Hello and welcome to the Pearson EL blog for California!!

January 30, 2009 at 11:44 pm 1 comment

The Pearson EL blog is intended to be:

* a forum on issues pertinent to English Learners

* a place to exchange ideas, conversation, and information related to English Learners

* a location where we reinforce primary language instruction, solid ELD instruction, and best practice in the delivery of English instruction to our ELs

The blog will grow over time and have “lead bloggers” who are experts in the field of Primary Language Instruction, ELD instruction, Reading/Language Arts, Transferability, Assessment and much more. We look forward to your input and active participation. 

Let us hear from you!!


Entry filed under: Welcome.

What is ELD?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jill Kerper Mora  |  February 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you to Pearson EL Blog for sponsoring this interesting and useful forum for discussing issues in teaching English Language Learners (ELL).

    The term and concept of English Language Development (ELD) is one of three major approaches to instruction for ELL: English as a Second Language instruction (ESL), English Language Development, and Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE). The content and focus of each of these approaches differs according to the goals and purpose of the program of instruction.

    ESL is an approach where the English language is the content or subject matter, such as in cases where English is being studied as a second or foreign language. An ESL curriculum is frequently designed around linguistic topics, language functions, or points of grammar following a set sequence or progression. ESL is usually the selected approach for students at the lower levels of English proficiency, beginning to early intermediate who need to study English intensively. The focus of ESL is usually on listening and speaking, with some reading and writing instruction included, although these are not the main objective of instruction. ESL does not focus on academic content or the development of academic language since its purpose is usually to develop basic conversational skills and functional language for communicative purposes. ESL courses and instruction are not designed with specific grade-level content standards in mind. Rather, ESL instruction is planned according to the language proficiency level of a specific group of students.

    English Language Development differs from ESL in that its purpose is to teach English through academic content. In other words, English learning is the objective and the academic content is the “vehicle.” This distinction is important, because ELD is an approach that accomplishes two purposes simultaneously: growth in English proficiency and literacy skills related to specific academic content, and cognitive, conceptual learning of the content and/or skills. ELD students are not just studying the English language as in ESL. They are learning to express themselves and to read and write in English as they learn the subject matter taught in the grade-level curriculum. ELD is a “pathway” that gives access to the grade-level curriculum for students whose English proficiency is not native-English speaking age-peer equivalent. ELD instruction is organized around content standards and literacy skills and is focused on teaching students the vocabulary, expressions and grammatical structures to talk, read and write about the concepts and content of their grade level. Well-planned and sequenced ELD instruction that is direct and targeted greatly enhances students acquisition of English and their knowledge of subject matter, as they are able to attach labels to known and newly-acquired concepts and ideas. An effective ELD curriculum also addresses the knowledge and skills students have established in their L1 and how to make positive transfer of this knowledge to learning language and concepts in their L2.

    SDAIE is an approach that is effective for students with higher levels of language proficiency (intermediate, early advanced or advanced). SDAIE is content area focused, with modifications and adjustments made in instruction to meet the needs of students whose English proficiency is not yet fully developed. In other words, SDAIE is also known as “sheltered instruction.” Language teaching is not the focus of SDAIE, although strategies for content-related vocabulary learning and structured language use activities, such as in the “language” of critical thinking, are employed to make the content more comprehensible.

    As we can see from this discussion, we select our instructional approach based on our curricular and language teaching goals and objectives and according to students´ levels of English proficiency.


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