SIOP: Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol
Improving the Quality of Instruction for English Learners


The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model (Echevarria, Vogt & Short, 2000) was developed to provide teachers with a well-articulated, practical model of sheltered instruction. The intent of the model is to facilitate high quality instruction forEnglish Learners in content area teaching.

Introduction to SIOP ‎(short version)‎.wmv

The SIOP Model is based on current knowledge and research-based practices for promoting learning with all students, especially English Learners (ELs). Critical features of high quality instruction for ELs are embedded within the SIOP Model.

The SIOP Model can be viewed as an umbrella under which other programs developed for improving instruction can reside. Administrators and teachers alike are bombarded with new approaches to instruction, reform efforts, and practices that sometimes seem to be in competition with one another. Often what is lacking in schools is coherence, or a plan for pulling together sound practices (Goldenberg, 2004). The SIOP Model is not another “add on” program but rather it is a framework that can bring together a school’s instructional program by organizing methods and techniques, and ensuring that effective practices are implemented - and can be quantified. The SIOP Model is currently used in most of the 50 states and in hundreds of schools across the U.S. as well as in several other countries.

Sheltered Instruction and the SIOP Model

Sheltered instruction (SI) is an approach to teaching that extends the time students have for receiving English language support while they learn content subjects. SI classrooms, which may include a mix of native English speakers and English learners or only ELs, integrate language and content while infusing socio-cultural awareness. Teachers scaffold instruction to aid student comprehension of content topics and objectives by adjusting their speech and instructional tasks, and by providing appropriate background information and experiences. The ultimate goal is accessibility for ELs to grade-level content standards and concepts while they continue to improve their English language proficiency. SI has become a preferred instructional approach for teaching English learners, especially at the secondary level, as schools must prepare students to achieve high academic standards and to demonstrate English proficiency on high-stakes tests.

The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP®) Model (Echevarria, Vogt & Short, 2000) was developed to provide teachers with a well-articulated, practical model of sheltered instruction. The SIOP Model is comprised of 30 features organized into eight components. Its effectiveness was validated by a research study conducted through Guarino, et al (2001), who determined that it was a highly reliable and valid measure of sheltered instruction.

Although sheltered instruction is widely advocated as an effective instructional strategy for English learners, few research tools allow for the assessment of an effective sheltered lesson. The SIOP Model provides the assessment piece through the observation protocol. The items included in SIOP drew upon the knowledge and experience of professionals working in SI and the research literature. Potential items were narrowed to the final features through field-testing (Short & Echevarria, 1999).
The SIOP focuses on the following eight components and thirty features:

I. Lesson Preparation

1.     Content objectives clearly defined, displayed and reviewed with students.

2.     Language objectives clearly defined displayed and reviewed with students.

3.     Content concepts appropriate for age and educational background.

4.     Supplementary materials used to a high degree.

5.     Adaptation of content to all levels of student proficiency.

6.     Meaningful activities that integrate lesson concepts with language practice opportunities.

II. Building Background

7.     Concepts explicitly linked to students' background experiences.

8.     Links explicitly made between past learning and new concepts.

9.     Key vocabulary emphasized (e.g., introduced, written, repeated, and highlighted for students to see).         

III. Comprehensive Input

10.  Speech appropriate for students' proficiency levels.

11.  Clear explanation of academic tasks.

12.  A variety of technique used to make contents concepts clear.

IV. Strategies

13.  Ample opportunities provided for students to use learning strategies.

14.  Scaffolding techniques consistently used, assisting and supporting student understanding.

15.  A variety of questions or tasks that promote higher-order thinking skills

 V.  Interaction

16.   Frequent opportunities for interaction and discussion.

17.   Grouping configurations support language and content objectives for the lesson.

18.   Sufficient wait time for student responses consistently provided

19.   Ample opportunity for students to clarify key concepts in their native language.

VI. Practice/Application

20.   Hands-on materials and/or manipulative provided for students to practice using new content knowledge.

21. Activities provided for students to apply content and language knowledge.

22. Activities that integrate all language skills

 VII. Lesson Deliver

23.   Content objectives clearly support by lesson delivery.

24.   Language objectives clearly supported by lesson delivery.

25.   Student engaged approximately 90% to 100% of the class period.

26.   Pacing of the lesson is appropriate to students' ability levels.

VIII. Review and Assessment

27.   Comprehensive review of key vocabulary

28.   Comprehensive review of key content concepts

29.   Regular feedback provided to students on their output (during lesson and after lesson).

30.   Assessment of students’ comprehension and learning of all lesson objectives throughout the lesson.

Taken from
Luis Munoz,
Jan 31, 2017, 7:24 AM