Summer 2023


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Trish Harvey and Jana Lo Bello Miller

Content Expert

Brenna Kraft


Students classified as English Language Learners (ELLs) continue to lag behind the academic performance and graduation rates of their peers (Bravo & Cervetti, 2014; Minnesota Department of Education, 2022). Although English Language Development (ELD) teachers are highly trained in language acquisition, they are not with their students all day, and much of the responsibility of English Language instruction falls on the classroom teachers, who report both less training in the knowledge required and less comfort in supporting this ELL population (Carabantes & Paran, 2022; de Jong & Barko-Alva, 2015; Harklau & Ford, 2022; Murphy & Torff, 2019). This knowledge gap led to the development of this project and professional development series. The goal of this professional development is to build classroom teachers knowledge and comfort as language teachers. AVID, a schoolwide approach to supporting students which is used nationwide, was selected as the method for providing the professional development as many schools are familiar with the system and have made a district wide commitment to the program. Additionally AVID’s mission aligns with the goals of this project. AVID’s mission is “to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in global society” (Bennet et al., 2019, p. 4). The research question guiding this professional development series is: How can AVID strategies be used to support the academic language development of multilingual students in upper elementary content classes? The development of the project was built on the WIDA standards and several of the AVID textbooks (Allen et al., 2019; Bennet et al., 2016; Drumright et al., 2016; McKinney et al, 2018). The professional development designed as a result of this research includes building background knowledge on the history of ELL education in the United States, modern requirements for ELLs under ESSA, an explanation of WIDA including the WIDA standards and presents a selection of excellent AVID strategies for supporting ELLs in the classroom.. The design of this project enhances educators' knowledge and success with the ELLs in their classrooms with the goal of increasing student success with academic language and content.

Project Type

Professional Development


ESL/ ELLs, Staff Development, AVID








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