K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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LEARN NC has a large collection of resources for teachers of English language learners, including best practices articles, lesson plans modified to meet North Carolina’s English Language Development curriculum, and online professional development courses. We are currently developing additional resources, refining the collection, and filling in gaps.

Key resources

Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools
These articles from faculty and graduate students of UNC’s School of Education provide background on Latino immigrants in North Carolina, administrative challenges in binational education, and strategies through which teachers can build on what Latino students bring to their classrooms to create a learning environment that meets the needs of all students.
Reading comprehension and English language learners
Teaching reading comprehension and helping English language learners are the responsibility of every teacher, but they are also within the abilities of every teacher. These articles provide strategies for building content-area reading comprehension before, during, and after reading that can help English language learners — and all learners.
A series of three articles by Ellen Douglas.
Spanish-English picture dictionary
Developed by J. D. Alexander, this picture dictionary provides a quick reference and communication tool for teachers greeting immigrant children who speak little English. Each page includes a clear photograph or illustration captioned in both English and Spanish. Terms are selected to meet the immediate needs of the classroom, and are divided into sections: classroom objects, places in the school, parts of the body, feelings, family, and common verbs needed in school (such as read, listen, line up, and raise your hand). Additional text-based sections provide translations for asking questions, useful phrases, and high-frequency verbs not easily depicted.

Online courses

LEARN NC offers several online CEU courses for teachers and administrators working with English language learners, covering topics from the general (”crash courses” for teachers and administrators) to the specific (scaffolding content in specific grades). Availability of these courses may vary.

Additional best practices

Looking for self-guided professional development? Our best practices articles are designed to help teachers in traditional classrooms successfully teach students with limited English proficiency. Written by ESL teachers and other experts, they cover topics from reading and writing to cultural inclusion to the practical issues of teaching binational students.

Teaching the English Language Development curriculum

North Carolina’s English Language Development curriculum is a set of standards designed to meet the needs of English language learners, and it provides a framework for integrating ELL instruction into a traditional classroom.

About the English Language Development Standard Course of Study
An introduction to the North Carolina curriculum for English language learners, including an explanation of the domains and proficiency levels of language acquisition.

Model lesson plans

LEARN NC’s standard lesson plan template includes headings for modifications, modified assessments, and critical vocabulary, all of which encourage teachers to adapt existing instruction to meet the needs of English language learners. These lesson plans are designed to include students with limited English proficiency in traditional classrooms by differentiating instruction, and they are designed as models teachers can use to adapt their own lesson plans.

Of course, you can also browse more specifically by grade level.