PLC 915 Syllabus

Teaching in the Content Areas: ELD & SDAIE

English Language Development & Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English

Jill Kerper Mora, Ed.D.
San Diego State University


Click in the appropriate box to navigate this syllabus

Textbooks Course Description Course Objectives
Requirements Grading Evaluation Criteria
Agenda (Fall 1999) 4×4 Thematic Unit Dr. Mora's Home Page
MoraModules Menu E-mail Dr. Mora Bulletin Board

Click here to visit the Thematic Unit Page for a model thematic unit for English language learners and more than 40 links to lesson planning websites in language arts, social studies, sciences and multicultural education.


PLC 915 Course Reader by J.K. Mora (2002) available from Montezuma Publishing, Aztec Book Store.

Chamot, A. U., & O’Malley, J. M. (1994). The CALLA Handbook: Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Herrell, A. L. (2000). Fifty Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.


High, J. (1993). Second Language Learning Through Cooperative Learning. San Juan Capistrano, CA: Kagan Cooperative Learning.

O'Malley. J.M., & Valdez Pierce, L. (1996). Authentic Assessment for English Language Learners. Addison-Wesley Publishing.

Peregoy, S.F., & Boyle, O. F. (1997). Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL. New York: Longman.

Course Description

This course is designed to equip Bilingual/Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development (B/CLAD) teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills to effectively organize and implement instruction for limited English proficient students in bilingual and English language development programs. Students are equipped for effective CLAD instruction through the use of methods of English language development and specially designed academic instruction in English. We will explore the historical development of L2 teaching theory and methods in the United States.

We will examine the psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic principles upon which modern methods of second language (L2) teaching are based. Students will master instructional strategies and design lessons compatible with these principles. The course content will be learned through the kinds of experiential, participatory and process-oriented strategies that are used in successful bilingual/English language development classrooms and that build reflective practices and shared decision-making in B/CLAD programs. Course content, activities and assignments include the four domains of the RICA exam and the relationship of CLAD topics to literacy development and reading instruction will be made explicit throughout the course.

Course Objectives

Upon completing the course students will be able to:

Define the basic principles of ELD/SDAIE methods and describe their implementation in CLAD classroom contexts.

Identify and apply the principles and procedures of different L2 methods in lesson plans and learning activities.

Identify and describe instruments and rating scales for assessing language proficiency and diagnosing language skills of L2 learners in order to effectively plan instruction.

Design an integrated thematic instruction for students of various levels of language proficiency in English language development in the four language skills using the 4X4 model and principles of English language development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) in the content areas.

Course Requirements

The projects for the course are described thoroughly in class and in handouts and models. Students are encouraged to develop a timeline for the semester for accomplishing the tasks required.

Three to five in-class quickwrites or quizzes reflecting on material covered in class and/or in the course readings and relating the theories and principles of CLAD instruction to field experiences in teacher education.

An individually designed thematic instructional unit using the ELD/SDAIE model called "The 4X4 Thematic Unit"

A final examination covering applications of ELD/SDAIE principles and theories.

Active participation in class assignments and activities that demonstrates reflective practices and the integration of course content with field-based experiences.


Class work, projects and written assignments and tests will be weighed for the total course grade according to the following weighted scale:

Class participation


Quizzes and/or quickwrites


4 X 4 Thematic Unit


Final Examination


Criteria for Assignments

All written assignments will be typed, double-spaced in narrative portions, and edited for usage and mechanical errors. The content of all quizzes, tests and assignments will be evaluated based on the level of higher order thinking skills demonstrated by the student according to the criteria for grading included in this syllabus. Any papers not turned in by the beginning of class on the date due will be designated late. Late papers will be penalized ten percent for each week past the due date until handed in to the instructor.

Class Participation

Participation in class is weighed heavily because the processes learned through interaction with peers are an essential component of the course. A student cannot earn an A in the course with more then two absences from class. Students must come to class with the required book of class readings and the textbook since these will be used frequently for group and individual activities. The readings are in "shrink pack" and workbook form for note-taking and reorganizing according to the needs of the student.


Plagiarism is defined as "the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language or thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work." (Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 1987). All sources of reference from which students take quotations, major theories or concepts or instructional materials for lesson plans or papers must be properly cited. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Such work will result in a zero for the assignment and referral to Student Affairs for possible suspension or expulsion.


The point system described below will be used for all papers and tests in PLC 914. Scores will be converted into percentages and weighed according to the scale outlined in the syllabus.

Grading Criteria and Scores

(100-90%)–This score will be awarded to papers showing a high degree of competence, coverage of all parts of the question as described in the assignment descriptions in the course reader, effective organization and critical analysis. References to course materials, theories, models or strategies are utilized to support analysis. Examples are used to illustrate aspects of concepts or teaching strategies. Surface feature errors are few and minor.

