This Spotlight highlights two professional learning opportunities happening this summer. These Summer Institutes offer multiple strands of learning and, while different, share the same goal: to prepare teachers and leaders to support the needs of all English Learner students so that they can thrive in school, career, and community life.

2023 QTEL Summer Institutes: Reallocating Equitable Opportunities to Learn for English Learners

Adults learning at QTEL InstituteThe Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) initiative is one of WestEd’s signature programs. QTEL Summer Institutes are held every year in various locations and gather educators from around the world who are dedicated to creating classroom environments that support their English Learner students and who want to build their expertise to do that not only in the classroom but throughout education systems at school, district, and state levels.

The Institutes are facilitated by seasoned experts in English Learner education and built around the powerful QTEL approach for deep, generative learning. The work draws from five key principles for teachers:

  • Sustain Academic Rigor by promoting deep disciplinary knowledge and developing central ideas of a discipline.
  • Hold High Expectations by engaging students in tasks that are high challenge and high support.
  • Engage in Quality Interactions defined as the enactment of interactions that are sustained, deep, and build knowledge in relevant aspects of the discipline.
  • Sustain a Language Focus by explicitly developing disciplinary language, discussing how language works, and highlighting the characteristics of different disciplinary genres and discourse.
  • Develop Quality Curriculum that has long-term goals, is problem-based, and requires sustained attention beyond a single lesson.

Throughout the Institutes educators will experience how a lesson based on these five principles looks and feels and will be able to take what they learn and adapt it to their own classrooms. Each institute will feature a keynote from a renowned scholar in English Learner education as well as a keynote address from WestEd’s Aída Walqui.

Learn more, including dates and locations, and register for the 2023 QTEL Summer Institutes.

Supporting English Learners With Disabilities Virtual Summer Institutes

Professional development (Virtual)Practitioners working with English Learners sometimes struggle with when, why, and how to provide instruction and intervention and when to begin identifying if an English Learner has a disability. Managing interventions, special education evaluations, and instruction can be challenging because of the complex interrelationships between language, culture, home, and school. WestEd aims to support the teaching and learning of English Learners with disabilities with two virtual summer offerings:

Pre-Referral Practices That Support English Learners

Dates: June 20, 21, and 22
Time: 9:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. (PT) | 12:00 p.m. -3:30 p.m. (ET)

WestEd offers this three-day, virtual summer institute designed for teams of classroom teachers, special education teachers, English language development teachers, intervention staff, site administrators, child study team members, special education administrators, and other support personnel working with English learners suspected of having a disability.

Join us to learn about accessible grade level core (Tier 1) instruction and appropriate interventions for English learners. The course will focus on a Culturally Responsive Design for English Learners: The UDL Approach within a multitiered system of support for English Learners framework.

The framework was designed based on the model demonstration research sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education to provide instruction, tiered intervention, and pre-referral data gathering and problem-solving to make informed special education referral decisions.


Culturally Sensitive Special Education Evaluation and IEP Development for English Learners

Dates: July 11, 12, and 13
Time: 9:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. (PT) | 12:00 p.m. -3:30 p.m. (ET)

This three-day virtual summer institute is designed for teams involved in the assessment and IEP development for English learners, including child study team members, eligibility determination team members, and IEP team members, including psychologists, related service providers, special educators, ELD specialists, special education administrators, site administrators, and other support personnel working with English learners suspected of having a disability.

Educators will learn the policies, procedures, and best practices identified through IDEA for special education evaluation of English Learners who may have a disability. Using tools and resources developed by the U.S. Department of Education English Learner Toolkit, participants will learn the required components for developing a culturally and linguistically appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP) for English Learners found eligible for special education services.


Resources for Improving Outcomes for English Learner Students

Please check out these resources designed to help educators provide the best supports for English Learners.

  • Webinars: View experts engaging on key issues, challenges, and solutions related to the teaching and learning of English Learners. Browse our webinar archives.
  • Publications: Browse our professional learning materials, original research, practical tools, and more.
  • Research: The National Research & Development Center to Improve Education for Secondary English Learners works to advance the capacity of educators, policymakers, and researchers to serve students who are English Learners by bridging research and practice.

Subscribe to the E-Bulletin

Stay informed about WestEd’s research, resources, services, events, and career opportunities by subscribing to our E-Bulletin. Our latest issue explores how to better support English Learners in more depth. Topics include

  • A Conversation with WestEd’s Dr. Aída Walqui
  • Register for Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) Summer Institutes
  • 2023 TESOL Convention and English Language Expo
  • Summer Institutes: Supporting English Learners With Disabilities
  • Building Excellence for English Learners
  • Bridging Research and Practice for Secondary English Learner Success
  • Teacher Perspectives Are Key to Improving Professional Learning and Materials to Support Multilingual Learners
  • Strengthen Language Development at Home


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