Publication Date: November 3, 2017
This book introduces a set of pedagogical practices designed to assist adolescent English learners in developing their English skills in a way that honors and leverages their native languages and cultures.
Responding to the linguistic and educational diversity of adolescents, the R.E.A.L. (Relevant, Engaging, and Affirming Literacy) method offers teachers a range of scalable activities, reading lists, and other resources, along with numerous suggestions on how to adapt them for students’ particular needs. By sharing experiences from actual secondary English classes, Stewart presents diverse learners making meaningful connections to texts and responding through writing, speaking, and other artistic means. These students are developing high levels of literacy, English language skills, and even biliteracy through R.E.A.L. instruction that all English teachers can use.
Mary Amanda (Mandy) Stewart is assistant professor in the Department of Reading at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas and a member of the North Star of Texas Writing Project, a local affiliate of the National Writing Project. Her research focuses on the biliteracy and language development of middle and high school students who are learning English as an additional language. She is the “biblioburra”, the book donkey, who loves to bring new books to multilingual adolescents for them to read and share their responses with her. She currently is learning with high school students and teachers through the ELLevate! grant from the U.S. Department of Education which she directs.
Her research with adolescents learning English has appeared in various journals including Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, The English Journal, Research in the Teaching of English, Literacy Research & Instruction, and TESOL Journal. She is also the author of Understanding Adolescent Immigrants: Moving Toward and Extraordinary Discourse for Extraordinary Youth published with Lexington Books. Find her on Twitter: @drmandystewart.
"Keep It R.E.A.L is a must-read for secondary teachers and teacher educators who want their students to appreciate literacy as a critical resource for lifelong learning. This is truly an invaluable resource for teachers of multilingual youth."
—Christian Faltis, chair and professor, The Ohio State University
“A must-have resource! The powerful student-centered and teacher-friendly framework Mary Amanda Stewart offers in this book makes building literacy skills for adolescent English learners achievable and impactful.”
—Andrea Honigsfeld, associate dean and director, Molloy College, New York
A Note to the Reader
Chapter 1. Keep It R.E.A.L. for Adolescent English Learners
What Is R.E.A.L. Instruction?
Who Are Adolescent English Learners?
Purpose of the Book
Theory Supporting R.E.A.L. Instruction
Experiences Supporting R.E.A.L. Instruction
Chapter 2. Set High Expectations Through R.E.A.L. Instruction
Nothing Less Than Rigorous Standards
Nurturing Multilingual Readers and Writers at School and at Home
Threefold Purpose of R.E.A.L. Instruction
Current Climate: Increasing Diversity and Standardization
Five Simple Rules for Literacy and Language Learning
Chapter 3. Read in a Literature-Rich Classroom
Reading Within a Theme
Methods for Classroom Reading
Literature at Various Reading Levels
Chapter 4. Respond to Texts in a Literacy-Rich Classroom
Reader Response Through Oral Language
Reader Response Through Written Language
Reader Response Through Other Creative Methods
Evaluating Students’ Responses
Chapter 5. Connect to Students’ Cultures and Lived Experiences
A Holistic View of Culture
Reading and Responding with Cultural Insiders
Privileging Students’ Lived Experiences
Reading Beyond Students’ Experiences
Chapter 6. Support Biliteracy Development
Biliteracy Within Monolingual Standards
Affirming Students' Languages
Purposefully Leveraging the L1
Conclusion: Keep It R.E.A.L.—Play to Win!
Appendix A: Sample Texts for Short-Term Unit on Rosa Parks
Appendix B: Sample World War II Texts and Reader Response Activities
About the Author