ELL Instructional Strategies

  • ELL instruction at Sweeney Elementary is guided by Shakopee School District ELL Standards and grade level content standards in science, social studies, math, reading and writing.

    During ELL class, students develop and practice all four of the language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

    ELL teachers provide instruction in learning strategies for both grade level content and language acquisition.

    Instruction is based on the SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observational Protocol) model of instruction, which includes:

    • clearly defined content and language objectives
    • engaging and meaningful activities
    • emphasis on key vocabulary and academic language
    • a direct link to student background knowledge and past learning
    • classes where students are actively engaged with learning

    Students are taught in a pull-out model for grades one, two, three, four, and five. General and ELL teachers work together to coordinate curriculum to teach students during their Science and Social Studies class time.

    ELL instruction focuses on Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). Academic language can take from five to seven years to develop in ELL students. Many ELL students have difficulty in areas such as reading, writing, spelling, science, social studies, and other subject areas where there is little context to support the language being heard or read in class. This kind of language takes longer to learn than social language. It is less interactive and has fewer context clues to assist meaning.