Having Our Say: English Language Learners Talk Back to Teachers

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Arts and Emergent Bilingual Youth: Building Culturally Responsive, Critical and Creative Education in School and Community Contexts


Sally's high school ESL students were intrigued, yet puzzled. Perhaps they misunderstood her. Did she really just ask the students to write to their teachers and tell them what English language learners (ELLs) need in order to be successful in their classrooms? Slowly the truth dawned on them. Sally invited her students to write about their learning needs and the results of their work would be posted on the district's website. These students would have their say and it would be published for their teachers to read! In the past, when asked to write, these students had dragged their feet, reluctant to get started on the difficult task of writing complex thoughts and ideas in their emergent English. Today they jumped in with both feet...


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