(89-80%)–This score acknowledges the clearly competent response, although it may be weak in some aspects of the superior paper: e.g. it may slight one part of the question; may not be as effectively organized or detailed; may have minor grammatical inconsistencies; may not be supported by references to course materials or use as many pertinent examples.

(79-70%)– This score will be given to papers demonstrating competence; however, the papers will be less developed and the analysis may be more superficial than papers scored a 4. Papers awarded a score of 3 may show occasional awkwardness of expression and grammatical weakness.

(69-60%)– This score will be awarded for the following papers:

–those that are primarily a restatement of words or ideas from other sources without adequate rationale given for their selection; –those that deal with only one part of the question: –those that offer clichés instead of thoughtful analysis –those that remain general and undeveloped or without relevance to the author's own cultural and academic experience, values or beliefs, –those that lack focus or pertinent detail.

(60% or below)– This score will be applied to papers that are severely underdeveloped or that exhibit serious weaknesses in structure or syntax or papers that show little understanding of the question or demonstrate incompetence in structure, syntax or other conventions of standard written English. This score range also applies to papers that are not turned in or are excessively late, or that are incomplete.



Reading assignments are indicated for each class section. Also you may click on Slide Show to review the on-line presentations for each topic. You can view a menu of the on-line MoraModules Menu for this and other courses by clicking on the menu above. A framework for utilizing the 50 Strategies textbook by Herrell (2000) in planning the 4X4 thematic unit is linked below.

Class #1

Historical trends in multicultural/L2 teaching
Contribution of disciplines to L2 instruction

Reading Assignment: PLC 914 Reader Sec. A; CALLA, Part 1, Sec. 1-2

MoraModules #1.1 Historical Trends in L2 Teaching
MoraModules #13.5 CLAD Teaching is Good Teaching Plus
MoraModules #14.4 Definitions & Description of Programs for ELLs

Class #2

Theoretical foundations of B/CLAD instruction
Theories of second language acquisition

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. B; CALLA, Part 1, Sec. 3; Herrell, p.xi-9 and Lesson Planning Strategies

MoraModules #2.1 Theoretical Basis for the Natural Approach
MoraModules #2.2 Principles of Bilingual Education

Class #3

L2 teaching methods: Principles & practices
A definition of sheltered English immersion
Planning based on state and school district content standards

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. C; CALLA, Part 2, Sec.; Herrell, p.115-128; 1 34-138

MoraModules #3.1 Methods of L2 Teaching
MoraModules #2.3 Principles & Procedures of L2 Teaching Methods
MoraModules #3.2 Models of Bilingual Education
MoraModules #17.3 Sheltered Immersion: Contrasts & Controversy

Class #4

Thematic Planning for English Language Learners
The Four Levels-Four Skills Curriculum Model

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. D; Herrell, p.75-80; 100-104

MoraModules #4.1 Thematic Planning for ELLs
MoraModules #4.2 The Four by Four Thematic Unit Guidelines
MoraModules #4.4 A Model 4X4 Thematic Unit
MoraModules #4.5 Strategies and Activities for 4X4 Units

Class #5

A lesson planning model for CLAD instruction
Designing listening activities for ELLs

Reading Assignment: Reader Sec. E; Herrell, p.91-99 and Listening Strategies

MoraModules #5.1 Teaching Pronunciation with Minimal Pairs
MoraModules #14.2 A Road Map for Effective ELD Teachers

Assignment Due: Draft LP Level 1 Parts 1-2 Section 1

Class #6

The Natural Approach
Speaking Activities for ELLs
Thematic Planning Work Group Meeting 1

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. F ; Herrell, p.38-41 and Speaking Strategies

MoraModules #6.1 Effective Lesson Planning for ELLs
MoraModules #6.2 A Model 5-Step Lesson Plan for ELLs
MoraModules #2.4 Outline of a Natural Approach Lesson
MoraModules #4.6 100 Vocabulary Development Activities

Class #7

Language assessment for placement and instruction

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. G; CALLA, Part 2, Sec. 6; Herrell, p.122-125

MoraModules #7.1 Language Assessment
MoraModules #10.4 Heuristic Analysis of L2 Reading Performance
MoraModules #17.8 NAGB Testimony on Assessment of ELLs

Class #8

Second-language reading
Achieving a balanced approach in L2 reading instruction
Thematic Planning Work Group Meeting 2

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. H; Herrell, p.56-60; 66-69; 81-86 and Reading Strategies

MoraModules #8.1 Reading in a Second Language
MoraModules #9.4 A Literacy Framework
MoraModules #12.4 A Sequence for Phonics Instruction

