Current Projects

High-Leverage Principles of Effective Instruction for English Learners

August 23, 2017

CRESST is developing a resource that helps teachers implement evidence-based strategies to improve ELL students’ learning of content and language. This resource, written by CRESST for CSAI (a collaboration between WestEd and CRESST), provides teachers of ELL students with high-leverage, learning and teaching principles that can be incorporated into daily instructional plans and routines. Accountability statutes under ESSA and the heightened role that language plays in current state standards present new challenges for ELL students and their teachers by calling for improved instructional strategies that simultaneously address language and content-area learning. Instruction that addresses ELL students’ needs should:

  1.     Determine and address the academic language demands of the lesson;
  2.     Build upon students’ background knowledge;
  3.     Design and scaffold deeper learning tasks that integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing domains;
  4.     Provide opportunities for student participation through extended oral discourse and structured collaboration; and
  5.     Use formative assessment to support both language development and content goals.

The high-leverage principles for EL instruction presented in this resource represent a synthesis of research and most up-to-date literature on best instructional strategies for EL students. Each principle is detailed and accompanied by examples that illustrate its use. The resource concludes with an annotated classroom vignette that highlights the principles in action.