Key Principles for Responsive

English Language Learner (ELL) Instruction

What We All Need to Know and Do

Workshop Overview

As the demography of international schools continues to change with the result that every classroom has more English learners than ever before, it is necessary to turn the often-heard mantra, ‘every teacher is a language teacher’ into classroom practice. These immersion classrooms differ from past practices and as such require EAL- responsive and collaborative ‘growth mindsets’ not just among EAL teachers but among all teachers.

Potential Audience
  • Elementary, middle school and high school EAL teachers

  • Elementary, middle school and high school classroom teachers

Workshop Goals:

In this three-day institute, participants will: 

  • Develop a professional knowledge base on issues related to immersion for English learners and how it differs from inclusion for Learning Support students;  

  • Focus on strategies to develop academic English-language proficiency so English learners can attain the expectations of the Common Core standards and the IBO command terms; 

  • Develop an understanding of bilingualism (multilingualism) in order to build an asset-based instructional repertoire for leveraging English learners' primary languages, cultural assets, and prior knowledge; 

  • Develop an understanding of how classroom teachers and EAL specialists can seamlessly work together to teach up so that English learners have access to grade-level standards and success with rigorous assessments (i.e. not resorting to past instructional approaches such as modifications, interventions, remediation, accommodations, or simplification); 

  • Cultivate a ’differentiation mindset' not as events but as a way of daily classroom life; 

  • Cultivate an ‘instructional scaffolding mindset' for the teaching of reading and writing; and 

  • Cultivate a 'student-driven language-growth assessment mindset' using ‘language performance’ descriptors to understand the progressive stages of second language acquisition as they relate to classroom-based assessment tasks. 

Implementable Skills
After this workshop, you will be able to: 
  1. Design language learning targets aligned with mainstream classrooms’ content objectives; 

  2. Design learning experiences to develop English learners’ use of academic language as per international schools’ expectations; 

  3. Design learning experiences which leverage English learners’ home languages and cultures; 

  4. Design learning experiences to progressively scaffold English learners’ speaking, reading, and writing skills; 

  5. Design differentiated learning experiences based on English learners’ language proficiency; 

  6. Use formative and summative assessment tasks to grow and monitor English learners’ language proficiency; and 

  7. Design ways for EAL and classroom teachers to strategically collaborate in order to get this work done. 

Workshop Agenda


Session 1

Introduction to a professional knowledge base on EAL paradigms, programs, and practices as per current research


Session 2

Explore the dimensions of what constitutes academic language and how its differs from current language patterns of many classrooms


Session 3

Design language learning targets aligned with content objectives in order to focus on academic language development


Session 4

Explore specific strategies to develop English learners’ use of academic language in sheltered immersion



Session 1

Using a bilingual and translanguaging framework for leveraging emergent bilinguals (beginners)’ primary languages as tools for learning


Session 2

Explore ways for EAL and classroom teachers to collaboratively plan lessons for English learners to provide access to grade-level curriculum


Session 3

Explore differentiation and scaffolding strategies to use with English learners to provide access to grade-level curriculum


Session 4

Design ELL-responsive lessons using a ‘gradual release of responsibility’ instructional model as a scaffold in and of itself



Session 1

Explore ways for EAL and classroom teachers to collaboratively plan assessments for English learners in equitable ways


Session 2

Plan ‘proficiency descriptors’ for a summative assessment task in order to report on English learners’ progress in equitable ways


Session 3

Explore issues related to English learners who may not make as much progress as their peers (i.e. social and cultural anomie, fossilization, learning issues)


Session 4

Use a research-based self-assessment checklist to design a strategic action plan for responsive and effective learning experiences for English learners

When and Where

9.00 - 16.00

April 27 - 29, 2017

Marriott Sukhumvit Park

Bangkok, Thailand

Course Fee

Register by March 17, 2017


USD 835/Baht 28,380 per participant

Team of 3 or more teachers from a school

USD 796/Baht 27,090 per participant

Course Leader

Virginia Rojas, Ed.D. conducts professional training on effective programs and strategies for English learners from pre-school through grade 12 for ESL and classroom teachers alike.


As an ASCD faculty member, Dr. Rojas uses the backwards design curriculum model to  help teachers design high-challenge, high-support learning experiences for strengthening English learners' second language proficiency and academic achievement. 


She provides professional development trainings, job-embedded coaching and demonstration lessons, and conducts linguistic audits of EAL (English as an Additional Language) program. She has worked in over 200 international schools throughout the world as well as with school districts in the US and Canada. 


Dr. Rojas is the author of Strategies for Success with English Language Learners: An Action Toolkit for Classroom and ESL Teachers published by ASCD (2007) and of Educating English Language Learners: Connecting Language, Literacy, and Culture (2010), ASCD DVD Series.



Workshop Coordinator
Sonthaya Chutisacha
Phone (Thailand)
081 701 6843
081 846 5770 (replace '0' with '66' for international calls)