New Course on Academic Language for ELLs

Do you have English language learners (ELLs) who need to develop and accelerate academic language? Do you want to understand why it’s important for all teachers to know about academic language across the curriculum? And do you want to know how you can support ELL students’ language development in your classroom as you teach your content?

Then consider joining “Academic Language for ELLs” on Teaching Channel’s Teams platform, which runs from October 6 to October 27, to learn more about supporting your ELLs’ language in your classroom. As an experienced ELL teacher, coach, and WIDA Certified Trainer, I will guide a private group through understanding academic language features, then implementing linguistic supports for ELL students. Each teacher in the group will focus on a personalized “action cycle” in order to bring this learning to life in real time for a student or group of students. Participants can be K-12 core content, Special Education, ELL, specialist teacher, or coach.

ELLs are students with rich cultural and linguistic diversity who, on their journey of academic language development, are learning both language and content in the classroom. Thus, ELLs benefit from specific supports in order to adequately learn the academic language needed to succeed in school. In order to provide appropriate supports, teachers need to develop a “language lens.” This means we need to view language through the eyes of students acquiring English in order to provide the support they need to make sense of new content and language.

By unpacking the features of academic language as expressed in the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, teachers can start to analyze the challenges of the language we are using to teach our content. With practice, we can make visible the often less visible parts of language so that we can provide linguistic supports for our ELLs to achieve academic goals.

Register by October 2

If you’re interested in joining the Academic Language for ELLs group within our private Teaching Channel Teams platform, you can sign up here by October 2nd. If you have questions, please feel free to email me directly at I really look forward to the potential of working together to support your English learners’ journey of English language development by developing your ELL lens!

Sarah Ottow is an ELL coach and WIDA Certified Trainer who empowers teachers and leaders to improve outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse learners through her Boston-based organization, Confianza: Educating for ELL Equity. Sarah has over fifteen years of teaching and coaching experience in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico through her service as a classroom and ELL teacher, bilingual literacy coach, mentor, and district coordinator. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.


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