Welcome to ESL Portal PA!

An online resource of professional learning opportunities and instructional materials that supports Pennsylvania educators and community organizations as they strive to provide equitable, high quality educational programs for English learners and their families. The portal also links to updated federal and state guidance, current educational research, instructional practice and more.

Click on the 2017-18 Professional Learning button to view details regarding each upcoming professional learning opportunity.

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What’s New

The Spring 2018 edition of the ESL Newsletter, Everybody’s Kids, is now available. This edition of Everybody’s Kids, Engaging in Collaborative Action Research to Promote EL Success, focuses on methods and models of collaboration through which collaborative teacher inquiry drives decision-making and instructional planning for ELs. Mainstream content teachers and ELD Specialists share responsibility in designing and delivering instruction and assessment to their ELs. Collaboration among these educators can result in a powerful system in which the instructional experiences for ELs connect seamlessly from one learning space to the next. Aligning content and instruction, and intentionally planning ways in which mainstream teachers and ELD Specialists present and extend both content and language objectives through their expertise is likely to show positive gains for ELs’ academic achievement and English language development. Follow this link to access the Spring edition.

2017-18 English as a Second Language Professional Learning Opportunities
Lists the scheduled ESL professional learning opportunities for 2017-18 school year, including WIDA trainings, PDE online webinars and related onsite trainings. These opportunities are listed by month and allow for easy event registration. We hope you can participate in many of these valuable learning opportunities throughout the year to strengthen your teaching skills and increase your knowledge when working with English learners and your colleagues.

Federal Resources

Building Support for English Language Learners: Strategies for Creating a School Culture of Academic Success (PDF)
This research brief released by Center for Schools and Communities with funding provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, identifies key strategies that principals and other educational leaders can use to foster collaboration among ESL specialists and content/classroom teachers that support the academic achievement of English learners. Co-authors, Karin Sprow Forté, D.Ed., and Denise G. Meister, Ph.D highlight school based strategies which include: providing dedicated time for collaboration, creating a culture and context for collaboration, and using professional learning to foster collaboration. Also recommendations that build positive school culture and environment, along with common pitfalls and limitations are detailed.

Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Mission for the Education of English Language Learners

Provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of education which includes the provision of quality, culturally-responsive and equitable educational programs for English learners and assurance of their appropriate participation in all aspects of the educational system. The Department ensures that its programs address the needs and rights of English learners in all its initiatives throughout the entire process of planning and implementation.

Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Vision for the Education of English Language Learners

The Department promotes the recognition of these students and their parents as cultural and linguistic assets to the Commonwealth’s global initiatives. The Department is committed to using its Standards Aligned System (SAS) to ensure that English learners receive core curriculum instruction and achieve high levels of academic success.