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Advocating for English Learners

Advocating for English Learners
A Guide for Educators

Foreword by John Segota, A Joint Publication with TESOL

September 2013 | 264 pages | Corwin

Embrace the future by ensuring English Learners have a voice in school.

English Learners (ELs) are the fastest-growing segment of the K–12 population.  But ELs and their families—who are in the process of learning English and navigating an often-unfamiliar education system—may not have a powerful enough voice to articulate their needs.  Consequently, all teachers and administrators must advocate for this all-important diverse group of students who will become tomorrow’s workforce. This book demystifies the techniques of advocacy for ELs, including:

  • A shared sense of responsibility for EL success—Providing tools that every educator can use to ensure that ELs are effectively served.
  • An overview for administrators—Influencing policy and fostering a culture that meets EL needs
  • Advocacy for ELs’ success beyond Grade 12—Equipping ELs for life after graduation, from higher education to career decisions 

ELs will continue to grow in number, and leaving them and their families voiceless is simply not an option. No educator can miss this essential book.

“In many ways, the history of American Education is the history of a quest for equality.  Dr. Staehr Fenner lends a human face to the experience of English Learners and encourages us to think in terms of what attributes ELs bring to their learning experience and how others can benefit from their presence in the classroom. This book is a promising, uplifting, and much-needed call for action!”
— Rosa Aronson, Executive Director
TESOL International Association, Alexandria, VA

Watch the Webinar!

On-line book studyavailable now!
Author Staehr Fenner’s company, SupportEd, has created an on-demand LMS book study for readers of Advocating for English Learners A Guide for Educators. The self-paced book study works around your schedule and when you're done, you’ll earn a certificate for 20 hours of PD. SupportEd can also customize the book study for specific district timelines, cohorts and/or needs upon request. Learn more.

About the Author
1. Need for Advocacy for English Learners
2. Creating a Shared Sense of Responsibility for Teaching English Learners
3. How ESL Teachers Can Collaborate to Expand Advocacy Efforts for ELs
4. Advocacy Overview for School and District Administrators
5. Increasing EL Families' Involvement Through Building Their Advocacy Capacity
6. Advocacy Through Effective Instruction of ELs
7. Advocating for ELs in Assessment
8. Advocacy for ELs' Success Beyond Grade 12

"Diane Staehr Fenner brilliantly outlines English language learner advocacy issues we all need to incorporate into our daily practice as educators to deliver a just and equitable educational experience for all ELL students and their families –one of the most important books for educators and advocates in education to be written."

Luís-Gustavo Martínez, Lecturer I of Applied Linguistics
University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA

"It is common knowledge that English language learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing population in our schools. Most teachers are likely to have one or more ELLs in their classrooms, and yet there is still so much misunderstanding and confusion about what a quality equitable education represents for ELL students. Staehr Fenner’s work sheds light on what is different about ELL students. She highlights the importance of Advocacy and Collaboration in order to develop and implement a well-rounded education program for ELLs. And she does so with a refreshing perspective, using clear, real-life examples and providing guidance about how to implement those promising practices and tackle challenges along the way. Staehr Fenner’s work will no doubt dispel the myths and encourage positive changes for ELLs in our schools."

David G. Nieto, Division Administrator
Division of English Language Learning, Illinois State Board of Education

"It’s evident from the first pages that Diane Staehr Fenner knows what it’s like to be in a classroom, hallway, or meeting where English language learners and their needs are being overlooked or marginalized. In this essential new book, she gives teachers the framework and the tools we need to advocate effectively and ensure our students the seat at the table they so deserve. I would recommend this book to anyone who educates ELLs, and since today that is nearly everyone in education, it could not be more timely.  These beautiful, multi-talented children are the future. Thank you, Diane, for helping to make our voices stronger on their behalf."

Barbara Page, ESL Teacher
Meadow Park Middle School, Portland, OR

"Wow! This is the first book I have encountered which is devoted solely to the area of advocacy for English language learners (ELLs). In education, where the effects of political and judicial decisions are apparent, this is a very much needed book in guiding future educators and inservice teachers to be strong catalysts in advocating effectively for the academic success of ELLs."

Arlene Costello, 2007 Christa McAuliffe Educator/ Teacher on Special Assignment
ESOL Department, Escambia County School District, Pensacola, FL

"In this timely and utterly necessary book, Staehr Fenner explains why all educators need to advocate for English language learners, based in solid yet accessible research, and how to do so with the supporting resources and activities provided. She guides readers in understanding and implementing "scaffolded advocacy," including effective instruction for ELLs. Margins notes included throughout will allow teacher educators to easily use this as a training manual for pre-service and in-service teachers working with ELLs. Finally, the personal anecdotes, stories, and vignettes from the field leave the reader with the crucial message of the book: everyone can and should be an advocate."

Heather A. Linville, TESOL Instructor/ELL Advocate
College of Arts and Sciences, American University, Washington, DC

"With Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators, Diane Staehr Fenner closes a gap in teacher education publications.  This much-needed book addresses immigrant realities, teacher experiences, administrator preparation, and Title III policies by using advocacy as the organizing principle.  Based on solid professional foundations and with great insight and skill, Dr. Staehr Fenner provides all stakeholders with tools for a collaboration that works so that linguistically and culturally diverse student population needs can be sufficiently addressed in K-12 contexts and beyond."

Christel Broady, Director
ESL Teacher Endorsement Program, Georgetown College, KY

“This book provides a much-needed resource for teachers of English language learners (ELLs). Dr. Staehr Fenner shows the importance of advocating for ELLs and preparing teachers to do this work. There is no other book that provides such an emphasis. The personal anecdotes and examples will help teachers connect with issues of advocacy in teacher education programs. This book shows that teachers and administrators can be change agents through their advocacy work for ELLs.”

Dr. Luciana C. de Oliveira, Associate Professor
Teachers College, Columbia University
Key features
(1)     A comprehensive resource which raises educators’ awareness of the areas in which ELs need advocacy and offers practical suggestions for EL advocacy
(2)     Provides an overview of research that informs EL advocacy in each chapter and tools to apply the research on the ground (3)     Focuses on hands-on professional development activities to build a sense of responsibility for ELs’ achievement in school and beyond
(4)    Includes checklists for schools and districts to use to provide a framework to guide their discussion of ELs’ advocacy needs in a number of areas
(5)     Contains an abundance of practical examples of EL advocacy in action, taken from a variety of schools and geographical regions
(6)     Weaves in voices of EL advocates at the school, district, state, and national levels (including Tim Boals, Catherine Collier, and Margarita Pinkos)

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 2

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ISBN: 9781452257693
CAD$ 54.95

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