Making Meaning: Teaching English Language Learners

Spring 2016 quarter

Taught by

qualitative research methods, policy studies

The intent of this program is to introduce undergraduate students to the foundational theories, research, and pedagogies specific to teaching English language learners (ELLs) in adult and K-12 classroom or international settings. Students will examine how such conditions as history, political climate, school policies, and program models impact the access and quality of education ELLs receive.

Students will focus on the study of language as a system with an emphasis on three important aspects of ELL pedagogy: literacy development, academic language/ content area instruction, and assessment of language proficiency and performance. Students will analyze the central theories, structures, and conventions presented in functional linguistics and language-acquisition research. With this knowledge base, students will design literacy curriculum and instructional strategies that align with Washington’s K-12 English language development and Common Core standards and competencies, or the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) standards for adult ELLs.

Students will also explore methods for content-area teaching (i.e., math, science, social studies) and assessment specific to the Common Core, four language domains (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), and the four developmental levels of language proficiency (preproduction, beginner, intermediate, and advanced). Students will learn the principles of backward design lesson planning, analyze instructional tasks for ELLs, provide ELLs opportunities for comprehensible input (receptive language instruction) and comprehensible output (productive language instruction), and offer content-area lesson demonstrations for peer feedback.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

education, K-12 teaching, and teaching English to speakers of other languages and adult learners in international settings.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

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Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Numbers

Jr (16 credits): 30101
Sr (16 credits): 30102

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