Writing is all about making meaning. The prospect of teaching writing to a classroom full of students—some who speak English and some who don't, can be overwhelming. When students learning English are at different levels, the task is even more challenging. Juli Kendall and Outey Khuon experimented with Ellin Keene's “Thinking Strategies Used by Proficient Learners” and found that by integrating writing and reading instruction their English language learners become stronger writers.
Writing Sense outlines the classroom conditions necessary for successful writing instruction with English language learners, whether in writing workshop and/or small-group instruction. It includes 68 classroom-tested lessons for grades K–8 that show kids at all levels of language acquisition how to make connections, ask questions, visualize (make mental images), infer, determine importance, synthesize, monitor meaning and comprehension, and use fix-up strategies.
Like the authors' earlier book, Making Sense, the five main sections are geared to the stages of language proficiency, and lessons are divided into “younger” and “older” students, spanning kindergarten through to grade eight. There are extensive lists of suggested books for mentor texts as well as lists of mentor authors to facilitate teachers' planning and instruction.