ILASCD Journal

Summer 2016

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Writing is the skill used to create and design comprehensible text. How do English language learners create comprehensible text in a language that is external to them? The answer is they can but it takes authentic and effective writing instruction. According to data from the 2012 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), student's writing assessment results showed that the state exams were extremely challenging for all fourth grade students but even more so for ELL students. About 68% of fourth grade students scored in the bottom half when it came to writing. When the NAEP viewed student's text length it was evident that students were basically not writing. Many of the students measured wrote less than sixty words on their state assessments. If our ELL students are going to create comprehensible text they need to have genuine writing instruction. Writing instruction begins with the ability to integrate writing into various subjects along with academic language instruction, it also includes the use of effective writing strategies, and the modeling of genuine writing. According to the IRC (Illinois Resource Center), there are three main reasons why ELL students struggle with writing. The first obvious reason is that writing is a complex task but it is even more challenging when the skill isn't practiced. All the pedagogy and knowledge of teaching writing is inconsequential if there is no concrete writing taking place. Writing instruction needs to include the integration of writing in various subjects. An effective way to integrate writing in all subjects is through partner chronicling. In partner chronicling or journaling students have a writing log in which they use for various subjects. For example students are given a reading task like, "I can summarize informational Creating Comprehensible Writing Instruction For ELL Students Brenda Mendoza When the NAEP viewed students' text length it was evident that students were basically not writing. SUMMER 2016 | VOLUME 62 | NUMBER 2 | PAGE 21

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