Learning Support Services

 English Learner Program (EL)

Jamie Lafuze, EL Program Coordinator 
(858) 521-2748


How do English learners access the regular core curriculum which is provided for all students (math, social science, science, electives, P.E.)?
English learners need to work toward meeting the same content area standards as the English-only students.  Classroom teachers evaluate each student’s prior content knowledge and language proficiency to determine the most appropriate instruction for the student.  At some middle and high schools, content area classes are provided which are specifically designed for lower level students who have very limited English proficiency and/or limited prior schooling.
What is sheltered instruction (also known as SDAIE, or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English)?
Sheltered Instruction (or SDAIE) is a method of teaching that incorporates strategies to make information understandable to English learners.  Some typical strategies are:

  • connecting new information to past experiences
  • demonstrating how to do something
  • use of visuals or information organizers
  • sharing the teacher’s mental processing of information
  • textbook reading support, such as audio CD’s, Buddy Reading, read-alouds, etc.
  • partner or group work
  • opportunities for oral discussions and presentations

Of course, these strategies are also appropriate for non-English learners and provide the support that will help many students be more successful in all of their classes.  However, one difference between sheltered instruction and “just good teaching” is that English learners also need a focus on explicit language development in conjunction with content area instruction. 


The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 1-858-521-2800, extension 2121, jjimenez@powayusd.com. For students, you may contact Title IX Coordinator/ 504 Coordinator Jamie Dayhoff, Director of Attendance and Discipline, Poway Unified School District, 1-858-521-2840, jdayhoff@powayusd.com

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POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT | 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 521-2800