The English Learner Success Forum, a collaboration of educators and leaders focused on ensuring multilingual learners have access to high-quality instructional materials, is spotlighting Portland Public Schools' strong implementation of Wit & Wisdom®. The Oregon district just completed its first full year of using the curriculum in grades K–5 and piloting our Multilingual Learner Resources.
In a recent blog post, ELSF outlined the strategic way in which PPS has gone about ensuring the curriculum is meeting the needs of all students, including multilingual learners.
PPS has been prioritizing getting multilingual learners access to grade-level, high-quality core instruction. In particular, district leaders have emphasized the need for strong integrated English language development (ELD) resources. Integrated ELD directly supports multilingual learners’ language needs during core instruction, providing crucial scaffolds that help students fully participate in all activities and discussions. Research shows that ELD is more effective when it happens within the context of content instruction, not separately or in a siloed way.
A district committee worked closely with ELSF and used the organization’s Benchmarks of Quality tool to review its instructional materials. The goal was to ensure that the curriculum was supportive of multilingual learner needs and to make recommendations for additional implementation of integrated ELD to support access to grade-level instruction.
The committee concluded that Wit & Wisdom contained many of the components needed to support multilingual learners, and the panel developed plans for providing professional development and coaching for teachers to support integrated ELD with the adopted curriculum.
We're so glad but not surprised that the committee found Wit & Wisdom to meet the needs of their students. Like PPS, our curriculum writing team worked with ELSF to ensure our resources served multilingual learners well.
Using knowledge-building text sets like those featured in Wit & Wisdom helps all learners improve their language proficiency and literacy skills. In addition, the curriculum's Multilingual Learner Resources provide a wide range of Integrated ELD supports that ensure that multilingual learners have access to those knowledge-building texts. The curriculum’s focus on oral language development, rich student discourse, explicit vocabulary instruction, and integrating reading and writing reflects research-based strategies that help students succeed in the ELA classroom.
For more on how Wit & Wisdom supports multilingual learners, please read this previous blog post on this critical topic. We'd love to hear your thoughts and, if you're a teacher, how you are meeting the needs of multilingual learners. Find us on social media @WitWisdomELA.
Submit the Form to Print
Maya Marquez, PhD
Manager, Curriculum Development at Great Minds—Resources for Multilingual Learners; Former Spanish Language and Literature Professor at California State University, LA