ELA Guidelines

Improve your ELA materials & instruction for ELs with our free, comprehensive tool. The ELA Guidelines are divided into five Areas of Focus:

I: Interdependence of Oral Language, Disciplinary Writing, and Text Engagement
II: Sustained Language and Content Support
III: Learner Awareness (Metacognitive Strategies)
IV: Leveraging Students' Assets
V: Formative Assessment
Area of Focus III

Learner Awareness (Metacognitive Strategies)

Specification 8A

Multiple texts (including multimedia) serve to build background knowledge on crucial and engaging topics and disciplinary practices.

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Specification 8B

Materials support students in noticing and comprehending sentences that are either essential for understanding the reading or that represent challenging structures. Syntax development should be an explicit and regular focus in reading tasks, and that focus should occur in the context of collaboratively working with meaningful texts.

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Specification 8C

Reading tasks include a regular focus on vocabulary presented in the context of meaning-making, communicating and drawing inferences, not merely to acquire academic English. Materials draw student attention to high-value vocabulary words (often Tier II and Tier III vocabulary) essential to the text and likely to appear in future texts.

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Specification 8D

Tasks frequently focus on an author's use of language (e.g. tone, sentence formation, use of words) and literary devices (e.g. imagery, allusion, metaphor).

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Specification 8E

Materials feature purposeful illustrations chosen deliberately that direct students to examine illustrations, interpret them, and consider their purpose and relationship to the text.

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Specification 8F

Materials include a range of texts for comparison within a unit to elevate subtleties within each genre.

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Specification 8G

Student materials ensure that students have many opportunities to communicate ideas to others and to consistently reflect on and use strategies to improve their communication (meta-awareness strategies).

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Specification 8H

Materials provide models of strong writing annotated to draw attention to essential features of texts.

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Specification 8i

Models of strong writing build student understanding of purpose and audience of genre.

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Specification 8J

Student materials provide opportunities for students to analyze, reflect on, and improve their own writing (meta-awareness) using models, rubrics, and other reflection tools.

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Specification 9A

Teacher materials provide guidance on how to draw students’ attention to the ways that language choices relate to the purpose of the text and the intended audience (meta-awareness). This includes explicitly pointing to the linguistic and rhetorical patterns typified in specific genres.

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Specification 9B

Teacher materials include guidance for helping students use the features of expository texts to aid in comprehension.

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Specification 9C

Meta-cognitive reading strategies are included in teacher and student materials in order to build understanding of texts.

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