English Learners

Support all English Learners to grow and thrive in their learning environments

About English Learners

Topics:

  • Problem-Based Learning to Build Language Skills
  • Incorporating English Language Development Standards

Overview:

English Learners in the United States include students who are commonly referred to as English language learners (ELLs), dual language learners (DLLs), newcomers, students with interrupted formal schooling (SIFE), long-term English learners (L-TELs), English learners with disabilities, gifted and talented English learners, heritage language learners, students with English as an additional language (EAL), and students who speak varieties of English or indigenous languages (Source: WIDA ELD Standards Framework). These students all have diverse cultural experiences, background knowledge, and education levels. Experts agree that their language acquisition can best grow from instruction that embraces their culture and prior knowledge while also supporting their understanding and use of English as they engage in all classroom activities across content areas. Educators are aware that these students need differentiated and personalized support in order to be successful but they often are not fully equipped with the strategies and resources necessary to support each of their students to be successful. This challenge is becoming increasingly important for educators to focus on as English Learners now make up roughly 1 in 10 public school students and the number of English Learners are increasing across the country each year (source: National Center for Education Statistics). 

What We Believe

We believe that all educators across content areas need to be equipped with the strategies and tools to provide personalized support, scaffolds, modifications, and accommodations for English Learners to access the curriculum and engage in complex tasks and texts. 

We believe educators must employ instructional strategies appropriate to each student's stage of language acquisition and ensure learning is visible in order to regularly assess each student's language development, purposefully tailor their instruction to each student's needs, and closely monitor each student's progress. 

We believe educators in all disciplines must provide English Learners with learning opportunities that integrate meaningful language development skills - including reading, writing, speaking, and listening - with the practices, context, and content of each discipline. 

We believe that educators should leverage their students' home language(s), cultural assets, and prior knowledge in order to honor their students' diverse backgrounds and experiences and ultimately ensure all instructional content is both meaningful and comprehensible to a diverse set of learners. 

We believe that effective collaboration between educators, school leaders, and parents who work with a given English Learner can lead to a better understanding of each student's language-based needs and the supports that will allow them to be successful.

Featured Strategies

Content and language objectives support English Learners in identifying what they will learn and how they will learn it
Content and language objectives support English Learners in identifying what they will learn and how they will learn it
Scaffolding is an essential practice to support English Learners and can be grouped into three categories: Sensory, Graphic, and Interactive
Scaffolding is an essential practice to support English Learners and can be grouped into three categories: Sensory, Graphic, and Interactive
Low-stakes speaking activities for ELs to encourage the accurate use of the target language
Low-stakes speaking activities for ELs to encourage the accurate use of the target language

Outcomes

BetterLesson's coaching and workshops are focused on specific topics.
I can implement problem-based learning in order to support English Learners to build language skills.
I can incorporate English Language Development Standards into my instruction in order to support English Learners' content and language development.

Additional Reading

BL Blog Posts

Additional Reading:

How BetterLesson Can Help

We provide personalized, continuous support to help teachers and instructional leaders make growth towards their professional goals.
Get in Touch