CCSSO logo

Resources for Educators
of English Language Learners

CAL logo


Resources for Grades 9-12
Curricula and Standards
Classroom Resources
and Instructional Strategies
Culture and Orientation
Professional Development
Sample Search
of the ERIC Database
Resources for Grades K–12
Curricula and Standards
Classroom Resources
and Instructional Strategies
Culture and Orientation
Professional Development
Sample Search
of the ERIC Database

Curricula and Standards: Grades K–12


FAST Math Curriculum
Fairfax County Public Schools

The FAST (Focus on Achieving Standards in Teaching) mathematics program, developed in Fairfax County, VA, provides instruction to newly arrived English language learners in Grades 4–12 who are 2 or more years below grade level in mathematics. This program trains teachers to support English language learners in their acquisition of academic language as they learn the math concepts.


Buchanan, K. (2001). School administrator’s guide to the ESL standards. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Available online as an Adobe PDF document (39kb).

This guide shows administrators how to use the ESL standards to establish goals that measure compliance with federal guidelines and goals that are aligned with the school accreditation process. Examples of school-wide and classroom-based instructional approaches are included.

Cole, R. W. (Ed.). (1995). Educating everybody’s children: Diverse teaching strategies for diverse learners. What research and practice say about improving achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

The culmination of work by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s (ASCD) Urban Middle Grades Network, a special Advisory Panel on Improving Student Achievement, and the Improving Student Achievement Research Panel, this book proposes a repertoire of tools for educators meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.

Cole, R. W. (Ed.). (2001). More strategies for educating everybody’s children. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

This book presents a collection of papers offering practical strategies that teachers can use to enhance student performance at all levels. The authors identify and describe the most effective teaching approaches for helping students learn history, civics, geography, and science. The book extends the notion of diversity by examining different populations that have been underserved by schools.

Collier, V., & Thomas, W. P. (1997). School effectiveness for language minority students. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education.

This publication was written for ESL and bilingual coordinators as well as for school policy makers. It summarizes research findings from 5 large urban and suburban school districts with records of more than 700,000 language minority students collected from 1982–1996. The study makes predictions about long-term student achievement related to a variety of instructional practices.

Genesee, F. (Ed.). (1999). Program alternatives for linguistically diverse students. Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence: University of California, Santa Cruz.

This report looks at programs and approaches for educating students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. It is intended as a guide for decision makers in schools and school districts to help them identify the instructional approaches and programs that would best serve their students, meet their goals and needs, and match local resources and conditions. An underlying assumption of this report is that no single approach or program model works best in every situation. Many different approaches can be successful when implemented well. Local conditions, choices, and innovation are critical ingredients of success.

National Study of School Evaluation. (2002). Program evaluation: English as a second language. A comprehensive guide for standards-based program evaluation for schools committed to continuous improvement. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

This volume helps school staff analyze their current ESL program from a data-driven and standards-based perspective. It encourages schools to reflect on how well they serve the academic and language learning needs of students learning English. Drawing from the best pedagogical and programmatic practice, this new resource will help schools develop the best programs so that English language learners are successful in school and beyond.

Snow, M. A. (Ed.). (2000). Implementing the ESL standards for PreK–12 students through teacher education. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

This book is a practical guide for using the ESL standards in various courses within teacher education programs, and as such, is valuable for both teacher educators and teacher learners. Most of the readings provide insights for both prospective and practicing teachers who work with English language learners in U.S. classrooms.

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (1997). ESL standards for PreK–12 students. Alexandria, VA: Author.

The standards for PreK–12 ESL students represent a starting point for developing effective and equitable education for ESOL students. These standards were developed to complement the discipline-specific standards created by other professional associations and groups. The ESL standards stand apart, however, because they acknowledge the central role of language in the achievement of content and highlight the learning styles and particular instructional and assessment needs of learners who are still developing proficiency in English. Developed through a collaborative process involving hundreds of ESL teachers, researchers, administrators, and language specialists, the standards provide national coherence for students and the educators who serve them.

Thomas, W. P. & Collier, V. P. (2002). A national study of school effectiveness for language minority students’ long-term academic achievement. University of California, Santa Cruz: Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence.

This five-year research study (1996–2001) is the most recent overview of the types of school programs provided for linguistically and culturally diverse students in the United States, the language minority or English language learner population. The research findings includes both qualitative and quantitative data on the long-term achievement of these students in Grades K–12.

Wiley, T. (1996). Literacy and language diversity in the United States. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.

Written for scholars, policy makers, and educators, this book provides an introduction to those unfamiliar with issues in literacy and language diversity and poses problems for consideration for those who work in the field. The book explores the extent of language diversity in the United States based on the best available national data; considers what we know about the extent of English literacy, native language literacy, and biliteracy; and discusses the kinds of data we need to make more informed policy decisions at the national level. The book critiques policies and practices that view language and other forms of human diversity as problems that must be remedied through education and points to recent positive developments in adult literacy that accommodate language diversity and use it as a resource. The book concludes with recommendations for policy and practice.

Digests and Reports

ESL and Bilingual Program Models

The ESL Standards: Bridging the Academic Gap for English Language Learners

A National Study of School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students’ Long-Term Academic Achievement

Recent Reading Initiatives: Examples of National, State, and Professional Organizations’ Efforts

Some Program Alternatives for English Language Learners

Online Resources

ESL Standards for PreK–12 Students

The Center for Applied Linguistics maintains this page, which includes links to publications; a listserv; and a searchable database that includes survey information of states, districts, and schools that are involved in using the ESL Standards for curriculum, assessment, and professional development purposes.

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

This organization developed the K–12 ESL Standards , which form the basis for many school, district, and state ESL curricula. Read the standards online.

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)

This site offers a searchable bibliographic database that includes more than 20,000 citations and abstracts dealing with all aspects of the education of linguistically diverse students. NCELA makes many important papers available online. Browse their Online Library. See especially NCELA’s resources on “Curriculum and Instruction: Reading, Writing, Literacy, and Literature” and the section on “Education Research: Language and Literacy Development” .

ESL Standards Implementation Database

This searchable database includes the survey information of states, districts, and schools that are involved in using the ESL Standards for curriculum, assessment, and professional development purposes. This information is intended to facilitate communication among practitioners working on standards-based educational reforms that include English language learners (ELLs).

Copyright 2003
Council of Chief State School Officers
One Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20001-1431