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Math and Science: Skills and Strategies to Adapt Instruction for English Language Learners

Research points to the importance of incorporating a variety of scaffolding methods to teach math and science to English language learners. Enhancing student comprehension through explicit vocabulary instruction and multiple modes of communication (aural, visual, and textual) enables learners to develop new skills and concepts as they gradually gain more mastery of the content. Workshop participants will learn strategies and techniques to help English language learners understand math and science content. Authentic classroom videos demonstrate key concepts, supported by practical hands-on tools educators can implement in their classrooms. The materials are designed for Grades K-8.

Authentic Classroom Video

The workshop presents new classroom video including segments that demonstrate principles of instructions for ELLs, solving math word problems, and adapting a science lesson.

Workshop Topics

Workshop topics include the language of math and science (vocabulary and grammar), Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, making math comprehensible, strategies for solving math word problems using higher order thinking, making science comprehensible, vocabulary in science: cognates, key strategies for science instruction, making math and science interactive, using higher order thinking in math and science, the scientific method applied, and the co-teaching model.


Participants will be able to

  • Describe the characteristics of the language of math and science.
  • Articulate the challenges of learning vocabulary in math and science and practice strategies to address these challenges.
  • Explain how to make math and science comprehensible to English language learners.
  • Analyze math and science lessons for examples of ways to adapt instruction.
  • Incorporate cooperative and small-group learning strategies into math and science lessons.
  • Promote higher-order thinking through math and science lessons.
  • Integrate language structures related to specific tasks in a science unit plan.
  • Reflect on the co-teaching model through video observation and analysis of teacher’s commentary.
  • Develop a list of teaching and learning strategies, or adapt existing strategies, that are appropriate for English learners in the content areas of math and science.

All workshop participants will receive a copy of CAL’s new professional development workbook: Math and Science: Skills and Strategies to Adapt Instruction for English Language Learners and the companion video.

Contact CAL to learn how CAL can deliver this workshop at your location.

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Workshop Goal

Participants will learn concepts, methods, and strategies to adapt instruction in math and science for English language learners.

Learn about the Hot Topics in ELL Education series.

Onsite Services

Contact us to learn more about our professional development services delivered at your location.

Hot Topics Resources

The workbook and companion video used in these professional development services are available for purchase as knowledge building resources for educators.

CAL trainings expand upon these resources with additional information and activities, and we recommend attending a CAL training to receive the full benefit from these materials.

Learn more.