Boston Teacher Leadership Summit

Writing Across the Curriculum for ELLs with Disabilities

How can teachers enhance the writing skills of English Language Learners with Disabilities?

The Boston Public Schools has a significant population of English Language Learners with Disabilities (ELLSWD). ELLSWD often face a significant challenge in producing writing in all areas of the curriculum. Yet, the ability to write is essential for both functional literacy as well as college preparation. Additionally, the ability to write enhances the experience of learning as it offers the opportunity to create sophisticated records of thoughts and ideas.

For this project, teachers across the district will explore the strengths of and challenges for ELLSWD in creating quality writing, and they will research and implement best practices to enhance their abilities in teaching written expression. Educators will begin by reflecting upon their experiences in working with students of all ability levels in writing. Educators will then create a list of questions specific to ELLSWD, and they will investigate those questions in their classrooms.

Students will benefit from being better able to explain their thinking in writing by creating and reflecting upon permanent records of their learning, allowing teachers to better assess student cognition.

Teachers will publish their findings and reflections on a public blog or website, so that educators around the world may access the findings of the work.

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Idea No. 324