Words Their Way with English Learners: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction

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Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 362 pages
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Words Their Way with English Learners helps teachers determine what their students bring with them from their home languages, where their instruction in English orthography should begin, and how best to move these students through their literacy development.

Words Their Way with English Learners uses proven, research-based word study development as a foundation to help English learners develop literacy skills. Chapters 1 through 3 introduces teachers of English Learners to the stages of spelling and reading development, the assessments to use, and the best ways to organize your classroom for word study. This new book also includes samples of student writing in Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and Spanish throughout these early chapters to contextualize the assessment information.


  • Unique! Connects students home language with their new language helping children improve their oral and written abilities much more quickly.
  • Early Assessment coverage (Ch.2) and Assessment Tools available in the Appendix provide readers with a strong foundation in assessment and help them determine the developmental level of each child. Based on these assessments teachers can then group children with similar developmental abilities.
  • Organized around 5 developmental levels (ch. 4-7) that outline the most appropriate and effective word study instruction for this audience, from the Emergent learner through readers and writers in the Derivational Relations stage.
  • A rich bank of classroom-proven word study activities close each of the five developmental levels found in chapters 4-7 and promise to engage your students, motivate them, and improve their oral and written abilities in English.
  • Unique! A robust Appendix at the back of Words Their Way with English Learners contains all the assessment tools necessary to get word study underway and offers word lists in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Arabic; picture and word sorts; and game templates to advance word study instruction in diverse K-8 classrooms.
  • Based on the developmental approach of the word study book Words Their Way 3e and new research on working with English Language Learners.

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About the author (2007)

Donald R. Bear is director of the E. L. Cord Foundation Center for Learning and Literacy in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. As a former preschool, third, and fourth grade teacher, Donald extends his experience working with children who experience difficulties learning to read and write both in the center and in numerous outreach programs. His recent research includes the study of literacy development in different languages and the influence of first language and literacy knowledge in learning to read in another language. He and his colleagues work with many schools and districts to conduct literacy instruction workshops.

Lori Helman is associate professor in literacy education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. Her research and writing have focused extensively on the reading and spelling development of students learning English as a new language, including other Words Their Way instructional materials for English learners. She has also edited a text for teachers, Literacy Development with English Learners.

Marcia Invernizzi is a professor of reading education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Marcia is also the director of the McGuffey Reading Center, where she teaches the clinical practica in reading diagnosis and remedial reading. Formerly an English and reading teacher, she works with Book Buddies, Virginia's Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI), and Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS).

Shane Templeton is Foundation Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is Program Coordinator for Literacy Studies. A former elementary and secondary teacher, his research focuses on the development of orthographic knowledge. He has written several books on the teaching and learning of reading and language arts and is a member of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary. He is author of the "Spelling Logics" column in Voices from the Middle, the middle school journal of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Francine Johnston is a former first grade teacher and reading specialist who learned about word study during her graduate work at the University of Virginia. She is now an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she teaches courses in reading, language arts, and children's literature. Francine frequently works with regional school systems as a consultant and researcher. Her research interests include current spelling practices and materials as well as the relationship between spelling and reading achievement.

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