EEIS News, Volume 30:1 (May 2008)

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In This Issue... Leadership Updates Letter From the PAST Chair

Arieh (Ari) Sherris,

Dear EEIS Colleagues and Friends,

“Worlds of TESOL: Building Communities of Practice, Inquiry, and Creativity” was the outstanding theme for our 42nd Annual TESOL Convention in New York City, USA, April 2-5, 2008. This year’s theme brings to my mind the engaging classroom communities for young learners of English under a tree in sub-Saharan Africa. I also think about a few special schools where Palestinian and Israeli children learn English and, each other’s language and, more important, build cultural bridges of peaceful, joyful coexistence. Finally, my mind moves to schools in wartorn Iraq where safety and survival are foremost on everyone’s mind. Our world is complex and these three sites represent three different struggles: In sub-Saharan Africa it is often about integrating traditional language and culture with English, French, or Hausa. In Israel it is conflict mediation and peace—a sadly illusive prize for Palestinian and Israeli alike. And in Iraq, it is questions about how to give birth to safety, stability, and survival—unity or division along ethnic lines. In many places one has to wonder whether English is part of the solution or part of the problem. I wonder how our world became so complex and so the choice of “Worlds of TESOL”—manifestly a plurality—is apt.
I would like to thank all the reviewers who read EEIS proposals for our New York City convention. Bringing your professional expertise to this important task is a great service to TESOL. I would also like to thank the EEIS Steering Board members who have played important roles. Finally, I want to thank our membership for keeping our electronic discussion list an interesting and active place to split hairs about our craft.
Please consider writing proposals for TESOL 2009 in order to take a proactive role in our interest section. Your participation strengthens the way we think about who we are and where we are going.

From strength to strength,


Articles The ABCs of CBI

Jake Kimball,, and Judy O’Loughlin,

In our profession, it is common for teachers to sometimes feel overwhelmed by acronyms—ESL, CALL, LAD, TPR, ELL, SIOP, SDAIE, to name a few. Some of these acronyms are household terms, while others are either unfamiliar or puzzling. Recent discussion on our EEIS electronic discussion list centered on CBI, SDAIE, SIOP, and sheltered instruction. In short, many of us were confounded by the terms because of their similarities. Are they synonymous? Are they regional varieties?


CBI refers to content-based instruction, the teaching of subject-area content to second language learners (Snow, 2001). For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that CBI is the integration of content and language learning. In Snow’s article and others (Grabe & Stroller, 1997; Stryker & Leaver, 1997), CBI is noted as an approach rather than a method, with a variety of models falling under this umbrella term—for example, sheltered content courses, total or partial immersion, the adjunct model, and theme-based courses. CBI courses can be found in both ESL and EFL contexts, although in practice, EFL contexts tend to focus more on language and structure objectives instead of content.

Sheltered Instruction

Sheltered instruction is one particular model of CBI. In this model, second language learners (English language learners or LEPs) are grouped together and taught both language and content simultaneously; content is made comprehensible by informed instructors using specialized scaffolding techniques. Sheltered instruction includes strategies for the development of both content and language for English language learners. It also addresses the development of oral production of content knowledge as well as reading and writing strategies. Students are separated from their L1 peers until they are ready for mainstreaming in ordinary L1 content classes. On the basis of EEIS members’ input on the e-list, local administrative policies dictate how long students remain in sheltered classes.


SDAIE stands for specially designed academic instruction in English. Wikipedia provides a brief but very helpful definition of SDAIE.

Specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE) is a teaching approach intended for teaching non-English students various academic content (such as social studies, science or literature) using the English language. SDAIE requires the student possess intermediate fluency in English as well as mastery of their native language.

The strength of the Wikipedia entry is the large number of examples illustrating how SDAIE works in practice. It is worth spending some time on this web page gathering ideas on how to make your classes more comprehensible to your students.

EEIS member Jennifer Stein commented that in her context,

It is not a program, but a set of strategies based on research such as Krashen’s Five Hypotheses and Cummins’ CALP. The four goals of SDAIE include increasing content area knowledge, English language skills, higher order thinking skills, and learning strategies. In addition, California ELL [English language learner] students are entitled to 30-45 minutes per day of explicit ELD instruction provided by a certified teacher.

