Library of Congress

TPS Quarterly

The Library of Congress > Teachers > TPS Program > Research and Current Thinking

For each issue, TPS partners submit summaries of and links to online resources—articles, research reports, Web sites, and white papers—that provide research and current thinking relating to the theme. This issue's Research & Current Thinking focuses on helping teachers to support English language learners (ELL) using primary sources.


Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners (CREATE)
This website features news, resources and research designed to address the critical challenge of improving educational outcomes of ELLs. Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, CREATE is a partnership of researchers from several institutions investigating the features of instruction and text modifications that facilitate learning for ELLs and delivering professional development that helps teachers implement effective classroom practices to help ELLs achieve high standards.


¡Colorín Colorado!
A bilingual website, ¡Colorín Colorado! provides useful information, strategies, activities, and resources for all teachers of English language learners (ELLs). It also provides information, activities, and advice for Spanish-speaking families of ELL.


Connect Students' Background Knowledge to Content in the ELL Classroom
In this article, the author outlines several ideas for helping teachers enhance their curriculum to make the material more culturally relevant and accessible to ELLs. The article also provides links to a variety of related tools and resources.


Increasing ELL Student Reading Comprehension with Non-fiction Text
In this article, the author highlights components of non-fiction texts and effective strategies to help ELLs gain the skills needed to not only understand the content, but to understand how the text structure works so they will be able to access content effectively throughout their education.


Making Social Studies Meaningful for ELL Students: Content and Pedagogy in Mainstream Secondary School Classrooms
“Content-area instruction for English language learners (ELL) represents a growing area of instructional need in high schools across the United States. This article focuses on the challenges and successes in developing an effective instructional environment for teaching secondary-level social studies curriculum to a sheltered population of ELLs.”


National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)
Funded by the Office of English Language Acquisition within the U.S. Department of Education, NCELA “collects, coordinates and conveys a broad range of research and resources in support of an inclusive approach to high quality education for ELLs.”


Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learners: Research Based Recommendations for Instruction and Academic Interventions
“This document provides evidence-based recommendations for policymakers, administrators, and teachers in K-12 settings who seek to make informed decisions about instruction and academic interventions for ELLs. The domains of focus include reading and mathematics, and the recommendations apply to both a class-wide instructional format and individualized, targeted interventions, depending on the population and the goals of the instruction.”


Preparing an Engaging Social Studies Lesson for English Language Learners
In this article, the author provides links to a variety of tools and resources to help teachers prepare social studies lessons that engage and benefit English language learners. The author also includes descriptions of strategies for planning social studies lessons with ELLs in mind, key concepts in lesson planning, and a video on building social studies background knowledge.


Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Areas. Chapter 2. Lesson Planning to Ensure Optimal Engagement of ELLs
This chapter describes some of the difficulties ELLs face in traditional classrooms and gives teachers information on specific content area challenges. It includes ideas for connecting content to students’ prior knowledge, finding supplementary materials, and a checklist for modifying lesson plans for ELLS.


Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does—and Does Not—Say
This article synthesizes major research reviews conducted by the National Literacy Panel and researchers affiliated with the Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence in 2006.


Using Objects with English Language Learners
In this blog posting from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, a museum educator describes what she learned about using objects to cross cultural and linguistic divides when working with ELLs.

Top