Promoting Educator Networks: Standards-Based Instruction for English Learners (PEN)

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is working in partnership on this project with the University of Oregon’s Global and Online Education Department (Global), the TESOL International Association (TESOL), and a team of Local Education Agencies. It is overseen by the evaluation expertise of SRI International (SRI). Funded by a grant from the Office of Innovation and Improvement (i3), U.S. Department of Education, this four-year project addresses the competition’s Absolute Priority of Improving Academic Outcomes for English Learners (ELs) under Subpart (a) Aligning and implementing the curriculum and instruction used in grades K-12 for language development and content courses.

The project will customize an online platform (Oba) to enhance traditional approaches to professional development (PD) through teacher networks. Oba will house core activities, which will improve teachers’ standards-based, EL-relevant instruction.

Project core activities are interdependent and intersect across the project and include

  • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
  • Interactive Resource Repository (IRR)
  • Subject Matter Expert Sessions (SMES)
  • Online Professional Development (OLPD) and,
  • Obaworld Implementation (OI).

The project addresses four goals. (1) To use PEN’s teacher networks to expand traditional approaches to PD; (2) To facilitate teachers’ implementation of standards-based, EL-relevant instruction; (3) To improve ELs’ English language and literacy development, therefore enhancing access to rigorous core academic content; (4) To impact EL students’ ELP and standardized content scores as a result of teachers’ involvement in PEN. Outcomes include a new, unique approach to PD; improved implementation of standards-based, EL-relevant instruction; increased English language and literacy proficiency among ELs; and, higher English and content test scores among ELs served by PEN teachers.

Special Project Features include:

  • Innovative approach to PD leveraging teachers’ collaboration in networks
  • The Oba platform allows for course management, streamlined social networking, and embedded video chatting
  • First large-scale project focusing on standards-based, EL-relevant instruction

CAL’s partners for PEN include:

  • Division of Global Education, University of Oregon
  • TESOL, Alexandria, VA
  • SRI International, Menlo Park, CA
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools, Charlotte, NC
  • Fresno Unified School District, Fresno, CA

More details will be forthcoming as project plans unfold.