New demands of the Common Core State Standards imply instructional transformations for all classrooms in the United States, but teachers of students designated as English language learners (ELLs) are among those most likely to feel the impact in their daily professional lives. Language is an integral part of classroom learning in all subject areas, and this article addresses the new and special demands made by the English language arts Common Core Standards that are particularly relevant for the education of ELLs in mainstream and sheltered language arts and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classrooms. The authors propose three key reconceptualizations for teachers of ELLs in English language arts, outlining what is necessary to realize opportunities provided in the standards for these students' linguistic development and academic achievement. They illustrate these reconceptualizations with examples from an instructional unit that has been designed for linguistically diverse middle school Common Core classrooms and exemplifies subject-specific instructional practices that meet the needs of ELLs.
English Language Arts