English Learners

Designing Instruction

Review the How to Support English Learners in Distance Learning infographic from WestEd. 1

Review the When Is Instruction EL-Friendly? infographic by Tan Huynh. 2 For more details, read Huynh’s full article, How to Chunk Instruction: Making Instruction EL-Friendly. 3 These tips are important for all instruction, but can also guide your planning of virtual lessons.

Read Distance Learning for ELLs: Planning Instruction by Kristina Robertson on the Colorín Colorado website (another great resource). 4

6 Key Considerations for Supporting English Learners with Distance Learning

Watch this 10-minute video from Christina Angkasuwan for more tips on how to support English learners. 5

Academic Language

Read 10 Ways to Get Students Using Academic Language During Distance Learning & Beyond by Valentina Gonzalez. 6 She includes a variety of in-person strategies as well as a chart for how to apply those strategies in a virtual setting.

Digital Tools

Read How to Use Technology to Support ELLs in Your Classroom by Jeff Knutson. 7 This articles focuses on digital tools that will be particularly useful for your English learners.

Watch this 3-minute video from Common Sense Education for an overview of how to use digital storytelling to support ELs. 8

Make sure to explore the Accessibility Tips section of this site as well.


  1. Quality Teaching for English Learners. (2020, May 8). How to support English learners in distance learning? {Infographic}. WestEd. https://650c3b4a-bdb2-4bc5-9706-e36b4e83f956.filesusr.com/ugd/5784a1_76e3f831d7a14fc5be288a05ea904c33.pdf
  2. Huynh, T. (2018, March 8). When is instruction EL-friendly? {Infographic}. Empowering ELLs. https://i1.wp.com/www.empoweringells.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/3is_23887912-1.png
  3. Huynh, T. (2018, March 8). 77. How to chunk instruction: Making instruction EL-friendly. Empowering ELLs. https://www.empoweringells.com/chunking-instruction/
  4. Robertson, K. (2020). Distance learning for ELLs: Planning instruction. Colorín Colorado. https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/distance-learning-ells-instruction
  5. Angkasuwan, C. {Christina Angkasuwan}. (2020, May 30). How to support English learners via distance learning {Video}. YouTube. https://youtu.be/lxCCOtaWKWc
  6. Gonzalez, V. (2020, March 28). 10 ways to get students using academic language during distance learning & beyond. English learners. https://elementaryenglishlanguagelearners.weebly.com/blog/10-ways-to-get-students-using-academic-language-during-distance-learning-beyond
  7. Knutson, Jeff. (2020, May 18). How to use technology to support ELLs in your classroom. Common sense education. https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/how-to-use-technology-to-support-ells-in-your-classroom
  8. Common Sense Education. (2016, December 19). Supporting English language learners with digital storytelling {Video}. YouTube. https://youtu.be/I-T-iA_6Nk4
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