PreK-12 EL Education 

Twenty percent of the U.S. population speak a language other than English at home. As the number of students classified as English learners continues to grow, educators seek effective programs and instructional strategies to serve them. From its inception, improving the teaching of English around the world has been a core activity for CAL. 

CAL brings decades of expertise to supporting these emergent multilingual learners in preK-12 educational settings. We have many years of experience conducting research and developing effective resources for educators working with English language learners. Our projects include curriculum design, program evaluation, family engagement, and professional development. We bring a focus on language and literacy acquisition in the elementary and secondary grades, particularly for learners for whom English is a second language.  

At CAL, emphasis is placed on grounding educational practice in theory that is supported by scientifically based research, and on using research as the foundation for the development of pragmatic, forward-thinking approaches to resolving issues related to language and culture. CAL staff conduct and synthesize research relevant to promoting EL students’ gains in English language proficiency and in learning of academic content to meet state academic standards, including research on second language teaching and learning, bilingualism and biliteracy, transfer of literacy skills across languages, professional development for language educators, language assessment, approaches for teaching content to second language learners, and language policy development. In addition, CAL staff provide program design and evaluation, development of content and program standards, professional development for teachers and administrators, development of research-based instruction and assessment materials for use in English as a second language and native language educational contexts, and language policy analysis and assessment.  

CAL has experience with both in-school and out-of-school programs that foster educational achievement for second language learners. Through its combined focus on research and the application of research to programs and instructional practice, CAL offers high-quality services that enable states and districts to improve their students’ performance in relation to state academic standards. CAL’s research analyses have also contributed to the development of language policy and have been instructive for teachers, program administrators, and policy makers in districts across the U.S. and worldwide.  

Professional Development: CAL’s Approach 

Based on the research on adult learning theory and decades of work in professional development delivery in the fields of second language learning and teaching, the CAL PD team developed six guiding standards that influence CAL’s professional development approach:  

Effective, engaging, and sustained professional development should be: 

  1. research-based, content driven, and relevant; 
  2. meaningful and intellectually stimulating; 
  3. engaging, interactive, and collaborative; 
  4. well-organized and facilitated; 
  5. positively-framed, respectful, and inclusive; and 
  6. supportive of future learning and growth. 

CAL PD uses these standards in designing PD, training facilitators, and as tools for evaluation and reflection of sessions. PD participants will have the opportunity to rate the workshops based on the standards above. 

Projects

Center for the Success of English Learners (CSEL)
Center for the Success of English Learners (CSEL)

Funder: The Transdisciplinary Approaches to Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for English Learners (a.k.a. The Center for the Success of English Learners, CSEL) will undertake a focused program of research aimed at identifying and ... Read more

Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners (CREATE)
Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners (CREATE)

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, via subcontract from the University of Houston

Education Connections
Education Connections

Funder: U.S. Department of Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Great Lakes Comprehensive Center
Great Lakes Comprehensive Center

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

Los Angeles Unified School District English Learner Master Plan 2018
Los Angeles Unified School District English Learner Master Plan 2018

Funder: Los Angeles Unified School District

NYSESLAT (New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test)
NYSESLAT (New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test)

Funder: New York State, via subcontract from MetriTech

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News and Resources

Implementing the Common Core for English Learners
Implementing the Common Core for English Learners

The recent initiatives to promote college and career readiness through the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have left K–12 educators with many questions. As educators have examined the standards more ... Read more

Developing Academic Literacy and Language in the Content Areas
Developing Academic Literacy and Language in the Content Areas

Published by Center for Applied Linguistics

Learning the SIOP Model
Learning the SIOP Model

Jennifer Himmel and Julie Mazrum
Published by Center for Applied Linguistics

Listening and Speaking: Oral Language and Vocabulary Development for English Language Learners
Listening and Speaking: Oral Language and Vocabulary Development for English Language Learners

Linda New Levine, Betty Ansin Smallwood, and Erin Flynn Haynes
Published by Center for Applied Linguistics

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

Linda New Levine, Betty Ansin Smallwood, and Erin Flynn Haynes
Published by Center for Applied Linguistics

SIOP in Action: Instructional Videos Featuring Complete SIOP Lessons at Three Grade Levels
SIOP in Action: Instructional Videos Featuring Complete SIOP Lessons at Three Grade Levels

SIOP in Action Video: Sarah C. K. Moore, Julie Mazrum, and Jennifer Himmel (Producers)
SIOP in Action Guide: Jennifer Himmel (Compiler)
Published by Center for Applied Linguistics

CAL Authors Research on Less Commonly Taught Languages & Needs for K-12 Instructors
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