Skip to main content
× Careers Staff Only Personnel Sub Call-In Service Health & Safety
Main Operator 315.433.2600
District Superintendent 315.433.2602
Adult Education 315.453.4455
Business Office 315.433.2614
CNYRIC 315.433.8300
Instructional Support       315.433.2627
Student Services 315.433.2604
Labor Relations 315.433.2629
Personnel 315.433.2631

Mid-State RBERN


Resources for Educators of ELLs

Administrators Resources

  • An Administrator's Guide to Co-Teaching - Wendy W. Murawski and Philip Bernhardt provide administrators with five steps toward implementing a successful co-teaching program for teachers who work with ELLs in their classrooms.
  • All In! How Educators Can Advocate for ELLs - This National Education Association guide gives administrators some great ideas and strategies about frequently encountered situations. The guide includes encouraging stories from teachers about their ELL students.
  • Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services - Resources and information on refugee and immigrant families.
  • ELL Toolkit for Administrators - This U.S. Department of Education publication provides helpful information for developing programs to help ELLs succeed in schools. It is translated into several languages.
  • ESL Rural Mural for School Leaders - This is a site created by ENL teachers for School Leaders of ELLs in New York State. It provides many resources for administrators who want to increase ELL success in their districts.
  • Five Ways Administrators Can Support Their ELLs - Natalie Pereira recommends that administrators implement five key strategies to support ELLs. By starting with one and doing it for five weeks, she says that administrators will see an improvement.
  • Four Steps for Strengthening Your School's ENL Program - Colorin Colorado offers some thoughts about how to evaluate your ENL program at the end of the school year. These four steps can help administrators determine professional development needs and to plan and improve instruction for their ELs.
  • Instructional Leadership for ELLs - The role of the principal is instrumental in ELL instruction. This article outlines the practices of one principal at a successful secondary school. Learn how his leadership allowed this school to demonstrate high improvements in the English proficiency of their ELLs.
  • National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition - Find state data, resources, and grant programs.
  • Practical Guidelines for the Education of ELLs - This book is written by the Center on Instruction for K-12 administrators and teachers of ELLs. The emphasis is on reading and mathematics. A PowerPoint presentation summary of this three-part series is included.
  • Program Alternatives for Linguistically Diverse Students - Learn about newcomer programs, transitional bilingual, developmental bilingual, immersion, two-way immersion, and sheltered instruction.
  • Six Things Principals Can Do to Support Their ELLs - The writer provides practical and useful keys for school principals seeking to support English learners. With the updated CR Part 154 regulations, school leaders need to look at creating time for collaboration between ENL teachers and General Education teachers in their scheduling.
  • Supporting English Language Learners - The winter 2016 edition of The School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANY) Vanguard magazine is devoted to best practices for the success of English Learners.

Home to School Resources

State Education Resources

  • Engage NY - is dedicated to providing educators across New York State with real-time, professional learning tools and resources to support educators in reaching the State’s vision for a college and career ready education for all students.
  • Office of Accountability - Contains information on AMAO status and Title III allocations.
  • Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBE-WL) - Information and resources regarding New York State education of ELLs.
  • Office of Special Education - Information and resources on policy and services for students with disabilities, including ELLs.
  • Office of State Assessment - Information and resources on all New York State assessments.
  • US Department of Education - Many resources about college entrance and educational policies and practices are included here to promote student achievement and to prepare all students for success.

