H. English as a New Language (for students ages 3-18+)



Checklist - anchor

Application/Examples - anchor


Note.  Printed with permission from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, (English as a New Language Standards, 1998),www.nbpts.org. All rights reserved.




___a. Knowledge of students

___b. Knowledge of language and language development

___c. Knowledge of culture and diversity

___d. Knowledge of subject matter

___e. Meaningful learning

___f. Multiple paths to knowledge

___g. Instructional resources

___h. Learning environment

___i. Assessment

___j. Reflective practice

___k. Linkages with families

___l. Professional leadership




___a. Knowledge of students 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners draw on their knowledge of human development as mediated by language and culture and on their relationships with students to understand their students' knowledge, skills, interests, aspirations, and values.

  • Teachers observe and assess the social development of their students, noting whether they enjoy school, make friends, develop a sense of belonging, accept responsibility, and display concern for others.

  • Teachers know something of the social and political structure, economy, and religious institutions of the communities from which their students come in order to understand personal circumstances that affect their students' perceptions of and experiences in school.

  • Teachers form constructive relationships with students by making themselves available to advise students on a wide range of issues (academic progress, peer relationships, social and cultural adjustment, and extracurricular activities).

  • Teachers develop a keen capacity for willingly listening to and observing students in any given setting.

___b. Knowledge of language and language development 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners are models of language proficiency in the languages in which they are expected to teach.

  • They draw on their knowledge of language development to understand the process by which students acquire both their primary and new languages, to develop instructional strategies that promote language development, and to modify the curriculum as necessary to accommodate the needs of new language learners.

  • Teachers value the home languages that students bring to class, and they encourage and support the development of home language across the full linguistic repertoire of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

  • Teachers understand the processes through which language is acquired, and they construct contexts in which language acquisition can take place. They make sure that meaningful messages are exchanged. Teachers use graphic organizers, visual representations, concrete objects, and demonstrations to illustrate the material they present in class.

___c. Knowledge of culture and diversity

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners are knowledgeable about and sensitive to the dynamics of culture in general, and to their students' cultures in particular, which enables them to understand their students and structure a successful academic experience for them.

  • Teachers model and promote appreciation and respect for diversity.

  • Teachers assist students in adjusting to school in ways that are culturally appropriate and facilitate a positive academic experience.

___d. Knowledge of subject matter 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners draw on a comprehensive command of subject matter, of language(s) of instruction, and their relationship to each other to establish goals, design curricula and instruction, and facilitate student learning, thus enhancing the students' linguistic and cultural diversity.

  • Teachers draw on their broad understanding of the major facets of the subjects required by their particular assignment.

  • Knowledge of the subject matter includes key concepts and specialized ways of reasoning, thinking, talking, and writing about them.

  • Teachers see thematic instruction as a valuable tool in helping linguistically and culturally diverse learners construct meaning, understand content, and practice and reinforce the language they are learning.

  • Teachers select and create worthwhile tasks for students to explore, choose topics and materials that use students' time productively, and recognize when a shift in focus might help develop opportunities that emerge during instruction.

___e. Meaningful learning 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners use a variety of approaches that allow students to confront, explore, and understand important and challenging concepts, topics, and issues in meaningful ways.

  • Teachers help students delve into topics deeply, drawing upon students' perspectives, skills, concepts, and knowledge from one or more disciplines.

  • Teachers also create real-world opportunities for students to experience working as a writer, scientist, historian, mathematician, artist, or other professional--teachers themselves model some of the ways of working in these fields.

  • Teachers may join students in the gathering, processing, and synthesizing of information.

  • Teachers present information on process and problem-solving skills as important parts of conceptual understanding, skill development, and subject-matter mastery.

  • Teachers help students build capacity to learn, apply knowledge, and act independently.

  • They help students form valid and significant connections between and among subjects, school work, and daily life.

  • Teachers are skilled at observing, listening, facilitating discussions, orchestrating play, asking questions, adapting materials and routines to new uses, and helping students make connections with past ideas, experiences, and bodies of knowledge.

  • Teachers view students as resources for academic success.

  • They build from concrete and immediate experiences toward abstract concepts and understandings--whenever possible, they provide demonstrations, illustrations, and hands-on experiences to provide context for students working in a new language.

___f. Multiple paths to knowledge 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners provide multiple paths to help students develop language proficiency, learn the central concepts in each pertinent discipline, and build knowledge and strengthen understanding of the disciplines.

  • They effectively use the language(s) of instruction to enhance subject-matter learning.

  • Teachers make language comprehensible by creating context for meaning through the use of demonstrations, visuals, concrete objects, and gestures.

  • They create opportunities for students to interact with subject matter with which they have some familiarity and to demonstrate understanding in ways that allow for nonverbal responses.

  • Teachers develop sequences of assignments or tasks that allow students to repeat or rehearse new language in natural and meaningful ways.

  • They may combine subject matter from different disciplines to take advantage of the language skills developed.

  • Teachers promote appropriate language choice and use.

  • They may use reviews of vocabulary and paraphrasing, graphic organizers, grouping (sometimes according to language dominance--in this case, native language materials are used, whenever available).

  • Teachers create instructional tasks that respond to both the commonalities and differences among learners.

  • They provide students with multiple perspectives on key matters of interest.

  • Teachers draw on a variety of metaphors, analogies, illustrations, and problems to extend their students' thinking and develop their capacity to reason incisively.

  • Teachers create a language and literacy-rich environment by providing students with activities that allow students to collaborate and use each other as resources.

___g. Instructional resources 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners select, adapt, create, and use rich and varied resources.

  • They develop a diverse resource base and gather and create high quality resources that are diverse along several dimensions (form, style, theme, gender appeal and awareness, and intergenerational and cross cultural perspectives, etc.).

  • Teachers promote language and literacy development, create a culturally responsive curriculum, and utilize community resources.

___h. Learning environment 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners establish a caring, inclusive, safe, and linguistically and culturally rich community of learning where students take intellectual risks and work both independently and collaboratively.

  • Teachers have a responsibility to promote cross-cultural understanding school-wide as all students learn appropriate ways of interacting in a democratic, pluralistic environment.

  • Teachers view linguistically and culturally diverse learners as a resource for the school and the larger community.

  • They use democratic processes to create classroom rules, routines, and behaviors for effective learning and to handle the consequences for violating them.

  • When disciplinary action is necessary, teachers act promptly and equitably, correcting problems with minimal disruptions to the flow of class--discipline strategies are culturally sensitive.

___i. Assessment 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners employ a variety of assessment methods (portfolios, videotapes, demonstrations, exhibitions, etc.) to obtain useful information about student learning and development and to assist students in reflecting on their own progress.

  • Teachers assess student learning for a variety of purposes.

  • Teachers help students become adept at self-assessment, and they provide substantive feedback to students.

  • They use assessment to guide practice.

  • Teachers provide substantive communication to parents and others.

___j. Reflective practice 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners regularly analyze, evaluate, and strengthen the effectiveness and quality of their practice.

  • They evaluate results and seek input systematically from a variety of sources.

  • Teachers reflect on one's own point of view, cultural backgrounds, biases, values, and personal experiences and their effect on practice.

  • Teachers foster professional development and growth.

___k. Linkages with families 

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners create linkages with families that enhance the educational experience of their students.

  • Teachers focus on communication with families, capitalize on parents' and guardians' insights, and cultivate families' interest in supporting their children's education.

___l. Professional leadership

  • Teachers of linguistically and culturally diverse learners contribute to the growth and development of their colleagues, their schools, and the advancement of knowledge in their field.