Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners

Three diverse students in school library

If 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

What's In This Guide

Family engagement

Who can use this guide?

Educators in many different roles can use this guide, including ELL specialists, bilingual teachers, reading specialists, classroom teachers, special education professionals, paraprofessionals, family liaisons, support staff, and administrators.

Multilingual Resources for Families

Tip sheets



Classroom Videos

For great classroom videos at different grade levels such as the videos below, see our classroom video library!

Interactive reading of a story

In this classroom clip, first-grade teacher Albuquerque teacher Ali Nava leads her students through an interactive reading of the end of Burro's Tortillas, a Southwestern adaptation of "The Little Red Hen."

Assessment for ELLs

Learn how third-grade teacher Samantha Kirch uses informal assessment in her classroom to better evaluate ELLs and their progress.

Focusing on language in literacy instruction

In this classroom clip, fifth-grade teacher Clara Gonzales-Espinoza helps her students expand their understanding of the way language is used in a picture book telling of Cinderella.

Reading non-fiction text with high school ELLs

In this lesson for high school ELLs, students will discuss the language used in Nelson Mandela's 1964 Court Speech "An Ideal for Which I am Prepared to Die."