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English Learning

Designing Literacy Instruction for Today’s Multilingual Learners

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Today’s educators working in English medium classrooms across the globe know from their everyday work that strong communication and literacy skills are critical to the success of our multilingual learners in today’s knowledge-based society and economy. Supporting this success requires some key changes in the instructional approach for this large, diverse, and growing population. In this session, we will explore key instructional shifts, especially one to a content-based approach, to foster multilingual students’ literacy skills in English and support their college and career goals.


Nonie K. Lesaux is Roy E. Larsen Professor of Education and Human Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on promoting the language and literacy skills of today’s children from diverse linguistic, cultural and economic backgrounds. Lesaux’s work has earned her the William T. Grant Scholars Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to young professionals beginning their independent research careers. Lesaux’s research appears in numerous scholarly publications, and its practical applications are featured in three books. She is also the author of a widely circulated state literacy report that forms the basis for a Third Grade Reading Proficiency bill passed in Massachusetts. She is the series editor of Lift and co-author of Reach Higher, both from National Geographic Learning.

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