The Coaching and Self-Reflection Tool for Competency in Teaching English Learners

The Coaching and Self-Reflection Tool for Competency in Teaching English Learners

Indicator 4a

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities and Teacher Leadership

Teachers maximize support student learning by developing and demonstrating professionalism, collaboration, and leadership by:


4a. Engaging in continuous professional learning to impact instruction and student learning

Professional development opportunities for pre- and in-service teachers must be created to support deeper understanding of more rigorous standards and instructional strategies that will address the language demands expected of students (Santos, Darling-Hammond, and Cheuk 2011). Teachers should be aware of the language demands on students to build knowledge of what students are able to do and how to support them. With a combination of examining student work, analyzing the CELP Standards, and engaging in multiple and sustained professional learning about both content and language demands on students, teachers can be better prepared to meet the diverse needs of English learners.

Specific practices and strategies that allow teachers to collaborate around and build best practices to meet the needs of English learners may include:

  • Collaboratively analyzing work of English learners using protocols to measure content and language growth.
  • Using the CELP Standards Proficiency Descriptors to determine English learners’ language proficiency and appropriate supports.
  • Reflecting on the effectiveness of the strategies and linguistic supports used to support students’ access to content.
  • Advocating for participation in professional learning around English learners.
  • Using best practices from professional learning experiences in planning and practice with English learners.

Sample “Might See” for 4a

An observer might see:

  • The teacher leads team meetings or participates in a protocol for examining student work of English learners.
  • The teacher maps student English language proficiency data to proficiency descriptors in the CELP Standards.
  • The teacher uses the Linguistic Supports from the CELP Standards to learn a new best practice for English learners and shares the learning in his or her planning team.
  • The teacher researches professional learning opportunities around English learners to attend and shares new learning and resources with colleagues at a staff meeting.
  • The teacher advocates for inclusion of performance of English learners in the School Improvement Plan.
  • The teacher challenges assumptions about English learners and their families in team or staff meetings.

Sample coaching and reflection questions

  • Knowing what you do about your students’ English language proficiency levels, how might you work with your team to design supports for your students?
  • What might you need to learn to better support the ELs in your classroom?
  • What specific instructional decisions are you making to ensure the language growth of your students and/or access to the content?
  • How might you decide what additional professional learning you might need to meet the needs of ELs?
  • What kinds of feedback might you request of a supervisor to measure your current level of practice when working with ELs?