Jennifer differentiated SDAIE from sheltered instruction by stating that “Sheltered Instruction also uses SDAIE. The term sheltered instruction is usually reserved for content areas in secondary grades because the content material is ‘sheltered’ or adapted to the language proficiency of the students although some upper elementary grades may claim to have it as well.”


SIOP stands for Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol. A visit to the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL; revealed a bit more about SIOP:

The SIOP Model is a research-based approach to sheltered instruction that has proven effective in addressing the academic needs of English language learners throughout the United States. The model consists of eight components and thirty features:

  • Lesson Preparation
  • Building Background
  • Comprehensible Input
  • Strategies
  • Interaction
  • Practice/Application
  • Lesson Delivery, and
  • Review/Assessment (SIOP, 2007)

    The model is based on the research done by Dr. Anna Chamot and Dr. J. Michael O’Malley (1990, 1994) on self-reported strategies of English language learners from middle school through university programs. Out of the research the CALLA model developed. Drs. Jana Echevarria, Mary Ellen Vogt, and Deborah Short (2008) further developed the CALLA strategy instructional design and researched and developed the SIOP model’s eight components. Teachers learn to develop both content and language objectives for each of the lessons they teach in their content units. In addition, teachers learn techniques to build background through developing warm-up activities that link text to students’ background knowledge, both text knowledge from first language and world knowledge from personal experiences with the topic. All lessons must include opportunities for students to practice and apply their new knowledge through interaction with peers and the teacher. Teachers are introduced to a variety of strategies to demonstrate and teach students to use for various content activities. Using instructional strategies linked to each these components, content-area teachers help English learners develop their academic English skills as they learn grade-level content. Training in the SIOP model helps teachers plan and deliver lessons that incorporate these strategies consistently. In many parts of the United States, teams of ESL/ESOL and mainstream content teachers are studying this model and collaboratively developing lessons employing the SIOP model and SIOP sheltering techniques.

    In a Nutshell

    The terms CBI, sheltered instruction, SDAIE, and SIOP are related but not exactly the same. According to the available literature, CBI is an approach, whereas sheltered instruction is a model of content-based instruction. SDAIE and SIOP are strategies teachers use to make input comprehensible for learners. Both SDAIE and SIOP can be used in CBI and sheltered instruction courses. Hopefully, this clarifies some of the issues we have been discussing on the EEIS e-list.

    Chamot, A. U., & O’Malley, J. M. (1990). Learning strategies in second language acquisition. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
    Chamot, A. U., & O’Malley, J. M. (1994). The CALLA handbook: How to implement the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
    Echevarria, J., Vogt, M., & Short, D. J. (2008). Making content comprehensible for English learners: The SIOP model (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.
    Grabe, W., & Stroller, F. (1997). Content-based instruction: Research foundations. In M. Snow & D. Brinton (Eds.), The content-based classroom (pp. 5-21). White Plains, NY: Longman.
    SIOP. (2007). The SIOP model of sheltered instruction. Center for Applied Linguistics. Retrieved February 27, 2008, from
    Snow, M. (2001). Content-based and immersion models for second language and foreign language teaching. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (pp. 303-318). Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.
    Specially designed academic instruction in English. (2008). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 27, 2008, from
    Stryker, S., & Leaver, B. (1997). Content-based instruction: From theory to practice. In S. Stryker & B. Leaver (Eds.), Content-based instruction in foreign language teaching (pp. 3-28). Georgetown, DC: Georgetown University Press.

    Jake Kimball is the director of studies at ILE Academy in Daegu, South Korea, where he has been living and working for the past 12-plus years. As an active member of Korea TESOL, he is facilitator for the Young Learners and Teens Special Interest Group, national 2nd vice president, and advisor to The English Connection. Most recently, he is the coauthor of a new coursebook series for young learners called TOPS, published by Pearson Longman.

    Judy O’Loughlin is the 2007-08 chair of the TESOL Interest Section Leadership Council and a former EEIS chair. She is an independent education consultant and online graduate professor in the Multicultural Education Department of New Jersey City University. Ms. O’Loughlin has 30 years’ experience in K-12 classrooms in New Jersey as an English, ESL, special education, and in-class support teacher. Ms. O’Loughlin specializes in English language learner-focused teacher-training projects, including translating standards into K-12 curriculum, and university curriculum design and development, standards-based instruction, and instructional strategies for mainstream teachers working with English language learners.

