Oklahoma, within the last decade, has experienced a large increase in the number of English Learner (EL) students enrolled in public schools. This has resulted in a current population of 50,117 EL students who speak over 180 languages. Conversations with teachers and administrators have revealed that teachers especially desire to be prepared to teach academic language and challenging content to all students, including their ELs. This is a window of opportunity to provide the necessary support teachers need on how best to deliver instruction in a highly skilled and knowledgeable manner assuring excellent results as they move their EL students toward English proficiency.
In order to provide our schools with the appropriate supports necessary to ensure success for these children and youth, the Oklahoma State Department of Education is committed to providing an informed and resourceful professional development toolkit that is supported by research-based guidance for language instruction.
This toolkit emphasizes current promising practices included within a strong professional development piece targeting teachers, administrators, parents, and educational stakeholders. The training is designed in such a way that participants will take away increased knowledge and understanding of how to build and implement an excellent Language Instruction Educational Program resulting in improved academic achievement. Setting the foundation is imperative to any school’s success in building the Language Instruction Educational Program.