Content Instruction for ELLs

In order for English language learners (ELLs) to become successful students, they need to learn grade-level content as well as the English language skills needed to access that content. The strategies in this section suggest ways in which you can provide your ELLs with additional language support in learning content areas such as math, science, social studies, and language arts.

What You'll Find in This Section

There are a number of strategies that educators can use when teaching English language learners (ELLs) in content areas.  If these strategies are new to you, an ESL specialist or colleague may be able to offer some more ideas on how to use these strategies effectively with students at different language levels.

Content Strategies

Math can be a helpful bridge for English language learners (ELLs) that have studied math in their home countries or in other schools.  Nevertheless, some students will have limited math experience, and all ELLs will need practice mastering the language of math and learning how to understand word problems and use language in math class for tasks such as explaining their answers.  These resources offer strategies for math instruction at various grade and English proficiency levels.

Math Instruction for ELLs

Teaching language arts and literature to English language learners (ELLs) provides rich opportunities for language and literacy development.  These resources offer ideas for helping ELLs succeed with grade-level texts and work towards the rigorous demands of the Common Core and other language arts standards.  Resources also include ideas for language arts in ELLs' native languages, such as Spanish.

Language Arts

The arts go hand-in-hand with language learning, whether it's learning new words through a song or drawing an experience that a student cannot yet describe.  These resources talk about the connection between the arts and language and showcase some creative programs for encouraging the arts in schools.

The Arts

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