ML1. An Introduction to Multilingual Learners

Course Progress


This module introduces educators and other interested stakeholders to an ever-growing segment of the student population: multilingual learners (MLs). You will read about the unique characteristics of MLs as well as their needs in the classroom and the practices commonly used to address them. The complicated issue of MLs languishing in ESL services and becoming long-term MLs is explored, as is the importance of guiding MLs to become strong readers. The module concludes with a preview of the contents of the ML Module Series.

Time estimate: 2 – 2.5 hours

  • An Introduction to Multilingual Learners
    • Pre-Assessment
    • 1. Demographics of Multilingual Learners 
    • 2. MLs’ Diverse Backgrounds and Needs
    • 3. Serving MLs: Our Responsibility and Obligation
    • 4. Long-Term MLs
    • 5. Guiding MLs in Becoming Strong Readers
    • 6. Summing It Up
    • Post-Assessment
    • Module Evaluation
How to use this Module


Welcome to the Enhancing Evidence-Based Practices for English Learners series in the Ohio Literacy Library! We present ten modules in this series, all of which are geared towards educators and other interested stakeholders who want to further their knowledge and skills in pursuit of an equitable society where learners’ cultural, linguistic, and ethnic identities are honored and validated.

English learners, referred to as multilingual learners (MLs) in this series, are by far the fastest-growing student population nationwide. Yet, they are an underserved student group, who deserve equal opportunities and access to resources to achieve academic success. It is our intention, therefore, to provide educators with opportunities to reflect on their teaching practices and explore ways in which they can help MLs see themselves as well as others a valued part of the world. To this end, we will be covering a range of topics in this series to help you (1) understand MLs’ diverse needs and strengths and (2) serve them better in your classrooms, schools, and communities. Thank you for being an advocate for MLs who, thanks to your dedication, will go on to enrich our communities and shape our nation.



Module Description

This module is intended to serve as an introduction to working with multilingual learners (MLs) in your school. MLs are an ever-growing student population whom you have no doubt encountered in your tenure in education. You may have noticed that while MLs have similarities to their non-ML peers in the classroom, they have distinct differences from their peers as well.  Being aware of these differences and learning evidence-based practices that address them will further increase the positive learning atmosphere in your classroom – a classroom where everyone succeeds. This module will 

  • increase your understanding of the backgrounds and needs of MLs
  • help you gain awareness of the responsibilities we have as educators who serve MLs
  • introduce the importance of literacy development in MLs’ home languages and English
  • preview topics covered in the following modules of the ML module series.

Learning Objectives

Number 1

Describe characteristics of MLs and how they are classified in Ohio

Number 2

Identify the instructional supports MLs are provided in schools

Number 3

Recognize the obligations school districts have to serve MLs

Number 4

Identify specific issues that prevent MLs from closing the achievement gap with their non-ML peers

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Note Feature within the Modules

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To access the note feature, simply click on the purple Take Notes button fixed in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. When you click on this button, a Take Notes box will appear. This box can be moved anywhere on the screen. Within the box, there is a SAVE button as well as a Print Button.

The easiest way to print all the notes you take from the entire module is to click View All Notes. When you click View All Notes, you will be taken to a page like the one below.

Click the boxes of the Notes you would like to print, and then click Download Selected. All your notes will be downloaded into one document separated by headers.

Purpose and Structure of Modules

All Ohio’s comprehensive learning modules are relevant to any educator working to support students’ literacy development. In each module, you will find in-depth narrative text, linked resources, realistic scenarios, reflection activities, and embedded audio and videos.

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Certificates and Badges


Professional Development Certificates are available for each comprehensive learning module. To earn a Professional Development Certificate, you must obtain a passing score of 85% or more on the module post-test. Please note that you are only allowed up to two attempts to obtain a passing score to earn your certificate.


When completing professional development modules within All Ohio, you can earn badges based on your engagement in and mastery of content within each comprehensive learning module. You earn Achievement Badges when you demonstrate proficiency with module content (i.e., obtaining a score of at least 85%), whereas Engagement Badges are awarded based on your level of participation on the site.

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Academic Honesty

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Helpful Resources Related to this Module

Module Resources

An outline of the module’s main content and supporting resources.

Welcome & Navigation

Step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules. 

Ohio Literacy Library

In-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.

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