Essays in Education


Content-area instruction for English language learners (ELL) represents a growing area of instructional need in high schools across the United States. This article focuses on the challenges and successes in developing an effective instructional environment for teaching secondary-level social studies curriculum to a sheltered population of ELLs. In the present study, grant funding was provided for a schooluniversity partnership to support content-area teachers’ efforts to increase ELL students’ comprehension skills. The authors of this paper propose a multi-tiered approach to meeting the needs of English language learners in the mainstream social studies classroom – providing social and cultural supports during the process of acculturation, providing explicit instruction in academic strategies necessary for successful comprehension of in-depth content, and making social studies curriculum more accessible through a range of strategies for reducing cognitive load without reducing content.

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