Annotated Bibliograpy

Cindy Anderson

Annotated Bibliography for Culminating Project: ELLs and the relationship between Speaking, Writing and Reading.


1) McElvain, C. M. (2010). Transactional Literature circles and the reading comprehension of English learners in the mainstream classroom. Journal of Research in Reading, 33, 178-205.

This article focuses on Transactional Literature Circles, or TLC, as an intervention for ELLs who may read with fluency but lack comprehension. Linguistic comprehension is very important for reading comprehension because many verbal strategies, such as knowledge of key concepts, vocabulary, and knowledge of syntax, help when students are building their reading comprehension skills. The TLC model implements both language and culture into the circle. The children become interactive agents when relating to peers, teacher, and text.

2) Zhang, J., & Stahl, K. A. D. (2011). Collaborative reasoning: Language-rich discussions for English learners. The Reading Teacher, 65,257-260.

Collaborative learning is the focus of this article. It is suggested that CL provides a meaningful forum for communication and language development as well as thinking skills with ELLs. One feature of CL is open participation. Students may talk without raising their hands, but soon they learn to take turns in order to hear what each participant has to say. The benefit of this kind of learning is that students are able to go in depth with their thoughts and ideas, allowing ELLs to use higher order thinking, while expressing themselves with their acquired language skills.

3) Helman, L. A., & Burns, M. K. (2008). What does oral language have to do with it? Helping young English-language learners acquire a sight word vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 62 (1), 14-19.

This article suggests that there is an important connection between oral and written language skills. Sight word recognition is very important for speaking as well as reading comprehension in ELLs. Students must have ample opportunity to read and study high-frequency words. This article also points out that language development is extremely important for literacy skills to increase.

4) Wallace, C. (2008). Vocabulary: The key to teaching English language learners to read. Education Digest, 73 (9), 36-39.

This article looks at ELLs who are fluent in English but who lack the ability to reach an appropriate reading level. The suggestion is to develop a breadth and depth of vocabulary, which will become a direct link to better reading comprehension. Areas of importance are: the use of cognates, teaching the meaning of basic words, and review and reinforcement. Knowing Tier 1 words is very important.

5) Purdy, Joyce. (2008). Inviting conversation: meaningful talk about texts for English language learners. Literacy, 42(1), 44-51.

This article proposes four ways for teachers to support ELLs by engaging them in meaningful conversation about text. This article is a result of a study conducted in a third grade classroom. Children read text in a collaborative setting. They are then able to ask questions, and contribute meaningful insights among themselves and with the teacher. Open-ended questions are asked so that there are no wrong answers.  The ELLs are encouraged to build on each other’s ideas.

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First Blog Posting for EDU 648

Cindy Anderson

Proposal for culminating project:


In my fourth grade classroom I have seven ELLs. I am one of the teachers working alongside these children while they are writing. I try to instruct them in the proper use of syntax and semantics in the English language. It is very difficult for these students to understand: placement of articles before a noun, adding s to the end of a verb when necessary, using is and are correctly. These are just a few of the difficulties we run into when our ELLS are writing. These students seem to convey meaning easier in their speech than in their writing. In my culminating project I want to use data collected by researches in this field to understand why speaking Engish is easier than writing it for ELLs. In my research I will take my student’s writing that I have collected from the beginning of the year until now, and find a pattern (if any) of common mistakes.

I will start my project by looking at the familiar mistakes ELLs make when writing. I will interview them and find out how they are thinking, and how their thinking relates to their first language and to English. I want to find research on how to teach writing to ELLs as well as what not to focus on. I am still formulating ideas and hope to get feedback that might help me make my research more valuable. I hope what I find from my project will help me when I am in the classroom giving instruction to these children.


I plan to use the UNC library as one of my sources, as well as the Meredith library. I will find books on the topic and use our linguistic book from this semester to discuss some of the language peculiarities of English. I will use writing samples from my students and interviews them. I will use a study by Katherine Davies Samway “When English Language Learners Write” as one of my guiding references.


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