Assignment Due: Draft LP Level 2 Parts 3-4 Section 1

Class #9

Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE)
The Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach
Elements of a SDAIE lesson

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. I, p.1-13; CALLA, Part 2, Sec.8; Herrell, p.15-20,

MoraModules #6.3 The CALLA Approach
MoraModules #9.1 The Language-Concept Connection
MoraModules #9.2 How to Teach Concepts & Vocabulary

Class #10

L2 content-area reading
Utilizing Features of Text
Adapting materials for SDAIE instruction

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader, Sec.I p.14-24; CALLA, Part 3 Sec. Subject Area; Herrell, p.53-55 and Critical Thinking Strategies

MoraModules #10.1 Content Area Reading for ELLs
MoraModules #10.2 Using Study Guides in Content-area Reading
MoraModules #10.3 Text Analysis for L2 Literacy Instruction

Class #11

Development of L2 writin
Designing reading comprehension activities for ELLs

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. J p.1-16; Herrell, p.87-94 and Writing Strategies

MoraModules #6.3 Sentence Transformation
Mora Modules #11.1
Development of Second-language Writing
MoraModules #12.1 Using Rubrics for Assessing L2 Writing

Assignment Due: Draft LP Level 3 Parts 5-6 Section 1

Class #12

Structured Writing Activities for the Content Areas
Patterns of Exposition in the Content Areas
Thematic Planning Work Group Meeting 3

MoraModules #12.5 Guided Story Construction
MoraModules #12.6 Guided Writing Instruction in L2 Classrooms

Reading Assignment:CALLA, Part 1, Sec. 4; CALLA, Part 3, Sec. 12

Class #13

Organizing the classroom for ELD/SDAIE
Using songs and games in the CLAD classroom

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. J 16-30; CALLA, Part 2, Sec. 7; Herrell, p.115-121; 174-178

MoraModule #14.1 Organizing the Multilevel B/CLAD Classroom
MoraModule #3.4 Characteristics of Effective L2 Classrooms

Class #14

Teaching to diversity in the CLAD classroom
Cultural elements in ELD/SDAIE teaching

Reading Assignment: 914 Reader Sec. K; CALLA, Part 3, Sec. 12 p.302-314; Herrell, p.42-52; 139-145

MoraModules #13.1 Cultural Diversity in the B/CLAD Classroom
MoraModules #13.4 The How's and Why's of CLAD Teaching

Class #15

Presentation of 4X4 Units-Peer Group Rotations
Review for final examination

Assignment Due: 4X4 Thematic Unit

Class #16

Final Examination

The Four by Four Thematic Unit


The purpose of the Four by Four Thematic Unit assignment is to provide the teacher candidate with the experience of planning instruction for a diversity of English language proficiency levels in the CLAD classroom based on a state-adopted textbook and curriculum, just as s/he will be required to do in his/her own classroom. In addition, the assignment gives the CLAD teacher candidate a "micro-experience" in collaborative planning with colleagues, to discover how we as teachers can utilize each other's experience and expertise as resources for planning instruction. The structure of the assignment also gives the teacher candidate the benefit of peer and instructor input at different stages of development of a thematic unit in order to produce a quality product.

Cooperative Group Work on Unit Theme

There will be three cooperative group working sessions during class time for your groups to accomplish its tasks. Additional time outside of class with your group members is optional. During the time provided in class, you will select your topic and determine the main concepts, principles and content and share ideas for activities and lesson plans for the four levels of proficiency and four skills. You will use Section D of the course reader as a guide. Also, review the on-line guidelines through Dr. Mora's website. Each student will complete a unit with lessons on an aspect related to the theme selected by the group. All grading of the 4X4 Thematic Unit is individual. There will be no group grade. Click here for the 4X4 Thematic Unit scoring rubric.

The objective of your group is to produce a three-ring binder of lessons from each of the members of the group on the chapter and topic you have selected. The binders from each of the groups will contain copies of the individual lesson plans, compiled as a unit. Consequently, there will be four to five lessons for level 1, level 2, etc. in each binder.

Individual assignment

Each student will complete the components of the 4X4 Thematic Unit as outlined on pages D 17-20 of the course reader. In section 2 of the unit, each student will prepare one lesson for each level for each of the four skills: listening, speaking, reading & writing. The instructor will explain the format required for the lesson plans in class. Drafts of the lesson plans for levels 1, 2, & 3 are due on the dates indicated in the course schedule. These will be reviewed and returned by the instructor to give students feedback on the planning procedures and content. These drafts will not be graded. Only the final product turned in at the last class meeting will receive a grade.

Four by Four Unit Guidelines

Click here to go to a detailed outline of the 4X4 Thematic Unit on-line, with links to related instructional modules to guide you through the process of lesson planning for the CLAD classroom.