    Shared Writing in the Content Area With English Language Learners:

    Mary Lou McCloskey, & Linda New Levine

    This article is excerpted by permission of the publisher from the forthcoming book, One Class, Many Paths: Teaching Learners of English Grades K-8, by Linda New Levine and Mary Lou McCloskey. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2008.

    Before we ask English language learners (ELLs) to write, we need to provide them with some of the tools they’ll need. They will need good sources for ideas and language; understanding of patterns and structures of language they will use, and lots of words and phrases. But it’s not enough to teach them how to access and use these tools; we need to show them by modeling the tools in use. In the opening vignette to this chapter, Diana (the teacher) used Shared Writing to model and guide learners through the process. Let’s take a careful look at the strategies she used in this way of modeling writing.

    Shared Writing

    Shared writing is a collaborative process through which learners provide content for a text and the teacher provides scaffolding for the text’s construction. The teacher takes the lead in showing learners that when they have an experience or learn something or think about something, they can talk about it, write it down, refine their writing, and share it with others. Shared writing shows learners how writing is done, and helps them understand how it’s possible for them to be writers. It can help to:

    • develop interest in and enjoyment of writing
    • demonstrate purposes of writing
    • provide participation in all stages of the writing process
    • enable learners to understand the planning and organization involved in constructing various kinds of texts
    • provide opportunities to teach language – vocabulary, grammar, usage, and conventions of spelling, and punctuation
    • provide models for students’ independent writing
    Steps in Shared Writing

    Build background. Begin with a shared experience, a memory, a read-aloud text, or a content concept you’re studying. You might, for example, share and discuss a story or nonfiction text, take a walking field trip or interview a visitor. Have learners dictate as you take notes. Generate words and ideas for the writing, as you construct. Diana’s class had a visitor from England. The class asked the visitor about elementary schools there and compared the visitor’s school with their own using a Venn Diagram.

    Read the draft and discuss revisions. As you discuss revisions, incorporate teaching/review of appropriate strategies and skills of the reader/writer. You might:

    Introduce features of the text structure you are using. Use your assessment of students’ independent writing to determine skills to be addressed in shared writing. For the compare/contrast lesson, Diana’s class reviewed “signal words” and frames for comparing and contrasting.

    Demonstrate organizational features and elements of the writer’s craft. Diana explained that there were two ways to write a compare/contrast essay. One way is to write about one thing, then write about the other. The other way is to compare the two in each category. The teacher also helped learners to see that using a variety of different signal words helped them to compare and contrast.

    Revise the writing in front of everyone, referring to editing and revision tools. You may want to physically cut and paste the piece so the writers see how text can be rearranged to improve it. Work to have everyone involved in the writing. You will need to vary your questioning and your task expectations for ELLs at various levels – some will use the lesson to learn a few new key words and one pattern for comparing (e.g., __ is __, but __ is __). Others will be able to take advantage of the genre discussion and be prepared to write their own pieces.

    Put the piece to work. Post the writing (with illustrations) in the classroom and find many ways to use it to reinforce what students have learned: use it for reading activities; encourage learners to copy the writing in their notebooks; have a student read it to anyone who comes in the room; send home copies for students to read to their families. The finished product of Diana’s class is below.

    Mary Lou McCloskey, former teacher and former President of TESOL, has been active in the EEIS since 1985, serving in many leadership roles. She is a consultant and author in the field of English language education who has worked on 5 continents and in 35 of the 50 United States, Dr. McCloskey has authored many books and programs for teachers

    and learners of ESOL including Teaching English as a Foreign Language in the Primary School, Leadership Skills for English Language Educators, On Our Way to English, and Visions: Language, Literature, Content.

    Linda New Levine is an ESL/EFL consultant who conducts workshops with ESL, EFL and mainstream teachers. She is a former teacher of English as a Second Language (K-12), Staff Development Facilitator for the Bedford Central School District, New York and an Assistant Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has authored articles and books including the recent Helping English Language Learners Succeed in Pre-K-Elementary Classrooms (with Lacina and Sowa) for TESOL. Dr. Levine holds a Masters in TESOL and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from New York University.

    Searching for Literature

    Janet Orr,

    “Some educators say the best way to engage racially and ethnically diverse students in reading is with books that mirror their lives and culture.”

