Teacher Education Institute
Call/Text (800) 331-2208 | Fax (407) 536-6000 |   
Teacher Education Institute Register Now

Linguistically Diverse Students & Literacy

As the American population becomes more diverse, so does the average classroom. Many students enter schools with limited knowledge of English, and this puts them in a very difficult position. Teachers need the skills to help these students with the vital task of English acquisition so that they can keep up in school. This class utilizes research proven theories, techniques, methods, and assessments to help K-12 classroom, reading, and languages teachers develop the skills and practices necessary to be facilitators of language and academic development of K-12 learners whose native tongue is other than English.

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


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.

Register Here

Course Schedule

  • 11/12/19 - 2/11/20
  • 1/14/20 - 4/14/20
  • 3/10/20 - 6/9/20
  • 5/12/20 - 8/11/20
  • 7/14/20- 10/13/20
  • 9/8/20- 12/8/20
  • 11/10/20 - 2/9/21

Course Schedule

York, PA

Dec 4-6 and Dec 18-20

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.

  • Introduction to the online class environment
  • Meet the classmates
  • Meet the instructor
  • Become familiar with the online course content
  • Review the course outline
  • Review the course syllabus and relevant information
  • Review Chapter Overviews
  • Review Project structures

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


  • Introduction the ESOL and culturally diverse learner
    • Who are they
    • What do they know that will help them learn English
    • Under what conditions will they best be able to learn
  • Statistics on the prevalence of ESOL and culturally diverse learners in American schools
    • From melting pot to salad bowl
    • Rapid growth in last decade
    • Success rates
  • English language development proficiencies
    • Listening and speaking
    • Reading: Phonemic Awareness, decoding etc.
    • Reading vocabulary
    • Structural features of informational materials
    • Writing, penmanship and organization for idea presentations
    • Conventions of writing
    • Teacher Expectation and attitudes
    • Lower expectation
    • Higher expectation
    • Acceptance
    • Funds of knowledge
    • Practices and resources
    • Recognition of knowledge
    • Program Models for teaching ESOL learners
    • Using native tongue/Bilingual programs
    • Using native tongue as support to the instructional program
    • English as a Second language programs
    • Content based/Sheltered Instructional methods
    • Research based recommendations for ESOL programs
    • Effective practices
    • Use of zone of proximal development theories
    • Use of conditions of learning strategies
    • Sheltered instruction

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


  • Define language proficiency
    • BICS and CALP
    • Communicative competency
  • Four principles of language learning and their application
    • Comprehensible input
    • Contextual instruction
    • Low anxiety environment
    • Meaningful engagement
  • Additional factors that influence language learning
    • Proficiency in the primary language
    • Age of student
    • Personality
    • Motivation

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


  • Planning instruction that matters
    • Traditional planning
    • Universal design planning
  • Standards of effective teaching
    • Producing together, teacher and students
    • Developing language and literacy across the curriculum
    • Making connections between outside world and school learning
    • Challenge thinking in complex ideas and topics
    • Using conversations and dialogue to engage students in learning
  • Planning for all students
    • Inclusive classroom participation
    • Maximum text readability
    • Amendable accommodations
    • Equitable use
    • Flexibility in use
    • Simple and intuitive use
    • Perceptible information
    • Tolerance for errors
    • Low physical effort
    • Appropriate size and space
  • Designing effective daily lessons
    • Common features of lesson plans
      • Objectives and standards
      • Purpose
      • Anticipatory set
      • Instruction
      • Guided practice
      • Independent practice
      • Assessment and closure
      • Reflection/Reward
  • Framework for teaching English language learners (ELL)
    • Key questions to ask about the lesson
    • Using Frontloading of language
    • Integrating language and content
    • Principles of instruction
      • State clear purposes
      • Access prior knowledge
      • Connect to prior learning
      • Provide models/demonstrations
      • Contextualize new information
      • Develop vocabulary
      • Provide for student to student interactions
      • Provide opportunities for authentic practice
      • Teach learning strategies: metacognition
      • Use multiple assessment methods
      • Provide primary language support as appropriate

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


  • State why assessment is necessary in ESOL, ELL literacy programs
  • Identify methods of assessing language development of their ESOL, ELL students
    • Student Oral Language Observation Matrix, (SOLOM)
    • Interactive Writing Charts
    • Running Records
    • KWL Charts and Response Logs
    • Teacher Created Tests
    • Writing samples
  • Design a written plan of implementing assessment for ESOL, ELL programs
    • Setting goals and purposes
    • Collecting the data
    • Interpreting the data
    • Using data for daily or program planning
  • Design a written plan of effective "intervention" for ESOL and ELL students

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


  • Accessing prior knowledge, language and culture
    • Using oral language to evaluate prior knowledge
    • Setting the background
  • Research findings on oral language in the classroom
    • Improving ability to communicate
    • Continuous meaningful practice
    • Taking the teacher out of the "talking mode"
  • Organizing for Interaction
    • Language and content
    • Grouping students for interactive projects and discussion groups
    • Effective meaningful group work
      • Provide explicit instruction on working in groups
      • Build in necessity for talking
      • Select cognitive tasks that require critical thinking
      • Involve all students
      • Provide sufficient time to complete the task
  • Developing language with group work
    • Listening
      • Explicit teaching in listening skills
      • Modeling listening skills
      • Guide practice in listening
      • Independent practice
      • Reflection
  • Q & A for developing language
    • Teacher expectations
    • Teacher's questioning levels
      • Low level cognitive questions
      • High level cognitive questions
      • Open ended/critical evaluative questions
      • Wait time
  • Students Questioning
    • Using QARs
    • Reciprocal Questioning
  • Students Helping Students
    • Reciprocal Teaching
    • Personal Aides/Coaches

