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GLAD: Guided Language Acquisition Design

GLAD: Guided Language Acquisition Design

October 19, 2016

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

I have been revisiting Project GLAD and want to share a peak into the process.  First, I will generically describe this professional development, and then I will share two examples: one in English and one in French.  Please remember that I have not been through the professional development process, nor was I there when these colleagues presented their lessons. However, I have been keenly interested  for years in Project GLAD since two teachers, Gloria Erickson and Suzette Campbell, from CA, introduced a lesson in a graduate class which I was teaching.  I remember that before the night was over, we had completely filled the walls with words and ideas, and we had all learned a lot!  It was fascinating then and still is for me.

If you have experiences with GLAD in other areas, I hope you will share back with us. Thanks, readers.

What is Project GLAD?

Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) is one way of bringing comprehensible input into the classroom. It is an interactive, integrated, visual, engaging, and lively approach to making meaning of all types of content and new information. The students actively generate knowledge with the teacher and with each other. GLAD (R) is a professional development process, within the Orange Country Department of Education of Southern California.  Through the years, GLAD has evolved, but the process remains much the same–it is still meaning-centered, with an emphasis on academic language and literacy. I hope that this information will be useful for some of you–exciting pedagogy.

For more information, you may contact Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design from Orange Country Department of Education).

The Tree of Life: Classification of Living Things

My colleague, Sally Rice Fox, initially shared the Tree of Life lesson with me. However, in this example, Sally is working with Rima Haroun, who is sharing with the students.  Sally, Sera, and Rima collaborated to create this lesson.

First, I know this looks like a blank piece of paper, but really the planned lesson is pencilled in lightly.


Second, Rina begins talking with the students to get them to help her fill our the academic language for classification of living things. As the kids talk, Rima captures their language on the tree.


The classroom chatter (generation of knowledge) continues in the following photos.

tofl-8-classification-continuesPlease notice the photos, images, and leaves which are also added to the Tree of Life.

tofl-9-pic-and-wordsHere are some of the students working together on a follow-up lesson.



Thank you, Dr. Spencer Kagan (Talking Heads Together).

Here is a second example of GLAD with Sally Rice Fox teaching a French lesson: First, Sally just speaks in French, and then she adds comprehensible input (meaning). Even if you do not know French, you will learn during the 2nd part of her lesson.

A special thank you for permission to use:

Rima S. Haroun, Certified Trainer for Project GLAD(R)

Sally Rice Fox, Certified Trainer for Project GLAD(R)

Dr. Serafina Jean Hernandez, Ph. D. San Diego State University

Cheri Quinlan, thank you for bringing us all together.


  • Chris Roe

    The French GLAD example is excellent for pre-service teachers to get a handle on what this approach is all about.

  • Cheri Quinlan

    I love when the stars align! Last night I was talking to one of my dad’s doctors in the hospital. It turns out he is the brother of a former student. And today I was presenting for Vista Higher Learning and one of the teachers is a former student of mine whose former student I hired to teach Spanish – full circle. I love the strategies from Project Glad and I’m going to make sure we include them in the curriculum work we are creating for middle school immersionin Delaware!

    • Joan Wink

      Thanks, Cheri. Yes, the stars were aligned, indeed. Thanks for leading me back to GLAD, after all of these years. Keep us posted on the immersion program in Delaware.

  • Debra Schneider

    Project GLAD transformed my teaching of ELLs. I have blogged about it (and have photos of my materials and students’ work) on Know ELLs.

    • Joan Wink

      Thanks, Deb. One teacher told me in an email that GLAD saved her school. High praise, indeed, from the two of you. I’ll go over to Know ELLs to look at your materials.

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