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The introduction of new standards for English Language Learners has resulted in an increase in rigor and a focus on academic language. With this shift, language service models that isolate language objectives from content, such as pull-out or ESL classes, are becoming less common as school districts refocus on language instruction that is embedded within high-quality, well-scaffolded content instruction.
When creating content-based language instruction, educators must develop unit and lesson content that allows ELs to access the same rigorous, standards-based, grade-level content. In particular, educators need to develop content-based language objectives, which clarify how students will develop language within content instruction.
Alison Balter, an EL leader from Lawrence Public Schools in Massachusetts, worked with Jordan Meranus to share effective strategies that she uses to develop language objectives and integrate them into lessons and units. Below we have outlined some of these key strategies.
Language objectives clarify how language instruction is integrated with content, and specifically identify:
With advanced planning, language objectives help to identify the scaffolds that teachers must have ready to support differentiated instruction for their ELs.
When creating language objectives you should begin by clarifying and identifying the following:
Next, you will use this key information to craft a language objective composed of the following three components:
Within this structure you will be able to adjust the language function and supports to match students’ different language proficiency levels.
* Support was not provided, as most of the advanced students in this group were working at grade level.
View the discussion thread.