How to Cultivate Student Agency in English Language Learners

Excerpted from Navigating the Common Core with English Language Learners: Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills by Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull-Sypnieski, published by Jossey-Bass. This section is from the chapter, “Creating the Conditions for English Language Learners to Be Successful in the Common Core Standards.”

Agency is the ability to be proactive in determining one’s life path and not just react to the surrounding circumstances. Agency also recognizes that outside factors provide some limitations, and that people have some ability to influence and determine one’s response to them. Many of our English language learners face particularly large challenges in these outside factors—socioeconomically and linguistically.

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