Content and Language Objectives

EDRL Module 2 Assignment 1 (by Jill Crist)

Provide a Path

By writing content and language objectives for students to both hear and see, we are effectively providing a path through the mountain that leads to their learning success.

Choose the Scenic View

Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2013) argue that “Writing an agenda or list of activities on the board is not the same as writing the content and language objectives!” We can provide the scenic view by giving our students access to all of the objectives.

Let's take a deeper look at some BIG advantages of seeing (and hearing) content and language objectives.

Seeing and hearing content and language objectives

can support the following activities:


  • Awareness of previous objectives to bring anticipation and build background
  • Order to classroom procedures to build routine and comfort
  • Anticipation of explicit instruction to increase teacher and learner motivation
  • Focus on the thinking process to increase learner motivation
  • Self-assessment and use of response techniques to increase understanding
  • Reflection on the objectives to bring a satisfying close to each lesson

Take Time to Smell the Roses

In the lesson preparation video, Mary Ellen Vogt (n.d.) argues, "If (our students) are not understanding what we are teaching, we then need to move back, we need to adjust, and we need to reteach. This is an ongoing cycle of assessment, of teaching, of reteaching, of assessing, and ultimately determining whether our students have met our content and language objectives."

Written objectives influence teacher and student performance in the following ways:


Students are more likely to:

  • know and state what they will learn each day
  • anticipate explicit instruction
  • engage in self-assessment
  • bring more focus to the thinking process



Teachers are more likely to:

  • know and state what they will teach each day
  • give explicit instruction
  • engage students in response techniques for immediate feedback
  • tailor each lesson to suit the needs of the students

A Satisfying Journey

According to Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2013), "After a teacher writes content and language objectives, posts them and discusses them with the students at the start of class, at some point in the lesson explicit instruction must be provided on these objectives. Students would then have practice opportunities aligned to the objectives and be assessed on their progress toward meeting them at the close of the lesson. In other words, each objective is what we want the students to learn, and each needs explicit attention."