ILA 2018 Report- What’s Hot in Literacy?

Amanda Coan_Commentary #3

      Each year the International Literacy Association puts out a What’s Hot in Literacy Report. This report compares the topics literacy professionals deem as important along with “hot” topics, which are topics that are currently receiving the most attention from educators. This list changes each year it comes out because our world is constantly changing and our attention shifts. This year’s What’s Hot in Literacy Report has been published and I am going to look at how my current research compares to it. whats-hot-2018-top-takeaways

For this master’s program, I have chosen to write a thesis paper to culminate all of the learning that I have done in this Literacy Education cohort. I have decided to conduct a self-study of my writing instruction, specifically with ELL/DLL students.  I am currently still in the beginning stage of my thesis, looking through the literature to develop an understanding of what the research already says about writing instruction, particularly with ELL/DLL students. I chose writing instruction because that is what tends to get the least amount of attention when compared to reading and math because of the high-stakes testing being done each year. Ultimately, I decided on a self-study because reflecting on my teaching is something that I already do now because I want to be the best teacher that I can be for my students. Because I have recently begun to work with a larger amount of ELL students, I decided to narrow my focus in on writing instruction for ELL/DLL learners so that I can develop an understanding of ways I can best meet the needs of my diverse students.

When looking through the report the ILA doesn’t directly mention writing instruction, but writing instruction (particularly with ELL students) could fall under the categories “Equity in Literacy Education” and “Teacher Preparation” (International Literacy Association, 2018). Neither categories fall under the top five “hot” topics, but both do fall under the top five “important topics”. With the focus on reading, math, and even the new science and social studies standards, I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t make the top five “hot” topics. I was relieved to see that both “Equity in Literacy” and “Teacher Preparation” are still important topics even though they don’t specifically state anything about writing instruction.

With the heavy reliance on technology and the decrease of phone conversations, being able to communicate through written language is now more important than ever. Writing instruction can no longer be put off to the side. We must make it another priority so that can help our students grow into adults who are able to communicate clearly and effectively with others.


Cassidy, J., & Ortlieb, E. (2013). The evolution of what’s hot in literacy. Journal of adolescent & adult literacy, 57(1), 21-29. DOI 10.1002/jaal.215

International Literacy Association. (2018). What’s hot in literacy: 2018 report. Retrieved from

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