term ‘linguistically responsive teacher’ (Lucas, Villegas, & Freedson-Gonzalez, 2008) to describe practitioners who aspire to teach their ELLs successfully.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:72643


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation