Persuasion Across Time and Space: Analyzing and Producing Complex Texts

By Aida Walqui, Nanette Koelsch, Mary Schmida

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Description

The goal of this teaching unit is to provide exemplars illustrating how English Language Arts Common Core Standards in Reading Informational Text and Writing Arguments can be used to deepen and accelerate the learning and instruction of English language learners (ELLs), especially at the middle school level.

The unit is based on the view that ELLs develop conceptual and academic understandings, as well as the linguistic resources to express them, simultaneously, through participation in rigorous, well-scaffolded activity.

This unit was designed for students who have reached at least an intermediate level of proficiency in English. Effective implementation of the unit also assumes a teacher who is both knowledgeable about the critical role of language envisaged in the CCSSs and knows how to support students’ learning and strengthen their language and literacy development across the ELA curriculum.

In many cases, supporting teachers to develop this knowledge and set of skills will require some professional development prior to their teaching the unit. Pedagogically, the unit signals several important CCSS-related shifts in the design of learning materials and instructional approaches.

This teaching unit was designed as part of Stanford University’s Understanding Language initiative.