SIOP stands for Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol. In sheltered instruction, content is delivered in such a way that the information is comprehensible and students are able to learn new language and content at the same time. This model supports general education teachers in any content area in providing language scaffolds for ELLs. SIOP is not a particular ELL strategy, but rather a framework that helps teachers plan for and target the language students’ learning needs at the time of planning, lesson delivery, practice, and assessment. These sheltered instruction techniques are beneficial for ELLs at all levels of proficiency and in any content area.
If learning a new language and learning academic content simultaneously sounds like “double duty” to you, it’s because it is. Teachers can increase content-learning opportunities by providing ELLs with the language they need to understand and perform academic tasks. In other words, to be successful academically, English Language Learners must understand and use the “academic” language of the classroom. In SIOP, academic tasks are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed. For example, if the academic task is to explain a paragraph after reading it, the student needs to understand the meaning of “explain” and possess language structures to be able to perform the task. The performance of the academic task using the new language is the assessment.
The ELL department has been working on contextualizing the SIOP model to the instructional landscape of our district. This work includes modifying the model and creating implementation rubrics SIOP does not replace, it enhances what LPS teachers are already doing in the classroom giving especial attention to ELLs’ academic language needs. It works congruently with strategies such as Classroom Instruction That Works, MathTalk, Collaborative Conversations.
LPS SIOP Implementation Rubrics
SIOP stands for Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol. In sheltered instruction, ELL students participate in the regular content classes in which the instruction and objectives are delivered in such a way that the information is comprehensible and students are able to learn to speak, read, write, and listen in English. In a nutshell, the goal is to make the content comprehensible for English language learners. Thus, the learning of English language skills is integrated with the teaching of content. For example, each lesson plan includes both content objectives (content standards and objectives) and language objectives (the language students will produce to process and demonstrate the learning). The authors of the SIOP Model, strongly suggest that in order for ELLs to be successful academically, they must also understand the “academic” language of the classroom. Academic tasks using the academic language are, therefore, explicitly taught, demonstrated and practiced. Students receive comprehensible input to understand the teacher’s instructions in order to complete tasks correctly. For example, if the academic task is to explain a paragraph after reading it, the student needs to understand the meaning of “explain” and possess language structures to be able to perform the task.
The SIOP model of sheltered instruction was developed as a 7 year research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. A team of teachers and researchers worked together to review the literature for best practices in ELL and content teaching. The results of the partnership resulted in the SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) Model composed of 8 components and 30 features that we have today. “The SIOP model shares many features recommended for high quality instruction for all students, but adds key features for the academic success of students learning through a second language.” (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2004, p. 215). The SIOP model can be used by teachers to assess their own teaching, as an observational tool, as well as a system for planning and delivery of instruction that is responsive to language learners’ needs. Learn about what is SIOP in this 2 minute video by the authors.