Services for Educators

Engagement-Based Sheltered Instruction – IDRA Services

Are your English language learners meeting state standards and passing required tests? IDRA’s new research-based sheltered instruction model can assist you in improving the academic success of your English language learners.

The model focuses on student engagement. Engagement in the learning process is essential for academic success. Because of English language learners’ different English proficiency levels, teachers often struggle to find ways to have them actively participate in their learning. IDRA helps teachers learn, reflect on use, and adapt instructional strategies so that English language learners are engaged in the instructional process.

This dynamic professional development series focuses on extending the teacher’s knowledge of ESL strategies and sheltered instruction to ensure that the English language learner is engaged in learning the academic content. Technology to engage students is an interwoven feature of the training.

Topics that are addressed during the series include:

  • Understanding Student English Language Proficiency Levels
  • Understanding the Language Demands of the Content Areas, Texts and Tests
  • Choosing Strategies that Address Student Language Levels
  • Developing Student Academic Language in Content Areas
  • Planning, Teaching and Observing for Maximum Cognitive Engagement of English Language Learners
  • Technology as a Tool for Student Engagement

To make success for all students a reality, IDRA presents comprehensive, in-depth learning opportunities for parents, teachers, administrators and community-based organizations that value and build upon the strength and knowledge that each partner brings, while developing new and effective strategies for engagement that focus on student success. When applied effectively, these positive practices can create a strong web of support to help prepare students for successful transitions throughout education, from preschool to college enrollment, and into the world of work and civic engagement.


  • Teachers who feel empowered to make a difference for English language learners,
  • Teachers who can build trusting relationships with English language learners,
  • Teachers who maximize learning time for all students in the classroom,
  • Teachers who can present content in a comprehensible way to all students, and
  • Teachers who can spontaneously reflect and act.


  • Strengthening the understanding that all students bring strengths and assets to the learning process,
  • Creating a culture of meaningful engagement for student success,
  • Applying principles of language learning to instructional strategies,
  • Maximizing instructional strategies based on a student’s level of English language proficiency, and
  • Fostering student, parent and teacher partnerships for academic success.

IDRA Support

IDRA supports all phases of effective sheltered instruction, from planning through implementation with the goal of sustainability for student success through training of mentors and coaches. IDRA professional development support combines state-of-the art technology, hands-on and face-to-face training that helps teachers and districts apply research-based strategies. The training uses a variety of ways to work with school staff, including workshops, video conferences, classroom demonstrations, on-site observations and problem solving, online discussions, and reflections. Participants are supported with research-based information and best practice that work. CPE credit is available.

IDRA Will Address Your Specific Needs
Cross-cutting themes that are incorporated into each session include:

  • Cooperative Learning for Student Engagement
  • Building Academic Vocabulary
  • Building Content Literacy
  • Integrating Technology
  • Creative Use of Graphic Organizers
  • Promoting High-Order Thinking Skills

An example of a model plan that IDRA could use with your district is in the box below.

 Sample Engagement-Based Sheltered Instruction Plan
Tailored to District Needs
Session Description Topics Days Follow-up
Online Preparation Initial Needs Assessment and Setting the Climate 2-3 hours
Observations IDRA classroom observations 1-2 days
Teachers Face-to-Face Session #1 Cooperative Learning for Student Engagement and Language Acquisition 1 day 2-3 hours
Demonstrations Classroom Demonstrations 1-2 days
Teachers Face-to-Face Session #2 Assessing English Language Learners, Monitoring and Implementing Engagement-Based Sheltered Insruction 1 day 1 day
Coaching Session Individual lesson observation and coaching session 1 day
Teachers Face-to-Face #3 Strategies for Sheltering Instruction for Increasing Comprehensibility 1 day 2-3 hours
Lesson Planning Observing and planning with teachers 1-2 days
Online Mentoring and Coaching Throughout the professional development model the learning team will communicate and engage in discussion of topics and issues. Resources will be linked and constantly updated for team use. Continuous
Teacher Face-to-Face Session #4 Strategies for Language Acquisition and Language Teaching: Techniques for Content Area Teachers 1 day 2-3 hours
Optional Session #5 How to Conduct Mentoring and Coaching Session – “Trainers of Trainers

(Days of in-class assistance dependent on total number of teachers participating)

1 day 1 day

5-9 full days plus online support and monitoring

Impact Evaluation
*All online participation is timed and documented through our portal system.