Texas English Language Learners Achieving in Science-TELLAS


The College of Education at Texas State University–San Marcos is leading the way in improving science teaching and learning for English language learners through the TELLAS Project. TELLAS addresses the serious and growing need to improve classroom pedagogy in science for Texas English language learners (ELLs) through comprehensive and collaborative professional development. This partnership brings together schools, universities, and education research centers to increase the capacity of schools to serve ELLs through strong leadership, culturally responsive classroom pedagogy, and parent engagement.

12 School Partners in 7 Districts

  • Dallas ISD: Burnet Elementary, Saldivar Elementary
  • Garland ISD: Sam Houston Middle
  • Pasadena ISD: Milstead Middle, Schneider Middle
  • Austin ISD: Burnet Middle, Mendez Middle, Wooldridge Elementary
  • Houston ISD: Cunningham Elementary
  • Ft. Worth ISD: Rosemont Middle
  • Edcouch-Elsa ISD: Truan Jr. High, Ybarra Middle

Professional Development

Summer Institutes: These interactive conferences are designed by a team of teachers and school leaders. The conferences feature national and local experts who present a variety of sessions focused on the pillars of the TELLAS project: deep science content knowledge, inquiry learning, language acquisition, culturally responsive teaching and learning, and parent engagement.

Hands-on Workshops: Science pedagogy specialists engage teachers and school leaders in hands-on science lessons based on science TEKS and designed specifically to meet the needs of ELL students. These inquiry-based learning experiences help participants understand not only science content but also the importance of using strategies that build scientific thinking and knowledge in all students.

Individual School Sessions: With support from TELLAS staff each participating school designs professional development to address the unique needs of the campus and feeder schools. Workshops focus on the pillars of the TELLAS project and connect teachers and students with local science resources such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Johnson Space Center, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and the Valley Nature Center. To date more than 1,000 teachers and school leaders have participated in these learning opportunities.


• San Marcos School District (SMCISD) • Texas State University, College of Education
• Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) • Texas State University, College of Science

Project Goals

Major Project Activities