Content-Based Language Instruction




Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

Diversified Support

Diversified Support


Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices (CLSP)

Key Points


The Content-Based Language Instruction Site is designed for all educators of emergent bilingual (EB) students. It provides practical, research-validated practices that are essential for effective language program services. The contents of this site are intended to support effective program implementation within dual language immersion (DLI), transitional bilingual education (TBE), and English as a second language (ESL) programs. It contains valuable application for DLI teachers, TBE teachers, ESL teachers, any other teachers of EB students, paraprofessionals, instructional coaches/specialists, counselors, campus administrators, and district leaders.

As a result of House Bill 2066 in the 87th Texas legislature, the term “emergent bilingual student” replaced the term of “limited English proficient (LEP) student” used in the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 29, Subchapter B, and thus, changed the term of “English learner (EL)” used in 19 TAC Chapter 89, Subchapter BB. These terms describe the same group of Texas students, describing a student who is in the process of acquiring English and has another language as the student's primary or home language.


Content-based language instruction (CBLI) is an integrated approach to language instruction in which language is developed within the context of content delivery that is culturally and linguistically sustaining. Sheltered instruction is a similar term used to describe instruction that makes content comprehensible while supporting language development. However, CBLI emphasizes the targeted and intentional methods used to meet the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of EB students through the medium of content in the students’ primary language and/or English.

Children participating in Science experiment

The following aspects of CBLI provide the key mindset priorities when implementing CBLI as comprehensive support for EB students.


  • Applies to all programs for EB students, including DLI, TBE, and ESL.
  • Applies to any language of instruction, such as the DLI program’s partner language, EB students’ primary language in TBE, as well as English.


  • Is part of Tier I instruction as it provides equitable access to general content instruction.
  • Is implemented through grade level standards in all content areas.


  • Holds high expectations with attainable goals for academic and linguistic development.
  • Encompasses an additive approach.

Second Language
Acquisition (SLA)

Diversified Support

Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices (CLSP)

The CBLI site is organized into three elements:

Second Language Acquisition (SLA),
Diversified Support, and Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices (CLSP)

These three elements are interconnected rather than independent. Together they outline the essential components for comprehensive and successful support of emergent bilingual (EB) students. The first element, Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices, describes the affective needs of EB students and the instructional practices and systems that are necessary to address them. The Second Language Acquisition element lays the theoretical foundation behind the specific and practical linguistic supports explained within the Instructional Methods element. Finally, the Diversified Support element dives into how educators can differentiate for EB students with varied backgrounds, needs, and strengths.

Throughout the CBLI site, features have been added to target essential information, to connect to additional resources, and to create opportunities for deeper investigation.

Embedded Features

Callouts have been incorporated to draw attention to key information:

Program Model Considerations - provide specific information or examples related to types of state-approved programs for emergent bilingual students: dual language immersion (DLI), transitional bilingual education (TBE), and English as a second language (ESL).

Administrator Considerations - target aspects that are essential for campus or district administrators or instructional coaches that support teachers in implementing programs for emergent bilingual students.

Technology Tools - give examples of technology resources that can be used to support students and teachers.


Instructional Methods - take the theory into practice on how to meet the needs of students in all types of programs for emergent bilingual students with methods for lesson planning, implementing instruction, progress monitoring and assessment.

Additional Features

Additional features include:

  • Sources Cited - provides links to resources related to the elements of CBLI that can be accessed to deeper understanding or to bring clarification.
  • References (PDF) - lists the resources used to build the CBLI site content.