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Professional Development

Accessing Inquiry for English Learners through Primary Sources

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22.5 PDPs
Grade K-12
English Language Learners
Graduate Credits Available

English Learners bring rich contributions to the subjects of social studies and humanities that can go untapped if their language abilities limit their access to content, understanding of difficult core concepts, and participation in class discussion. Primary sources, when used right, can make a critical and empowering difference. 

In this graduate-level course, Emerging America presents hands-on techniques to support English Learners’ access to History, Humanities, and Social Science content across grades (especially for WiDA levels 3-5), including advanced topics. The course offers access to a wealth of state and national resources on teaching English Learners, integrated with the inquiry-based approaches underlying the Library of Congress, Massachusetts Framework, and National Council for the Social Studies standards for teaching social studies concepts and skills. 

Building on a foundation of Universal Design for Learning instructional approaches that will enhance teaching for ALL students, this course pairs the presentation and modeling of accessible teaching tools with an exploration of the history of immigrants and foreign language communities in the U.S., including a discussion of how to teach the controversial topic of immigration politics. Participants will:

  • Focus on strategies to teach social science concepts such as cause and effect, academic conversation, and writing, including the purposeful application of sentence stems in order to support multilingual learners of all proficiency levels and abilities.
  • Examine the standards-based history curriculum of immigrants and foreign-language communities in the US, issues of citizenship, and struggles for empowerment.
  • Create/adapt lessons using the rich resources of the Library of Congress and other free online collections to result in a teachable lesson plan, including an emphasis on assets-based instruction and engaging multilingual learners through explicit culturally responsive teaching practices.

To prepare for the first session, all participants are required to complete several short readings and a writing assignment to share on the TPS Teachers Network. Assignment details will be emailed after registration is complete.

This course meets Massachusetts state ESE relicense requirement of 15 PDPs in strategies for effective teaching for English Learners.


Teachers in Social Studies or Humanities, including literature, art, and music; teachers of English Learners, Grades K-12.

Invite a partner! We encourage – but do not require – participation of teams, such as a teacher of English Learners and a History/American Literature teacher, members of a department, or interdisciplinary teams.

Registration Options

There are no available options to register for at this time.


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide.

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at You may also call 413-200-8395 after 6:30am for information about classes that day.

Event Contact

Events Registrar

Payment Methods

We accept the following payment methods:

  • Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard)
  • Check
  • Purchase Order
  • CES Internal Transfer
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