English as a Second Language and World War II: Possibilities for Language and Historical Learning

Mary Amanda Stewart, Katie Walker
  • TESOL Journal, June 2016, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/tesj.262

What is it about?

Two secondary ESL teacher-researchers explain how you can combine content learning, specifically history, with English as a second language instruction. The articles shows examples from a class of refugee high school students from Myanmar. Different pieces of authentic literature are used throughout this unit as students and teacher read and responded to the texts.

Why is it important?

Students need connections between their ESL and history classes for deeper content, literacy, and second language learning.


Dr Mary Amanda Stewart (Author)
Texas Woman's University

I had the amazing opportunity to teach the students highlighted in this article. The unit we engaged in together changed me as a teacher. I have replicated this unit with other students and students' responses about injustice, discrimination, and fighting for what is right amaze me each time. Learning about various parts of WWII such as racial segregation, Jim Crow laws, Japanese internment camps, the atomic bomb, and the Holocaust are lessons that are still very timely today.

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Mary Amanda Stewart and Katie Walker