• iTeachELLs Teacher Quality Partnership Grant

The iTeachELLs project prepares educators to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students. iTeachELLs is a $10+ million grant which was awarded in 2014 and runs through 2019.

Three innovations:
  • Instructional Coaching in Higher Education
  • Six Principles of ELL Instruction
  • Problem-based Enhanced Language Learning
Our vision: All learning occurs through language. All teachers are language teachers.

The why

As a nation, we are growing more diverse. To commit to an economically healthy Arizona and nation, we must invest in and value the diverse cognitive and cultural capital of learners. The jobs of the future will require some form of education beyond high school. As a state and a nation, we are missing a tremendous opportunity of nourishing the individual cognitive capital resources available to our economy.

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The how

We want teachers and students to feel successful. Most teachers wonder about how to support language learners. The three iTeachELLs innovations — Instructional Coaching in Higher Education, Six Principles of ELL Instruction and Problem-based Enhanced Language Learning — help faculty and teachers think about the role of language in learning and in the classroom.

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iTeachELLs modules

This suite of modules highlights why teachers need to rethink the role of language in instruction and explores ways to modify lessons to address the needs of ELL students. An introduction to the suite is provided in this Modules Overview

ELLs and Disciplinary Discourse

Teachers need to adapt lesson plans to ensure all students understand the content.


ELLs need to understand words and meanings in order to grasp content.

Content Language Objective

Teachers must create lessons that not only present content but also teach the language needed.

Primary Language Support

It is important to treat a student's native language as a resource rather than a hindrance.


Standardized tests aren't the most effective way to gauge ELLs' knowledge or abilities.


Students should work collaboratively to research a meaningful problem and develop solutions.

Research and resources

Cover Image

Bears in a boat: Science content and language development through a problem-based learning experience (2018)
Problem-based learning — introducing a problem before students have learned how to solve it — pairs well with language in the writers' approach, Problem-Based Enhanced-Language Learning.

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Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning (May 2017) Teachers need to be able to design and implement problem-based learning experiences to help students master the content and the processes in new mathematics
and science education standards.

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Problem-Based Enhanced Language Learning Recent discussions of educational reform and accountability have centered on the concepts of student engagement and standards-based instruction. One of the most promising
approaches to addressing these challenges is problem-based learning.

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Cover Image

Working Together to Prepare Teachers of Science and Language (2016)
This qualitative study examines the change in a preserve program as faculty members systematically work together to change the culture of a college to one in which everyone assists future teachers to work with ELLs.

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iTeachELLs lesson plans

Problem-based enhanced language learning is intentionally planning meaningful, problem-based lessons that also build high-level, discipline-specific language. The roots of problem-based learning are enhanced by:

  • Intentionally planning for opportunities to develop and practice language
  • Including sheltering techniques to make content and language comprehensible
  • Infusing reading, writing, and speaking and listening into math, science and social studies content
  • Providing access to rigorous content through a PBL approach

PBELL lessons are organized by elementary and middle school levels. Each link will direct you to a Google Drive folder containing lesson plans, materials and a PowerPoint presentation that can be adapted for your classroom. The folder titles are labeled:

  • iTeachELLs — indicating it was designed by the iTeachELLs team
  • Teacher Created — indicating it was designed by an in-service teacher after attending an iTeachELLs training

News and publications

spilled ice cream

Earlier this month, Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid and author of “Permission to Screw Up,” visited A

Joel Westheimer

Last April, the iTeachELLs Teacher Quality Partnership Project, an initiative of ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, sponsored

Glowing letter against stars

The annual iTeachELLs STEM Camp wrapped up last month and continued to offer invaluable professional development to enthusiastic educators.


Last month, ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College held the iTeachELLs STEM summer camp. The five-day program took place at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix and was bolstered with some noteworthy guests.


Last month, ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College held the iTeachELLs STEM summer camp.


iTeachELLs is working to prepare all teachers to support and meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) in their classrooms.

Students in science class

There’s change in the air this summer.

iTeachELLs upcoming events