Overview of the SIOP Model

For those of you who don’t know, my colleagues Deborah Short, MaryEllen Vogt and I developed a model of instruction for English learners known as the SIOP Model. For the past 20 years SIOP has been a widely used approach for teaching in U.S. classrooms where there are English learners.  (It is also used in more than a dozen countries when teachers teach content through students’ non-native languages.)

We often receive inquiries about how SIOP was developed, and in response, we put together the following description to answer many of the questions we receive.

SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol®) is an empirically-tested, research-based model of sheltered instruction as a framework for planning and delivering instruction in content areas such as science, language arts, history, and mathematics to second language learners (called “English learners” in the U.S.) as well as other students who need to strengthen their academic language and literacy skills.  It also helps ESL (English as a Second Language) and ELD (English Language Development) teachers incorporate content topics and classroom tasks into their language lessons.  The model is fully described in the main text, Making Content Comprehensible for English Learns: The SIOP Model (Echevarria, Vogt & Short, 2000; 2004; 2008; 2013; 2017).

SIOP classes are student-centered and welcoming where English learners have opportunities to use language in authentic ways, collaborating with peers around concepts and information, practicing and applying the material to meet the lesson’s objectives.  SIOP provides teachers with a coherent approach for planning and delivering relevant, meaningful lessons that provide ample opportunities for students to interact with one around content concepts aligned to the Common Core and state standards.  While doing so, students’ develop academic English skills across the four domains–reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

The SIOP Model is intended to be applicable at levels of education from pre-K through community college.  The instructional features address the academic and linguistic needs of English learners and all students who are learning content through a second language.  Recent research shows the SIOP Model is effective for native English speakers as well, particularly those who struggle with academic literacy (Short & Himmel, 2013*).

Components of the SIOP Model

SIOP consists of instructional features that cover eight aspects of lesson design and delivery: Lesson Preparation, Building Background, Comprehensible Input, Strategies, Interaction, Practice & Application, Lesson Delivery, and Review & Assessment. Look for future posts where I will discuss the components in more detail. You can also visit the Components page here.

*Short, D. & Himmel, J., 2013. Moving research on Sheltered Instruction into curriculum and professional development practice. Paper delivered at AERA, San Francisco, CA.