Integrating English Language Development into Content Area Lessons

"Integrated ELD" has become a commonly used term for developing language for and through content area learning. This is powerful pedagogy for both language and content--the challenge is that teachers must become more aware of language and how both develops and is developed by content learning. As mentioned on other pages, a vital dimension that should pervade all lessons is communication. Three features of communicativeness are: 

  • Engaging and meaningful purpose
  • Information gaps (one person needs or wants the information from another person) 
  • Attention to language

Click here to see an example of how to apply these to strengthen an activity. 

Educators must view language "as action," rather than a static set of words and rules to memorize.  As students "do things" in a disipline, they need to have opportunities to make sense of disciplinary ideas using language. We must structure and fortify these opportunities to give students maximum chances for learning. And even though a commitment to help students develop disciplinary language seems like an extra burden, it actually presents a great leap forward in many lessons because language and content fuel one another in appropriately engaging and scaffolded activities. Dig in more by clicking on the following content area links:

Integrated ELD in math

Integrated ELD in science

Integrated ELD in history and social sciences


Tools for Integrated ELD