PLC 915A Syllabus

Teaching in the Content Areas: ELD & SDAIE

English Language Development & Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English

Table of Contents

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

Textbooks and Materials


PLC 915A Course Reader by J.K. Mora (2009) available from Montezuma Publishing, Aztec Book Store.


Herrell, A. L. & Jordan, M.  (2004). Fifty Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners. 2d Edition. Upper Saddle River , NJ : Merrill.

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

Young, T.A. & Hadaway, N.L. (2006). Supporting the literacy development of English learners. Newark, DE: International Reading Association

WestEd (2000). A map for teaching and assessing California’s English Language Development and English Language Arts Standards for English Learners. San Francisco, CA: Author.


Course Description

This course is designed to equip Preliminary Credential Single Subject teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills to effectively organize and implement instruction for limited English proficient students (referred to also as English Language Learners or ELL). The course meets the guidelines under California legislation SB 2042 and AB 1059, which require that all new teachers be prepared to teach English language learners within the context of regular education classrooms. Students are equipped for effective ELD/SDAIE instruction through the use of methods of English language development and specially designed academic instruction in English. The Preliminary Credential qualifies teachers for instructing language minority students in English language development and sheltered immersion programs using methods of English language development and specially designed academic instruction in English. The course schedule and course reader include an outline and correlation to the Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) #7. Single Subject credential candidates will master instructional strategies and design lessons compatible with these principles.

In this methods course, we explore the current legal, socio-cultural and educational context for teaching English Language Learners (ELL) in secondary schools. We examine the psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic principles upon which modern methods of second language (L2) teaching are based. We examine, analyze, practice and apply multiple strategies for teaching subject matter content and addressing content standards within a framework for determining the effectiveness and appropriate uses for strategies. The course content is 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 programs designed for ELL.

PLC 915 is a hybrid course taught through eight class meetings, consultations with the professor and on-line tasks and assignments. Students will use the available technology for completing course assignments and interacting with classmates and the professor.

Students must complete the requirements of the PLC 915 Embedded Signature Assignment for the Teacher Performance Assessment.


Course Objectives

Upon completing the course students will be able to:

Define the basic principles of ELD/SDAIE methods and describe their implementation in ELD/SDAIE classroom contexts, including structured English immersion classrooms, based on grades 6-12 academic content and performance standards and the state-adopted English Language Development Standards in the teacher candidate’s particular subject area of specialization. This objective and related assignments address TPE #7: “Candidates…can apply pedagogical theories, principles and instructional practices for comprehensive instruction of English learners.

Identify and apply the principles and procedures of different L2 methods and strategies in lesson plans and learning activities.  This objective and related assignments address TPE #7:  “Candidates…implement an instructional program that facilitates English language development, including reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, that logically progresses to the grade level reading/language arts program for English speakers.”

Identify and describe instruments and rating scales for assessing language proficiency, including the California English Language Development Test (CELDT), and diagnosing language and literacy skills of L2 learners in order to effectively plan instruction. This objective and related assignments address TPE #7: Candidates …draw upon information about students’ backgrounds and prior learning, including students’ assessed levels of literacy in English and their first languages , as well as their proficiency in English, to provide instruction differentiated to students’ language abilities…They know how to analyze student errors in oral and written language in order to understand how to plan differentiated instruction….Candidates understand how cognitive, pedagogical, and individual factors affect students’ language acquisition. They take these factors into account in planning lessons for English language development and for academic content.”

Present a demonstration lesson using appropriate and effective ELD/SDAIE strategies to deliver specific academic content based on the grades 6-12 content and performance standards, including questioning strategies utilizing familiar English grammar and sentence structure. This objective and related assignments address TPE #7:Candidates… use systematic instructional strategies, including contextualizing key concepts, to make grade-appropriate or advanced curriculum content comprehensible to English learners. They use questioning strategies that model or represent familiar English grammatical constructions. They make learning strategies explicit.”

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. This objective and related assignments address TPE #7: “Candidates…know and apply pedagogical theories, principles and practices for the development of academic language, comprehension, and knowledge in the subjects of the core curriculum.


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.

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.

An in-class demonstration lesson presented by each student as part of a group using strategies for ELD/SDAIE instruction on material covered in class and/or in the course readings. The lesson will be prepared in class by the student’s content-area group. A written in-class quick-write or reaction to the strategy presentation may be included as part of the assignment.

An individually designed thematic instructional unit based on “The 4X4 Thematic Unit” Model using the ELD/SDAIE model and principles presented in class that demonstrates planning based on grades K-6 content and performance standards and the state-adopted English Language Development Standards.