Teacher Resources

  • 4Teachers - Contains online resources to help integrate technology in the classroom, such as web lessons, calendars and quizzes. Is also available in Spanish.
  • 50 Incredibly Useful Links for Learning and Teaching the English Language -This site provides wonderful links on a variety of topics useful for teachers, students, parents and administrators.
  • 100 Best Resources for Teachers of ELLs Teaching ELLs requires research to find the best resources. This list of resources will provide teachers with the help they need to be successful with ELLs.
  • Adolescent Literacy - This site provides many strategies, resources, and current news for teaching literacy in grades 4-12.
  • Breaking News English - This site provides free English lessons at seven different levels. Helpful for ELLs at different proficiency level.
  • The Busy Teacher - provides over 17,000 free printable materials for ESL/EFL teachers, including worksheets, detailed lesson plans and in-dept articles.
  • Co-Teaching for ELLs Weebly - Many co-teaching resources created and provided by Honigsfeld and Dove are located here
  • Can-Do Descriptors - The Can-Do Descriptors can help teachers adapt an activity to the language proficiency level of your ELL students. In this way, they can engage in the lesson at their level without feeling lost. These descriptors help classroom teachers to know what ELL students at different levels of English proficiency can actually be expected to do in a regular content area classroom. The tasks are divided into four domains: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  • DocsTeach - A large collection of primary sources that includes lesson plans, online activities, and guides for using the sources.
  • ELLs and Academic Language This blog explains how to help English learners develop knowledge of academic vocabulary. It also explains the difference between social and academic language.
  • Five Best Practices for Teaching Refugee ELLs Refugee students need to develop many skills, as many come to this country with no formal schooling. SIFE students need to learn very basic skills and educators must meet them where they are.
  • The GO TO Strategies: Scaffolding Options for Teachers of ELLs - This information was created for K-12 ENL teachers, content teachers, special education teachers and administrators with ELL students and families.
  • Grammar Gallery This site provides creative lessons and activities for teaching grammar in content. These are beautifully done with graphics and activities to accompany teach lesson.
  • HELP Kit, Grades P-6 - This resource guide is designed for pre-K to Grade 6 teachers of ELLs. Inside you will find lesson plans, and materials on a variety of topics including: Cultural Information, Reading & Writing, and Math.
  • HELP Kit for Secondary Students - This guide is a compilation of helpful tips and strategies for teaching English learners in the secondary content areas.
  • Language Guide in Many Languages - Pictures with audio help students to learn a new language. A few topics covered include: alphabet, numbers, body parts, clothing, and food.
  • The Learning Network Daily articles and lesson plans that incorporate current events from The New York Times.
  • Make Beliefs Comix Students can create their own comic strips in 7 different languages.
  • Math Snacks Math concepts with videos, games, apps, and lesson plans. Also available in Spanish.
  • National Geographic Explorer - Free non-fiction magazines for upper elementary provided in two different Lexile levels. Provides a teacher’s guide, an interactive and projectable edition, and a whiteboard lesson.
  • National Geographic Extreme - Free non-fiction magazines provided at higher Lexile levels. Provides a teacher’s guide, an interactive and projectable edition, and a whiteboard lesson.
  • National Geographic Young Explorer - Free non-fiction magazines for grades K-1 that allows students to either read or listen to the text.
  • NewsELA - This site provides a variety of articles which are available in both English & Spanish. You can also choose the same article at different grade/proficiency levels.
  • Perspectives for a Diverse America - Literacy that focuses on cultural diversity with free texts, teaching strategies, and activities.
  • Read, Write, Think - This site provides great resources for teachers, parents and students. Resources include lessons, professional development and videos.
  • Reading Rockets: English Language Learners - This site provides effective ways to teach ELL students. Articles included here discuss how to create an inviting classroom and ways to increase family involvement.
  • ReadWorks - Find free close-reading texts, units, and lessons to help improve your students reading comprehension skills. There are literacy and non-fiction texts which can be searched by grade, Lexile level, topic, text type, or skill/strategy with each text accompanied by questions.
  • Rewordify - This site can provide a simpler English word for quicker understanding and help to teach new words.
  • Scaffolding Resource Guide - Content teachers must learn how to scaffold the Common Core ELA and Math Curriculums for ELLs according to their level of language proficiency. These Scaffolding Instruction for English Language Learners Resource Guides for ELA and Mathematics provide guidance on how to do this.
  • Simple English Wiktionary - Wiktionary in Simple English, an English online dictionary that uses simpler words so it is very helpful for non-native speakers who are learning English.
  • Starfall - Starfall is an interactive site for children created to teach the alphabet, reading and math in a creative way. It contains excellent audiovisual effects to keep students interested.
  • Storybird - This is a very popular site dedicated to helping students create their own online stories.
  • Storyline Online - The Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) Foundation offers wonderful online books which are read to you by different actors. It also offers activity guides to go with the books.
  • Supporting ELLs in the Mainstream Classroom - There are many ways to help ELLs in the general education classroom. This article offers a variety of tips for classroom teachers.
  • Teaching ELLs across the Content Areas All teachers are teachers of ELLs. Content teachers must learn the key strategies for teaching their students, and this article provides many excellent tips.
  • Ten Resources for Content Teachers of ELLs - It is more important than ever for content teachers to receive training regarding best practices for teaching ELL students. Here are ten great resources for teachers who have not had the opportunity to receive extensive in-house training.
  • Tween Tribune - Daily news articles for grades K-12. Each article comes at different Lexile levels with questions and quizzes.
  • UDL Toolkit - This is a fantastic site full of helpful links related to literacy, graphic organizers, math tools, audio books, study skills, research tools, writing tools, and much more.
  • Unite for Literacy - Select online books which are narrated for you in one of 12 languages, based on the language you choose from the narration button.
  • Understanding Language Site - This Stanford University site features ELL teaching resources that provide ideas and strategies to support language development and learning in the content areas.
  • VIsual Dictionary Online - Ideal for parents, teachers and students. Provides a visual along with the meaning of each word.
  • Vocabgrabber - Just copy words, sentences and paragraphs from your text and paste them into the box. Then click on the "Grab Vocabulary!" button. VocabGrabber will give you the important words to use as your vocabulary list to study, save, or use for your next lesson
  • Wonderopolis - Articles based on what students might “wonder” about. Includes vocabulary, word challenges, and a comprehension check

