January 20, 2017
For the second year in a row, Title III teachers and paras from ESU 10 have been trained on EL Achieve’s Systematic ELD (English Language Development) curriculum in conjunction with Title III teachers from ESU 11, 13, 15, and 16. The five-day institute started in August and recently finished up in November. To date, teachers and paras from nine school districts in the ESU 10 area have been trained to use Systematic ELD with their ELs (English Learners). These districts include Gibbon, Broken Bow, Sargent, Overton, Cozad, SEM, Central Valley, Northwest, and Ord.
Why is Systematic ELD necessary?
According to Title III and Rule 15 English Learners must be provided English language instruction at their proficiency levels as well as have access to grade-level curriculum. Unfortunately, most ELs are receiving instruction in reading, similar to their Native-English speaking peers, and it is being counted as language acquisition. While ELs may show gains in English fluency using these methods, they are still falling behind their peers in acquiring academic fluency.
What is Systematic ELD?
Systematic ELD is designed to be a once a day pullout class. The goal of the program is to help students develop a solid English language foundation. They will build social language as well as academic language that will support content area classes. The curriculum is comprised of kits. Each kit provides lessons that last 30-45 minutes a day for a five-week period. There are six themes and three language proficiency levels for each grade level grouping.
Teachers and paras that have gone through the five-day institute have been trained to use explicit language instruction which includes teaching vocabulary, word usage, grammar, and syntax. Systematic ELD focuses on language students are not likely to learn outside of school, academic language students will need for everyday use, and language that is not explicitly taught in other content areas.
What is the next step for ESU 10 Title III teachers?
On November 30, the Title III teachers and paras that participated in EL Achieve’s five-day institute last year met at ESU 10. The goal of the day was to refresh and collaborate. Teachers and paras shared how they manage their programs using the Systematic ELD curriculum and some of the challenges they continue to work through.
Our next step includes a two-day training in February to work on aligning the curriculum to the Nebraska ELP standards. The Teaching and Learning Curriculum team will be working with the EL Achieve teachers as we work through the process. This will also be an opportunity for all teachers that have gone through the institute to meet and collaborate.
-by Theresa Ritta-Olsen, Teaching & Learning Coordinator