Multilingual Learners Professional Learning

Culturally Mediated Writing Instruction for Adolescent English Language Learners


Sites looking for examples of how to design a study and/or plan professional development focused on the impact of culturally mediated writing instruction (CMWI) for adolescent English learners may find this report by the North Star of Texas Writing Project a helpful resource. Findings suggest that positive effects are more likely to occur when inquiry-based professional development includes follow-up support as teachers learn ways to effectively mediate and differentiate instruction to meet particular needs of diverse learners.



One of the greatest challenges facing U.S. middle and high school teachers is the need to improve academic success among English language learner (ELL) students. Both the high school dropout rate and the college-enrollment rate provide compelling evidence of this need. This report documents one attempt to meet this challenge, a National Writing Project advanced institute focused on improving academic writing among adolescent English learners. The institute engaged teacher-consultants in exploring and implementing “culturally mediated writing instruction” (CMWI), a set of research-based principles and practices. The ultimate goal was to improve students’ academic writing, but this report also documents the diverse and sometimes-surprising ways that these teachers integrated CMWI into their classrooms.