Principles for learning English

Principle 1:  All English Language Learners are capable of learning to high

standards if optimal teaching and a supportive environment are provided.

Principle 2: Learning is a process of apprenticeship in which novices become

experts with scaffolding from the teacher or more capable peer.

Principle 3: Language is acquired through social  interactions that are engaging,

meaningful, and purposeful.

Principle 4: Teaching/learning needs to be responsive. Cultural norms and

expectations for effective participation in mainstream social and academic life need

to be explicitly taught to English Learners.

Principle 5: Using language is more than using correct grammar and vocabulary. It

requires cultural knowledge of what is appropriate and  an understanding of


Principle 6: Use of rituals or familiar participation structures is necessary when

concepts of language are novel (new).  Familiar concepts and familiar language

can serve as the vehicle to learn new rituals or ways of participating in

academic events.

Principle 7: Language learning requires conscious effort by the student, and by the

informed support (scaffold) of the teacher.

Principle 8: Students should be encouraged to  engage all of their resources,

including their native language, in the learning of English as a second language.

Principle 9: In instruction, the content must be rich and challenging, the language

must move beyond the sentence level to approximate natural discourse, and the

teaching must be carefully scaffolded.

Principle 10: Academic practices, learning and self-assessment strategies need to

be explicitly taught to English Language learners.

Principle 11: Instruction, curriculum, and assessments are aligned to reflect high

standards and best practices.

Principle 12: All parents can become successful partners in the education of

English learners by continuing to support the development of the first language.


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