3.4 Multilingual Learners – Demo

3.4 Multilingual Learners



Multilingual learners are learning the language of instruction at the same time they are learning rigorous academic content. The following are resources to help you better understand the needs of multilingual learners in the classroom.



Language Acquisition: An Overview by Kristina Robertson et.al, How can you use this chart to gain a better understanding of the stages of second-language acquisition?



Objectives help both teachers and students focus attention on what is most important to learn. Teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs), especially, must be very explicit in developing purposeful objectives. This helps students to stay focused on the instructional path and not wander aimlessly. Multilingual learners need both language and content objectives. Watch the video, The SIOP model - Writing Effective Content and Language Objectives, to clarify the process of creating purposeful objectives.



The “Strategy Backpack” is an opportunity to download resources, guidance, or working documents to support your future journey as a substitute teacher. To leverage these additional resources, create a Strategy Backpack folder in your Google Drive or on your hard drive. Review the materials provided, and save the information you find compelling in your personal folder. Strategy Backpack resources are completely optional to download or complete.

Although it may seem like a small gesture, using phrases in your students' native languages can mean a great deal. Making an effort shows that you respect and value their language. This list of Helpful Words & Phrases in Spanish may be a helpful resource, as Spanish is the most prevalent native language of Rhode Island students other than English.

Review the WIDA Standards Can Do Descriptors to learn what multilingual learners are able to do by grade level. Think about how you can use these grade level indicators to create clear language objectives to support multilingual learners. 

The WIDA website has a wealth of resources for supporting MLLs, including these 3 videos on:

  • Academic Vocabulary Development,
  • Fostering Active Comprehension: Asking and Answering Questions, and
  • ENL New Arrival High School Students: Encouraging Communication in a New Language.

Watching these optional videos will give you a glimpse into real classrooms and help you learn ways to apply the WIDA standards to your instruction.