The California EL Roadmap
Navigating the EL Roadmap through your use of Instruction
The English Learner Roadmap was adopted by the California State Board of Education in July 2017. It is a document that encompasses many needs of the English Learner. The Roadmap consists of 4 main principles, each of which forms a pivotal part of English Learner student life.
Assets-Oriented and Needs-Responsive Schools
Pre-schools and schools are responsive to different EL strengths, needs, and identities, and support the socio-emotional health and development of English learners. Programs value and build upon the cultural and linguistic assets students bring to their education in a safe and affirming school climate. Educators value and build strong family, community, and school partnerships.
Intellectual Quality of Instruction and Meaningful Access
English learners engage in intellectually rich, developmentally appropriate learning experiences that foster high levels of English proficiency. These experiences integrate language development, literacy, and content learning as well as provide access for comprehension and participation through native language instruction and scaffolding. English learners have meaningful access to a full standards-based and relevant curriculum and the opportunity to develop proficiency in English and other languages
System Conditions that Support Effectiveness
Each level of the school system (state, county, district, school, preschool) has leaders and educators who are knowledgeable of and responsive to the strengths and needs of English learners and their communities, and utilize valid assessment and other data systems that inform instruction and continuous improvement; resources and tiered support is provided to ensure strong programs and build the capacity of teachers and staff to build on the strengths and meet the needs of English learners.
Alignment and Articulation Within and Across Systems
English learners experience a coherent, articulated and aligned set of practices and pathways across grade levels and educational segments beginning with a strong foundation in early childhood and continuing through to reclassification, graduation, and higher education. These pathways foster the skills, language(s), literacy, and knowledge students need for college- and career-readiness and participation in a global, diverse multilingual 21st century world.
Teachers, Start Reading Here
Of the four principles of the Roadmap, the one that every teacher can do immediately is Principle 2 – the part that focuses on Instruction. Principle 2 of the California EL Roadmap focuses on Intellectual Quality of Instruction and Meaningful Access.
English Learner Students have to do double duty. They have to learn the content as they learn language. English Learner Teachers have to do double duty as well. They have to prepare for both Integrated and Designated lessons.
Today’s teacher will often have a mainstream class, and often have to prep for the Designated time as well. Where is the time to include the many aspects of vocabulary in their instruction? How do teachers get their students to develop word-conscious behaviors, get actively involved with words, have multiple exposures to words, develop the ability to recognize and use words in context, and work with student-friendly definitions?
Our students can read effectively when they can understand at least 95% of the words they read. Teaching Academic, Content, and Support vocabulary through effective engagement strategies will maximize exposure and retention of the vocabulary.
Well, how do we do teach content and language with engagement? The California Roadmap does not actually help us with strategies. Rather, we do this by integrating vocab instruction with daily lessons. With a little bit of prep on this and proper delivery, we can easily help the students learn content along with the language.
This works amazingly well if we use well-written lessons delivered by effective first-time teaching. The pedagogy we recommend is Explicit Direct Instruction.
What is Explicit Direct Instruction?
EDI is a Tier 1 instructional methodology that relies on specific teacher/student behaviors that ensure student learning, such as: consistent opportunities for student engagement through a single lesson; questioning techniques that scale up student engagement to higher-order thinking; repetitive use of academic and subject-specific vocabulary by both teachers and students; specific strategies for modeling and checking of understanding; and multiple opportunities to adjust instruction and provide corrective feedback.