A middle school principal within the Lawrence, Mass., public schools credits the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, or SIOP, with helping the school district to make some of the goals the state set for English-language learners under the No Child Left Behind Act, according to a Jan. 25 Boston Globe article. SIOP is a set of strategies that teachers can use to teach both academic content and language to students at the same time. A number of school districts, and some states, are providing workshops for regular classroom teachers to learn SIOP techniques.
The Lawrence district met the goals set by Massachusetts for its English-language learners to make progress in learning English and to attain proficiency in the language. It also met adequate yearly progress goals in math for ELLs. But it failed to make adequate yearly progress goals in reading for that group of students. The article reports on how ELLs in the school district are making progress in their test scores.
For a discussion of another set of strategies developed by researchers to help teachers to teach content and language to ELLs at the same time, see my earlier post, “It’s Everyone’s Job to Teach ELLs.”
Education Week recently conducted a poll on its Web site with the following question: “Should all teachers, especially those in urban classrooms, be trained in ELL instruction?” Three-quarters of respondents responded “yes.”
Educators in Lawrence are saying that training makes a difference in results.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.