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38 Great Academic Language Builders

Students in content-area classrooms are required to manage increasing amounts of academic vocabulary in order to be successful. This training offers effective strategies that can be used to build academic vocabulary skills for students in an authentic and engaging way. During the training, participants will learn how to teach core content vocabulary, how to help students navigate the academic language found in textbooks and on tests, and how to help students become independent learners of new vocabulary. This training is valuable for teachers, specialists, and administrators. Those who attend the training gain a deeper understanding of the types of academic vocabulary students need to use. In addition, real life practice strategies enable participants to implement what they've learned when they return to their classroom. Participants will use 38 Great Academic Language Builders as their resource for this training.


7 Pasos

Este taller provee a los maestros/as con las estrategias necesarias para incrementar el desarrollo de lenguaje en español en aulas bilingües a través de conversaciones estructuradas. Los participantes reciben ideas prácticas basadas en investigaciones recientes que les ayudan a implementar una instrucción comprensible y facilitar el desarrollo del vocabulario. Los docentes practican la escritura de objetivos académicos y de lenguaje. El cuaderno incluye: 

  • lecciones con objetivos académicos y de lenguaje   
  • fragmentos de oraciones basados en habilidades y niveles cognitivos   
  • guía de términos y actividades con descripciones breves   

This workshop provides bilingual teachers with strategies that are necessary to create a language rich interactive bilingual classroom. Participants review how to build in language practice opportunities using structured conversations so students can use vocabulary independently. Teachers also review important principles to increase student engagement and to accurately check for understanding during instruction. This workshop is presented in Spanish. The booklet includes:   

  • lesson plans with language and content objectives   
  • sentence stems using different levels of cognition   
  • a guide to terms and activities with brief descriptions


7 Steps to a Language-Rich, Interactive Classroom

This innovative training will help all teachers transform their classrooms into vibrant spaces where students can use academic language to talk, read, write, and think about each lesson's content. This 7 Steps training outlines a dynamic process for structuring, planning, and facilitating a language-rich classroom. In addition, participants gain knowledge of helpful ways to integrate both content and language standards when planning instruction. They also receive specific strategies for differentiating instruction so that all learners within the classroom can build their ability to discuss and communicate academic concepts effectively.


NEW! 7 Steps to a Language-Rich, Interactive Foreign Language Classroom

The 7 Steps to a Language-Rich, Interactive Foreign Language Classroom are research-based strategies designed to increase comprehensible input and provide low-stress opportunities for language output and interaction. These practical techniques provide an essential foundation that ensures students are motivated and engaged, while offering access points to any target language in a way that is easy to implement and comprehensively scaffolded. This training was created for both novice and seasoned LOTE teachers to transform the foreign language classroom into an interactive environment in which students are engaging in the target language from day one.

Participants will learn:
• Experience-based classroom strategies (via simulations) in multiple foreign languages
• Innovative ways to use visuals and vocabulary as tools for building comprehension
• Easy-to-implement structures for speaking, reading, and writing in the target language
• Research-based, practical techniques from the new book, 7 Steps to a Language-Rich, Interactive Foreign Language Classroom: Strategies for Teachers of Languages other Than English (LOTE)

Upon completion, we also offer Language Builders for LOTE: Activities for an Interactive, Foreign Language Classroom


Boosting Achievement for SIFE

Based on current research surrounding educational growth mindset and the practical experience of Carol Salva, a master teacher who achieved success with SIFE students in Houston, this training demonstrates user-friendly techniques that close achievement gaps for Unschooled or Underschooled Learners. Experience the strategies that capitalize on the gifts of your diverse classroom. Discover ways to maximize the impact  for SIFE, especially non-English speakers. Learn to empower these students to work at grade-level in content classes and the ESL classroom.

The training will include:
• Practical methods based on recent research
• Classroom simulations
• Hands-on techniques you can start using tomorrow
• Video and testimony by teachers and students


ELLs in Texas: What Administrators Need to Know

Administrators need a convenient and accessible resource that integrates the voluminous amounts of information in their binders, books, and manuals into one easy to read resource. ELLs in Texas: What Administrators Need to Know responds to this need with an understanding of the overwhelming tasks required of administrators on a daily basis. This training will ensure that Bil/ESL programs for ELLs are compliant and effective; address the legal, programmatic, and instructional issues that administrators and other leaders face in their work, and provide a take-home copy of the newest publications from Seidlitz Education—ELLs in Texas: What Administrators Need to Know (2014).


