Remote Learning Resources for English Learners

Contributed by Lisa Sibaja

During this age of remote learning, I’ve learned a great deal from our state-wide PLC for English as a Second Language. The ESL Support Team recently had a Twitter Chat about Differentiating for ELs During Remote Learning on Monday, April 27. Larry Ferlazzo tweeted a great idea: sharing an image during live chats, labeling it, and then asking students to write about it in the chat box.

The tweet by @LarryFerlazzo reminded me of a resource I learned about a few years ago: Project Zero by Harvard University. The project developed eighteen routines or strategies to encourage critical thinking among students by using artwork, illustrations, photographs, political cartoons, etc. These strategies can even be used with music, poems, literature or non-fiction texts. Here is a chart that shows how to utilize these routines to meet ESL objectives by connecting them to WIDA Can-Do Descriptors, the NC Standard Course of Study, art examples, and graphic organizers. By providing images, students can often better understand content and concepts. Sometimes a germ of an idea is all it takes to inspire us or advance our instruction.

Please connect with other ESL teachers across NC and beyond by joining us. Here are some ways you can connect to NCDPI ESL team, ESL Teacher Network, and ESL Support Team:


Artful Thinking. (n.d.). Retrieved May 09, 2020, from

Can Do Descriptors. (n.d.). Retrieved May 09, 2020, from

Larryferlazzo (2020, April 27). I will often share an image during our daily live video classes, label it, and encourage students to write about it in the chat box. Students can also write the sentences in Spanish & I or a peer tutor will translate it. [Tweet].

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