English Language and Literacy Integration in Subject Areas (ELLISA) Project
Strategies for Integrating Language and Literacy in Subject-Area Instruction
Observation Guide: Take notes on practices that you observe.
Promote Academic Discourse (DISCOURSE)
• Model discourse patterns such as recounting, hypothesizing, and explaining.
• Ask students to communicate their ideas and thinking about concepts, especially claims, evidence, and reasoning.
• Provide students with feedback on their use of academic language.
• Re-voice or restate student contributions using subject-area-specific discourse patterns.
• Ask students questions that are intended to stimulate thinking and reasoning.
• Encourage students to respond directly to each other’s statements and claims.
• Ask students to restate, affirm and/or critique others’ assertions, claims, evidence, and/or reasoning.
Support Literacy Development (LITERACY)
• Assign tasks that involve subject-area-specific literacy skills (e.g., expository writing, measuring, using instruments and tools, recording observations, making tables and charts, interpreting or drawing diagrams, reading primary-source documents, etc.).
• Explain expectations of literacy tasks and provide clear instruction about how to successfully accomplish the tasks.
• Provide students with feedback on their use of subject-area-specific literacy practices.
• Provide vocabulary instruction on key terms and concepts.
• Use key subject-area-specific terms throughout the lesson.
• Give students opportunities to use key words in writing or talk.
Scaffold Language and Content (SCAFFOLDING)
• Modify talk (e.g., repetition, wait time, proper enunciation, rate of speech, rephrasing, L1 use) that facilitates student understanding of instruction
• Pay explicit attention to language issues that might be confusing or difficult (e.g., multiplemeaning words, figurative language, idioms, and grammatical structures)
• Provide supports such as sentence frames, word walls, glossaries, graphic organizers, outlines, and reading guides
• Utilize visual representations, physical manipulatives, models and realia
• Use gestures, multimedia resources, demonstrations and kinesthetic movements
Contextualize Learning (CONTEXTUALIZATION)
• Anticipate and elicit students’ experiences from home, community or other out-ofschool related to the topic being studied
• Make public students’ prior knowledge and thinking about the lesson topic
• Connect the lesson topic to local physical; geographic; economic, ecological, political, social, or other conditions
• Link the lesson topic to issues and challenges faced locally, statewide or nationally and/or ones that students have personal experience with
• Engage students in problem and projectbased learning tasks and assignments