These papers, presented at the Understanding Language Conference in January 2012, address language and literacy issues found in the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. A summary of the conference is provided below.

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Language and the Common Core State Standards

Authors: 
Leo van Lier and Aída Walqui

This paper points out three different ways that language is involved in the standards: language requirements in the content standards, English language arts standards, and language-convention-specific standards. It calls for a thoughtful integration of these three dimensions.

What does text complexity mean for English learners and language minority students?

Authors: 
Lily Wong Fillmore and Charles J. Fillmore

This paper addresses the implications, for ELLs, of the new standards’ requirement that students be able to read and understand complex, informationally dense texts. 

What is the development of literacy the development of?

Authors: 
Glynda Hull and Elizabeth B. Moje

This paper highlights key findings of the socioculturally-focused “New Literacy studies” and argues that literacy practices derive their vitality from curricula and activities that connect to learners' backgrounds and cultures.