Resources Supporting Effective Instruction for ELLs

Helpful Websites

Colorín Colorado

Colorín Colorado is a free website for educators and families of English language learners based at WETA in Washington, DC. Colorín Colorado has collaborated closely with its founding partner, the American Federation of Teachers, for more than eleven years and welcomed the NEA as a project partner in 2014. Recently updated, Colorín Colorado is the leading ELL website nationwide, offering practical, research-based classroom resources for grades PreK-12, such as strategy articles, tip sheets, toolkits, videos, webinars, multicultural booklists for students, professional books and reports, updates from the field, and multilingual materials to support ELL parent outreach.  Colorín Colorado also has an extensive library of videos and materials related to the Common Core and ELLs, including Diane Staehr Fenner’s Common Core blog. The materials on the site have been designed to be shared and used by classroom teachers and content-area teachers, as well as ESOL specialists and bilingual teachers. Sign up for their email newsletters

Understanding Language

This website from the Stanford Graduate School of Education provides resources, research and professional learning opportunities such as webinars and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) with a focus on supporting ELLs to meet the expectations of the Common Core. There is a particular emphasis on supporting ELLs in content area classrooms. So far the focus has been on helping ELLs succeed in addressing the Common Core English Language Arts, Mathematics and Next Generation Science standards.

NYC DOE English Language Learners Educator Resources

The DOE has a list of resources including those for SIFE (Students with Interrupted Formal Education), NLA (Native Language Arts), and have recently added math and ELA resources.

Collaboration and Co-Teaching: Strategies for English Learners

This webpage by Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld and Dr. Maria Dove contains a wide array of their resources to support teachers of ELLs in the Integrated ENL classrooms required under the recent changes in CR Part 154, where a co-teaching model is frequently needed. They offer seven models of co-teaching, explanations, samples, strategies and useful tools for the collaborative planning of instruction. 

AFT Immigration Resources

The AFT offers many resources on education and how to protect our students.

Useful Articles and Publications

AFT ELA Resource Guide

The AFT has an ELA resource guide for teaching ELLs and students with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Education Newcomer Toolkit

The U.S. Department of Education created a Newcomer Toolkit to help U.S. educators who work with newly arrived ELLs.

Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School

From the Institute of Education Sciences What Works Clearinghouse, this practice guide provides four research-based recommendations that address what works for ELLs during reading and content area instruction. Each recommendation includes extensive examples of activities that can be used to support students as they build the language and literacy skills needed to be successful in school, including examples of how the recommendations align with Common Core.

Bilingual Education: Reviving an American Tradition
by Claude Goldenberg and Kristin Wagner in American Educator (Fall 2015)

A fresh look at the history behind and research foundations of bilingual education.

Unlocking the Research on English Learners

This Summer 2013 article in American Educator summarizes the research on what we know and do not yet know about what works with English Language Learners

Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

This report to the Carnegie Corporation of New York published by the Alliance for Excellence in Education in 2007 offers a wealth of resources to help adolescent English language learners master the reading and writing skills they need to succeed in high school, college, and the workforce.

The UFT Teacher Center: Centering on English Language Learners (2008)
The UFT Teacher Center: Centering on English Language Learners (2010)

The union’s professional development program has published two editions of this publication, which reviews current research on best practices for teachers of English language learners. It also offers experiences from teachers in the field and provides extensive web resources, too.

For an exhaustive list of research and reports on all aspects of teaching and assessing ELLs, view the compilation at Colorín Colorado.


Professional Organizations

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International

This international organization is a professional body serving the world’s teachers of English to speakers of other languages. While some of its resources are reserved for members, it does include some freely available also.

New York State TESOL

The New York State branch of TESOL supports ELL teachers in New York State with classroom practices, research, program and curriculum development, funding and legislative interests.

National Association for Bilingual Education

NABE's mission is to advocate for bilingual and English Language Learners and their families and to cultivate a multilingual multicultural society by supporting and promoting policy, programs, pedagogy, research and professional development that yield academic success, value native language, lead to English proficiency, and respect cultural and linguistic diversity.

NYSABE (NYS Association for Bilingual Education)

NYSABE is a multilingual and multicultural association fostering the awareness and appreciation of bilingualism and biculturalism as an integral part of cultural pluralism in our society and especially in New York State. The organization provides resources an research in addition to advocating for quality bilingual programs.


Additional Helpful Instructional Resources

Bilingual Glossaries
Bilingual glossaries are an essential and expected test accommodation for English Language Learners in the State of New York. This website presents glossaries for at least the top 10 state languages at the state level, but it is updated with new languages based on requests from schools and updates in state data.

Educational Theater of New York City

The Educational Theater of New York City presents original, unusual and thought-provoking theater to ELL students. In most cases, ESOL students that attend an ETNY production are seeing theater in the United States for the first time. After each scene, the actors freeze; the presenter enters and engages the audience in conversation about the play’s characters and themes. The audience has the opportunity to see the scene again to gain a deeper understanding.

Online Writing Lab, Purdue University

Purdue's Online Writing Lab maintains a repository of resources for both ELL teachers and for ELL students. As this is a college site it will be of greatest assistance to high school teachers of ELLs in helping students become college-ready. Topics include understanding writing assignments, plagiarism and ESL writers, audience consideration for ESL writers and numerous grammar-focused resources.

Make Beliefs Comix

Use this site to create comic strips. Choose from a diverse cast of characters. Select objects, scenes and emotions. Use talk balloons and thought balloons. Write in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Latin.


LibraVox makes books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the Internet. It is noncommercial, nonprofit and ad-free. The catalogue is organized by author, title, genre/subject and language. Offerings include over a thousand non-English works in languages ranging from a variety of western European languages to Belarusian, Bengali, Cantonese Chinese, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Yiddish.

User login
Enter the email address you used to sign up at
If you don't have a profile, please sign up.
Forgot your password?