Developing the Language of Description in Sheltered Content Classrooms (EL-121)

Providing targeted and creative language development opportunities to English learners that leverage the power of descriptive language

Instructor: Boni-esther Enquist


The language of description is everywhere, in every content area. 

  • Describe the main character in the story. (ELA)
  • Describe the characteristics of an invasive plant species (life science)
  • Describe the Mayan calendar (history)
  • Describe the materials your team used to protect your egg during the egg drop challenge. (physics)
  • Describe the difference between a square and a cube. (math)
  • Describe a painting by Michelangelo (art)
  • Describe the instruments In an orchestra (music)
  • Describe the helpers in our community (early grades)

This course helps classroom teachers provide targeted and creative language development opportunities to English learners by creating sheltered content lessons that leverage the power of descriptive language.

In this course, participants have the opportunity to:

  • Utilize principles related to systemic functional linguistics (deconstruction of texts) to identify English language forms and features used in the language of description.
  • Analyze and apply effective and creative interactive approaches, tools, and strategies that provide meaningful practice opportunities for English learners to use targeted English forms and features. 
  • Share and collaborate with colleagues through engaging in group learning activities and explorations.
  • Receive support and feedback as you create lesson plans that integrate course content.


Classroom teachers of all subjects in grades 2-12.


Online: 3 synchronous (live) online sessions plus 3 asynchronous independent work modules.


Fulfills requirement for 15 PDPs in English learner education for recertification.

Course Schedule & Registration

Fall 2021 courses are open for registration! 
View Schedule and Register

Payment & Refund Policies

See MATSOL Course Registration & Payment Policies. Cancellations must be received in writing 10 business days before the first class meeting.