Defining and Implementing Effective Programs and Curricula

Successful EL programs enable EL students to attain both English proficiency and parity of participation in the standard instructional program within a reasonable period of time. Research shows that effective programs for ELs eliminate achievement gaps by providing cohesive, sustained, supports. While district and state administrators are responsible for the design and regulation of programs, teachers working with ELs must have a clear understanding of program goals and all components in order to ensure successful outcomes for the students in their classrooms and schools.

There are many educational approaches and models that have shown to be effective, including English as a Second Language, sheltered instruction, bilingual, and dual language programs. Effective educators of ELs understand the approach used in their school or district, clearly understand the program goals, and can articulate how federal, state, and local regulations impact and shape implementation in the classroom.

Effective educators of ELs also successfully align instruction, curriculum, and assessment to support achievement of the programmatic goals for students, and have accountability mechanisms in place to monitor student progress toward those goals.
This article reviews research related to programs and practices that have demonstrated improvement in reading and language outcomes in ELs. The authors discuss the following program models and model components for ELs: school structures and leadership; language and literacy instruction; integration of language, literacy, and content instruction in secondary schools; cooperative learning; professional development; parent and family support teams; tutoring; and monitoring implementation and outcomes. The authors assert that the quality of instruction is what matters most in educating ELs. They advocate whole-school interventions for ELs and recommend professional development to implement this approach.
In Part IV of this series of articles, the authors discuss models for schools and LEAs that support EL programs. Also included are scenarios on how these programs might look based on examples from actual schools and LEAs, and specific practices for classroom teachers. Coleman, R., & Goldenberg, C. (2010, Summer). What does research say about effective practices for English learners? Part IV: Models for schools and districts. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 46(4), 156–163.
This article identifies four important principles based in EL research: (1) “generally effective practices are likely to be effective with ELs,” (2) “ELs require additional instructional supports,” (3) “the home language can be used to promote academic development,” and (4) “ELs need early and ample opportunities to develop proficiency in English.” For each principle, the author provides specific examples from research. Goldenberg, C. (2013, Summer). Unlocking the research on English learners: What we know—and don’t yet know—about effective instruction. American Educator.
This publication offers guidance on effective strategies for instructing ELs. The report outlines “key contextual factors that decision-makers should take into account when making instructional choices” for ELs. Also included is a brief overview of bilingual and English-only instructional models and the influence of language instruction models on academic outcomes for ELs. The authors contend that “regardless of the model that school districts select, teachers must use the most effective strategies to accelerate student learning and maximize instructional time.” Also included are research-based instructional strategies. Moughamian, A. C., Rivera, M. O., & Francis, D. J. (2009). Instructional models and strategies for teaching English language learners. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.

Translate »