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English As A Second Language

Two elementary ESL students with teacher Maria Conway

While most of the children in the Colonial School District speak English at home, there are students who use one of nearly 20 different languages outside of school and rely on the District to learn English. To help these English Language Learners (ELLs), Colonial School District provides an innovative English Language Development (ELD) model known as "Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol", or SIOP. SIOP gives these children the opportunity to stay current with their classmates in the different subject areas, while learning to speak, read, write and hear English.

Rather than pulling students out of the regular classes for ELD instruction, SIOP allows the ELD teachers to push in to the classroom to give one-on-one and small group support to the ELLs while they learn the same concepts as their peers. The District has also trained more than 40 regular classroom teachers in the SIOP model to help support ELLs in between visits from the ELD teachers. On the secondary level, scheduled classes are also available, but ELDL teachers continue to push in to content areas to help with vocabulary and/or concept development.

ELD Goals and Standards

  • To use English to communicate in academic and social settings
  • To use English to achieve academic standards
  • To use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways

The primary goal of the ELD program is to teach the four domains of English (reading, writing, speaking and listening) while aligning the instruction with the English language proficiency standards. ELD programs may replace English or Language Arts within the school program; they do not replace any other content instruction. ELD teachers offer ongoing support within the mainstream SIOP classrooms and and for two years after the students have met the exit criteria.

Resources for English Language Learners

Below you'll find links that will help you better understand The SIOP Model, as well as online resources that are beneficial for both teachers and English Language Learners. Click on the names (blue links) to visit the other websites.


What is SIOP? This is the official page for The SIOP Model. Learn more about the eight components of SIOP or visit the resource library.

Colorin Colorado National website serving educators and families of English Language Learners in grades Pre-kindergarten through 12. Offers free research-based information, activities, advice to parents, schools, and communities.

WIDA A consortium of states that creates English as a Second Language (ESL) assessments and planning tools for teaching and learning.

Grammar and Spelling:

Grammarly Spelling and grammar checker for writing on the web

NoRedInk Instruction path for spelling, grammar and conventions

EasyBib Free bibliography tool

SpellingCity Online game practice for spelling and vocabulary words


Google Translate Translates individual words, cut and copied text, websites

Rewordify Simplifies online text for easy readability

Flocabulary Explains concepts with educational hip-hop

BrainPOP Activate background knowledge or learn new concepts through animated videos

Newsela Nonfiction articles on a variety of topics with leveled texts

ESOL Help Picture Dictionary Basic words defined by images

Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary Online 15 themes, more than 6,000 words


ReadWriteThink Interactive literacy activities, graphic organizers, more

Word Games:

  • Apples to Apples
  • Bananagrams
  • Heads Up
  • Scattergories
  • Sequence Cards
  • Charades