ELLs in Texas: What Teachers Need to Know

ELLs in TX: What Teachers Need to Know is a comprehensive, practical resource that is essential for ANY texas teacher with ELLs in the classroom. The contents of these pages provide teachers, administrators, and program specialists with at-your-fingertips knowledge about Bilingual/ESL programs in Texas, second language acquisition, ELPS/TELPAS assessments and connections, and classroom instruction focused on progress and proficiency. A great support for those seeking Bilingual/ESL certification!

Discover a heart for working with ELLs
• Advocate for the local program(s)
• Overcome barriers to parent participation
• Create an accessible, interactive classroom
• Prioritize language development
• Focus on progress and proficiency

*aligned to TExES ESL and bilingual teacher competencies


ELPS Administrator Overview

Administrators will leave this training well-equipped to provide high-quality instructional leadership for their staff and their English Language Learners (ELLs). This overview is a follow up to the ELPS academies, and it gives administrators working knowledge of how to write language objectives, provide linguistic accommodations, and set up language practice opportunities for ELLs. Using the ELPS Flip Book, interactive strategies, and structured conversations, administrators can refine their understanding of the ELPS in order to fully support the achievement of their ELLs.


Instructional Coaching

At Seidlitz Education, our goal is simple: support and enhance your campus or district initiatives by promoting academic language. We recognize that the vision, goals, and messages of your district are unique to the community you serve, so we custom-build our professional development program to merge naturally with the progress you’ve already been making. The product: language-rich learning environments with measurably better student outcomes. 

We provide: 

1. Teacher Efficacy Coaching Cycles in which we work with teachers one-on-one and in small groups to develop focused and measurable goals to shift towards more student-centered, language-rich instruction. Inspired by the Jim Knight coaching model, our follow up with teachers is immediate with reflective questioning and actionable instructional targets to guide each coaching cycle. 

2. On-Site School Leadership Rounds 

in which we help create focused goals aligned to campus or district needs, and show instructional leaders both what to look for in the classroom, and how to support teachers in meeting those goals. These rounds aim to achieve measurable gains within the current school year, while also developing structures within the instructional program for long-term, sustainable growth in the years to come. 


NEW! Language Builders for LOTE: Activities for an Interactive, Foreign Language Classroom

This training offers effective strategies that can be used to build vocabulary as well as reading, writing, and conversation skills for students in an authentic and engaging way. During the training, participants will experience activities to help students: build conversations in the target language, navigate reading from authentic texts and writing in meaningful ways, and become independent learners of new vocabulary.


Making the Most of the ELPS Flip Book

Participants will realize the powerful impact the ELPS Flip Book can have on the academic achievement of their English Language Learners (ELLs). In this practical training, participants will use their own students' TELPAS data along with the ELPS Flip Book to identify their students' language domains, learn how to use the linguistic accommodations charts, and practice many research-based activities. Participants will create working lesson plans tailored specifically for their classes. This training is a user-friendly guide to academic language instruction for all teachers.


Meeting the Challenges of Long Term ELLs

This session provides a comprehensive framework to meet the unique challenges of long-term English language learners. This session helps teachers, administrators, and central office personnel make informed decisions to increase the success of English learners while in school and beyond. As part of a system-wide framework, the following topics are addressed:  

Assessment of Long Term ELLs 

• Analyzing language demands of STAAR/EOC 

• Advancing proficiency levels as reported on TELPAS 

• Meeting ELLs progress measure  

Best Practices for Long Term ELLs 

• Modeling research-based sheltered instructional strategies 

• Moving students toward successful independent reading and writing 

• Structuring an ESL program that works for long-term ELLs  

Meeting Affective Needs of Long Term ELLs 

• Sustaining positive teacher-student relationships 

• Fostering positive attitudes toward school culture 

• Creating a school environment where ELLs are invested


My Students are All Different

A User-Friendly Approach for Teaching ALL Kids (K-12) This valuable and timely training provides educators with classroom proven strategies to differentiate instruction in ways that maximize student success. Students enter school with different linguistic abilities, varied levels of background knowledge, a large range of language abilities and disabilities, and an array of learning differences. In this interactive, practical training, all of these areas will be addressed.  Educators will discover ways to create student profiles, accommodate based on student characteristics, and incorporate highly effective academic and behavioral strategies. The Diverse Learner Flip Book will be the guide for this important work at grade-level in content classes and the ESL classroom.  


Motivating English Language Learners

Are you ready to learn how to motivate your ELLs? Seidlitz Education will guide you through a unique approach to bringing ELLs beyond mere participation. Learn user-friendly strategies that help teachers at all grade levels connect with and inspire their English Learners.  

