Poetry as a Stepping Stone to English Language Literacy
This project explores the historical execution of English as a Second Language (ESL) education and how it may be improved through the use of a poetry unit. The main goals of the unit are to improve English Language Learners (ELLs) reading comprehension and production of written work by bolstering student identity through validation of their home cultures and languages, which will engage students through personal connections. The unit seeks to make these connections by using code-meshing, as a means of validating students’ languages, and through culturally relevant resources to validate students’ multicultural backgrounds. There are three phases of the unit: introduction to code-meshing, reading and analysis, and writing for self-expression. The second a third phases are the main focal points for this unit as students learn to analyze and negotiate interpretations based on textual evidence, and as they explore their identities by taking ownership of their deliberate language choices, being empowered in telling their own stories, and making connections with an audience through the written work and by performing the poem aloud. This paper includes an introduction to the problem, an explanation of my focus of inquiry and the theoretical under workings, a rationalization for the context, a synthesis of the unit plan, and a discussion of expectations and potential limitations of the unit. Following the paper is the unit plan itself, and the resources for the lessons can be found in the appendices.