The development of English literacy and global studies concepts using sheltered instruction

Olga Esther Mejia Glenn, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to describe the development of English literacy proficiency, academic English literacy, and content literacy of 30 Spanish-speaking students through the Sheltered Content Approach. Participants were enrolled in a bilingual 10th grade Global Studies course in a public school in New York City. Ninety percent of the participants came from the Dominican Republic and 10% came from other countries from South America. Through the Sheltered Content Approach, English language learners attended an 8-week global studies content course with grade-level objectives and standards based curriculum delivered through scaffolded modified instruction, extralinguistic clues, and comprehensible content. Participants were exposed to reading comprehension strategies and writing process strategies in an interwoven way. Sheltered Content Approach strategies were used to contextualize concepts and expand language skills. Data were collected through the following instruments: (a) an English language proficiency test, (b) a content area test, and (c) an informal questionnaire. All participants increased their English literacy proficiency level (reading and writing skills), their academic English literacy, and their global studies knowledge. Participants indicated preferences for the following instructional strategies: (a) exposure to context embedded instruction, (b) using the native language as a translation tool, (c) using interactive, collaborative strategies, (d) having a teacher as a facilitator, and (e) exposure to lessons that connect new concepts and vocabulary with previous knowledge. This research provided evidence to indicate that the use of Sheltered Content Approach strategies improved participants' language and content development. However, since this study was limited to a small sample of high school students, and there was no control group to establish cause-effect relationships, no generalizations can be drawn from the findings.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Literacy|Reading instruction|Bilingual education|Multicultural education

Recommended Citation

Glenn, Olga Esther Mejia, "The development of English literacy and global studies concepts using sheltered instruction" (2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3166569.