Academic Language Building for ELLs in Content Classrooms


NAVIGATE TO: Arr.GIF About the Author | Arr.GIF Mini-Course Portfolio | Arr.GIF ETAP 623 Fall 2017 Section 7619 [2]

Why Take This Course? ELLs & Academic Language

"Secondary education is a complex endeavor. Fast-paced schedules, specialized courses, rigorous content, high staked assessment, and variety of instructional methods place a high demand on students. For students, who must navigate these complexities while acquiring [academic] English, the demands intensify significantly (Dutro and Levy 2008)." [1]

English language learners in secondary schools face tremendous challenges when confronted with high demands from all the different aspects of secondary education. To best support the needs of ELLs and help them develop academic language, we need to provide them an environment that is literacy rich and enable them to make connections among the different content studies. Instead of relying on ENL and ELA teachers to help ELLs build literacy, all other content teachers need to and can effectively contribute to this endeavor, especially for academic vocabulary words and language functions that span across all content areas.

Who Is This Course for?

Secondary Teachers of ELLs in the content classrooms

[ Essential prerequisites ]

Computer Skills:

  • Able to navigate the internet for content, links, files, and other resources
  • Able to access, view, download Word & PDF files
  • Able to edit Word & Powerpoint Files

Lesson Planning Skills:

  • Understand the basic structure and components of a lesson plan
  • Able to transfer newly learned knowledge and concepts into lesson planning

[ Supporting Prerequisites ]

  • Understand the importance of equality of educational opportunities for ELLs
  • Understand the high demands of learning challenges confronted by ELLs
  • Understand how the school and teachers need to comply to state mandates regarding the different ELL programs & test accomondations
  • Willing to devote time for professional growth

Course Objectives

Academic Language for ELLs Curriculum Map

The purpose of this mini-course is to assist content teachers of ELLs:

  • Understand the importance of incorporating language objective and language/ literacy strategies in lessons.
  • Remember state mandates related to classroom instruction and test accommodations.
  • Analyze and interpret basic ELL data for instructional purposes.
  • Implement bilingual protocol for instruction (bilingual content teachers).
  • Define academic language and academic language demands.
  • Write language objectives for content lessons.
  • Apply language/ literacy building strategies in lessons. (Stage 2)
  • Evaluate language/ literacy building features in lessons. (Stage 2)

Unit 1: Why Teach Academic Language in Content Classrooms?

Unit Objectives: By the end of unit 1, the participants will:

  • Understand the importance of supporting ELLs develop academic language in content classrooms.
  • Understand the drawbacks of not helping ELLs develop academic language.
  • Summarize the reasons for supporting ELLs develop academic language in content classrooms.
  • Reflect on instructional practices related to academic language development for ELLs.

Unit 2: How to Serve ELLs? The Basics

Virginia Dept of Edu [3]

Unit Objectives: By the end of unit 2, the participants will:

  • Understand and recall the different language proficiency levels of ELLs.
  • Understand how the ELL levels are determined.
  • Remember test accommodations for ELLs.
  • Recall steps in the bilingual instructional protocol (bilingual content teachers).

Unit 3: Academic Language

Unit 3 Objectives: By the end of unit 3, the participants will:

  • Define academic language.
  • Define and recall the different demands of academic language.
  • Familiarize with distinct features of academic language in different disciplines.
  • Examine and identify language demands present in a text.
  • Reflect on knowledge and instructional practices for supporting ELLs develop academic language.

Unit 4: Language Objectives

Unit 4 Objectives: By the end of unit 4, the participants will:

  • Explain why it is important to incorporate language objectives in lessons for ELLs.
  • Differentiate content and language objectives.
  • Recall and sequence important steps involved in writing a language objective.
  • Write language objectives using a writing frame.
  • Self-assess learning in regard to basic knowledge and the writing of language objectives.

Mini-course Summary

Summary of stage 1 of the mini-course.
Information about stage 2 of the mini-course.

Connect with Others

Find out how to stay connected!

Additional ELL Resources

Explore other ELL resources online!

Getting Around

Unit 1: Why Teach Academic Language in Content Classrooms?

Unit 2: How to Serve ELLs? The Basics

Unit 3: Academic Language

Unit 4: Language Objectives

Mini-course Summary

Connect with Others

Additional ELL Resources


Main Page: Academic Language Building for ELLs in Content Classrooms-References
Unit 1: Why Teach Academic Language in Content Classrooms- References
Unit 2: How to Serve ELL? The Basics- References
Unit 3: Academic Language- References
Unit 4: Language Objective- References