The Sobrato Early Academic Language pilot (SEAL) is designed as a comprehensive model of intensive, enriched language and literacy education designed for English language learners, starting in preschool and continuing through third grade. The SEAL model was designed by Dr. Laurie Olsen, a national expert in English language learner education. A national advisory group provided initial input, and continues to advise the project as the model evolves.
SEAL is anchored by six research-based foundational components that infuse all aspects of teaching and learning throughout the school day:
Alignment of preschool and the K-3 systems around a shared vision of powerful language development as the foundation for academic success – with support for transitions across systems and levels (including Summer Bridge programs).
Simultaneous academic language and literacy (including bilingual options)
Language-rich environments and instruction with an emphasis on expressive and complex oral language development and enriched vocabulary.
Text-rich curriculum and environments that engage children with books and the printed word, and lead to the appreciation and love of reading and writing.
Language development through academic thematic units based upon science and social studies standards.
An affirming learning environment that brings together teachers and parents to support strong language and literacy development at home and at school.
SEAL provides intensive professional development to preschool and elementary school teachers through workshop sessions, coaching, and collaborative reflection and planning. SEAL also provides hands-on science workshops and field trips to build background knowledge related to the standards-based thematic units, sponsors artist residencies in the classrooms, and purchases high quality bilingual books and materials for the classrooms. Additionally, SEAL supports parents in developing language and literacy of their children at home and in the classroom.
For more information on the SEAL program, please visit: sobrato.com/sobrato-philanthropies/sobrato-family-foundation/seal/program-model/