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Language, Literacy, and Learning in the Content Areas

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 | Math
These principles and accompanying Mathematical Language Routines provide guidance to mathematics teachers for recognizing and supporting students' language development processes in the context of mathematical sense making.
Educator Resources
These six professional development essentials were created by Understanding Language to assist schools, school districts, state or county offices of education, and professional development providers as they design well-balanced professional development plans for educators of multilingual learners.
Systems Support
Remote Learning
States, districts, and schools have asked for help with gathering information on student progress, given the shift to distance learning. In response, Understanding Language created two one-hour virtual sessions focused on strengthening Formative Assessment practices in remote and non-remote environments.
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

Business executive discussing with their colleagues on the whiteboard
Stanford-Sequoia K-12 Research CollaborativeClick to access Stanford-Sequoia K-12 Research Collaborative
Teacher PD | Research | Research-Practitioner Partnership
Person presenting an idea on a poster board to a group of colleagues.
New York State Cultivating District Leadership Initiative Click to access New York State Cultivating District Leadership Initiative
Leadership PD | Policy | Systemic 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