Translated Documents

  • Blueprint for ELLs Success and Common Core State Standards Information for Parents in 26 Languages - Eight guiding principles were developed to explain and define P-12 ELL program requirements for administrators, policymakers, and practitioners to prepare ELLs for success. This site also provides Resources for Parents, Backpack Guide to CCLS, FAQ’s, and Working with the “Shifts”.
  • Common Core State Standards Parent Information in 26 Languages - In 2010, the New York State Board of Regents adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to make sure that all children succeed once they graduate from high school. This guide is designed to help you understand how the standards will affect your child, what changes you will see, and what you can do at home to help your child in the classroom.
  • Parent Notification Forms in 26 Languages - Parents/guardians must be notified promptly regarding a student's assessment results and English Language Learner status. OBEWL has created a series of parent notification letter templates, translated into multiple languages, that must be used to communicate with parents/guardians regarding a student's status. You may use the fill-in fields or recreate the letters on your district letterhead
  • Guide for Parents of English Language Learners in New York State in 24 Languages - This ten page booklet includes Bilingual Education and English as a New Language program descriptions, Frequently Asked Questions about English Language Learners and Multilingual Learners, Facts about Bilingualism and Bilingual Education, links to English Language Learner parent resources, and tips on “Participating in Your Child’s Education.”
  • Home Language Questionnaire in 41 Languages - After registration and enrollment in the school, the Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ) is completed by the parent/guardian. Qualified personnel must be available to determine if a language other than English is spoken at home.

