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Getting Ready for the English Regents Essays

Written and developed by Dr. Jacqueline Darvin, associate professor at Queens College, the activities use research-based instructional methods that combine the fields of literacy and second-language acquisition. Using a scaffolded technique, students become familiar with the language and format of the English Regents exam with an emphasis on understanding the vocabulary of the test and what each part requires as they read each of the 3 novels.

The over-arching theme of the immigrant experience unifies the selections and offers personally relevant material. As Jim Cummins reminds us, “literacy attainment is directly related to literacy engagement.”

Teacher support is removed gradually as students become more comfortable with and knowledgeable about what each part requires and how to approach it cognitively. The latest revisions provide extensive practice in short constructed responses and critical lens. This revision was written by Robin Spielman-McLellan, a High School ESL/English Teacher at the Hampton Bays High School.

The comprehensive Teacher’s Manual offers Teacher Notes which serve to:
  • - clarify the purpose of particular activities.
  • - offer suggestions for implementation for students in both ESL and English only classes.
  • - link the particular activity to research-based “best practices” for ELLs.
  • - demonstrate the connection between the activity and specific Regents tasks.
To be used with:
  • - 9th, 10th and/or 11th grade students
  • - Students in 12th grade who have not passed the exam and must take the test again.
For use in:
  • - English Classes
  • - ESL Classes
  • - Afterschool Programs
  • - Intervention/Support Classes
  • - Summer School Programs
  • - Special Education



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