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Over the last decade, the number of English language learners (ELLs) enrolled in public schools throughout the United States has risen by an astounding 60.76% (The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA), 2007  ). Along with this dramatic growth has come an increase in the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and educational experiences of ELLs. Some ELLs arrive having had a rigorous formal education in their native country, while others arrive having had limited or interrupted access to formal schooling. In addition, while ELLs are mostly concentrated in urban areas, many ELLs and their families have been moving into more suburban or rural districts. At the same time, most teachers and schools have not been adequately prepared to successfully educate these students or work with their families. 
(From The Education Alliance: Brown University website on English Language Learners)

English Language Learner (ELL) Definition
The term English language learner (ELL), as used here, indicates a person who is in the process of acquiring English and has a first language other than English. Other terms commonly found in the literature include language minority students, limited English proficient (LEP), English as a second language (ESL), and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD).
The Education Alliance: Teaching Diverse Learners -- ELL definition


Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a term creating and receiving much attention in the field of education today.  Those who work directly with students who are English language learners (ELLs) have voiced concern that these students are part of the “all” students attending K-12 schools and that and MTSS framework must also meet their unique and common needs. The following resource material and dialogue guides will help to bridge the conversation gap around English language learners.


  • Our Charge is to think about ELL from stakeholder perspectives at all knowledge levels, to look at things differently, and to speak to practical application by taking the ideas of researchers and making them tangible to those in the field.

  • Our Goal is to provide you with access to a comprehensive collection of materials and resources to assist you in furthering understanding of ELL. We hope this collection complements your current work, and we encourage you to share it with your colleagues and peers.





Multi-tiered Systems of Support for ALL: Including English Language Learners-PowerPoint

Multi-tiered Systems of Support for ALL: Including English Language Learners-Presenter Guide

This PowerPoint and Presenter guide provide information about ELL in Multi-tiered Systems of Support including:
  • Basic MTSS terminology
  • MTSS foundations in research and statute
  • Inclusion of ELLs in MTSS
  • A basic model for implementation of MTSS
  • Current practices that support MTSS
  • An overview of effective practices for ELLs


Meeting the Needs of ELLs through Multi-tiered Systems of Support: Research-based Strategies-PowerPoint
Meeting the Needs of ELLs through Multi-tiered Systems of Support: Research-based Strategies-Presenter Guide

This PowerPoint and Presenter guide provide information about research-based strategies for ELL including:
  • Research-based strategies for ELLs in the core curriculum
  • MTSS framework for instructing and intervening for all students
  • Instructional strategies that work with ELL students
  • Eight instructional methods for academic language development
  • MTSS and application to ELLs


Dialogue Guides for the ELL Collection

Dialogue Guides are models for conducting interactive discussions across stakeholders.. Each Guide circulates a common set of source materials and suggested procedures for involving various audiences in States and districts. In this manner, stakeholders all over the country can begin interacting in new ways around implementation issues. Each dialogue guide title has questions written specifically for a target audience by representatives of that audience.



Your Voice

Your experiences help the Partnership and our readers understand issues and perspectives.  Please take a minute to share:

Your ELL initiative and the strategies involved
What strategies are working and reasons for success
What problems (barriers) you have encountered and how they were solved
Innovative approaches to interventions
How you promote ELL initiatives across groups and organizations.


To help us understand how the Partnership collection is useful, please take a minute to share:

How you used the collection
Your reactions to the collection
Your ideas for improving the collection