    This quote, from the Sunday New York Times, reflects my thoughts exactly. Sometimes it is difficult to discuss themes like conflict, tolerance, or culturally imposed aspirations directly with ESL/EFL students who have more firsthand experience with those topics than we teachers do. The use of literature in the classroom can open topics for discussion and bring views and experiences from different parts of the world into the American classroom context. Even if the story setting is not familiar to the students the theme often speaks to ethnically diverse students. Here are a few websites that I have found useful for finding literature that fits my instructional theme. is a great resource for all types of books. Sometimes you can even sample what is inside the book which is quite handy. Even though this is a commercial site, some selections allow you to sample the text inside the book so that you know if it will fit your lesson/theme.

    Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). A list of best books for young people, upper elementary.
    Resources for School Librarians has a list of literature unit websites that is very useful.
    Bill Zimmerman’s innovative website profiled in the March 2007 EEIS News encourages students to write their own comics.
    Simon Fraser University’s Children’s Literature Information Resources has great links to electronic journals, associations, book reviews and specific children’s literature websites.
    Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Website organizes literature by curricular areas and themes which is useful.
    Here is a site with stories for very young learners:

    Education World, The Educator’s Best Friend. April is National Poetry Month – Take a look at the Rhyme Time Lessons.
    Shel Silverstein’s website is lots of fun for students and has many prepared lessons using this poetry.
    Leslie Opp-Beckman’s site has lots of lesson plans for teaching different types of poetry.

    Children’s Only ESL-EFL is a commercial site but has some free resources.
    Don’t forget about non-fiction, biographies and subject specific works.

    Aaron’s Theater Editions has many reader’s theater plays for elementary school students. Many plays are from different regions of the world, like Iraq, India, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Russia, Finland and many more.

    Janet Orr is co-editor of EEIS News and Director of Teaching English as an Additional Language (TEAL) Services focused on developing quality instructional opportunities for youth around the world.

    Announcements and Information TESOL 2008 Highlights

    Janice Cate, EEIS Incoming Chair,

    In this article I highlighted a few of the special sessions organized at the 2008 TESOL Convention for EEIS members. There were 77 sessions that were of interest to EEIS members plus many others supported by other interest sections.

    Author Session

    Yangsook Choi was chosen as the Elementary Education Interest Section’s featured author. She grew up in Korea and moved to New York City to study art at the School of Visual Arts. She has written and illustrated many children’s books and her books have received several awards. She was selected as one of the prominent new children’s book artists by Publishers Weekly. She has spoken at the Smithsonian Institute, Parsons School of Design, Children’s Museum of the Arts, Asian American Writer’s Workshop, and many other venues. Her Web site will introduce you to her work:

    She has written and illustrated many books including The Name Jar, The Sun Girl and the Moon Boy, and Behind the Mask, which was named the 2007 Best Children’s Book of the Year by Bank Street College of Education. After her session she sold copies of a few of her books and signed them for attendees. Several people had photos taken with her.

    Yangsook’s presentation was titled “What’s in an Asian name?” She shared creative ways to explore names through activities and crafts in the classroom.

    I enjoyed hearing Yangsook and purchasing one of her books. One of my jobs as chair-elect of EEIS was to arrange for an author session. I did not have a clue about authors who live close to New York since I live in Mississippi. I searched the Internet and looked at publishers’ Web sites for information. When I found Yangsook on the Random House site, I thought she would be great for our group. She does presentations for schoolchildren and teachers, and her books and illustrations are interesting and reflect her Korean background. Lisa Dyson in the TESOL office helped make the arrangements for Ms. Choi to present a session for us.

    EEIS Academic Session

    Looking back over the past several years at the EEIS Academic Sessions, I was impressed by the important subjects we have investigated at these sessions. It was my task to find a topic and speakers for this year’s Academic Session. I thought about what area I felt I needed to improve in my own teaching. With all the testing we do in the United States these days, I felt we had just about forgotten one important part of our students’ lives: their culture.

    Accordingly, I asked Tery J. Medina and Rose Marie del Rosario to help us connect to our students’ culture. The title of the session was “Connecting to Culture to Enhance Student Learning.”

    Tery and Rose Marie entertained and informed us about culture and how we need to remember our students’ culture is an important part of who they are. We participated and discussed issues from how to talk to students to how parents in different cultures view teachers. I definitely brought back many important ideas to share with teachers in my school.

    EEIS InterSections

    There were three InterSections this year with EEIS leaders focusing on our issues. After the Seattle TESOL Discussion Group that my coworker and I led, I had the feeling that many of us are searching for ways to help our students become better at reading and writing. Even with all the “information” that the National Reading Panel supposedly gave us, we are still challenged every day to raise our students’ literacy. We know that some students come to us reading in their home language, some have no books at home, some have parents who can’t read in any language, and some have never attended school. But administrators and government officials want us to miraculously get everyone on grade level in 2 years or less.

