ELL Roundtable: 2023

Mom reading with son

The following resources highlight language and literacy resources for English language learners (ELLs) and including resources for multilingual families.

Tip Sheets & Guides for Families

Being Bilingual Is a Superpower: Tip Sheet in 16 Languages

Image of Literacy Tip SheetLearn how you can  to read by celebrating your language, culture, and special time together at home. Related resources include:

Note: See Head Start's The Importance of Home Language Series for more ideas.

Reading 101: A Bilingual Guide for Families

This guide offers information on how families can support their children's reading and literacy development at different ages and stages. The guide is available in English on Reading Rockets and in Spanish on Colorín Colorado.

Video Series

Expert Interviews

Dr. Alba Ortiz

Dr. Alba Ortiz is one of the nation's leading experts on questions of special education for English language learners (ELLs).  In this in-depth interview with Colorín Colorado, Dr. Ortiz discusses challenges related to special education identification and ideas for making ELL families an integral part of all decisions related to students.

Video Series in English and Spanish

Reading SOS: Bilingual Families' Questions About Language and Literacy

Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-HaganIn this special video series available in English and Spanish, experts answer real questions from families about reading. This collection focuses on language and literacy topics for bilingual families and features Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan.


Family Literacy Tips for All Families: Video Series in English and Spanish

Bernadette Pilar Zermeño sings a song for familiesAll families can help their children become readers! These videos offer practical tips for all families on how to support reading at home. These videos are available in English and Spanish and feature early literacy expert Bernadette Pilar Zermeño.


Multilingual Video Series

Being Bilingual Is a SuperPower: Animated Video in 8 Languages

These animated videos, available in 8 languages, offer ideas on how families can support their child's literacy through activities that celebrate language, culture, and special time together at home! This project features the artwork of award-winning illustrator Rafael López.

Indigenous Family Outreach: Videos in English, Spanish, and Mam

Henry Sales, Mam educator from Guatemala, standing in front of bookshelf with cultural itemsIn this special video series, Henry Sales, an Indigenous Mam educator who was born in Guatemala, encourages other Mam and Indigenous families from Latin America to keep their culture and language strong. The videos are available in English, Spanish, and Mam.


School Projects

You Are Welcome Here: Support for Newcomers in Dearborn, MI

Student in Dearborn, MIYou Are Welcome Here is an award-winning 20-minute film from Colorín Colorado highlighting how the Dearborn, MI public school district is helping its immigrant students succeed. The film features Salina Elementary School and Salina Intermediate School in the South End of Dearborn which serve large populations of families from Yemen.

Assessment for English Language Learners

In this video, Ms. Samantha Kirch demonstrates the ways she uses informal assessment to gauge student understanding, as well as the kinds of support offered to ELLs who need some extra practice with the concept of drawing conclusions.

Featured videos

Teacher Christina Guerra: Sharing students' strengths with families

Fourth-grade teacher Christina Guerra talks about the importance of letting families know that you understand their child's strengths, especially when talking about special education needs and services.

Dr. Karen Woodson: Developing a new ELD model through teacher leadership

Dr. Karen Woodson describes the teacher-led process that her school went through to create an equitable instructional model for ELLs at the school based on the collaboration of literacy and ELL teams.

Articles & Resources for Educators

Family partnerships

Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners

Three diverse students in school libraryIf you teach English language learners (ELLs), there are many ways you can support your students’ literacy development! This in-depth series offers multiple strategies and considerations related to ELLs' literacy instruction, along with related resources and videos

Image credit: Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages / Verbatim Photos


Recommended Books for Young Children

The following books for young children (babies, toddlers, and PreK/K) introduce a wide range of concepts, themes, and activities sure to spark lots of imagination, conversation, and learning! Many of these titles feature a diverse range of children and families, and some are available in bilingual editions. They also provide great examples of ways to include culturally relevant and diverse content when teaching young children about new concepts.

Bilingual Picture Books: Stories Featuring Spanish Vocabulary Words

Isabel and Her ColoresThese stories are told primarily in English, with Spanish vocabulary words and phrases sprinkled throughout. This style reflects language as it is used by multilingual speakers across the globe — a fluid mix of words and idioms across languages.

Learn more about this form of translanguaging in our article Windows and Mirrors: Latinx Experiences in Children's Literature.

Colorín on the Go!

Colorín on the Go is a new web app from Colorín Colorado for teachers of English language learners (ELLs)! It offers more than 100 practical, shareable strategies featuring our most popular content across topics such as:

  • ideas for new teachers of ELLs
  • ELL instruction
  • family engagement
  • social and emotional support

You can get to Colorín on the Go by visiting go.colorincolorado.org from any device or using this QR code:

Video: Introducing Colorín on the Go!