English Language Learners
The number of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. public schools is rising dramatically. SEDL has been a leader in this area since our founding in 1966 when we developed the nation’s first bilingual curriculum. Our scope of work has changed over time, but our dedication to supporting English language learners has not. We continue to offer a variety of products and services to help educators meet the needs of ELLs, including migrant students.
— Linda Cavazos, REL Southwest
Professional Learning Communities Facilitator's Guide (2015)
The Professional Learning Communities Facilitator's Guide is designed to assist teacher teams in applying the evidence-based strategies in the Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School educator's practice guide, produced by the What Works Clearinghouse.
The facilitator's guide employs a five-step cycle that encourages professional learning communities to debrief, define, explore, experiment, and reflect and plan. This cycle is supplemented with activities, handouts, and readings. In addition, a series of 23 videos introduces the practice guide recommendations and shows teachers putting them into practice in actual classrooms. Read more
Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest: The REL Southwest assists the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas in using data and research evidence to address high-priority education needs in the region. The project addresses the topic of English language learners through the English Learners Research Alliance, which seeks to understand the education problems of practice related to the diversity of English learners and to explore the programs and services that best meet their needs. The initial focus is on Texas but will expand to the REL Southwest's entire region over time.
Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC): The SECC provides professional development and technical assistance to the state education agencies of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina to build their capacity to support districts and schools in meeting student achievement goals, including meeting the needs of English language learners. Work varies by state.
Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC): The TXCC provides professional development and technical assistance to the Texas Education Agency and the state’s 20 regional education service centers to build their capacity to support districts and schools in meeting student achievement goals, including meeting the needs of English language learners.
Mosaic: An Integrated Approach to Mathematics, Science, Technology, & Language: This K–5 supplemental instructional program updates and expands SEDL’s highly popular Paso Partners program. Mosaic provides lessons and resources that integrate math, science, and technology while supporting English learners and academic language skills. Available in both English and Spanish, the program was made possible through a grant from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation and is provided online free of charge. Read more
Southeast Comprehensive Center (2005–2012): The Southeast Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance and professional development to the state education agencies of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina to build their capacity to improve student academic achievement, including meeting the needs of English language learners. Work varied by state. For example, staff provided Louisiana with assistance in updating the English proficiency criteria for high school students and Mississippi with assistance in developing ELL guidance documents and Web-based professional development.
Texas Comprehensive Center (2005–2012): The Texas Comprehensive Center worked with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the state’s 20 education service centers to build staff capacity to improve student academic achievement, including meeting the needs of English language learners. For example, staff assisted TEA in developing an online course for teachers on ELL linguistic accommodations and in revising the state's home-based migrant program for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Texas Linguistic Accommodations Online Course: SEDL's Texas Comprehensive Center helped develop an online course to instruct Texas teachers in effectively implementing linguistic accommodations in the classroom. The work was a collaborative effort with the Texas Education Agency and the Center on Instruction at the University of Houston. TXCC contributions included conducting focus groups, holding a research summit, and providing guidance for development.
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Survey Design: Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this multiyear project involved developing a national study design to gather periodic information on the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs and participating families. The project was led by the CDM Group, Inc., and partners included Abt Associates, Inc.; the National Center for Latino Child and Family Research; Social Dynamics, LLC; and the Catholic University of America. SEDL had a staff person on the design team, which planned MSHS sampling, worked closely with the MSHS programs, and collected and analyzed data.
Paso Partners: Integrating Mathematics, Science and Language: An Instructional Program: SEDL’s Paso Partners program developed a set of lesson plans to help K–3 teachers increase ELLs' achievement in math and science.
Languages Other Than English Center for Educator Development (LOTE CED) (1998–2003): SEDL operated the LOTE CED, funded by the Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Region II Education Service Center. The LOTE CED's mission was to provide a statewide system of ongoing professional development for foreign language educators in implementing the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Languages Other Than English.
Language and Diversity Program (1996–2000): SEDL’s Language and Diversity Program (LDP) was funded under the 1996–2000 Regional Educational Laboratory contract to improve education for children and youth with limited English proficiency. LDP staff participated in a variety of state, regional, and federal initiatives, including research, development, professional development, dissemination, and networking activities.
Best Start Early Childhood Program (1996–2000): In partnership with the Harris County Department of Education in Houston, Texas, SEDL developed this second edition of the Bilingual Early Childhood Program. The program helped prepare Spanish-speaking children ages 3 to 5 for the transition to English-speaking classrooms. The first edition of the program was available commercially until 1983.
The Texas A&M University System's Support Activities Related to the Limited English Proficient (LEP) Student Success Initiative Evaluation: SEDL conducted a 3-year evaluation study of the Texas A&M University System's online English as a second language (ESL)/bilingual professional development and LEP campus support services. The study used expert reviews to determine the quality and effectiveness of the professional development; surveys of teachers and administrators at grant-funded campuses to determine the extent to which teachers are implementing the ESL/bilingual teaching strategies; and site visits, focus groups, and interviews to determine the progress made in the development and completion of the deliverables.