Free Tools

Planning for Language Development Tool

This tool guides grade level and content area teams to plan for language development in content lessons by considering which vocabulary words and structures they will teach, and how they will teach them. This tool was inspired by work from WIDA, SupportEd, and Confianza.

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Integrating Language and Content Instruction for ELLs

Language Learners at all proficiency levels can participate in content lessons with appropriate scaffolding and support. Based on WIDA’s Model Performance Indicators and Can Do Descriptors, this chart demonstrates in Spanish how students at different language proficiency levels could participate in a science content lesson about the planets in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Download this tool featured in the 2019 CCIRA conference and have your colleagues reconstruct it to model the cooperative learning and support strategies I shared in the CCIRA session.

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Student Shadowing Tool

Data collected from shadowing ELL students can provide insights into student needs and become a catalyst for change. You can download the shadowing document featured at the 2018 WIDA National Conference and the 2018 Learning Forward Conference here. The document includes directions for use on the back.

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ELD Teacher Self-Assessment

English Language Development (ELD) specialists are now expected to take on more and more roles and be skilled in areas well beyond language instruction in a self-contained classroom. If ELD teachers understand their abilities and are interested in developing their skills in other areas, they can become the leaders that many principals desperately need. This resource provides a self-assessment or checklist of skills required of many ELD teachers.

For more information about these skills, go to the article “Seven Scenarios to Transform ESL Teachers to Leaders” at


Spanish-English Question Cards

Teachers ask a lot of questions! However, if you work with beginning level English Language Learners, they may not even understand the question you are asking. Post and use these translated, visual question cards, so Spanish speaking ELLs will at least know if you are asking ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘where’, etc. Translate question words into all the native languages represented in your classroom. Because Spanish represents the native language of the highest percentage of our ELLs in the US, I’ve included that language on these cards.