The most effective way to teach language is in the context of rigorous academic content learning for students at all grade levels and all English language proficiency levels.

Using deep expertise and evidence-based knowledge, WestEd strengthens practice and policy to accelerate achievement among English Learners. We conduct research and evaluation studies and provide professional development and other services that help educators address the needs of students who must master academic content and the English language at the same time.

April is National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month. Check out the following opportunities and resources designed to promote the success of English Learners.

Professional Development Spring/Simmer Virtual Events, WestEd

Spring & Summer Virtual Professional Learning Opportunities: Register Today

Learn instructional strategies for improving English Learners’ academic success. The strategies highlighted in these institutes apply to all instructional settings, including in-person, virtual, and hybrid learning environments.

Young asian students in a classroom getting the support they need as English-Learners in Secondary Schools

Supporting Adolescent English Learners: Professional Development Modules

WestEd is pleased to announce new professional development modules created by the experts at the National Research & Development Center to Improve Education for Secondary English Learners. The modules expand on WestEd’s popular 2020 conversation series, Perspectives on English Language Learning: Aída Walqui in Conversation with Leading Scholars.

Designed for pre-service and secondary school teachers, the modules are intended to be used in teacher education/preparation courses or in teacher professional learning sessions to develop participants’ expertise in working with adolescent English Learners.

In teacher education programs, the modules can be used as assignments to prepare student teachers for lectures on benchmark concepts, as in-class activities to introduce targeted topics, and as follow-up assignments to bolster knowledge on particular concepts.

Learn more.

Promising Practices for Supporting Newcomer Students

As our nation’s immigrant population grows, an increasing number of newcomer students are attending K–12 schools. These students arrive in classrooms as immigrants, refugees, and asylees who bring with them a wealth of culturally diverse experiences and knowledge.

Newcomer students want to be successful and productive community members while remaining linked to their cultures and native languages. But these students face myriad challenges to adapt and succeed in their new home and schools — learning how to navigate socially within a new culture, mastering a new language, and adjusting to a new, and most likely different, educational system.

This report highlights schools using promising and effective strategies for supporting newcomer students in K–12 classrooms. The report, develop

ed through a partnership between MAEC and WestEd, presents fresh ideas that can benefit all educators, especially those who work with immigrant and refugee students. It includes:

  • Eight promising practices that support newcomer students
  • Five profiles of schools that serve newcomer students in Kentucky, Maine, New York, and Vermont
  • A list of resources that inform promising practices for newcomer schools and students

The report also discusses curriculum and instruction, professional learning, school orientation, social-emotional and health support, and ways to partner with newcomer families and communities.

Download and read the report.

Strengthening Language Development at Home: Webinar & Activity Sheets

The RELs West, Northwest, and Northeast & Islands designed this recent webinar for district and school staff working with English learner students in grades K–5 and their families.

The webinar highlights the 2014 What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide, Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School, and shares nine activity sheets based on the practice guide as well as an associated Educator’s Guide.

The activity sheets are available in English and Spanish for parents and caregivers to use with their children at home.

Download the activity sheets and watch the webinar for tips on using them.

Learn more about our English Learner news, resources, and services at the English Learners area of work page.

Join the discussion about addressing English Learners’ needs to ensure that they thrive in school, career, and civic life. Subscribe to the WestEd E-Bulletin and follow us on social media — Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.