Who are LTELs?

Long Term English Learners (LTELs) are students who have received EL services for six or more years and have not yet met exit criteria (Scoring a 4 in the Overall, Reading, and Writing domains on the ELPT).

Many LTELs were born in the US and speak fluent English in social situations, but may struggle with academic vocabulary, reading, or writing. Because most LTELs attended kindergarten in the US, they may not have literacy skills in their native language, which affects their ability to use their full linguistic repertoires.

Best Practices for Long-Term English Learners

Assets-Based Perspective

  • Build on the student's entire language repertoire by pointing out cognates, morphology, and encouraging metalinguistic thinking
  • Acknowledge students' funds of knowledge by integrating student interests and experiences

Academic Language

  • Focus on oral language when building academic vocabulary knowledge by having students use the vocabulary in context when discussing content material in class
  • Build students' Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary
  • Build academic language at the Word, Phrase, and Sentence Level
  • Use questioning that requires students to think deeply about academic language
  • Use linguistic maps to show how a word is related to other words by meaning or root word - for example, legislated, legislation, law, lawyer, etc.
  • Use collocation trackers to analyze how a word is used in context with other words

Reading Support

  • Scaffold students to read expository text with language structures specific to the content genre
  • Focus on all parts of the Reading Rope
  • Include audio or read aloud supports strategically
  • Annotate texts to simplify language

Writing Support

  • Sentence stems should support students to use more advanced academic language, rather than boxing them into less advanced language and thinking.
  • Use adaptable graphic organizers to encourage students to organize their thoughts and expand on them in writing.
  • Use mentor texts to write like a professional writer - at the sentence, paragraph, or text level.

Scaffolding Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners