Communities are often filled with students and teachers from diverse backgrounds and cultures. You’ll find a mix of native English speakers, bilingual learners, and students exploring English as a new language. As an educator in this dynamic environment, you’re tasked with not only teaching your subject but also ensuring that every student thrives on their learning journey. The SIOP model is a comprehensive educational framework designed to facilitate inclusive and effective teaching practices in diverse classrooms.
The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model was developed in the 1990s by Dr. Jana Echevarría, Dr. MaryEllen Vogt, and Dr. Deborah J. Short. They created the model as a response to the growing need for effective instructional strategies in classrooms, particularly those including English language learners (ELLs).
The primary purpose behind the creation of the SIOP model was to provide a framework for teachers to deliver content effectively while supporting the language development of ELLs and other students who needed additional language support. The model aims to bridge the gap between content learning and language development. It focuses on these aspects of teaching:
SIOP emphasizes the integration of language and content instruction, focusing on specific language objectives parallel to the academic content. It offers a structured approach to lesson planning, implementation, and assessment to make academic content easier to grasp by all students, especially those learning English as an additional language.
With this model, teachers have a toolbox of instructional techniques to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment for students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
The SIOP model comprises eight components that guide lesson planning and delivery to support language learners and promote overall academic success for your students. This framework helps you integrate academic language into your instruction so the vocabulary used across all subjects is understandable to everyone.
It comprises a systematic approach to consistently deliver content and instruction that’s just beyond a student’s level of language competence. Each of the eight strategies breaks down the SIOP meaning and provides ways to modify your instruction to support your English language learners.
At this stage, teachers prepare the content, language objectives, and background knowledge necessary for the lesson. They consider the varied language proficiency levels in the classroom. Teachers begin by determining what students will learn in the lesson and the language skills they’ll need to succeed. They also assess students’ prior knowledge and plan how to make the content accessible to all learners.
This stage involves connecting new concepts to students’ existing knowledge and experiences. Teachers may use various techniques, including:
These techniques help ensure students can relate to the upcoming content.
Here, teachers focus on presenting content in ways that students can understand, regardless of their language proficiency. Teachers can use:
The goal is to support students’ understanding despite language barriers.
Teachers employ various instructional strategies that encourage interaction and engagement among students. This might involve:
These methods encourage active participation and enhance learning for everyone in your class.
This component emphasizes the importance of students engaging with one another and with the content. Teachers create opportunities for pair work and other forms of collaborative activities to encourage language practice through interaction.
Next, students get opportunities to apply what they’ve learned through activities and assignments. This stage might involve:
These tasks enable them to use both language and content skills, reinforcing their understanding of the lesson’s objectives.
This stage involves the actual teaching process. Teachers implement the strategies planned in the earlier stages, delivering the content while supporting students’ language development and understanding. They maintain a focus on both content and language objectives using diverse techniques, such as visuals or tactile activities, to cater to varied learning styles.
Teachers review the key concepts covered in the lesson and provide feedback. You can use various assessment methods to gauge student understanding of the content and language objectives, such as:
This last component ensures teachers can adjust their instruction based on the students’ needs.
When you leverage sheltered instruction, you can more effectively meet the needs of each student in your classroom. Here are some SIOP lesson plan examples and methods to get you started:
An article such as this only touches on the surface of an instructional strategy model. If you’re interested in learning more and adding this skill to your repertoire of certifications, here are some places where you can receive SIOP training:
When considering a program, you’ll want to ensure it:
Be sure to ask for recommendations from other educators and read reviews of the program before enrolling. The ultimate goal of the SIOP model is to equip educators with the knowledge and skills to create an inclusive and effective learning environment for all students.