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Writing Language and Content Objectives . CESDP. Discuss and Create a Venn Diagram. What is a content objective? What is a language objective? What is the difference between the two objectives? What do both objectives have in common?. Objective for Today.

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Discuss and create a venn diagram
Discuss and Create a Venn Diagram

  • What is a content objective?

  • What is a language objective?

  • What is the difference between the two objectives?

  • What do both objectives have in common?

Objective for today
Objective for Today

  • SWBAT create content and language objectives specific to their content area of instruction.

Important points on language objectives
Important Points on Language Objectives

  • Remember for those students who are ESL students, it is important to keep in mind that acquiring a second language is a process.

  • Language Objectives may cover a range from process-oriented to performance oriented statements so that students have a chance to explore, and then practice, before demonstrating mastery of an objective.

Examples of language objectives over several days
Examples of Language Objectives Over Several Days


1.Recognize similes in text.

2. Discuss the functions of similes.

3. Write three similes.

4. Write a paragraph that describes a setting using similes.

Process to performance verbs



Listen to


Discuss in small groups





Give an oral presentation


Process-to-Performance Verbs


  • We cannot focus our language objectives only on reading and writing.

  • We know from research (Guthrie & Ozgungor, 2002), that absence of planned speaking practice – formal or informal) by ELs in content classrooms is detrimental to the development of academic English.

More research
More Research….

  • Gibbons (2003) argues that skillful teachers should take advantage of oral interaction to move students from informal, everyday explanations of a content topic to the more specialized academic register or the formal written and spoken code.

When determining language objectives
When Determining Language Objectives

  • Important to distinguish between receptive and productive language skills.

    • English learners tend to develop receptive skills (listening and reading) faster than productive skills (speaking and writing) – Should be worked on in a unified way.

Language objectives
Language Objectives

  • In some cases, language objectives may focus on developing students’ vocabulary.

  • Other lessons might include: reading comprehension skills, writing process, helping students brainstorm, outline, draft, revise, edit.

More on language objectives
More on Language Objectives

  • More lessons: justify opinions, negotiate meaning, summarizing, stating conclusions, comparing, contrasting.

  • Also, specific grammar points (Example: Capitalization when studying famous historical events and persons

  • Depending on the English proficiency of your students, an objective may focus on sequencing words.

Supporting content objectives with language objectives
Supporting Content Objectives with Language Objectives

  • Hallmark of the SIOP Model.

  • Challenging for many content teachers

    • Requires teachers to know their students’ proficiency levels so the language objectives can be targeted to what the students need to learn about the academic language of science, math, history, art, etc., but not be at a level too high for their current understanding.

Know your students english proficiency levels and know your students

Know Your Students’ English Proficiency Levels and Know Your Students!

Language objectives for more proficient students might involve higher expectations involving reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing to support the content objective.

Writing the language objectives

Writing the Language Objectives Your Students!

Write an objective that all students should attain based on the content concepts in the lesson, but adjust the intended outcomes to match the students’ ability levels.

(Some students may master the language objective by the end of the lesson; others will reach mastery at some point after practice)

Teachers need to
Teachers Need To…. Your Students!

  • Think about how language will be used in their lesson: in their speech, in class discussion, in the reading assignments, in the lesson activities.

  • Given the content topic and an understanding of the students’ degree of academic language acquisition, the teacher then writes an objective that complements the topic and can be explicitly addressed in the lesson. This objective can be the “How it will be done” portion of the lesson integrating a language skill.

Examples of language objectives which could occur over several lessons

Key Vocabulary Your Students! needed to discuss, read, or write about the content of the lesson.

Language Functions – ways students use language in the lesson (Ex. - describe, compare, or summarize)

Language Skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking skills students need to learn and do.


Lesson Tasks: Consider what language is embedded in a lesson assignment. Will students take notes or explain a procedure to one another?

Ex: SWBAT read and summarize a text passage with peers and then teach the main information to another student.)

Language Learning Strategies: rereading, predicting, visualize

Examples of Language Objectives(which could occur over several lessons)

5 Your Students!th – 8th Benchmark:Understand the structure of organisms and the function of cells in living systems. 7thGrade PS. 1 – Understand the basic function of cell growth and division) mitosis)Content Objective:SWBAT identify and put in order the 5 stages of mitosis.


Write 2 Language Objectives: Specify English Proficiency Level of Students.(Beginning, Nearing Proficiency, Proficiency, Advanced)

8 th grade math geometry develop and use formulas for area perimeter circumference and volume
8 Your Students!th Grade Math: Geometry: Develop and use formulas for area, perimeter, circumference, and volume.

  • Write 1 content objective

  • Write 1 supporting language objective.