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About Systematic ELD

Any district investing in instructional materials has an obligation to ensure materials:

  • Address key ELD/ELP standards aligned with CCSS and other content standards,
  • Are based on a strong instructional pedagogy, and
  • Follow an established scope and sequence of language skills by proficiency level.

Systematic ELD Instructional Units -- Materials Analysis

Some State Boards of Education, such as California and Oregon, have processes to review and adopt dedicated ELD instructional materials. Specific funds are generally not linked to those adoptions. However, they do provide helpful criteria for analyzing the alignment of materials to state ELD/ELP standards.

The Materials Analyses detail how the K-6 Systematic ELD Instructional Units meet common instructional materials criteria.

For a big picture view of how Systematic ELD aligns to Common Core and content standards: SysELD Instructional Units K-6 Content Connections pdf

For a big picture view of how Systematic ELD aligns to Common Core and WIDA standards: Systematic ELD, CCSS, and WIDA Content Connections pdf 

Grounded in the Research

It is clear in the research that dedicated ELD instruction should not serve as reading intervention. It is through the development of students’ oral and written language skills that English learners will gain the language knowledge needed to not only improve their comprehension of text during content instruction, but to also adroitly navigate their interactions throughout the day.

The language instruction and lesson delivery applied in the Systematic ELD Instructional Units is solidly grounded in the research.

In their article, English Language Development: Guidelines for instruction pdf, Saunders, Goldenberg, and Marcelletti (2012) present guidelines for implementing effective ELD programs. Group 3 and 4 speak specifically to curricular focus and instructional considerations, which should inform the selection of instructional materials for dedicated ELD:

Group 3: Curricular focus guidelines: What should be taught during ELD instruction?

  • ELD instruction should explicitly teach forms of English (e.g., vocabulary, syntax, morphology, functions, and conventions).
  • ELD instruction should emphasize academic language as well as conversational language.
  • ELD instruction should incorporate reading and writing, but should emphasize listening and speaking.
  • ELD instruction should integrate meaning and communication to support explicit teaching of language.

Group 4: Instructional guidelines: How should ELD be taught?

  • ELD instruction should be planned and delivered with specific language objectives in mind.
  • Use of English during ELD instruction should be maximized; the primary language should be used strategically.
  • ELD instruction should include interactive activities among students, but they must be carefully planned and carried out.
  • ELD instruction should provide students with corrective feedback on form.
  • Teachers should attend to communication and language-learning strategies and incorporate them into ELD instruction.

To share this information: About Systematic ELD pdf
Click here to view our Partner Districts

elachieve blueprint eng learnersA comprehensive approach for developing English proficiency is essential to ensuring the academic achievement of English learners. Integral to such an approach is explicit language instruction in every class, every day. Language development to support content learning is driven by the demands of grade-level academic work.

In contrast, Systematic ELD is a dedicated instructional block that is driven by students’ assessed English proficiency levels. The goal is to move students from one proficiency level to the next. Systematic ELD builds a solid foundation in English by teaching language that English learners:

  • are not likely to learn outside of school or efficiently pick up on their own,
  • will not explicitly learn in other subject areas, and
  • need to use for effective academic learning, classroom participation, and real-life purposes.

The Common Core and other content standards assume native English proficiency. Systematic ELD provides a time for English learners to learn and practice language they need in order to navigate rigorous content instruction and a myriad of adult and peer interactions, such as discussions and collaborative work.

Systematic ELD challenges students to explore language in compelling and playful ways, continually growing their ability to use English flexibly, fluently, and accurately – to have agency over their own language use. Ultimately, the goal of Systematic ELD is for English to be a bridge to academic success rather than a barrier. 

