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Developing Educator Expertise to Work with Adolescent English Learners

OVERVIEW    |   MODULE 1   |   MODULE 2   |   MODULE 3   |   MODULE 4   |   MODULE 5  |   MODULE 6

Modules Overview


These modules are part of a series designed to be used in the education of pre-service teachers and in the professional learning of teachers to develop their expertise in working with English Learners in secondary schools.

The modules are based on a series of conversations from summer 2020 between Aída Walqui, the Director of the National Research and Development Center to Improve Education for Secondary English Learners, and renowned linguists and educators from around the world who have made significant contributions to the study of multilingualism. Each conversation focused on particular research advances in the education of English Learners.

Components of the modules


All modules comprise the following components:

  • An introduction that describes the main purposes of the module and outlines its main components

  • A series of activities to be led by an instructor (for pre-service teachers) or a professional development provider (for current teachers). Each activity includes the following:

    • Activity overview

    • Links to any related readings or video clips (from scholars in the field addressing the themes of the module)

    • Directions on how to lead teachers through the activity

The activities in each module can be used together as a whole, which generally takes multiple sessions, or certain activities can be used on their own or in small clusters for in-person interactive activities.

Suggestions for using the modules


The modules are intended to be used in teacher education/preparation courses or in teacher professional learning sessions to develop participants’ expertise in working with adolescent English Learners. In teacher education programs, the modules can be used as assignments that prepare student teachers for lectures on benchmark concepts, as in-class activities to introduce targeted topics, and as follow-up assignments to bolster knowledge on particular concepts.

The activities are structured in a variety of ways. Depending on the particular activity, participants may be invited to:

  • View video clips with specific questions and purposes in mind. After viewing video clips, participants often engage in small-group interactions or whole-class discussions.

  • Engage in focused discussion about articles or chapters that participants have read and taken notes on at home on their own.

  • Carry out an assignment outside of class that leads to an organized classroom activity. For example, a class is divided into triads. Three different, but complementary readings are given to each of three students, with questions leading to a class presentation. Students do their reading and note-taking outside of class. In their groups in class, students share their ideas from their reading and agree on questions or comments that they then raise to the instructor or professional developer.

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