Teaching K-8 English Learners Literacy & Academic Content

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The Teaching K-8 English Learners Online Professional Learning Course will help you more effectively prepare your students with limited English proficiency in elementary and middle grades with the skills they need to be successful in school. This is a critical challenge for elementary and middle school teachers as the number of English Learners continues to increase in the United States.

The percentage of public school students designated as English Learners in the United States rose from 8.1 percent (3.8 million) in 2000 to 9.6 percent (4.9 million) in 2016 (Institute of Education Sciences, 2019). Moreover, a higher percentage of English Learners are concentrated in the lower grades of US public schools. For example in 2016, 16.2 percent of kindergartners were identified as English Learners while only 8.5 percent of 6th-graders; 6.9 percent of 8th-graders and 4.1 percent of 12th-graders were designated as English Learners (Institute of Education Sciences, 2019).

This course draws on the recommendations of the Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School Practice Guide, published in July 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse. The Practice Guide, developed by a panel of expert researchers and practitioners, provides educators with specific, research-based recommendations for effective teaching practices. It focuses on the foundational skills that enable English Learners to understand academic vocabulary, integrate oral and written English language into content areas, develop written language skills, and participate in small-group interventions for literacy and EL development.

The overarching goal is for participants to understand and be able to apply the panel’s recommendations to their teaching with K-8 Learners.