Reading and Language Arts Curricula in Elementary and Secondary Education for American Indians and Alaska Natives
In this article, the author reviews literature addressing reading and language arts curricula for Native students, with a goal to provide teachers with helpful instructional tools. An overview is presented of theories of first and second language acquisition and learning, stages of language development, and the influence of the learning environment. Content-based instructional approaches and the relationship between academic competency and second language (English) competency are discussed. The author covers instructional strategies believed to be effective for Native students, including: analyzing the language complexity of the learning task; providing contextual cues; peer interaction and cooperative learning experiences; modifying lessons or providing alternative activities for limited English proficient students; incorporating comprehension checks; using preview and review techniques; making the text comprehensible; and adapting content. Specific teaching strategies for each of the above are provided.