New Pearson website offers free resources and professional development to help teachers of English language learners

Site dedicated to the needs of nation's five million K-12 students whose first language is not English

Boston (PRWEB) March 22, 2010 -- Today at the annual conference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Pearson, the education services and technology company, announced the launch of a new website designed to support educators who teach English language learners (ELLs). The site,, is a free online information hub where teachers, language specialists and other educators can find video clips from language acquisition experts and a wealth of ELL resources about teaching approaches, professional development opportunities, appropriate Pearson programs, and the latest news.

More than five million English language learners currently are enrolled in U.S. schools, and they are the fastest growing segment of the public school population. In the previous 10 years, the number of ELL students has increased by 57 percent, according to the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition.

"All children deserve equal access to content--regardless of language level or ability. With this website, Pearson is working to help every teacher understand how to meet the needs of ELL students, whether they are emergent English learners or fluent in social English while they speak another language at home. Our goal is to offer an equitable education for all," said Nancy Siddens, Pearson's Director of Curriculum for English Language Learners.

To assist educators serving this growing ELL population, the new website offers strategies and information from top educators, including world-renowned expert and Pearson author Dr. Jim Cummins. It details the following five research-supported principles for teaching content area subjects to ELLs, which Pearson is now implementing across its curriculum:

  • Identify and Communicate Content and Language Objectives - provide language goals as well as goals for the content area
  • Frontload the Lesson - provide opportunities to connect to prior knowledge
  • Provide Comprehensible Input - make content accessible by providing a variety of support
  • Enable Language Production - structure opportunities for language practice
  • Assess for Content and Language Understanding - monitor progress and intervene as needed

Dr. Cummins worked with Pearson and a panel of language acquisition experts and educators to review the research and identify these principles. He said, "When we look at the challenges that English language learners face, we see these challenges are major. There's a big gap between where they are in terms of English language knowledge and the great expectations they face. We have to focus on accelerating [their progress by motivating and engaging them."

The website also includes professional development information focused on English learners, including the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol Model (SIOPĀ®) and A+RISE. SIOPĀ® is the industry's only research-driven approach to teaching English learners that uses "sheltered instruction" to teach subjects such as math, science or social studies in a way that makes the concepts easier to understand, while at the same time strengthening a student's academic English language development. The SIOP series offers a collection of resources including a textbook and DVDs for teachers, staff developers and administrators.

The A+RISE (Research-based Instructional Strategies for Teachers) program delivers practical and hands-on teaching strategies, training and consulting services for all teachers who have English language learners in their classrooms. A+RISE is the only online program, tied to state standards, which gives teachers instructional strategies they can readily use in the classroom, and continue to return to with just-in-time, practical strategies, available in a searchable database. A+RISE also offers workshops, both face-to-face and online, for mainstream classroom teachers, with a strong focus on differentiated instruction.

"As an education and technology company long recognized for providing quality learning materials for English language learners and their teachers, we understand that more students than ever before are facing the challenge of learning English while they are attempting to master a variety of content and skills," said Pearson's Siddens. She added, "We launched because we recognize that our teachers need additional resources and training to meet the needs of these children, and help them be successful in the classroom and beyond."

All of Pearson's K-12 curriculum programs, such as Reading Street and enVisionMATH, have built-in ELL support that assists with the development of English while facilitating the mastery of subject matter. Pearson also offers Longman's Cornerstone and Keystone, programs designed to aid K-12 learners rapidly develop English language, literacy, and academic skills, enabling them to quickly transition to mainstream programs.

Additional Pearson offerings for college and university students, such as Academic Connections and North Star, and adult learner programs, such as Future, Top Notch, and Side by Side, help older learners in all aspects of everyday life.

To visit the new website, go to

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education services, education technology and school solutions, provides innovative print and digital education materials for pre-K through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to

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