Building on ELA Vocabulary Instruction to Develop Language Resources

Mary A. Avalos, Alain Bengochea, Irina Malova, Susan Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article provides a “snapshot” of fourth grade English Language Arts (ELA) vocabulary instruction before and after implementation of college and career readiness standards. Our exploratory study's findings demonstrate the instructional shifts for teaching deep vocabulary knowledge as required by college and career readiness standards, including a greater frequency of oral discussions. Many emergent bilinguals are placed in classrooms where English-medium instruction is the norm, preventing them from using their home language to make meaning and actively participate in the classroom; this stymies language learning and limits opportunities for developing deep vocabulary knowledge. Instructional strategies that build on the ELA vocabulary directives are suggested using a translanguaging perspective to develop emergent bilinguals’ language and vocabulary knowledge. These instructional suggestions can be implemented by all teachers serving bilingual learners, including those who are not bilingual in Englishmedium settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReading Teacher
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • 1-Early childhood
  • 2-Childhood
  • 3-Early adolescence translanguaging
  • Instructional strategies; methods and materials
  • Language learners
  • Vocabulary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Pharmacology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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