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Expert Q&A

Where can I find resources to teach high school ELLs in both English and Spanish literacy? My students are native Spanish speakers who read below a 4th grade level in Spanish.

For many years, a variety of American publishing companies have offered what are called “high interest/low readability” texts in English. These are books that are written on a first to third grade reading level but treat themes and topics that are of interest to students of middle school or high school age.

Currently, some publishers are offering this type of text in Spanish as well. As a result of the increased emphasis throughout the U.S. on standardized content area testing, many of these texts are on nonfiction topics that would be of interest even to adult audiences. These include books on such topics as the sciences, health issues, and U.S. history and government.

  • Rourke Publishing offers various texts on U.S. history written on a fourth grade level in Spanish.
  • Continental Book Company has a wide variety of books in Spanish, as well as bilingual English/Spanish books, including a large selection of dual language biographies written on a third grade level.

You should also take a look at the Lectorum website , which is Scholastic’s Spanish site. Although many of the books are clearly for young children, you can also find “high/low” titles that would appeal to your students.

Publishers of materials for high school level Spanish as a second language classes might also be a good source. 

Also, be sure to check out the Educator’s Page on the Colorín Colorado website. You will find lots of outstanding resources there, and if you click on Web Resources , you will find links to many other excellent sites.

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