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


  • Special plight of English language learners
    • Phonological awareness
    • Fluency gaps
    • Comprehension gaps
    • Achievement gaps
  • Viva la differance!
    • Accepting and celebrating diversity
    • Dual language identity text
    • Primary instructional language
  • NCLB and multicultural diverse literacy learners
    • Positive implications
    • Negative implications
    • Problematic issues
      • Related to teaching
      • Related to equity
  • Transforming literacy curriculum and pedagogy
    • Context
    • Methodology
    • Providing for authentic voices in the classroom

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


  • Defining Academic language
    • Language domains
    • Accuracy
    • Linguistic functions
    • Cognitive demands
    • Range of knowledge
  • Language registers and implications for ESOL
    • Mode: Means of communication
    • Field: Subject matter being discussed
    • Tenor: Relationship between listener/reader and speaker/writer
    • Research findings on language registers
  • Reading academic language
    • Five essential components of reading
    • Components of quality reading
    • Strategies for teaching reading to ELL, English language learners
    • Research findings on reading academic language
  • Developing reading vocabulary
    • High frequency or sight words
    • Root words
    • Affixes
    • Cohesive devices/signal words
    • Referents
    • Lexical chains
    • Conjunctions
    • Content words
    • Academic vocabulary
  • Word learning strategies
    • Word walls
    • Barrier games
    • List-group-label
    • Vocabulary journals
    • Read Alouds
    • Semantic feature analysis
    • Vocabulary cards/word banks
    • Word sorts
    • Wide reading

Module 8: Academic Language: Reading 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


  • Text structures and functions
    • Narrative
    • Expository
  • Writing for academic purposes
    • Strategies to teach ELL and ESOL
    • Language Experience Approach
    • Interactive writing
    • Writing models
    • Generative sentences
    • Word pyramids
    • Power writing
    • Found poems
    • RAFT, role, audience, format, topic
    • Writing to learn
    • Independent writing assignments
  • Teaching Grammar in ESOL programs
    • Sentence structure
    • Subject-verb agreement
    • Verb tense
    • Verb phrases
    • Plurals
    • Auxiliaries
  • Correcting ESOL learners' language mistakes
    • Two schools of thought, yes and no
    • Factors to consider in correcting errors
      • Comprehensibility
      • Pedagogical forms
        • Types of errors
      • Transfer
      • Overgeneralizations
      • Avoidance
      • Idiomatic
      • Idiosyncratic

Module 9: Grade Level Content: Integrating Language and Learning


  • Identify learning strategies that support learning content while developing English proficiency
  • Identify methods of "frontloading" language to prepare students to discuss or write about a new concept
  • Identify teaching methods or practices that will help build independent learners
  • Learn how to differentiate teaching and learning for ESOL and ELL students
  • Identify the essential standards for ESOL and ELL students to achieve


  • Accessing prior knowledge
    • Scaffolding
    • Reintroduce prior information
    • Questioning
  • Making content comprehensible
    • Modeling
    • Bridging
    • Contextualization
    • Schema-building
    • Metacognition
    • Test re-presentation
  • Developing independent learning
    • Graphic organizers
    • Require critical thinking
    • Organize information visually
    • Categorize Information
    • Text structure and graphics use
      • Planning
      • Instruction
      • Practice
      • Reinforce
    • Integrating language and content
      • Frontloading
      • Integrating
    • Developing Independence
      • CALLA
      • Metacognitive strategies
      • Cognitive strategies
      • Social/affective strategies
    • Type of learning
      • Declarative
      • Procedural
      • Conditional
    • Sequence of instruction
      • Explicit teaching
      • Modeling
      • Guided practice
      • Independent practice
      • Reflection/reward

Module 10: 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


  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Literature
  • Spiral the Curriculum the need for redundancy

Module 11: Differentiated Instruction: High Expectations for All


  • Identify the effect that teacher expectation has on student learning
  • Define differentiated instruction in terms of ESOL, ESL, and ELL learners
  • Identify the ways to use the concepts of multiple intelligences to differentiate instruction
  • Identify and explore teaching strategies best suited to differentiated instruction


  • Learning styles
    • Auditory
    • Visual
    • Kinesthetic
  • Teacher Expectation and Student learning
    • Good's research (1987)
    • TESA studies
    • Teacher student interactions that facilitate learning
      • Equitable distribution of response opportunities
      • Affirmation or correction
      • Proximity
      • Individual helping
      • Praise for learning performance
      • Courtesy
      • Latency
      • Reasons for Praise
      • Personal interest statements
      • Rephrasing, digging deeper
      • Touching
      • Higher level questioning
      • Acceptance
      • Stopping misbehaviors
  • Defining differentiated instruction
    • Sources, processes, products
    • Multiple intelligences
    • Research findings
    • Grouping
    • Planning and scaffolding
    • Varied assessments

Module 12: Communicating with ESOL, ESL, and ELL Parents


  • Review Lau Guidelines, Federal and State mandates for ESOL Education
  • Research web resources for writing, spelling, and grammar instruction with ESOL students
  • 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
  • Provide time for participants to develop an appropriate plan for home school communication with ESOL, ESL and ELL parents

Class participants will read the class website and the related Internet links provided to find information on the various approaches for involving parents in the ESOL literacy program as well as plans for effective school home communication. A review of the web resources and class website is required.


  • 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.