Deciding When to Step In and When to Back Off: Culturally Mediated Writing Instruction for Adolescent English Learners

Leslie Patterson, Carol Wickstrom, Jennifer Roberts, Juan Araujo, Chieko Hoki


Culturally Mediated Writing Instruction invites students to take an inquiry stance toward issues of interest and significance—exploring issues, framing questions, gathering information, synthesizing findings into messages, publishing or presenting their findings, and assessing their efforts before moving on to other inquiries. CMWI can be seen as a rich and dynamic landscape of literacy tasks, routines, practices, materials, and dialogues that invites students to ask questions and to look for answers to those questions. Datafrom four high-school classrooms illustrate that CMWI teachers made interdependent and layered instructional decisions in response to students' needs, and that they provided mediation toward for primary goals or instructional targets: confidence and risk-taking;concept development and content knowledge; skills and strategies for meaning-making;and linguistic awareness and cross-linguistic transfer.

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