Teaching ELLs Across the Content Areas

Literacy for ELLs

Migrant Students

  • Oswego County Migrant Education The Oswego County BOCES (CiTi) Migrant Education & Tutorial Support Services Program (METS) provides a variety of Services and opportunities to assist and support migrant farmworkers and their families.
  • Geneseo Migrant Center The Geneseo Migrant Center provides a variety of services to migrants on a regional, statewide, and national level to benefit migrant farmworkers and their families.
  • US Office of Migrant Education The Office of Migrant Education (OME) provides leadership, technical assistance, and financial support to improve the educational opportunities and academic success of migrant children and their families.
  • Finger Lakes Community Health Provides health care geared toward migrant workers. They have bilingual staff and mobile medical and dental care.
  • How to Help Migrant Children Succeed Dr. Jose Rodríguez discusses his work in migrant education and explained how it’s based on his personal experiences as a migrant child.
  • Migrant Students Foundation A non-profit organization that helps migrant students gain scholarships, internships, and service learning projects across the U.S.
  • Migrant Students: What We Need to Know to Help Them Succeed Giselle Lundy-Ponce provides some background on migrant workers and recommendations to help migrant students succeed in the classroom.
  • Migrant Farmworker Families: Books for KIds Colorín Colorado has selected books for talking about the hardships and victories of children and families who have worked on farms.
  • Classroom Resources: César Chávez and His Legacy Many great resources are located here to help teachers educate their class on the history and children of migrant farmworkers.