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

Active participation in class assignments and activities that demonstrates professionalism, preparation, utilization of course textbooks and resources, reflective practices and the integration of course content with field-based experiences and student teaching.



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

Class participation/Discussion Board 25%
4 X 4 Thematic Unit & ESA 40%
ELD/SDAIE Strategies Presentation 20%
Final Reflection 15%

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. Since the number of class meetings is reduced for this hybrid course, students must attend all class sessions to earn an A in this course. Students must come to class with the required course reader class readings and the textbook (if required) since these will be used frequently for group and individual activities. The readings are in 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.


Web Resources and On-line Assignment

Dr. Mora’s CLAD Website is the resource for reviewing class lectures through Podcasts, viewing slide shows of course presentations, and linking to resource documents and websites that serve to expand and supplement the course readings and other instructional materials. Dr. Mora’s CLAD Website contains over 100 modules related to effective instruction for bilingual learners, which are linked to the PLC 915B syllabus. Go to Courses table and click on PLC 915. The syllabus page will link you to interactive web pages to review course materials and guidelines for assignments. There are a number of on-line mini-lectures titled MoraModules to be viewed in preparation for class and reviewing the course content. The course reader is coordinated with the on-line modules for you to take notes while you are working with the computer and during class. Dr. Mora’s website is available at



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 & Jordan (2004) in planning the 4X4 thematic unit is linked below.

On-Campus Class #1 The context of teaching ELL in secondary schools
Overview of the Four Levels-Four Skills
Model for standards-based content-area instruction
MoraModules #14.4Definitions & Description of Programs for ELL
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
On-line Class #1 Historical trends in L2 Education MoraModules # 1.1  Historical Trends in L2 Teaching
On-Campus Class #2 Theories & principles of L2 acquisition
Assessing students’ language proficiency levels
The Lesson Cycle & 5-Step Lesson Planning
MoraModules # 2.1   Theoretical Basis for the Natural Approach
MoraModules # 7.1     Language Assessment
MoraModules #6.1  Effective Lesson Planning for English Learners
On-line Class #2 What is academic English? Challenges in teaching ELL in mainstream & sheltered content MoraModules #13.5  CLAD Teaching is Good Teaching Plus
MoraModules # 14.2   A Road Map for Effective ELD Teachers
MoraModules#14.8 The EL Redesignation Debate
On-Campus Class #3 Focus on ELL-1 & ELL-2:
Listening/speaking skills
Content-area challenges for Level 1 & 2 ELL
MoraModules # 9.1  The Language-Concept Connection
MoraModules # 9.2  How to Teach Concepts & Vocabulary
On-line Class #4 Methods of L2 Teaching
Teaching strategies and resources for  ELD instruction
MoraModules # 3.1   Methods of L2 Teaching
MoraModules #2.3    Principles & Procedures of L2 Teaching Methods
MoraModules #4.6  100 Vocabulary Development Activities
MoraModules #6.3  Sentence Transformation
On-Campus< Class #4 The Communicative Approach
Planning ELD lessons around
language functions
Guided reading/writing activities for
ELL-1 & 2
MoraModules #2.4  Outline of a Communicative Approach Lesson
On-line Class #5 L2 Reading
Linking oral language & literacy
MoraModules # 8.1Reading in a Second Language
MoraModules # 12.11  Literacy Instruction for ELL
On-Campus Class #5 Specially Designed Academic Instruction in
English (SDAIE)
Providing access to textbooks
MoraModules # 10.1 Content Area Reading for ELLs
On-line Class #6 Learning strategies/study skills MoraModules #10.2   Using Study Guides in Content-area Reading
On-Campus Class #6 Assessing & teaching reading comprehension
Patterns of exposition in the content areas
Text analysis
MoraModules #10.3   Text Analysis for L2 Literacy Instruction
MoraModules #12.12 Reading Comprehension
Sub-processes for L2 Readers
On-Campus Class #7< L2 Writing & Structured Writing Activities
Assessing L2 writing
Mora Modules # 11.1Development of Second-language Writing
MoraModules # 12.1   Using Rubrics for Assessing L2 Writing
On-line Class #7 Four X Four Unit Development MoraModules # 12.5  Guided Story Construction
MoraModules # 12.6   Guided Writing in L2 Classrooms
On-line Class #8 Effective programs for ELL
Student Placement & Curricular Continuity
MoraModule #3.4    Characteristics of Effective L2 Classrooms
MoraModule #14.7  What Works for ELL
On-Campus Class #8 Teaching to diversity in L2 education
Parameters of Culture
4X4 Thematic Unit Roundtable
MoraModules # 13.1 Cultural Diversity in the B/CLAD Classroom
MoraModules # 13.2  Culture & Values