    As chair-elect I arranged the InterSection titled “Strategies for Improving Literacy Instruction of ELLs.” Speakers from Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Teacher Education shared their unique perspectives on the challenges of literacy instruction of our students. The session was of interest to members of all three interest sections. We heard Judie Haynes for EEIS, Sheila Acevedo for SEIS, and Julia Austin for TEIS.

    The other two InterSections were:

    ESL in Bilingual Education; ESOL in Elementary Education InterSection
    Identity Texts, Literacy Engagement, and Multilingual Classrooms
    Presenters: Shelley Taylor, Jim Cummins, Sarah Cohen, Mario E. Lopez-Gopar, Kristin Snoddon.

    ESL in Secondary Schools; ESL in Elementary Education
    Implementing English Proficiency Standards: China to Brazil
    Presenters: Jon Nordmeyer, Elizabeth Cranley, Tom Burgess, Ann Katz.

    Interconnection Session

    Research-Development Across TESOL Entities—Actions, Impact, Future Directions

    Panelists from Affiliates, interest sections, and caucuses shared research in several major areas including the role of nonnative English speakers in today's globalized world, the global role of English and the ascendance of critical languages, trends of TESOL Affiliates in research and development, and the survey of worldwide employment conditions.

    Another Session of Interest to EEIS Members

    International Integration of Language and Content, K-16
    Approaches to training teachers and implementing programs for integrating language and content instruction from elementary through postsecondary settings were presented. Research results from the international setting, administrative structures for statewide and systemwide initiatives, and training approaches were shared. Presenters were from Australia, Sweden, the United States, Egypt, Israel, and Iraq.

    About This Member Community Elementary Education Interest Section: Officers and Leaders

    Elementary Education Interest Section: Officers and Leaders 2008-09

    Chair Janice Cate
    Incoming Chair Dino Salin
    Immediate Past Chair Ari Sherris
    Secretary Sandra Cox
    Historian Ede Thompson
    Newsletter Editor Sandra Cox

    Steering Board Members
    2009 Carol James
    Laura Lukens
    2010 Tokiko Tanaka
    Christel Broady
    2011 Mitchell Bobrick
    Barbara Gottschalk

    Nominating Committee Ari Sherris, Chair
    Nancy Cloud
    Anne Matheny
    Judy O’Louglin
    Ede Thompson

    International Concerns Keiko Abe-Ford
    Literacy Judy Haynes

    Susan Litt

    Linda New-Levine

    Anne Matheny

    Marina Moran
    Research Jake Kimball

    Mary Lou McCloskey

    Thomas Salisbury
    Sociopolitical Concerns Monica Schnee
    Special Education Leslie Kirschner-Morris
    Convention Guide Sandra Cox

    Electronic mailing list Judy O’Loughlin
    Web Content Manager Jake Kimball

    Noncommittee Designations
    Literacy Buttons Christine Pankonin
    Hospitality Booth Ede Thompson
    Art Dino Salin

    EEIS News—Call for Articles

    EEIS News is soliciting articles on research and classroom methods, materials, and practices related to English as a second or foreign language in any elementary education setting.

    EEIS News welcomes articles that apply to classroom situations and that focus on ESL/EFL classroom practices/instruction, second language acquisition, language assessment, advocacy, administration, parent/public concerns, and other related areas. In light of the newsletter’s electronic format, authors are encouraged to include hyperlinks.

    Submission Guidelines

    Articles should

  • include a title, author, and author’s e-mail address
  • be no longer than 1,500 words
  • include a 1- to 3-sentence (approximately 50 words) abstract
  • contain no more than five citations
  • follow the style guidelines in the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition (APA)
  • be in MS Word or ASCII format
  • Please direct your submissions and questions to Janet Orr or Sandra Cox

    EEIS News Publication Schedule:

    July 15 Submissions due to EEIS News editors

    August 15 Compiled EEIS News submitted to TESOL for copyediting

    September 15 Newsletter distributed to EEIS members

    January 15 Submissions due to EEIS News editors

    February 15 Compiled EEIS News submitted to TESOL for copyediting

    March 15 Newsletter distributed to EEIS members