Content-Based ELD for English Learners in K-12
Content-based English language development instructional programs in SPPS strive to simultaneously promote students’ English-language proficiency and mastery of grade-level academic content in an English setting. English learners acquire academic English through participation in age-appropriate, content-based instruction that is aligned to WIDA English Language Development Standards, as well as the Minnesota K-12 Academic Content Standards.
For all students, learning academic content is inseparable from learning the academic language of the content area, but this is especially true for ELL students (Heritage, Silva, & Pierce, 2007; National Research Council, 2001; Schleppegrell, 2001, 2005; Walqui & Heritage, 2012) as cited in Alvarez, Ananda, Walqui, Sato & Rabinowitz (2014)
Elementary EL Programs
EL teachers provide supplemental English language development through direct instruction for students at English proficiency levels 1-5. At the elementary level, most ELs receive the greater part of their instruction in the general education classroom. Classroom and EL teachers collaborate to teach language, create accommodations, and differentiate based on the needs of the students in their classrooms. EL service is provided through a co-teaching model and/or small-group instruction designed for EL students. These services are often provided in Reader’s, Writer’s, and/or Math Workshop. Collaboration allows for planning, teaching, and assessment of content and language objectives for ELs in the mainstream classroom (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2009).
Secondary EL Programs
At the middle and high school sites, level 1 and 2 Language students receive sheltered classes in English language arts, science, math, and social studies. Similar to Level 1 Language students at elementary sites, Level 1 students at the secondary level also receive intensive oral-language development.
The students at level 3 or higher may be served through a co-teaching model in the content areas. Collaboration allows for planning, teaching and assessment of content and language objectives for ELs in the mainstream classroom. These EL students may have one or more English language development (ELD) classes associated with the co-taught content class. The ELD classes are tightly aligned to both the state standards and the WIDA English Language Development Standards.