Logo of Understanding Language

Language, Literacy, and Learning in the Content Areas

Areas of expertise

English learners / English language development

Educational equity

Classroom teaching experience

Mixed-methods research

UL Expertise and Services

Expertise

UL brings together leading researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in the fields of language, learning, and subject areas to explore and promote pragmatic approaches to addressing these issues systematically.

 

Professional learning

We create and conduct professional learning focusing on educators, school and district leadership, and professional development organizations. We also help states and district create professional development plans that address supporting diverse students, including English language learners.

See our online courses

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Curriculum development

We help write curriculum for various content areas mathematics, English language arts/literacy, science to facilitate the simultaneous development of language and content.

 

Connect policy and practice

We support state and local education agencies as well as leading stakeholder organizations (foundations, content experts, curriculum experts, advocacy groups, and others) as they connect policy and practice.

 

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Systemic capacity building

We collaborate with districts, states, and educational organizations to improve projects and programmes design and monitoring and lead to more effective use of resources. We recognize that there is a hierarchy of needs which must be considered, each requiring its own strategic response.

Services

Understanding Language supports our partners in various ways

Partnership/policy advising

Creating online and hybrid professional development courses

Curriculum development and review

Professional development for teachers and coaches

Professional development for district leadership

Professional development for organizations focused on professional learning

Designing, organizing, and/or conducting research

(e.g., assessment development, professional learning efficacy, district/state policy plans, curriculum impact)

Assessment development and review

Our results

Through many collaborations over the last decade, UL has created foundational documents used by policy makers, curriculum experts, PD providers, and assessment developers.

  • the UL Principles of Instruction for ELs have been used as a basis for state plans, district plans, and curriculum writing and review efforts across mathematics, ELA, and science.
  • UL’s Essentials for Professional Development for ELs are being used to support PD providers.
  • UL has created a list of foundational core concepts that educators, teachers, and PD coaches need in order to help ELs in their simultaneous development of language and content.
  • UL has also created tools, protocols, and systems that support the inclusion of ELs’ oral and written language and content output as well as teacher classroom instructional practices as part of continuous improvement (CI) data collection.

UL has created a multi-tier and multi-pronged flexible system for:

  • Completing needs assessments
  • Creating and conducting professional development opportunities
  • Incorporating continuous improvement processes across different work
  • Connecting research, practice, and policy initiatives
 

Get in Touch

Reach out if you think we can support your work with diverse learners. We can help you identify your local needs and create a plan on how best to address them.

Contact us