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Effective Elementary Language Arts Instruction

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Principal Researchers
 

Richard Allington, Virginia Goatley,
Peter Johnston, Anne McGill-Franzen
 

Elementary teachers today are sometimes urged to integrate reading and writing instruction throughout their curriculum (for example into science and social studies lessons), both to foster deeper learning of content and to develop stronger literacy skills. However, simply mixing subjects may not help students either learn basic facts or develop higher thinking and literacy skills. On a national survey conducted in the 1990s, teachers and state language arts specialists identified the need to know more about whether and how to integrate the elementary curriculum as their top concern overall. CELA researchers responded to that need by studying:

The characteristics and outcomes of effective integrated elementary language arts instruction
The kinds of activities and approaches that support the development of language arts along with other content matter
How state education policies affect elementary language arts curriculum and instruction

Research sites located primarily in four states -- California, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin -- provided geographic and demographic diversity and enabled researchers to make comparisons across studies. The total study sample included more than 75 teachers and 2000 students. Two major research questions included:

What are the characteristics of and outcomes produced by effective integrated elementary language arts instruction? (Language Arts Instruction, grades 1 and 4)
What instructional activities support the development of literacy and the learning of literature and social studies? (Literature and Social Studies)
 
 

Copyright © 2008 CELA.  All rights reserved.

Last updated on Jun. 2, 2008 by the Webmaster.
Please send questions or comments to:
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Center on English Learning and Achievement,  School of Education B9
University at Albany,  1400 Washington Ave.,  Albany,  NY 12222

Phone: (518) 442-5026  Fax: (518) 442-5933

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