ESL Liaisons: SIOP Strategies

Comprehensible Input

What is comprehensible input?

Comprehensible input is a series of strategies to make language useful for student processing. The way that students gain understanding of content through language mjust be purposeful and on a level that they can manage. Below are 5 different areas of making language useful for students as well as best practices shared by you, our staff.

Appropriate Speech

It is making of speaking in way that our students can understand and process. Some of our teachers strategies that they use are:

  • Slowing Down
  • Using Tier 1 (simpler) words instead of Tier 3 (high academic) vocabulary when explaining or discussing.
  • Using second language (L2) cognates to make connections to the student's first language (L1)

Explanation of Academic Tasks

This is exactly what it sounds like. The way we present instructions and and expectations must be made clear for our ELLs. Some of the best practices shared by our staff today were

  • Using Tier 1 words to clarify Tier 3 words. Ex. Bovine (cow)
  • Have students repeat/paraphrase instructions
  • Provide simple written instructions for students to glue in their journals


This is how we use our questioning strategies to allow students to process and share what they have learned. Our staff are masters of this. Some of the strategies given were:

  • Using sentence stems to guide thinking
  • Using the "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions
  • HAve students write questions that other students need to answer

Scaffolding Vocbulary

How we support our learners as they build new understandings is super important. The strategies that were shared included:

  • starting with a term, explaining it and talking about it again to build background knowledge
  • Drawing pictures to build understanding
  • Writing about drawings
  • Using games such as "Kahoot!"


This is how you have the students work with other students to increase language skills.

  • Using Kagan strategies
  • Talk Read, Talk Write. It is on Lola is you need trade days (see your Liaison if you want more info).
  • Socratic Circles
  • Small Group/Whole Group discussions
  • Text message Paraphrasing

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