• Participants of iTeachELLs STEM Camp 2019

    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 2020.


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.

Metacognitive / Metalanguage

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.


Science Scope—November/December 2018

Demolishing Traditional Approaches to Science Instruction (2018)
Using Problem-Based Enhanced Language Learning to teach students how to engage in scientific discourse.

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Priming your Environment for Growth through a Collaborative Model of Instruction. (2018)
To better prepare the next generation of teachers, we are examining the influence of instructional coaching at the university level.

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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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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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Enhanced Language Learning Lesson Plans

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Mathematics as well as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) require that English Language Learners meet rigorous, grade level academic standards. The following principles are meant to guide teachers, coaches, ELL specialists, curriculum leaders, school principals, and district administrators as they work to develop CCSS-aligned instruction for ELLs.

These principles are applicable to any type of instruction regardless of grade, proficiency level, or program type. No single principle should be considered more important than any other. All principles should be incorporated into the planning and delivery of every lesson or unit of instruction.

Stanford Graduate School of Education. (2013). Six Key Principles for ELL Instruction. Understanding Language. Retrieved from http://ell.stanford.edu/content/six-key-principles-ell-instruction

Elementary School

Middle School

PBELL 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

Elementary School

Middle School