Helping someone learn a new language is a challenging endeavor. Teachers must have the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to attract, engage, and retain students. They need to know not only how English works but how to help their students grasp and apply these understandings.

Of course, there is no single right way to teach English. There are simply too many variables for any single method or set of strategies to apply universally: student characteristics and goals, program goals and limits, and the teacher’s own unique skills and limits.

Nevertheless, there is a growing body of research that points to an approach and a series of strategies that can significantly simplify and improve the quality and effect of ESL instruction in nearly all contexts.

ESL by Design is based on this research. It is an integrated strategy-based approach to teaching adult ESL. New teachers and those seeking new ways to impact their students will find it particularly useful.

Click on the pages for Components, Lesson Flow, and Strategies for more detailed descriptions. ESL by design is a growing resource. Come back often to see new materials and let us know what is working for you.

  1. Overview

  2. Teaching - Learning Continuum

  3. Description of key learning factors from low challenge to high challenge that must be balanced in any lesson.

  4. Components

  5. Descriptions of the key components of the ESL by Design system, including professional development, teacher support, teaching materials.

  6. Lesson Flow

  7. Descriptions of each step in the lesson flow.

  8. Strategies

  9. Descriptions of more than 30 strategies that can be used effectively in the ESL classroom.