"When told not to simplify but rather to amplify a lesson for English learners, a teacher's first questions are: 'how and when?' In Swinney and Velasco's book, a Grade 2–6 teacher finds the answer to both questions and the tools to implement them. Congratulations! I do not know many books that can do that."
(Elena Dilion, Supervisor of ELL and Dual Language Programs K–12 2010-12-06)"The authors offer teachers a toolbox that explicitly illustrates scaffolding strategies to trigger background knowledge, link the building of academic language to the acquisition of new knowledge, and intertwine thinking skills throughout all experiences. Written in simple, user friendly language, this work will undoubtedly become a most useful tool for all teachers who seek to ensure academic success for emergent bilingual learners."
(Nancy Villarreal de Adler, Executive Director 2010-12-06)"Finally, teachers of English learners have the book they have needed for so long. Swinney and Velasco describe in a friendly and practical way the precise pedagogical sequence needed by Grade 2–6 school teachers in the education of ELs. In my personal experience the only way that English learners can develop their cognitive abilities in the second language is learning the second language within the content of the other curriculum matters."
(Rafael Olivares, Associate Professor of Education 2010-12-06)
"Many professors, staff developers and literacy coaches offer their conceptual knowledge but lack the wisdom of practice. Swinney & Velasco take the time to detail exactly the making of an ELL master teacher. Their teaching wisdom serves an often misunderstood student population—the struggling reader and writer. This book is a must-read to those practitioners in the field of second language special education."
(Jossie O’Neill, Ed. D., Director of Partnerships & Outreach 2010-12-13)"Swinney and Velasco provide an extraordinarily useful and comprehensive resource across content areas for the full spectrum of professionals working to improve the language and learning skills of students in Grades 2–6. Teacher educators as well as pre-service and beginning teachers will find a rich array of very concrete examples that detail effective instructional strategies, step-by-step action plans for achieving specific instructional objectives, and real-world vignettes of teachers achieving success with struggling students. This is an inspired and inspirational guide, well-informed by theory and research, and by the realities of actual classrooms. Both authors have extensive experience in classroom teaching, teacher supervision, program development and administration, and the writing of educational materials; their book distills the best of their combined 30 years of educational service."
(Herlinda E. Cancino, Associate Professor 2011-01-18)"The authors' practical approaches for teaching content and language simultaneously are based on research and a deep knowledge of how classrooms operate. Every teacher working with language-diverse students will find much of value here.”
(Catherine Snow, Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor 2011-03-21)
"The main contribution this book makes is to show teachers that they have other options rather than simplifying the material. Supremely practical, with careful and precise guidance, the book is for teachers in bilingual settings, in regular classrooms, and for ESL teachers. It can also be valuable in teacher training programs, which incorporate language objectives into all their planning."
(SirReadAlot.org, July 2011, Issue 147 2011-10-05)
About the Author
Ruth Swinney is a native of Colombia, S.A. She started her career as a bilingual teacher in New York City. In 1984 she founded one of the first dual language programs in New York City in PS 84, and subsequently became director of bilingual and dual language programs for a large District in NYC. In this role she supervised bilingual and ESL programs, and developed seven model dual language programs for the District. When she became principal PS 165 (Manhattan) she set up a nationally recognized dual language program at the same time that she turned around one of the bottom schools in the city. She has won numerous awards for her work with second language learners, and for her achievements as a principal. After retiring she worked with the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, heading the principal work, and the ELL department. Currently she works as a consultant.
Patricia Velasco started her career as a speech pathologist in Mexico City. After finishing her EdD in the United States, she established a Staff Development Institute (Casa de la Ciencia) that works with indigenous bilingual children and their teachers in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico . After she moved to New York City, she first worked for the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, as a staff developer supporting teachers all across New York City in addressing the literacy and language needs of English language learners. In addition, she was part of the faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Education at Queens College, City University of New York, where she coordinates the Bilingual Program.