Volume 15, Issue 1 (2023)

Summer 2023

Summer 2023 Issue Welcome

Welcome to the Summer 2023 Issue of the Journal of English Learner Education (JELE).

JELE's Editorial Board would like to open this issue by expressing our sincere gratitude for Dr. Kerry Purmensky's excellent leadership as Editor in Chief. During her years with the journal, Dr. Purmensky elevated JELE's profile and procured a greater range of submissions from experts in the field. In addition, she developed and implemented evaluation and feedback policies and procedures for early career scholars that scaffold our review and revision process, providing constructive feedback and guiding new authors step-by-step from submission through publication. The kindness she extends to all who meet her has become a hallmark of our journal's approach in working with researchers, practitioners, and other experts who submit manuscripts, whether they eventually are accepted for publication in our journal or are directed to more suitable potential venues. We will all miss her organized, productive, and creative meetings, as well as her always cheerful presence.

As we reluctantly bid farewell to Dr. Purmensky, we are pleased to announce our new Editor and Co-Editors, who will continue and expand Dr. Purmensky's outstanding work. Dr. Laura Monroe, who has been our outstanding Managing Editor, will take on the role of Editor. Dr. Monroe has unparalleled editorial knowledge, spanning all aspects of academic writing. She is known for her keen eye for details as well as her stellar organizational and technology skills. Her research agenda focuses on second language writing, and she is keen for our journal to continue to support authors for whom English is not a first language. Together with Dr. Monroe, Dr. Carine Strebel will take on the role of Co-Editor, for which she will draw on her years of successful experience as an JELE Board member. Dr. Strebel's research focuses on preparing generalist K-12 teachers to incorporate linguistically and culturally responsive instructional practices, and she also has conducted research on second language reading. Dr. Strebel contributes valuable research-based insights in all areas of Second Language Acquisition, is proficient in German, French, and English, and has plans for increasing the international emphasis of JELE. We also are delighted to welcome Dr. Sophie Cuocci as the new co-editor of the Journal of English Learner Education. Dr. Cuocci holds a PhD in Education-TESOL from the University of Central Florida, and her research interests include dual language/bilingual education, second language acquisition, teacher education, and adult ESL. She is also fluent in French and English. Dr. Cuocci has published in peer-reviewed journals, and in her work as a teacher and mentor passionately promotes equity and excellence in education for all English learners. Please join us in welcoming Drs. Monroe, Strebel, and Cuocci and thanking them for their commitment to the Journal of English Learner Education!

Joyce Nutta, PhD
Journal of English Learner Education

The first article in the Summer 2023 issue by Dr. Eugenia Krimmel, "Accelerate Beginner English Learner’s Writing Skills From Day One," addresses the customary practice of delaying teaching of writing for Beginner English Learners (BELs), which often results in slowing writing development. Barriers preventing teachers from earlier writing instruction include a belief BELs cannot produce written English before learned orally first, a lack of teaching writing know-how, and few level-appropriate materials for older BELs. The systematic approach ALL Beginner Learners of English (ABLE) Writing Method is a solution to build both teachers’ confidence and BELs’ phonics, spelling, and writing skills from day one. The basic premise of the ABLE Writing Method is that if one is able to think, one is able to write with effective instruction and practice.

The second article, "Effectiveness of English Learners Computer-Based Testing Accommodations: A Meta-Analysis" by Dr. Tuba Gezer, Claudia Flowers, and Richard Lambert, explores the increased focus on fairness in testing for students who are learning English. Test accommodations have shown promise in eliminating barriers and improving accessibility, and computer-based testing (CBT) allows individual customization of tests with built-in accessibility features. Their study synthesizes research on the validity and effectiveness of CBT accommodations for EL students. The results indicated that CBT accommodations did not influence non-EL test scores, providing evidence for the validity of EL test accommodations.

Our final article in this issue, "Empowering Chinese Students to Regain the “Voice” via Vygotsky’s ZPD Integrated with the Socratic Seminar" by Dr. Zhengjie Li, investigates why many Chinese students studying in the United States today report that they do not have a “voice.” They feel marginalized because of a lack of communicative competence in English and their inability to understand Western cultures, especially during their first year in the United States. By underscoring strategic methods through the lens of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) integrated with the Socratic Seminar that allows students to actively and cooperatively develop knowledge and critical thinking skills, ESOL teachers are provided with effective techniques to enhance Chinese students’ academic English writing.