New Jersey Department of Education

DOE A to Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

English Language Learners (ELL) in the Mainstream

Part Three: Sample Teaching Models and Strategies

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Sheltered Instruction Observational Protocol (SIOP):Adapted Sheltered Instructional Strategies

Sheltered instruction is the generic name for an instructional research-based model known as the Sheltered Instruction Observational Protocol or SIOP. The instructional model presents an eight-component lesson plan to facilitate learning in the content areas for English Language Learners. Fifty New Jersey ESL and bilingual educators have been trained in this model. A brief synopsis of this model is presented below. For a sample lesson plan demonstrating the use of the SIOP model, visit the SIOP Institute web site at:

Preparation - Teachers prepare lessons with:

  • Clearly defined content objectives.
  • Language objectives which address the language of content [e.g., language functions, language skills, syntax, and vocabulary].
  • Supplementary materials.
  • Adaptation of content so that students are learning through meaningful activities.
  • Age, grade, language level appropriate topics.

Building Background - Teachers build background knowledge of content topics by:

  • Linking concepts to student background and between past and new learning. [See a discussion of concept-linking in Mosaic of Thought.]
  • Choose and emphasize key vocabulary.

Comprehensible Input - Teachers provide and use techniques to facilitate understanding of new content:

  • Speech appropriate to student proficiency level. [Refer to descriptions and suggestions in "Use a variety of Instructional Strategies."]
  • Clear explanation of tasks to be accomplished.
  • Variety of techniques are used to make content clear [e.g., visuals, hands-on demonstrations, use of body language, etc.].

Strategies - Teachers use and teach strategies to students. See CALLA.

Summary: The first section discusses culture shock; a "filter" related to anxiety; and differing goals of education between cultures. [2.18 minutes.] Several strategies are then discussed. [5.29 minutes in total.] Listen to audio

Interaction - Teachers provide opportunities for frequent interactions—teacher/student and student/student by:

  • Using different grouping configurations.
  • Providing wait time for responses.
  • Providing opportunities for students to clarify concepts in first language with an aide, peer, or first language resource.

Practice/Application - Teachers develop lessons which include numerous opportunities to practice new content concepts:

  • With hands-on and/or manipulatives.
  • By developing activities which allow students to apply content and language knowledge using all four language skills [e.g., speaking, listening, reading, and writing].

Lesson Delivery - Teachers insure that their lesson will "work" by:

  • Clearly defined and supported content and language objects.
  • Making sure students are aware of both content and language objectives for each lesson.
  • Making sure students are engaged in the lesson 90-100% of the lesson [meaning lessons are interactive and not lecture].
  • Setting the pace according to students' current ability level.

Lesson Review/Assessment - Teachers review concepts and conduct assessments appropriate for students' current ability level through:

  • A comprehensive review of key concepts and vocabulary throughout the lesson and unit of instruction.
  • Providing students with continuous feedback.
  • Ongoing assessment of student comprehension of concepts and learning.