Participants will learn how to: 

• build off student interests to fully engage them in academic content 

• breathe new life into content and language objectives 

• integrate linguistic techniques such as choral response, chants, role play, and music into lessons 

• capitalize on student and teacher creativity and innovation  

• facilitate enjoyable content writing for all ages 

• incorporate physical movement for 100% participation

Our teaching, research, and innovative educational tools focus on ways we can help give students the gift of academic language. We are always looking for user-friendly ways to help teachers give students rich background knowledge and the ability to communicate in academic settings.


NEW! Narratives & Norms: Teaching Students from Diverse Cultures

Our cultural ‘lenses’ significantly impact our daily interaction with our students. Achievement of all students in our classrooms increases when we, as teachers, take into consideration not only students’ cultural narratives and norms, but ours as well. Cultural intelligence and cultural competence can be learned, practiced, and systemically implemented to better serve diverse students, their families, and their communities. The framework presented in this workshop utilizes research, best practices, and evidence-based teaching strategies to provide an innovative approach for designing and implementing culturally responsive instruction, while also emphasizing the importance of self-reflection to clearly define who we, the educators, are. In knowing how to draw from both our own backgrounds and theirs, we can more effectively serve students from ethnically, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds. 


  • clearly define the components of cultural proficiency,
  • explore specific strategies for providing effective culturally responsive instruction,
  • outline the cultural proficiency continuum,
  • provide participants with ideas on how to maximize their cultural proficiency and cultural intelligence (CQ),
  • enhance teachers understanding of their own cultural backgrounds and lenses.


Navigating the ELPS

The English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) clearly defines the content-area knowledge and academic language instruction that districts must provide for English Language Learners. This training session addresses the requirements within the four sections of the ELPS, for teachers, administrators, and specialists. In addition, it offers a user-friendly process for meeting those requirements using a variety of hands-on, interactive strategies and activities. Participants receive a copy of the book, Navigating the ELPS, to use throughout the training and to take back to their districts.

Also available:

•Navigating the ELPS in the Math Classroom

•Navigating the ELPS in the Science Classroom

•Navigating the ELPS in the English, Language Arts, and Reading Classroom

•Navigating the ELPS in the Social Studies Classroom


NEW! Pathways to Greatness for ELL Newcomers: A Comprehensive Guide for Schools and Teachers

Newcomer ELLs face a complex and daunting set of challenges. How can educators appropriately provide support to this population? Based on research of the social, emotional, and academic needs of secondary immigrant students, this session will offer useful strategies and techniques for content-area teachers of newcomer ELLs. Additionally, campus and district leaders will gain practical advice about a systemic approach to meeting the needs of this ever-increasing population.  

This comprehensive training will highlight several components relevant to newcomer instruction including: cultural proficiency, second language acquisition strategies, scheduling/credits, and effective content-area instruction


Rapid Literacy: ELL Strategies for Secondary Emergent Readers

Do you serve English learners who struggle to decode text at grade level? Decoding is an essential skill, because it is the foundation in which all other reading is built upon. Come hear practical methods to help non-English readers accelerate their literacy in the target language. Secondary teachers deserve training in foundations of literacy that make sense for the secondary classroom. Learn strategies that are based on research and Carol Salva’s classroom experience.  

The training will include:

  • Hands-on techniques educators can start using tomorrow.
  • Overview of balanced literacy and foundations of literacy development.
  • Practical methods that build decoding skills while supporting students at grade level.
  • Modeling of sheltered instruction practices that boost achievement of all learners.


RtI for ELLs: Considerations for Success with Diverse Learners (K-6)

Educators face many challenges when striving to adapt their Response to Intervention (RtI) program to meet the unique needs of English Language Learners (ELLs). Using The RtI for ELLs fold out chart, this training walks participants through the components of an RtI model specifically tailored for ELLs. In addition, participants will practice using accommodations, assessments, and strategies for ELLs, based on language proficiency levels and cultural backgrounds. This training also provides participants with hands-on activities that can be implemented immediately to support culturally and linguistically diverse students in K-6 classrooms. 


NEW! Sheltered Instruction in Texas: Second Language Acquisition Methods for Teachers of ELs

Sheltered Instruction in Texas: Second Language Acquisition Methods for Teachers of ELs is a must for any Texas teacher serving ELLs. Educators will explore the true meaning of sheltered instruction with research-based strategies such as the 7 Steps to a Language-Rich, Interactive Classroom. Chapter 89 of the TAC, recommends  “the integrated use of second language acquisition methods” to meet the needs of ELLs. This training is designed to give teachers the tools they need to meet these requirements. 

