As the number of English Language Learners in American schools continues to increase, teachers need to adapt lesson plans to ensure all students understand the content. Disciplinary Discourse is an effective way to provide ELLs with the opportunity to engage in discipline-specific practices that support language competence while building conceptual understanding.

English Language Learners are the new norm in public education. With these key strategies, we can all work towards providing 100% of students 100% access to education.

Why ELLs

Across the U.S., the percentage of English Language Learners (ELLs) is dramatically and steadily increasing. As such, all teachers must now view themselves as language teachers and provide learning opportunities that build language competence along with conceptual understanding.

In the 2014-2015 school year only 6% of ELLs passed the elementary math AzMERIT assessment and only 2% passed the English Language Arts AzMERIT assessment.


The 2013 overall four-year high school graduation rate in Arizona was 75%, compared to 20% for Limited English Proficient Students (Arizona State Report Card: 2013-2014).


ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College graduates approximately 1,500 new teachers each year, yet less than 2% of those graduate with Bilingual Education and/or English as a Second Language endorsements.