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