Fall 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Bonnie Swierzbin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Debbie Hadas

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Marian Gagliardi


The research questions addressed in this project were, how can a professional development session be created to help make non-EL teachers more aware of visual learning strategies intended to offer comprehensible input for English Learners? How can the materials within the workshop be adaptable and relevant to teachers with low levels of experience in working with English Learners? This project documents the exploration of non-EL teachers’ lack of professional development in regards to supporting best strategies for English Learners in order to create workshop materials for a future training in the public school district where I work. I began by looking at what some districts and non-EL teachers are currently using as best practice, as well as what research highlights as effective teachers of EL students. I then reviewed the strategies for comprehensible input as an introduction to making language visual for English learners. Four types of visual supports were then introduced and described (adding visual images to written text, using realia, using graphic organizers, and acting out language through gestures and movement). The materials were designed with non-EL teacher participants in mind, and effective professional development tools were carefully considered in order to align to the research and intent of collaboration. Finally, a discussion of the process for creating the

workshop materials led to a reflection of offering more structured critique and guidance to non- EL teachers in offering support and collaboration for working with ELs.

Research Methodology

Materials Development


ESL/ ELLs, Staff Development

Included in

Education Commons