Critical Research-based Features of Systematic ELD Instruction

  • Places language learning and exploration squarely in the foreground.
  • Groups students by assessed proficiency level as determined by multiple sources, such as state language assessments, analysis of writing samples for vocabulary and grammatical knowledge (using the ELD Matrix of Linguistic Knowledge or language-focused writing rubric), the Express Placement Assessment, and recorded observations of oral production.
  • Uses a functional language approach organized around essential purposes for communication. Language tasks are highly applicable to real world and academic interactions that students must adroitly navigate. Instruction draws students’ attention to a variety of aspects of English (e.g., rhythm and cadence, pronunciation, colloquial expressions, formal and informal registers).
  • Provides an organized method of language instruction to prevent gaps and fill existing gaps in language knowledge that can hinder students’ achievement of full English proficiency.
  • Follows a developmental scope and sequence of language skills identified in ELD standards and the Systematic ELD handbook.
  • Is explicitly taught and emphasizes oral language development through structured, purposeful interaction, with substantive written practice to ensure that students develop in-depth understanding of how English works and acquire fluency and an accurate command of all modes of communication.
  • The following documents show how the Elementary units align. Similar documents are in development for Secondary SysELD.

Systematic ELD Units: K-2 Materials Analysis pdf

Systematic ELD Units: 3-6 Materials Analysis pdf

Systematic ELD Institutes 

Systematic ELD Institutes offer a robust learning experience. The comprehensive handbook lays out a theoretical model and vision for explicit language instruction. It includes tools to help participants deepen their knowledge and refine their instruction to meet the diverse needs of their students. 

During the five-day Institute, participants collaborate with colleagues and dig into both the theory and practice of improving dedicated English Language Instruction by assessed student proficiency level. Through a process of plan/teach/reflect, teachers build their capacity to deliver effective dedicated ELD instruction.

Capacity-building Model

E.L. Achieve’s initiative work is not a one-time event. Throughout all phases of implementation – planning, launching, and sustaining – district teams work toward established goals. After initial training, there is ongoing support for improving classroom instruction. We provide videos to discuss, guides for self-reflection, rubrics for developing key teaching skills, and protocols for facilitating collaborative, results-driven discussions.

As part of our district capacity-building model pdf, partner districts join E.L. Achieve’s expert networks through leadership seminars and ongoing support. Our goal is for districts to take ownership of the initiative and achieve deep, system-wide classroom implementation that leads to increased English learner achievement.

 Website links to ELD standards in our Partner District states:

*Please note: These links will take you to websites not maintained by E.L. Achieve.

summer academyWelcome to E.L. Achieve's Summer Academy for 3-4 grade English learners in Saugus Union School District. The Elementary Team (Aidé, Laura, and Raquel) is using the month of July (19 instructional days!) to work with students to gather lots of video of instruction and planning to share with other teachers.

We will be teaching ELD and Language Arts. The theme of the program is Journeys. 

Students will refer to a range of texts to describe characters' thoughts and actions, the importance of setting and time, and important events (RL 4.1-4; RI 4.1-3; 4.8-9). Throughout the unit they will practice organizing their thoughts to speak and write coherently about different characters' actions and motivations to understand both their literal and figurative journeys (W4.1-2; 4.4-5; 4.8-10). 

At the end of the unit, students will use their reading and writing skills to write an opinion essay that explains a character's journey and how that journey impacted the story. They will cite at least two examples that describe the character's journey (their feelings, actions, or motivations). 

Other texts we will work with during shared and independent reading: Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship, Grandfather's Journey, Voices from the Field, and The White Stallion.

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E.L. Achieve's 2019 Symposia

E.L. Achieve’s Symposia are an annual opportunity for partner district teams – central office administrators, site principals, district and site coaches, and teacher leaders – to strengthen leadership, evaluate progress, and refine their approach to serving English learners well. 

Southern California - February 12-13, 2019

Northwest Region - February 20-21, 2019

Northern California - March 6-7, 2019

Mountain West Region - March 13-14, 2019

Southern Region - April 3-4, 2019

More Events

Institute for Paraprofessionals

Learning a new language requires more than just learning vocabulary or spending more time reading. The purpose of the institute is to build the capacity of paraprofessionals to provide intervention that capitalizes on what students are learning in Systematic ELD and the rest of the school day. This helps ensure that the intervention instruction we provide bridges the reading and language knowledge English learners need to succeed in and out of school.

Learn More 


New Secondary ELD Units

Empowering Secondary Students:

Setting the stage for meaningful ELD

Many English learners at the secondary level see ELD as a sentence they must endure and an indication of academic failure. ELD must be reframed as intensive, accelerated, and short term. Our instruction needs to reflect a commitment to this reframing and clarify the purpose of dedicated language learning.

Learn More

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