SIOP has multiple applications such as a guide for effective lesson planning and delivery, a teacher self-reflection tool, and an instrument for observation of lessons by peers, school administrators or university supervisors. SIOP is used in classrooms of all grade levels and across all content areas. Besides being used in ESL/ELD programs and regular classrooms that include English learners, the SIOP Model is used in dual language programs, newcomer programs, programs in which majority-language speaking students are learning content through a minority language, and English as a foreign language programs with students who are learning English for academic or professional purposes (EAP/ESP).
SIOP is useful for:
- preservice candidates preparing to be teachers of second or multiple language learners,
- practicing English as a second language (ESL), English language development (ELD), dual language, and bilingual teachers who provide content-based ESL/ELD,
- practicing elementary classroom and secondary subject area teachers who want to provide more effective instruction to students learning English and content at the same time.
- administrators who are responsible for teacher performance and for the academic progress of English learners in their schools.
Although the SIOP Model has eight components, it is not a step-by-step approach. Rather, it is an integrated system for lesson planning and teaching that ensures that critical features of instruction in combination are present in every lesson. Furthermore, it allows for natural variation in teaching styles and lesson delivery because the SIOP Model is curriculum- and materials-neutral. It has been successfully adapted for use in a variety of settings and cultural contexts worldwide.