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Linguistically Diverse Students & Literacy

As the American population becomes more diverse, so does the average classroom. Many students enter school with a limited knowledge of English, which puts them in a difficult position. This course will provide educators with useful skills and strategies to ensure that these students are successful learners. This course utilizes research-based theories, techniques, and methods to assist educators in becoming facilitators of language and academic development in the K-12 classroom.


Carlow University ED 697 • Madonna University EDU 5830.37 • Notre Dame College ED 628 M • The College of Saint Rose EDT 669

The required text for this course is Teaching English Language Learners: A Differentiated Approach by Carol Rothenberg. 0-13-170439-7

New Textbook Beginning with May online and face to face classes:

Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning- Teaching English Language Learners in the Mainstream Classroom- 2nd Edition, by Pauline Gibbons- 2015


Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 11/10/20 - 2/9/21
  • 1/12/21 - 4/13/21
  • 3/9/21 - 6/8/21
  • 5/11/21 - 8/10/21
  • 7/13/21 - 10/12/21
  • 9/14/21 - 12/14/21
  • 11/9/21 - 3/8/22

Course Schedule

Commack, NY  HYBRID

  • April 16-18 & April 30- May 2


Tarrytown, NY

  • June 4-6 & June 18-20

Nassau County

  • Oct 22 -24 & Nov 5-7


Introduction & Overview

Objective: In this beginning exercise, the instructor will confirm the accuracy of e-mail addresses for all students. The instructor will then send a welcome message to the class. The students have this first week to acquaint themselves with the format of the course, the textbook, and the methods of communication.


Module 1: A Differentiated Approach: Core Principles of Learning


  • Defining the ESOL students and their multicultural counterparts
  • Introducing the statistics on the need for ESOL programs in America's schools
  • Examining the English language development proficiency descriptors
  • Contrast and compare program models for teaching ESOL learners
  • Examine the effect of teacher expectation and attitude on achievement of ESOL students
  • Introduce the terms, ESL, ESOL, ELL and define their likenesses and differences
  • Define Zone of Proximal Development as it applies to ESOL learners and instructional programs

Module 2: Language Acquisition: Dimensions of Proficiency


  • Define the dimensions of language proficiency
  • Identify the key principles of language acquisition
  • Introduce communicative competency theories and components
  • Determine best methods of applying the four principles of language acquisition to instructional practices
  • Identify additional factors that influence language learning

Module 3: Purposeful Planning: Equal Access for All


  • Introduce differentiated instruction concept and practices
  • Contrast and compare traditional instruction with differentiated instruction
  • Examine standards for effective teaching
  • Identify ways to plan for all students
  • Define a workable Instructional framework for teaching English (ESOL, ELL) learners

Module 4: Phonics and other Word Identification Strategies


  • Identify the reasons we assess students
  • Introduce methods for assessing oral language
  • Examine how to use assessment results to plan instruction that is differentiated
  • Examine how to use assessment to "inform" teaching

Module 5: Oral Language: The Foundation of Literacy


  • Introduce ways to provide for oral language activities for ESOL learners
  • Examine the concept of social interaction and language learning
  • Examine methods of scaffolding questions to facilitate critical thinking for students at all levels of proficiency in English
  • Identify ways to design lessons where student engage in peer interaction, questioning and helping
  • Review oral language development and learning as a tool for designing effective classroom instruction for ESOL and ELL learners

Module 6: Review of Oral Language Development with ESOL Students


  • Identify the needs of multicultural students with diverse language in American classes
  • Define the challenges and rewards of multicultural literature to teach reading and oral language proficiency
  • Identify ways to plan lessons for Interaction of ESOL students
  • Continue to develop skills in modifying or adapting lesson plans to meet the needs of diverse language users

Module 7: Academic Language: Building Language Proficiency


  • Define academic language and its importance to literacy achievement
  • Identify the components of an effective reading program
  • Examine the role of word knowledge in performance of ESOL learners
  • Identify effective methods for teaching word knowledge/vocabulary

Module 8: Reading Proficiency and Writing


  • Identify effective instructional strategies for developing writing skills for students with varying degrees of English proficiency.
  • Define the term "assessment-driven" instruction
  • Contrast and compare peaceful coexistence of test developers, policymakers and teachers
  • Explore and reach conclusions about if and how assessment "informs" literacy education

Module 9:Grade Level Content: Math, Science, Social Studies and Literature


  • Examine the problems associated with teaching and learning these at or near grade level for ESOL students
  • Identify the approaches that are recommended by research as viable alternatives or modifications for teaching each content area to ESOL students


Module 10:Communicating with ESOL, ESL, and ELL Parents


  • Research web resources for translation services and "best practices" in communicating with parents of ESOL students
  • Identify excellent resources for parents to involve them in their child's schooling and education
  • Develop an appropriate plan for home school communication with ESOL, ESL and ELL parents


  • Identify and state the major premises surrounding ESL and the more recent terminology, ESOL, literacy instruction
  • Select appropriate emphasis and techniques based on "best practice" supported by the research for effective methods and practices in ESL, ESOL literacy instruction
  • Demonstrate researched supported methods of instructing for language and reading fluency with ESOL students
  • Contrast and compare the various methods supported by research findings for organizing and differentiating instruction for ESOL learners
  • Identify and state the "conditions of learning" in ESOL literacy programs
  • Identify and discuss a variety of literature appropriate for learners with multicultural backgrounds
  • Identify and discuss a variety of ways to use literature to raise awareness and acceptance of multicultural groups within our society and schools
  • Identify and state the major issues with the concepts of quantitative and qualitative assessment of literacy achievement of ESOL learners
  • Identify the "best practices" of literacy instruction and achievement for ESOL programs
  • List multiple ways that technology aid in the development of literacy in ESOL programs
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

On-site weekend courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities page for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are required to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here. If no book is required it will be specified on the list. We have copies of many of the textbooks should you wish to purchase directly from TEI. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class and reflect the course title, dates of attendance, and credit hour information. 

Student Academic Integrity
Participants guarantee that all academic class work is original. Any academic dishonesty or plagiarism (to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and offer them as one's own), is a violation of student academic behavior standards as outlined by our partnering colleges and universities and is subject to academic disciplinary action.