Information for Families with English Language Learners

Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading activities are specifically designed to be accessible to English language learners. In addition, each session includes at least one optional accommodation teachers can use to provide further support to English language learners. Research results show that Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading helps English language learners make gains in science content, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

The Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading team has conducted an extensive review of research on effective instruction for English language learners, resulting in four principles for making science instruction accessible.

  • Provide additional scaffolds for language
  • Make connections to students’ linguistic resources
  • Provide additional opportunities for practice
  • Support the development of strategic behaviors

Hands-on science and literacy activities in the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading program include repeated exposure to vocabulary and concepts, opportunities for student-to-student talk and language practice, explicit connections between science language and everyday language, summarizing of key ideas, opportunities for sense-making and reflection, visual references and graphic organizers, and other strategies that help make curriculum accessible to all students.

Optional accommodations include opportunities for additional practice, vocabulary scaffolds, ways to support writing, tips for adjusting teacher speech, suggestions for helping English language learners engage fully in group work, ways for helping students to make use of their native languages, and more.