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.

The Secondary Systematic ELD Introductory Week is a powerful way to re-energize and focus teachers and students on two critical components of effective ELD instruction:

  •  Building a community that is safe, supportive, and centered on the “So what?” of ELD.
  •  Internalizing a range of interaction routines to engage students, promote robust discussions, and give teachers opportunities to listen in on students’ ideas and language needs.

Using knowledge students bring, the five lessons give them a window into their existing communicative expertise and insight into their ability to grow it through language study. The lessons build metacognitive awareness about how sharpening students’ language skills – using language in increasingly precise and nuanced ways ­– is central to accomplishing their goals. 

The lessons also help teachers establish protocols for interaction routines with expectations for student accountability, participation, and engagement. These well-organized systems lead to smooth management.

Unlike Systematic ELD lessons, this week does not explicitly teach language or target a specific proficiency level, but rather illuminates students’ power to use language to communicate their thinking and the importance of language study within dedicated ELD.

Download the Secondary Systematic ELD Introductory Week lessons and handouts.


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