• At this time, phone service is down at DESE offices. Staff can be reached via email. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • Stay informed about COVID-19 and the latest health and safety guidance for school districts
  • English Learner Education

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Next Generation ESL Project: Model Curriculum Units (ESL MCUs)

    The Office of Language Acquisition (OLA) led the field-based "Next Generation ESL Project: Model Curriculum Units" in a key partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL), along with Northeast Comprehensive Center/WestEd and the support of other organizations such as the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and WIDA. The project included participation of over 30 districts across the state, as well as collaborations and consultations with local and national curriculum experts.

    Collaboration Tool

    • Download the accessible version of the Collaboration Tool: (DESE's own links)
      This is a multi-layered, multi-purpose tool designed to help curriculum writers operationalize WIDA Standards in conjunction with the Frameworks. The goal of the Collaboration Tool is to support curricular planning with the intentional, simultaneous development of language and the analytical practices embedded in the Frameworks. It highlights the need for collaboration between language and content educators and helps teachers prioritize and strategically plan around Key Uses of Academic Language in the context of key academic practices (Cheuk, 2013) common across content area Frameworks. The Collaboration Tool and related processes are planning resources that, among other uses, can help educators prepare to create clear, standards-based language learning goals for developing curricula using the ESL unit template.

    Interactive Guide to the Collaboration Tool

    • Download the accessible version of the Interactive Guide to Collaboration Tool: (DESE's own links)
      This interactive guide will walk you through how you can use the the Collaboration Tool in curriculum development, starting with Focus Language Goals.

    • Next Generation ESL Curriculum Resource Guide
      This document provides:
      • Information about the project's context, the curriculum design framework, and how to use that framework to develop additional ESL units.
      • Description of a continuous improvement cycle prompting critical questioning and strategic decision-making that can be used to improve instructional design.
      • A collection of collaborative templates, tools, processes, protocols, and other resources used in the development of ESL MCUs (e.g., Collaboration Tool, unit template, unit lesson plan template, language unpacking tools, unit and lesson-level protocols, etc.).
      • Resources for professional learning communities (PLCs) to support collaborative ESL curriculum development.
      • Information about other key topics related to the project, such as text complexity, Universal Design for Learning, guidance related to instruction and assessment of dually identified students (ELs with a disability), critical stance, social justice, and other significant components of effective ESL curriculum.

    • Next Generation ESL Curriculum Project: Frequently Asked Questions

    Other Useful Resources:

    Last Updated: June 27, 2022

    Contact Us

    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

    Voice: (781) 338-3000
    TTY: (800) 439-2370


    Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.