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Teaching K-8 Multilingual Learners Literacy & Academic Content Online Professional Learning Course

The Teaching K-8 English Learners Online Professional Learning Course will help educators more effectively prepare their students with limited English proficiency in elementary and middle grades with the skills they need to be successful in school. This is a critical challenge for elementary and middle school teachers as the number of English Learners continues to increase in the United States.

This course draws on the recommendations of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School Practice Guide, published in July 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse. The Practice Guide, developed by a panel of expert researchers and practitioners, provides educators with specific, research-based recommendations for effective teaching practices. It focuses on the foundational skills that enable English Learners to understand academic vocabulary, integrate oral and written English language into content areas, develop written language skills, and participate in small-group interventions for literacy and EL development.

The overarching goal is for participants to understand and be able to apply the panel’s recommendations to their teaching with K-8 Learners.

Course Objectives

  • To involve educators in an online professional learning community with a focus on supporting English Learners.
  • To engage educators in perspective-taking opportunities to better relate to and understand the struggles of English Learners.
  • To build an understanding of strategies and methods to better support English Learners.
  • To guide educators in building a repository of resources, activities, and skills to bring back to their classroom, school and learning community.
  • To provide a space to reflect on, assess and share knowledge gained through the online professional learning community.

Learn More


  • Institute of Education Sciences
  • Teams

  • Online Professional Learning Online Professional Learning
  • Project Team

    Dr Hiller A. Spires Dr Hiller A. Spires

    Marie Pierson Himes Marie Pierson Himes

    Brittany Miller Brittany Miller