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According to the 2000 United States Census, Americans age five and older who speak a language other than English at home grew 47 percent over the preceding decade. This group accounts for slightly less than one in five Americans (17.9%). Among the minority languages spoken in the United States, Asian-language speakers, including Chinese and other Asian and Pacific Islander languages, have increased by more than 75 percent. Futher, the proportion of Asian language speakers having difficulty speaking English has almost doubled (Klein, Bugarin, Beitranena, & McArthur, 2004). Today, Chinese students are one of the largest groups of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the U.S. Children of Chinese immigrants to the U. S. face linguistic, cultural, and academic challenges. For teachers to be adequately prepared to design and implement instruction for Chinese ELLs, they must have an understanding of this population, the language differences between Chinese and English, and the most effective strategies for scaffolding language and literacy success. This article highlights two Chinese second-graders and their unique educational needs in order to provide insight and implications for instructing Chinese ELLs.

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