Linking geography to reading and English language learners' achievement in US elementary and middle school classrooms

Elizabeth R. Hinde, Sharon E Osborn Popp, Margarita Jimenez-Silva, Ronald Dorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The GeoLiteracy for English language learners (ELLs) program is a curriculum that enhances reading and writing skills while teaching geography content for US students in kindergarten through eighth grades. The program includes 85 lesson plans that address all US national geography standards, a quarter of which address environmental issues. The program also includes methodology and materials aimed at meeting the academic needs of the growing population of ELLs in the United States. This article describes a study conducted in three US states that examined the effects of GeoLiteracy for English Language Learners on reading comprehension of third to eighth grade students. The findings reveal that reading comprehension achievement of students, especially ELLs, who used GeoLiteracy improved or maintained. Thus, offering geography education to ELLs not only promotes the discipline but also improves reading comprehension. This study uncovered a number of bureaucratic, political and philosophical issues related to the education of ELLs in the state of Arizona, which could mirror issues in other US states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-63
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • English language learners
  • comprehension
  • elementary
  • geography
  • integrated curriculum
  • reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Education
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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