Summer 8-31-2020


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Seymour, B. (2020). Giving Them The Map: Making Academic Language visible for English Language Learners At The Upper Elementary Level

This project aims to provide a professional development resource that incorporates the accessibility of a website with many supplemental materials and the flexibility of embedded videotaped PD sessions. The embedded PD sessions are organized by the pillars of complex language features, student critical thinking, and interaction with language. The explanation of these three pillars is applied to Pathways TM Teaching and Learning Cycle developed by Dr. Cynthia Lundgren. Pathways TM a process of organizing language instruction to support language growth and equitable content learning. The Capstone research examines current literature to answer the question, How can EL educators determine specific elements of school language and provide explicit language instruction for ELLs? The literature includes an outline of complex language features commonly identified in school texts. It also illustrates theories and explanations for the necessity of shared vocabulary connected to language patterns and the meanings derived from them. The literature supports the concept that language learning should be taught in context and that within school language there are common language patterns tied to a variety of school contexts. Key Language Uses such as explaining, narrating, arguing, and informing are each contexts recognized in the content areas of social studies, science, math, and literacy. When EL educators focus on these Key Language uses and their unique complexities within academic content, they can begin to plan for explicit language instruction that supports engaged learning and efforts in educational equity for ELL students. (245 words)

Project Type

Virtual Professional Development








School of Education Student Capstone Projects