This course has an estimated duration of 15 Hours.

Course Introduction

This paradigm allows teachers and administrators to provide diverse groups of ELLs with access to classroom content while they acclimate to an English learning environment. The six learning threads of the FABRIC paradigm provide a structure that teachers can use to address the needs of ELLs. Each section contains research-based recommendations, a classroom example, and application questions. FABRIC can be utilized during sheltered instruction training, professional learning community meetings, pre-service teacher education, etc.


Educating students who still are acquiring English proficiency can be complex in an age of high stakes evaluations and assessments as well as college and
career-ready standards. English language learners (ELLs) are not monolithic in their educational background, cultural experiences, and ability to adapt to learning environments. However, through well-planned instruction, ELLs can attain challenging academic standards. There are many factors to consider when educators work to equip students with the skills for rigorous, academic learning.

  • Some students come to class performing at or above grade level in their home language while others have interruptions in their education.

  • Some students are close to reaching English proficiency while others are just beginning their quest toward fluency.

  • Some students thrive in the culture of the classroom while others withdraw because they feel disorientated.

The FABRIC paradigm allows teachers to provide diverse groups of ELLs with access to classroom content while they acclimate to an English learning environment. The six learning threads in the FABRIC paradigm provide a structure that teachers can use to address the needs of ELLs. The threads are:

  1. Foundational Skills

  2. Academic Discussions

  3. Background Knowledge

  4. Resources

  5. Individualized Assessment

  6. Culture

Foundational Skills

Students learn by building their understanding of foundational content, phonics, vocabulary, language structures, comprehension skills, and technology so that they are able to access grade level material.

Academic Discussions

Students acquire academic language skills by interacting frequently in real-world discussions that enable them to use content vocabulary and language structures.

Background Knowledge

Students learn new content by using their existing knowledge, academic competencies, and prior experiences.


Students learn by using scaffolds and strategies that lower the language complexity of the content they experience in the classroom.

Individualized Assessment

Students learn through instruction that is informed by formative and summative assessments. For assessments to provide the most useful information, they need to be in the students’ dominant language and/or at the students’ level of proficiency in
reading, writing, listening, and speaking.


Students learn in school environments that value the richness of diverse perspectives and cultivate cross-cultural knowledge and awareness.