A High-interest, Non-Fiction Curriculum for Long-term English Learners

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At North Tahoe School, we have the opportunity to teach 'Designated ELD' to our English learners in 35-50 minute periods daily which allows ELD teachers to focus on the academic language needed for these students to succeed in their grade-level content classes. Most of our English learners assigned to designated ELD classes are identified as Long-term English Learners (LTELs).  

Long-term English learners are defined as students who:  

  • Have lived most or all of their lives in the United States
  • Are often orally bilingual and sound like native English speakers, but do not have well-developed academic literacy skills in English (Advanced listening/speaking CELDT scores).
  • May have developed habits of non-engagement, learned passivity, and invisibility in school.
  • Perform below grade level in reading and writing. As a result, struggle in all content areas
  • Have overall low school performance, making this population at high risk for dropping out  

English 3D is a program designed by Dr. Kate Kinsella to reach Long-term English Learners by engaging them with interesting nonfiction texts that present real-world issues relevant to their lives. Through these texts and Dr. Kinsella's research-based instructional strategies, LTEL's:

  • learn high-leverage, academic language, including vocabulary, syntax, and grammar
  • improve speaking and listening skills through class discussions, peer collaboration, and formal speeches
  • develop academic writing skills in summarizing, justification, argument, and research
The informational texts in the unit span a 750 to 1100 Lexile® range, and each article includes a data file, text feature, and a content-area connection to social studies, science, or health. Student materials include frames for language functions, class discussions, formal writing assignments, and 30- and 60-second speeches. The teaching guide includes targeted language objectives with instructional routines and assessment opportunities for vocabulary, speaking, listening, and writing.  As a teacher of 5th through 8th grade English learners, both in regular ELA classes and Designated ELD, I feel that this instructional model provides the structure and assessment that my students need to address their unique needs.  Thanks for your consideration!  



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Description (10 points)

With the student materials, long-term English learners will gain the structure and assessment they need to move beyond the plateau on which they have 'hung their hats'. This program directly targets their unique language needs and holds them accountable for improvement in skills that they currently see as "acceptable". This program shows LTELs that there are specific areas for improvement. 

Success of Program (10 points)

The curriculum has both formative and summative assessment opportunities. I have used both with success. 

Implementation (10 points)

English 3D strategies will be implemented in 7th and 8th grade ELD classes. The 12 issues presented in the curriculum will be divided among the 2 groups. This allows students to use the Student Portfolios for 2 years. 

Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

Implementation strategies will be shared at our EL PLC as well as grade-level literacy PLCs. 

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