Accessibility Diversity and Diverse Learners

English Language Learners

English Language Learners by Education Librarian

Listed below are selected resources for teachers related to working with English Language Learners.

Image result for teaching ELLs content areasTeaching ELLs Across Content Areas: Issues and Strategies, edited by Nan Li

Grades: K-12. This book gathers professional knowledge, expertise, and experience from authors who represent the entire range of  content areas, including language arts, science, mathematics, technology, arts, psychology, and Hispanic studies.

50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners , by Adrienne L. Herrell & Michael Jordan

Grades: K-12. This book provides an assortment of practical strategies aligned to TESOL standards, each including a brief explanation, step-by-step instructions on how to plan and use the strategy, and classroom scenarios demonstrating how the strategy can be adapted for different grade levels and content areas. Additional strategies in language and literacy development, technology, and assessment are also included.

ELL Teacher's Toolbox cover art The ELL teacher’s toolbox: Hundreds of practical ideas to support your students by Larry Ferlazzo & Katie Hull Sypnieski

Grades: K-12. The ELL Teacher’s Toolbox provides hundreds of innovative and research-based instructional strategies you can use to support all levels of English Language Learners….[T]he book is divided into two main sections: Reading/Writing and Speaking/Listening. Each of those sections includes “Top Ten” favorites and between 40 and 70 strategies that can be used as part of multiple lessons and across content areas.

IEPs for ELs and Other Diverse Learners , by John J. Hoover & James R. Patton

Grades: K-12. Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are fundamental for guiding the educational process of and developing goals for students who require special education services. This book guides educators through the process for creating high-quality IEPs for both English learners (ELs) and for students with learning, emotional, or behavioral disabilities.

Best Practices in ELL Instruction, edited by Guofang Li and Patricia A. Edwards

Grades: K-12. Provides best-practice guidelines for targeting reading, writing, oral language, vocabulary, content-domain literacies, and other core skill areas; assessing culturally and linguistically diverse students; and building strong school-home-community partnerships. Chapters include clear-cut recommendations for teaching adolescent ELLs and those with learning disabilities.

No More Low Expectations for English Learners , by Julie Nora and Jana Echevarria

Grades: K-12. Nora and Echevarria describe what best practice methods for supporting ELs’ academic achievement look like, and offer strategies to provide the instructional supports ELs need for both language acquisition and content-area learning.

Show, tell, build: Twenty key instructional skills and techniques for educating English learners, by Joyce W. Nutta et al.

Grades: K-12. This book is organized around two decision maps for planning and implementing differentiated instruction for ELs: the Academic Subjects Protocol (for teachers of academic subjects) and the Language Arts Protocol (for teachers of language arts). The instructional tools and techniques described in each chapter help teachers provide communication support for ELs through showing and telling, and develop students’ language proficiency through building their skills.

Inclusive literacy teaching: Differentiating approaches in multilingual elementary classrooms, by Lori Helman et al.

Grades: 1-6. The authors present key foundational principles in language and literacy development for linguistically diverse students. They demonstrate both a “big picture” and an “up close and personal” look at the successes, obstacles, and developmental nuances for students learning to read and write in a new language in inclusive classrooms. (E-book)

 A book for every teacher: Teaching English language learners, by Nan Li

Grades: K-12.
The book is designed for all teachers who have or will have ELLs in their classrooms and who seek information and strategies to better work with and serve their ELLs to achieve academic success. With this design, teachers can use the book as a text or reference tool, or for professional development materials.

Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning: Teaching English language learners in the mainstream classroom, by Pauline Gibbons

Grades: K-6. With clear directions and classroom tested strategies for supporting students’ academic progress, the author shows how the teaching of language can be integrated seamlessly with the teaching of content. Examples of classroom discourse illustrate how the scaffolding process works, while activities to facilitate conversation and higher-level thinking put the latest research on second language learning into action.

Book cover120 content strategies for English language learners: Teaching for academic success in secondary school, by Jodi Reiss

Grades: 9-12. Offers practical instructional and assessment strategies built on a foundation of second language acquisition theories and principles that teachers can incorporate into daily classroom instruction. These strategies address how to build background knowledge and learning strategies, read for comprehension, give clear instructions, assess learning, consider culture & its impact on learning, and more.

book coverBeyond “teaching to the test”: Rethinking accountability and assessment for English language learners, by Betsy Gilliland and Shannon Pella

Grades: K-12. This book gives teachers the background and strategies to make their teaching and support equitable for ELLs. Examining how teachers can support learners’ reading, writing, and academic language development, and illustrated with examples of real teachers at work, the authors explain teaching for accountability, formative and summative assessment, and preparation for high-stakes testing, as well as provide suggestions for teaching, guiding questions for discussion, and resource recommendations. Part of the Principles in practice series.

Finding More Resources

To find more resources in this area, try the following:

  • Search using the General tab on the UBC Library website to look for material in all UBC Library branches.
  • Search using “Search Education Resources” box in the left hand bar on the Education Library website to limit your results to physical materials in the Education Library.
  • Use specific search terms to narrow your results, such as “English language–Study and teaching–Foreign speakers”.
  • To find lesson plans, include “lesson plans”, “lesson planning”, or “activity programs” in your search terms.

For more help with searching, please visit the Library Service Desk or e-mail

Story written by Education Librarian


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