Refining English Language Development: A district's journey

wilmaWilma Kozai, Director; former assistant superintendent, Grandview School District
guest blogger

 Every school district faces daunting challenges in meeting diverse students’ needs. Some of these struggles are unique, but many are shared by multiple districts. Telling our stories of implementing new initiatives is a way for us to build our collective understanding of the practices and systems that help or hinder our progress towards achieving our goals.

Continue reading
4
  1955 Hits
1955 Hits

English Language Development Materials: Five questions to answer before adopting

ccssAccording to Title III requirements, regardless of the type of program in which English learners are enrolled, they must receive instruction in English at their level of English proficiency, as well as meaningful access to grade-level academic content (Castañeda v. Pickard, 1981). School systems are compelled to structure the day to ensure English learners receive explicit language instruction for these two related, but distinct, purposes:

  • Integrated ELD to provide meaningful access to language arts (and other content) instruction. Grade-level content learning is in the foreground; it is the purpose for instruction – and while students’ language development needs must inform planning, the instructional goal is achieving the demands of grade-level content.
  • Dedicated ELD to grow students’ proficiency in English. Proficiency-level language learning is in the foreground; it is the purpose for instruction – and while grade-level literacy needs must inform planning, the instructional goal is developing English language.
Continue reading
3
  2819 Hits
2819 Hits

Teaching ELD: What every educator ought to know

There’s an exciting convergence moving our collective thinking forward. With new ELD standards expanding on and building from the work of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and other content standards, we are encouraged – obligated! – to think about how we equip English learners with the language they need for all aspects of their academic day.

We are evolving beyond the limited notion of ‘sheltering’ instruction to considering how we integrate ELD into content instruction so students learn the language needed for subject-matter demands. And rather than thinking of ELD as a time to teach basic vocabulary and grammar – or relying solely on integrated ELD to teach English – the field is acknowledging that English learners deserve a daily designated ELD block that builds foundational knowledge of English into and through the content.

blueprint graphicThis refined approach to providing language support for English learners aligns beautifully with E.L. Achieve’s Blueprint for Serving English Learners Throughout the School Day. Our research-based and federally compliant model illustrates how school systems can structure the school day to ensure English learners receive explicit language instruction for these two related, but distinct, purposes:

  • Integrated English language development within content instruction (Constructing Meaning), and
  • Designated ELD (Systematic ELD) to grow students’ proficiency in English.
Continue reading
4
  8975 Hits
8975 Hits

Explicit Language Instruction: Why does it matter if students understand how English works?

While the Common Core English Language Arts Standards do not prescribe specific instructional approaches, there are several key shifts that have significant implications for classroom practice. 

  • With a focus on reading increasingly complex texts, students must learn to respond to questions based not on factual recall, but rather on the relationships among ideas and between different texts, and on their interpretation of those texts.
  • Learning to use evidence from text and their own experiences, students must articulate their thinking to demonstrate a depth of understanding, research skills, and analysis.
  • The emphasis on gaining knowledge through higher-order thinking skills means that providing a brief written response or selecting a correct answer from a list of options is no longer sufficient to demonstrate learning.

Each of these shifts has a critical point in common: a lot of language is needed to accomplish the work. To successfully meet academic demands, English learners need an internalized knowledge of written and spoken English – the ability to confidently and adroitly make skillful language choices to express their thinking.

Continue reading
3
  2874 Hits
2874 Hits

Latest Blog Posts

18 April 2019
Jan Bautista, District Coach TSA and Certified Elementary ELD Presenter,San Francisco Unified S...
18 April 2019
Often, English learners disappear in their classrooms and don't feel connected to their peers or tea...
04 March 2019
Confident and engaged readers manage a bunch of strategies as they read. We contribute to Engli...
18 December 2018
For a district fortunate enough to have paraprofessionals on its team, they can have a crucial influ...
28 August 2018
Donna Doherty, Eureka City Schoolsguest bloggerThree years ago ... I did not know how to write a sim...
15 May 2018
Refining instructional practice is hard work. It requires a positive learning environment – a safe p...

Contact Us

2450 La Mirada Dr.
Vista, CA 92081
P: 760-290-3461
F: 831-536-1616

elachieve.org

Back To Top