Teachers will receive the book, Sheltered Instruction in Texas: Second Language Acquisition Methods for Teachers of ELs by John Seidlitz, which includes approaches to integrating the ELPS into instruction and ways to align linguistic accommodations to the TELPAS descriptors. Understanding this will help empower content-area, ESL, and bilingual teachers to deliver comprehensible content while promoting academic language development.

Participants will:

  • Experience simulation of ELL experience of high-quality sheltered instruction
  • Explore the essentials elements of implementing a sheltered approach
  • Discover engaging ways to integrate ELPS into content-area lessons
  • Understand ways to linguistically accommodate instruction and assessment


Talk, Read, Talk, Write (TRTW)

Talk, Read, Talk, Write (TRTW) is a practical approach to classroom instruction that helps students meet and exceed the state standards for learning in the core classes while also developing the literacy skills needed for success in the 21st century. During the training, participants will experience the TRTW approach as learners themselves, and receive step-by-step instructions for how to implement the approach using actual classroom examples. Other training topics include: how to facilitate structured conversations, how to hold students accountable for active participation, how to move students toward successful independent reading and writing, and how to troubleshoot common roadblocks to reading, writing and talking in the classroom. Participants will leave knowing how to give students consistent opportunities to orally process what they are learning, to make meaning in the company of their peers, and to read and write for an authentic purposes, all while mastering academic content. 


NEW! Teaching Science to English Learners

The language of science curriculum is complex, abstract, and can be quite a challenge to pronounce. Supporting all learners, especially English learners, as they internalize these terms is a complicated challenge for modern science teachers. Teaching Science to ELs highlights key strategies that are designed specifically for science and are targeted to support the four domains of language while making science content comprehensible for all learners. 

Participants in this training will explore different types of questioning, options for designing and scaffolding open-ended questions, strategies for leading students (i.e., young scientists!) to formulate their own questions, and structures to facilitate productive discussions about their learning. Participants will receive and interact with a copy of the book, Teaching Science to ELs, which includes more than twenty activities designed to get kids reading, writing, speaking, and thinking as scientists.

This training is ideal for:

  • Science teachers of ELs, bilingual learners, and English-only learners K-12
  • ESL teachers 
  • Campus/district administrators
  • Instructional coaches and specialists 
  • District science and ESL coordinators


Teaching Social Studies to ELLs

Teaching Social Studies to ELLs is an in-depth approach to differentiation in the secondary social studies classroom. The session will feature specific examples of engaging accommodations for all language proficiency levels and strategies that maximize content mastery while students acquire academic language. Participants will receive a copy of Tina Beene’s book, Teaching Social Studies to ELLs which outlines her unique practical approach.  

Participants will learn how to: • support and engage all ELLs with social studies content • accelerate language acquisition in social studies classrooms • meet the unique needs of their ELLs in each component of a typical social studies lesson


Texas Student Refugee Framework: A Collaborative Approach

Do you know Texas currently leads the nation in refugee arrivals and resettlement? What does this mean for our schools? This training will allow participants to learn effective ways to help their refugee students while meeting the needs of their families. Support and resources will be given to instruct their students with best practices for meeting language and academic needs. Participants will also receive a copy of the manual, Texas Student Refugee Framework: A Collaborative Approach. 

About Us


NEW! ¡Toma la palabra!

Teachers in bilingual and dual language programs are looking for ways to enhance the development of academic Spanish in their classrooms. They are also looking for ways to increase their own practice of academic Spanish. This training directly addresses those needs. It is based on the research and experience of Dr. Mónica Lara and her work in countless bilingual classrooms. Teachers will explore theory, strategies, and activities in Spanish that develop oracy and biliteracy. Attendees will receive the book ¡Toma la palabra!, an easy-to-follow resource that includes dozens of strategies and ideas, including the 7 Pasos. This training will be conducted in Spanish.


NEW! Using Tech to Boost Achievement of ELs

Are you looking for innovative ways to boost achievement and build language skills with technology? This training will provide teaching strategies that support authentic technology use for ELL (English Language Learners) in their ESL and content area classes. Participants will go beyond just looking at apps that teach a second language; they will discover the five keys to using technology effectively with ELLs. Participants will learn to leverage tech tools and platforms to even the playing field for these students, give them a voice, and allow them to participate meaningfully at the highest cognitive levels.  

Attendees will: 

  1. Experience hands-on, user-friendly techniques that engage and motivate language learners at all proficiency levels. 
  2. Discover powerful uses of open-source technology that lead to success for underserved students. 
  3. Gain an understanding of technology that is effective for culturally responsive teaching. 
  4. Explore ways to use technology to facilitate a student-centered approach to learning. 
  5. Learn how to use technology to promote authentic language use in academic settings