Our team focuses on language, literacy, and learning.

We seek to improve education for all students—especially multilingual learners.


Learn who we are


What we do

We synthesize knowledge, conduct research, and develop resources for diverse organizations and individuals that meet students’ evolving linguistic needs under the new CCSS/NGSS. We impact policy, professional learning, curriculum, and assessment.

Enhance Curriculum and Instructional Resources

Facilitate Systemic Improvement

Design and Implement Professional Learning

Connect Research, Policy, and Practice


Learn more


Teaching Resources | Systemic Support
Content area teachers who teach multilingual students need four fundamental understandings to design and deliver lessons that foster content learning and disciplinary language simultaneously. These Integrated Language and Content Fundamentals provide educators with theoretical foundations along with pedagogical practices needed to plan and implement instruction that leverages the assets of our multilingual learners for success in content area classrooms. 
Educator Resources
Systemic Support
School districts have sought to create systemic plans for multilingual learners that move beyond compliance to insure coherence across their programs, policies and practices for their students and families. Understanding Language partners with districts to co-create, implement and refine their plans based on student evidence.
Systems Support
Teaching Resources | Math
These principles and accompanying Mathematical Language Routines (MLRs) provide guidance to mathematics teachers for recognizing and supporting students' language development processes in the context of mathematical sense making.
Educator Resources

Our impact

Students impacted
US states
Federal, state, and local levels

What our
partners say

All members of the UL team were very knowledgeable and worked with a true sense of collaboration. The end product speaks to both. The work was fluid and grounded because the team had both classroom experience and research knowledge that informed curricular decisions.
- “Open Up Resources”

Project highlights

Colleagues working together
Capistrano USD Multilingual Learner InitiativeClick to access Capistrano USD Multilingual Learner Initiative
Teacher PD | Leadership PD | Systemic PD
Adults working together
Prince William County Schools VA Multilingual Learner InitiativeClick to access Prince William County Schools VA Multilingual Learner Initiative
Systemic PD | Leadership PD | Teacher PD


Become a partner

Staff from Understanding Language are working closely with the leaders of educational organizations to build systems of assessment, professional development and policy development, advance knowledge, foster learning conversations, and vet, create and pilot resources among their networks and communities.

Logo of New York City Department of Education
Logo of The Hunt Institute
Logo of Council of Chief State School Officers
Logo of Oakland Unified School District
Logo of Council of the Great City Schools
Logo of Stanford Graduate School of Education
Logo of Achieve the Core
Logo of Smarter Balanced

Get in Touch

Reach out if you think we can support your work with diverse learners. Our team is ready to help identify local needs and create plans to address them.

Contact us