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Bilingual Education & English as a New Language

English Language Learner and Multilingual Learner Educator Tools and Best Practices

New Resources

A Series of Topic Briefs Produced for the New York State Education Department by Nonie K. Lesaux, Ph.D. & Emily Phillips Galloway, Ed.D.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is pleased to present to you a series of eight topic briefs produced for NYSED by Nonie K. Lesaux, Ph.D. from Harvard University & Emily Phillips Galloway, Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University.  These briefs are designed to aid New York State educators in implementing the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards; complement and support the Next Generation Standards and related documents;  offer an expansion and deeper explanation of concepts embedded in the Standards, Introduction, and Preface; and provide additional guidance to the field particularly in settings serving linguistically diverse learners.   

Topic Brief One: Advanced Literacies for Academic Success

Topic Brief Two: What Goes Into Effective Reading Comprehension

Topic Brief Three: Hallmark One of Advanced Literacies Instruction: Engaging, Content-rich Texts

Topic Brief Four: Hallmark Two of Advanced Literacies Instruction: Classroom Discussion

Topic Brief Five: Hallmark Three of Advanced Literacies Instruction: Building Written Language

Topic Brief Six: Hallmark Four of Advanced Literacies Instruction: Academic Vocabulary and Language

Topic Brief Seven: Advanced Literacies Instruction: Spotlight on Instructional Units of Study

Topic Brief Eight: Spotlight on Language Production Projects

WestEd: Quality Education for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners

The following briefs were prepared for the Office of Bilingual Education and World languages by WestEd, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults.

​Topic Brief 1: Quality Education for English Language Learners/ Multilingual Learners: Why We Need it and How We Can Achieve It.

Topic Brief 2: Quality Student Interactions: Why Are They Crucial to Language Learning and How Can We Support Them?

Topic Brief 3: De-Mystifying Complex Texts: What Are “Complex” Texts and How Can We Ensure ELLs and MLs Can Access Them?

Topic Brief 4: The Zone of Proximal Development: An Affirmative Perspective in Teaching ELLs and MLs.

Topic Brief 5: Dispelling the myth of "English only": understanding the importance of the first language in second language learning. 

Blueprint for English Language Learner and Multilingual Learner Success

Blueprint for English Language Learner/ Multilingual Learner Success in PDF

The mission of the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) is to ensure that all New York State (NYS) students, including English Language Learners (ELLs) and Multilingual Learners (MLs), attain the highest level of academic success and language proficiency. We strive to ensure that all students’ individual educational paths and socio-emotional needs are met in multiple languages leading them to college and career readiness. NYSED believes that all teachers are teachers of ELLs and MLs.

In response to the changing global economy, NYSED has adopted the Next Generation Learning Standards to provide students, educators, and parents with a set of clear expectations leading to college and career readiness. Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of ELLs and MLs enrolled in NYS public schools, resulting in a current population of 261,848 students who speak over 200 languages. In order for these students to succeed, NYSED needs to provide schools with the appropriate scaffolds, home language assessments, and materials so that teachers can provide instruction that will enable students to meet rigorous standards. Under the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Part 154, OBEWL affirms that it is not permissible to assume that unsupported immersion of ELLs and MLs into an English speaking environment will enable them to succeed academically.

The Next Generation Learning Standards require that every teacher be prepared to teach academic language and challenging content to all students, including ELLs and MLs. All teachers must be skilled in how to support ELLs and MLs as they acquire content knowledge while also progressing towards English language proficiency. It is imperative that all educators work across the content areas to ensure that all students meet the high demands of the Next Generation Learning Standards.

The principles that guide the Blueprint for English Language Learner/ Multilingual Learner Success were carefully developed as a statewide framework aimed to clarify expectations for administrators, policymakers, and practitioners to prepare ELLs and MLs for success, beginning in Prekindergarten, to lay the foundation for college and career readiness. These principles are intended to provide guidance, resources, and support to districts, schools, and teachers, as well as to promote a better understanding and appreciation of Bilingual Education, English as a New Language (ENL), and World Language Studies. 

Best Practices

Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for ELLs in Elementary Grades

ELA for ELLs: A Six Part Video Series (Developed in partnership with Stanford University's Understanding Language institute)

Helping English Language Learners Rise to the Challenge of Complex Texts

Student Learning Objective Road Map for ENL and Bilingual Teachers

Understanding Language: Language, Literacy, and Learning in the Content Areas (Stanford)

USDE Office of English Language Acquisition

Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL)

NYS Next Generation Learning Standards

Bilingual Common Core Progressions

EngageNY Home Page

New York State Bilingual Common Core Initiative

Stanford Online: Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering Language for the Common Core State Standards


Co-teaching for ELLs--A list of resources posted by the Language RBERN at NYU

Honigsfield & Dove: Seven Co-teaching Models

General Resources

Classroom Resources List (published by Long Island Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network)

Colorin Colorado

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition

NYU Language RBERN links

Newcomer ELLs and SIFE

A Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth

OBEWL SIFE Resources

USDE Newcomer Toolkit

Publications & Articles

Education Week: Teaching America's ELLs: a Special Report

International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism

Migration Policy Institute Publications

Perspectives (National Association of Bilingual Educators)


New resources will be made available to support districts and schools in the education of English Language Learners (ELLs) and Multilingual Learners (MLs).  In collaboration with ELL specialists at the Center for English Language Learners at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), the new resources build upon the 2014 Scaffolding Instruction for English Language Learners Resource Guide for English Language Arts that are currently available.

Tools and Modules

Bilingual Glossaries/Cognates/False Cognates

Math Module Translations

USDE English Learner Toolkit


ELLs and Technology

ELL Frontiers: Using Technology to Enhance Instruction for English Learners

This PowerPoint, a project of Heather Parris, Resource Specialist at the Long Island Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network, outlines the many ways that ELL educators can use technology to enhance instruction.  

Updated 1/5/21