Introduction: Educating English Learners in Mainstream Classrooms

In the Introduction you will meet our 4 English learners, Gero, Edith, Edgar, and Tasir, and will learn about the issues that affect their performance at school. These include:

  • Types of English learners—newcomers, U.S. born, long term
  • General stages of English proficiency—silent period to fluency
  • Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS, or social language) and Cognitive Academic Language Development (CALP, or academic language)
  • Cultural adjustment
  • Individual characteristics that affect English language development—motivation, attitude, age

The links below provide more information on major topics addressed in the Introduction, with links to freely available resources that can be used for further study or to activities that can be viewed or conducted in classes or workshops. At the bottom of this page, we share links to online resources for classroom use with English learners K-12.

Resources for Pre-Service Teachers


Resources for In-Service Teachers


English Learner Categories and Demographics

Exceptional Education

Family Issues

Legal and Policy Issues

Program Models

Social Justice and Advocacy

Teacher Preparation