language objectives

Language objectives:

  • articulate for learners the academic language functions and skills that they need to master to fully participate in the lesson and meet the grade-level content standards (Echevarria, Short, & Vogt, 2008).
  • are beneficial not only for language learners but for all students in a class, as everyone can benefit from the clarity that comes with a teacher outlining the requisite academic language to be learned and mastered in each lesson.


PLANNING for language objectives - WHAT vs. How

Identify the Language Objectives in a lesson in addition to the Curriculum Outcomes in order to anticipate roadblocks and strategically plan supports for ELLs.

As teachers, we need to be aware of the academic vocabulary identified in outcomes (see terms highlighted in sample outcomes below) and identify the cognitive tasks being asked of our students.

    • What academic terms will we need to directly teach students?
    • What graphic organizers or processes can we put in place to help students accomplish these tasks?
    • How can we help them demonstrate understanding in various ways: analyze, describe, interpret, assess, develop, etc.
    • Learners at Level 1 and 2 need very basic language supports. Level 3 and above could start using beginner, medium and advanced sentence frames, templates and other oral strategies.


Grade 3 and 4 Art

Component 6 - QUALITIES AND DETAILS: Students will refine surface qualities of objects and forms.


      • A. Texture can be represented from a range of different studio techniques.
      • B. Colour can be made to appear dull or bright.
      • C. Gradations of tone are useful to show depth or the effect of light on objects.
      • D. By increasing details in the foreground the illusion of depth and reality can be enhanced.

Science 7

  • analyze ecosystems to identify producers, consumers and decomposers; and describe how energy is supplied to and flows through a food web, by:
      • describing and giving examples of energy and nutrient storage in plants and animals
      • describing how matter is recycled in an ecosystem through interactions among plants, animals, fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms
      • interpreting food webs, and predicting the effects of changes to any part of a web

Social Studies 9

  • 9.1.6 - assess, critically, the impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the legislative process in Canada by exploring and reflecting upon the following questions and issues:
      • In what ways has the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms fostered recognition of individual rights in Canada?
      • What is the relationship between the rights guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the responsibilities of Canadian citizens?

Math 30-1

Trigonometry - Specific Outcome 2: Develop and apply the equation of the unit circle.

A sampling of lesson plans with ELLs and differentiation in mind:


    • Gr 3 Building Bridges - SIOP
    • Gr 6 - Quizlet: Social (without images) and Science (with images)

Gr. 7-9

    • SS 8
      • Aztecs - Teaching students how to Interpret Photos (SS skill outcome) using a group task/open-ended mini-inquiry process that was first modeled by the teacher. Used as one of the opening tasks to launch unit.
      • Renaissance - Growth of Cities - helping students pull out the big ideas from their textbook with Guided Notes/Headings
      • Renaissance - National Identity notes written in Sentence Frames
      • Renaissance - Fall of Feudalism Chart: Key terms - Definition - What does it mean to me? - How am I going to remember it? (adapted from Marzano)

Gr. 10-12

    • Speed Dating in Math


ELLs - writing-content-and-language-objectives.pdf
SIOP Language Objectives Cheat Sheet