  • Affective Filter - a “wall” a learner puts up if his/her anxiety level is high. The lower the anxiety level, the lower the filter. ELLs must have a low affective filter in order to learn English. The more comfortable students are in their school environment, the more ready they will be able to learn
    • BICS are Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills. These are the language skills needed for everyday personal and social communication. Second language learners must have BICS in order to interact on the playground and in the classroom. It usually takes students from 1-3 years to completely develop this social language. BICS are not necessarily related to academic success.
    • CALP is Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency in the language associated with native language literacy and cognitive development. These are the language skills needed to undertake academic tasks in the mainstream classroom. It includes content-specific vocabulary. It may take from 5 to 7 years to develop CALP skills. CALP developed in the first language contribute to the development of CALP in the second language.
  • Bilingual Progressions - "Having the Progressions available allows us to do the work with the non-ESL and Bilingual teachers and building leaders to show them that the Progressions provide an entry point and that ELLs can access the Common Core”. "The Progressions can be used for all students, not just teachers of ELLs or dual language teachers. Any teacher can use the Progressions and does not have to have an ELL background to use them." "The Progressions have a dual purpose of being an assessment and instructional rubric
  • CAL - Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) CAL conducts projects and offers a variety of research-based resources related to the education of English language learners in a variety of settings
  • Comprehensible Input - Comprehensible input means the spoken word or written message is delivered at the learner’s level of comprehension. The concepts being taught should not be simplified, but the language used to present the concepts must be made comprehensible. Basic concepts should be presented in a variety of ways.
  • Culture Shock - Is a normal stage in the acculturation process that all newcomers go through. Being in a strange place and losing the power to communicate can disrupt a student’s world view, self-identity, and systems of thinking, acting, and feeling. Students may feel frustrated, angry, hostile, sad, lonely, and homesick. Students may develop physical ailments such as stomachaches and headaches. They are often devastated by the emotional upheaval caused by moving to a new culture. They may exhibit behavior such as depression or sleeplessness. They may become overly aggressive or withdrawn.
  • CR Part 154 - Commissioner’s Regulations on the education of LEP/ELLs (NYS) establishes standards for the education of Limited English Proficient/English Language Learner (LEP/ELL) students. In accordance with these standards, all districts must provide LEP/ELL students with equal access to all school programs and services offered by the district commensurate with their age and grade level, including access to programs required for graduation.
  • CREDE - Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE) archive of information and resources developed as part of CAL's work with the Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE) from 1996–2004. Many of the resources can be downloaded for free and selected resources are also available in print form for ease of use and reference.
  • Dream act MARCH 2013 - Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation that would continue New York's advocacy of educational support for immigrant youth (A.2597). In addition to creating the DREAM Fund to provide private scholarships for these students, this bill would - for the first time - also allow immigrant students to apply for state financial aid, to Increase Access to College Aid Opportunities for Immigrant Students
  • ELA - English language arts (ELA)
  • ELL(s) / EL - English language learner(s) (ELL) / English Learner (EL)
  • EngageNY– is developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to support the implementation of key aspects of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. This is the official web site for current materials and resources related to the Regents Reform Agenda. The agenda includes the implementation of the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE), and Data-Driven Instruction (DDI). is dedicated to providing educators across New York State with real-time, professional learning tools and resources to support educators in reaching the State’s vision for a college- and career-ready education for all students. – Engage NY Common Core Applications to ELLs
  • ESL - English as a second language (ESL)
  • ESOL - English to speakers of other languages [ESOL] (term used by teacher certification office)
  • HYLI - Puerto Rican Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PRHYLI): Annual program for Hispanic high school juniors and seniors.
  • L1 / L2 - L1=first or native language L2= second language or non-native speakers of a language
  • NLA - Native Language Arts (NLA) Spanish Native Languge Arts Guide from NYCDOE
  • NYSABE - New York State Association of Bilingual Education (NYSABE)
  • NYSESLAT - New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) (given annually in May)
  • NYSITELL - New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL) will be based on and be similar to the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT), but abbreviated in length. The NYSITELL will replace the Language Assessment Battery Revised (LABR) as the approved means of initially identifying ELLs in New York State.
  • NYSTESOL - New York State Teachers of English To Speakers of Other Languages (NYSTESOL)
  • OBE& FLS Office of Bilingual Education & Foreign Language Studies (NYS Education Department)
  • OELA - Office of English Language Acquisition (US Department of Education)
  • RBERN - Region Bilingual Educational Resource Network (RBERN) There are 8 offices across NYS.
  • SIFE - Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) are LEP/ELLs who have interrupted formal education. As a subgroup of the LEP/ELL population they are therefore subject to all New York State Education department regulations and guidelines. NYSED defines the SIFE population as those LEP/ELLs who: (1) Come from a home in which a language other English is spoken and enter a school in the United States after grade 2~ and, (2) Have had at least two years less schooling than their peers~ and,(3) Function at least two years below expected grade level in reading and mathematics~ and,(4) May be preliterate in their native language.
  • SIOP - The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model is a research-based and validated instructional model that has proven effective in addressing the academic needs of English learners throughout the United States. The SIOP Model consists of eight interrelated components: Lesson Preparation, Building Background, Comprehensible Input, Strategies, Interaction, Practice/Application, Lesson Delivery, Review & Assessment
  • State Seal of Biliteracy Oct/2012 - A distinguished law that recognizes the value of language development, bilingualism, and biliteracy, conferring prestige on those NYS High School Graduates who have demonstrated their capacity in two languages. The New York Seal of Biliteracy recognizes the importance of a statewide commitment to language development, bilingualism, biliteracy and cultural diversity. It demonstrates New York’s support for educational programs that value cultural and linguistic diversity and lead to academic success through the demonstrated acquisition of proficiency in more than one language. Furthermore, a Seal of Biliteracy encourages students to develop biliteracy and multilingual skills, helping them to form a high level of linguistic, cultural, and communicative proficiency that connects them with diverse linguistic and cultural vocabularies, whether they start as proficient in English or proficient in another home language.
  • TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • The Silent Period - is a varying period of time during which a newcomer is unwilling to speak in the second language. Nearly all students go through a silent period. This stage could last for as long as one year. ELLs should not be forced to speak until they are ready to do so.
  • Title III of NCLB - Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students to enable LEP students to speak, read, write and comprehend the English language and meet challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards; Allocations for Title III (LEP and Immigrant Programs) , & Information on Title III – AMAOs
  • WIDA - World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) advances academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional development for educators

The inclusion of any item on this webpage should not be construed as an endorsement of any idea or product; rather, it’s just a collection of timely information to help you sift through all the information you receive in your busy job. Feel free to contact Mid-State RBERN with any questions.