The University of Iowa, in collaboration with Iowa school districts and the Title III Department at the Iowa Department of Education, is conducting a five year project entitled Advocacy, Capacity, and Collaboration for English Learners (ACCEL) in Iowa. The goal is to increase effectiveness of English language instruction while building teacher capacity, advocacy, and leadership. The project will provide professional development (PD) opportunities to significantly improve instruction and support for English learners in K-12 schools.


The ACCEL initiatives are designed to increase the number of teachers who understand effective approaches to support English learners' success in schools as well as increase leadership and advocacy for English learners and their families.

There are three focus areas in ACCEL:

Content Area Instruction

ACCEL in Iowa Content Area Professional Development (PD) provides instructions to support English Learners in disciplines such as mathematics, science, social studies, and English Language Arts. The PD includes four in-person sessions and two online modules over the course of one year.

Dual Language Instruction

The goals of the dual language education program are:

  • Developing and implementing professional development for dual language teachers based on school needs using research-supported models of professional development
  • Developing a dual language policy with and for the schools, which articulates the vision and philosophy, helps guide language instruction, identifies roles and responsibilities, serves as a public document, and develops a shared community vision 

English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement program prepares superior language students for an instructional license to teach foreign language and/or English as a second language in elementary through secondary schools.

For more information on added endorsement programs: 

ESL Endorsement 

Resources for Dual Language Program Teachers

Translanguaging in the Bilingual Classroom: A Pedagogy for Learning and Teaching? Creese, A., Blackledge, A. (2010)
This article pursues to consider (1) the uses of cross-language strategies in complementary schools, (2) the interdependence between social, cultural, and linguistic values and goals, and (3) how the linguistic practices of teachers and students shape multilingual and multicultural identities. Its main claim focuses in the benefits of bilingual instructional strategies versus those bilingual teaching approaches considering that languages should be taught separately.

Oral Corrective feedback in second language classroomsLyster et al. (2013)
This study describes the different types of corrective feedback (CF). The article emphasizes from different perspectives (interactionist-cognitive theories, acquisition of communicative competences, and socio-cultural theory, among many others) the importance of providing CF opportunities. Role of instruction and overall purpose of CF are also discussed.

Current issues in the teaching of grammar: An SLA PerspectiveEllis (2006)
This article addresses to what extent L2 teachers may teach grammar, covering important areas regarding: (1) what grammar should be taught, (2) when grammar should be taught, (3) massed vs distributed grammar, (4) intensive vs extensive grammar, (5) explicit grammatical knowledge, (6) teaching grammar for implicit knowledge, and (7) when grammar can be integrated into communicative activities.

Chapter III onGuiding Principles for Dual Language Education(Strand 3: Instruction)
This book has been used for over a decade by dual language programs and educators across the United States as an effective tool for planning, self-reflection, and continual improvement. The third edition of this widely-used resource has been updated to reflect new knowledge, practices, and policies in the arena of dual language education. Reflecting the experience and expertise of a broad range of dual language experts, including practitioners, researchers, administrators, professional development specialists, and others, this new edition includes enhancements to the principles reflecting learning from research and practice supported by updated literature reviews. Improvements were also made to the organization and formatting of the publication to increase its usability. Self-evaluation templates in the appendix now include space to record evidence to support the ratings given. 

Dual Language Education for a Transformed WorldCollier and Thomas (2012)
This book makes the case for dual language education to become the standard for all schools. Written for new and veteran implementers, it provides hope, rationale, guidance, and the tools to transform education to 21st century standards. 2012.

Types of Oral Corrective Feedback and correction approaches
This video shows the different possibilities and the importance of being aware about the variety of strategies available to provide Oral Corrective Feedback in the classroom.
Oral Corrective Feedback: Corrective Feedback Types Part 1 (video)

Colorín Colorado is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of bilingual, research-based information, activities, and advice for educators and families of English language learners (ELLs). Colorín Colorado is an educational service of WETA, the flagship public broadcasting station in the nation's capital, and receives major funding from the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association. © Copyright 2017 WETA Public Broadcasting.

Dual Language Education of New Mexico (DLeNM)is a grass-roots educational non-profit organization serving the professional and informational needs of New Mexican communities who wish to develop, refine and/or implement dual language education programs. This website offers multitude of resources (eg. Soleado Newsletters) for Dual Language teachers and administrators.

Teaching for Biliteracy. Authors Beeman and Urow have each been working in the field of bilingualism and biliteracy for over 25 years. Beginning their careers in the bilingual and dual language classrooms, they have since gone on to provide professional development for teachers and administrators throughout the United States on topics ranging from effective biliteracy strategies to program development to advocacy. Fluent in both Spanish and English, Beeman and Urow bring their passion for education, for bilingualism and for language learning to their work.

La Cosecha is the largest dual language conference in the country. The conference brings together educators, students, parents, researchers, and supporters of dual language education. Organized by teachers, for teachers, La Cosecha 2018 will once again provide an opportunity to share instructional best practices, as well as honor and celebrate our families, communities and those who have gone before us, our ancestors. NOVEMBER 14 - 17, 2018 • SANTA FE, NM.

Why Choose Bilingualism


  1. The benefits of a bilingual brain
    This video is an accessible TED Talk for parents, teachers and community members, about the benefits of bilingual education from a scientific (neurolinguistics) perspective.
  2. Creating Bilingual Minds
    Benefits of (early) bilingualism according to Research: TED Talk for parents, teachers and community members, promoting bilingual education and reinforcing its benefits.
  3. Americans Institutes of Research: Dual Language Programs Explained
    This short video helps understanding the benefits (and funding limitations) of Dual Language programs across the country. Directed for parents interested in Dual Language education, and community members.
  4. Inside Language Immersion School
    Why children would benefit from being in a Dual Language program.
    This video explains basic principles and benefits about a language immersion school following a 50/50 model—for parents and other community members.

In the News: Johnson shares expertise on teaching English Language Learners in Iowa

Friday, September 13, 2019
David Cassels Johnson, an associate professor of Foreign Languages and ESL Education, discusses the growing needs of English Language Learners in Iowa on Iowa Public Radio's "Talk of Iowa" program.

In the news: UI College of Education prepares teachers for bilingual, multilingual classrooms

Thursday, August 2, 2018
As part of a $2.2 million grant from Advocacy, Capacity, and Collaboration for English Learners (ACCEL) in Iowa, the UI College of Education hosted a two day professional development session on July 24-26 to help increase the effectiveness of English-learner instruction in Iowa while also helping teachers become advocates for dual-language learning.

$2.2 million grant to help ELL students flourish through teacher development

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Teachers in training and those in practice will soon be able to teach English language learner students in more impactful ways thanks to a new $2.2 million grant project.

Contact Us

Principal Investigator
David Cassels Johnson
N244 Lindquist Center

Principle Investigator
Lia Plakans
Professor & DEO
N259 Lindquist Center


Graduate Assistants

  • Maria Slusarek
  • Antonio Alejandro Perez Belda
  • Christopher Gras
  • GoMee Park
  • Yafei Ye
  • Melanie Carbine
  • Mengyi Liu