Sheltered instruction

Our Sheltered Instruction program serves as a learning framework for best practices that offer English learners equal opportunities to develop content and language.

This student-centered, data-driven approach outlines how the teacher, the student and the learning environment will interact. Through ongoing professional learning and campus support, these research-based practices are used in all grade levels and content areas to make sure that English learners are fully engaged in meaningful and rigorous learning.

About Sheltered Instruction 

Sheltered instruction is when teachers use second language learning strategies while teaching other content. The two goals of sheltered instruction are to:

  • Make content understandable

  • Develop academic language

These goals are met by defining the instructional outcomes for English learners (ELs) and the methods used to get them. These are specified in the T.I.P.S. and the 7 Steps to a Language-Rich Interactive Classroom which both serve as the framework for how sheltered instruction is taught in our district.* Together, each part defines the teacher's expectations, learning environment and level of student engagement that leads to success for ELs. 

*Note: Information from Seidlitz Education, Sheltered Instruction in Texas.

T. I. P. S.  

The T.I.P.S outlines the principles of focused, targeted and systematic instruction. Using this framework, teachers are able to increase English development by focusing on academic language while supporting content goals. These four principles serve as the primary goals of sheltered instruction and work together to support English learners in mastery. These four principles are:

  1. Total participation of students

  2. Incorporating academic vocabulary

  3. Promoting language and literacy development

  4. Scaffolding all proficiency levels

The 7 Steps to A Language-Rich Interactive Classroom  

The 7 Steps define how to deliver instruction to meet the goals of the T.I.P.S. They allow teachers to identify which parts of language development need support so that English learners can attain mastery of content objectives. The 7 Steps are:

  1. Teach students what to say when they don’t know what to say

  2. Have students speak in complete sentences

  3. Randomize and rotate when calling on students

  4. Use total response signals

  5. Use visual and vocabulary strategies

  6. Have students participate in structured conversations

  7. Have students participate in structured reading and writing

Sheltered Instruction Support

The sheltered instruction team supports students at all campuses and all grade levels. Elementary support is given to students through the ESL program and secondary student support is provided in content-area classrooms such as math, science, and social studies. 

Contact us

For more information, contact:

Department of English Language Learners