Improve education for multilingual learners at all levels and in diverse contexts by engaging in cycles of improvement. We can support you through cycles of technical assistance, professional learning, coaching, evaluation, assessment, and program and policy guidance and development.

We see the best results for multilingual learners when we collaborate through a full improvement cycle: developing, implementing, and refining an approach to identify and provide the most effective, equity-driven services for your students.

At each stage, we collaborate to prioritize equity and honor the diverse linguistic, cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds of multilingual students and their communities. The strengths and assets of multilingual learners, especially those classified as English learners, are the keys to their success in school and society.

The Cycles of Improvement

ELL Cycle of Improvement graphic
Develop and Refine Programs

Building on existing research and your strengths and local context, we collaboratively create and refine programs that serve multilingual learners, such as dual language education programs, integrated instruction models, and newcomer supports.

We partner with state, district, and school leaders and practitioners to develop clear guidance and ensure research-based programs are implemented with clarity and fidelity. Examples include state and district program guides or recommendations for program improvement.

Our practice experts collaborate with our partners to identify, design, and facilitate professional learning that meets the needs of their educators, students, and families. Educators engage in customized professional development to build the knowledge and skills they need to effectively teach multilingual learners. Examples include state, regional, and district professional learning opportunities.

Our experienced team of instructional experts partner with schools, districts, state agencies, and communities to ensure that multilingual students and their families are well served. Our instructional coaching and consultation help educators implement new skills and practices and administrators provide the necessary structures for implementation. We also collect observations and data to assess successful implementation.

Through rigorous and linguistically responsive evaluation and research, we explore whether policies, programs, and practices are effective in improving outcomes for multilingual students, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. We use the findings to continue improvement, incorporating what we learned into programs and guidance.

Our Work


Redesigning Evergreen's Dual Language Program Guidance

Through a Gates Foundation grant, Karen Pérez and Kelli Scardina conducted a landscape analysis to redesign guidance for Evergreen Public Schools’ dual language program. The team analyzed district program data, designed and administered a staff survey, and facilitated a process to infuse multitiered measures into a program assessment plan. We delivered a summary of the district’s dual language program model, including reclassification patterns, and recommendations for revising the dual language master plan.

Improving Dual Language and English Language Development in Canby

To provide more inclusive, equitable access to core content, Jason Greenberg Motamedi, Kelli Scardina, and Jennifer Johnson partnered with Canby School District to evaluate its dual language program and strengthen services for multilingual learners throughout the district. In addition to educator and family surveys, family focus groups, and classroom observations, we supported implementation of an integrated English language development service model through professional learning, coaching, and leadership training for administrators. Our recommendations to refine multilingual services led to improved linguistic and academic outcomes for multilingual learners across the district.

Refining a Newcomer Program in Reynolds School District

In partnership with Reynolds School District, Kelli Scardina, Jennifer Johnson, and Jason Greenberg Motamedi facilitated a workgroup of diverse participants to develop and refine guidance for newcomer programming. The resulting guide aligns services, processes, and procedures throughout the district.


Crafting a Statewide Strategy for Multilingual Learners

Manuel Vazquez Cano and Karen Pérez are using a culturally and linguistically responsive community engagement process to develop a statewide comprehensive multilingual learner strategic plan with the Oregon Department of Education.

A Guidebook for Enhancing Young Immigrants’ Education and Career Pathways

Marbella Uriostegui and Camila Cigarroa Kennedy conducted a landscape scan of immigrant youths’ education and career pathways for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. After speaking with dozens of service providers and immigrant youth, we produced a guidebook to help youth-serving organizations make programs more welcoming and supportive.

Briefs to Support Newcomer Youth with Trauma-Informed Practice

Jennifer Johnson and Kelli Scardina wrote a series of briefs to help educators and school administrators create supportive school systems for newcomer youth, including implementing trauma-informed classroom practices.


Professional Development for Emerson’s Dual Language Program

Jennifer Johnson and Kelli Scardina provided professional learning and coaching to support a new and growing two-way dual language program at Emerson Elementary School in Everett School District. Working with dual language teachers, the building principal, and district support staff, we fortified knowledge of best practices for biliteracy development and academic content instruction in Spanish and English to support effective, equitable program implementation.

Coaching Rural Educators to Improve Access for Multilingual Learners

Jennifer Johnson and Kelli Scardina partnered with South Coast Educational Service District to strategically support small and rural districts by providing professional development and coaching on multilingual learner access to language and content instruction throughout the school day. We tailored our learning sessions and coaching to each district’s needs and context.


Empowering Arkansas Educators with Intentional Planning Practice

In partnership with the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Kelli Scardina supports implementation of the framework for Intentional Planning Practice. This highly effective professional learning model provides strategic support to content and language instruction through training, virtual consultation, and classroom coaching. We leverage educators’ strengths and engage them in a high-quality professional learning experience to build capacity to design and deliver standards-based, language-rich teaching and learning.

Enhancing Language and Content Instruction in Woodburn

Kelli Scardina and Jennifer Johnson provided professional learning, classroom coaching, and implementation support to secondary educators teaching new integrated English language development/English language arts courses in Woodburn School District. We conducted classroom observations, engaged in collaborative goal setting, and facilitated individual coaching sessions followed by instructional rounds to embed language development and increase access to content in daily instruction.


Studying Long-Term Benefits of Beaverton Dual Language Programs

Partnering with Beaverton School District, Manuel Vazquez Cano and Jason Greenberg Motamedi found that participation in dual language programs appears to have a long-term positive academic impact on students, with the greatest benefits for students classified as English learners.

Improving Multilingual Programs with Data, Youth and Family Voice

Jennifer Johnson and Pablo López Trujillo are collaborating with North Thurston Public Schools to create recommendations for multilingual learner program improvement by observing content instruction and conducting focus groups with students and families.

Evaluating Teacher Preparation Programs for Dual Language, ESOL

Jason Greenberg Motamedi, Manuel Vazquez Cano, and Sun Young Yoon support teacher preparation programs, evaluating the effectiveness of dual language and English for speakers of other languages endorsement programs.

Our Approach


We take a multipronged approach to every project in building sustainable and equitable programs, schools, and communities

We believe in the power of knowledge gained through a combination of research, practice, and personal experience. Our multilingual learner team consists of researchers, trainers, and practitioners who develop services based on evidence from research as well as the experiences of multilingual educators and students. 

Your expertise and local context are the critical final components in our work. Each community has unique strengths and contextual factors that we build on to create sustainable programs and policies for English learners, newcomer students, and all multilingual learners. With your knowledge and input from your community, we customize our approach to meet the needs of your educators, students, and their families.