The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol helps instructors plan and deliver lessons that allow students to acquire academic content knowledge while working to improve language proficiency, course text literacy, and skills for navigating academia.


SIOP textbook cover 1 SIOP textbook cover 2.

Using the SIOP model components, we identify, introduce, and emphasize content objectives and new vocabulary first. Clear pronunciation, gestures and body language, slower speech rate and sufficient wait time for student responses help support student understanding.

We provide different scaffolding techniques (think alouds, modeling, supplemental visual materials, hands-on activities, role play, conceptual maps, etc), so students can adapt the content language to their own level of proficiency. We focus on making the links between past learning and new concepts more explicit.


  • Increased number of English language learners in U.S. classrooms
  • Mismatch between language needed for content, academic tasks, and students’ literacy levels
  • Many Instructors are unprepared to adequately serve this population
  • Sheltered instruction is “the method of integrating language development with techniques to make curricular topics more comprehensible” [Short, 2013, p. 119].


  • Helps instructors plan and deliver lessons while sheltering the principles of our disciplines and the course proficiencies.
  • Allows students to acquire academic content knowledge while working to improve language proficiency, course text literacy, and skills for navigating academia.

Each one of Mid's LUCES Academy faculty have received training and official certification from Pearson!

Introducing SIOP

  • Clearly define, display, and review content objectives w/ Ss
  • Clearly define, display, and review language objectives w/ Ss
  • Ensure content concepts are appropriate for age & educational background of Ss
  • Use sufficient supplementary materials to make lessons clear & meaningful
  • Adapt content (e.g. text, assignment) to all levels of student proficiency
  • Develop meaningful activities that integrate lesson concepts

SIOP lesson preparation diagram.


  • Make learning easier & more meaningful
  • Stimulate interest in the subject matter
  • Boost motivation
  • Increase curiosity
  • Check for previous knowledge


  • Explicitly link concepts to Ss’ background knowledge
  • Explicitly link past learning & new concepts
  • Emphasize key vocabulary

  • Speak appropriately for students’ proficiency levels
  • Explain academic tasks clearly
  • Use a variety of techniques to make concepts clear

  • Provide many opportunities for Ss to use learning strategies
  • Use scaffolding techniques to assist & support student understanding
  • Ask questions or engage Ss in tasks that promote higher-order thinking skills

  • Create frequent interaction & discussion opportunities which encourage elaborated responses about lesson concepts
    • Teacher

  • Provide hands-on materials and/or manipulatives for Ss to practice using new content knowledge
  • Develop & engage Ss in class activities to apply content & language knowledge
    • Integrate all language skills into activities

  • Pace the lesson appropriate to Ss’ ability levels
  • Lesson delivery clearly supports content objectives
  • Lesson delivery clearly supports language objectives
  • Students engaged 90-100% of the period

  • Review key vocabulary
  • Review key content concepts
  • Provide regular feedback to Ss on their output
  • Assess Ss’ comprehension & learning of all lesson objectives throughout lesson


Iliana Miller