May 11, 2013

Article: English Learners and 21st-Century Literacy


English Learners and 21st-Century Literacy
Anne OBrien
April 30, 2013

One challenge: better educating students who speak English as a second language. One opportunity: leveraging the strengths that these students offer to improve schools for all. And research by Dr. Mary Amanda "Mandy" Stewart, who recently completed a dissertation that highlights the 21st-century skills and cultural resources of immigrant youth, provides guidance on how to do both.

In her dissertation, which won PDK International's 2012-2013 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, Stewart examined the life and literacy of four 17- to 20-year-old students from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala. In doing so, she uncovered multiple ways in which these students are leveraging their out-of-school competencies to improve their English and develop and demonstrate 21st-century skills.

Read on for a summary of Dr. Stewart’s findings at

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