NEA Video Series: Best Practices for ELLs

The National Education Association has partnered with Colorín Colorado to produce a series of classroom videos highlighting best practices for English language learners (ELLs), created with guidance from Dr. Diane Staehr Fenner.

The videos feature two schools in Northern Virginia with a strong collaborative culture, where teams of educators and administrators are working every day to find effective strategies of support and instruction for their ELLs.

Claremont Dual Immersion Elementary School (Arlington, VA)

Making Dual-Language Immersion Work

This video provides an introduction to Claremont Immersion School's dual language model and shows how teachers collaborate to provide instruction across two languages.


ESL Support in Elementary School

This video shows the range of ESL services offered at Claremont Immersion School, as well as the support offered to a newcomer Spanish speaker from Colombia, Gian Carlos.


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.


Mason Crest Elementary School (Annandale, VA)

ELLs Belong to All of Us: The Role of ESOL Specialists in Collaboration

This video showcases a 5th-grade team planning a science lesson about the difference between vascular and non-vascular plants. ESOL specialist Katy Padilla plays a key role in advocating for ELLs throughout the lesson planning process and sharing her strategies for engaging and supporting students.

Reading Basics with Fifth-Grade Newcomers

In this video, fifth-grade ESOL specialist Katy Padilla works in a small group setting where she provides phonics instruction for newcomer English language learners (ELLs) as part of her school's collaborative balanced literacy approach.


Interviews with Featured Educators

Amanda Reynolds

Amanda Reynolds is a fourth-grade teacher at Claremont Dual-Immersion Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia.  In this interview, she explains how collaboration works in her school's dual-immersion model and the kinds of supports she gives ELLs in the classroom.


Elizabeth Varela

Elizabeth Varela is an ESOL specialist at Claremont Dual-Immersion School in Arlington, VA.  In this interview, she discusses the approaches she uses to support ELLs in and out of the classroom.


Samantha Kirch

Samantha Kirch is a third-grade teacher at Claremont Immersion School in Arlington, Virginia. In this interview, Samantha talks about the different ways she uses informal assessment in the classroom and some of her ideas for differentiating instruction.


Sheila Majdi

Sheila Majdi is an ESOL specialist at Claremont Immersion School in Arlington, Virginia. In this interview, she talks about the ways in which she collaborates with her colleagues to support ELLs, differentiate instruction, and target skills where students need more practice.


Jessica Panfil

Jessica Panfil is the principal of Claremont Immersion Elementary School in Arlington, VA. In this tow-part video interview, she discusses the pride her students take in being bilingual, outreach to diverse families, and the role of assessment in planning instruction for all students.


Katy Padilla

Katy Padilla is a fifth-grade ESOL specialist at Mason Crest Elementary School in Annandale, Virginia, a school with a high percentage of ELLs. In this interview, Katy talks about the steps she has taken to make collaboration effective, shares a special pre-teaching strategy she uses with ELLs, and talks about basic reading instruction for older students.