OCDE Project GLAD® (Guided Language Acquisition Design) is one of a handful of existing instructional models that aim to help teachers by providing differentiated strategies to integrate instruction in English and grade-level content in a heterogeneous, mainstream classroom. Project GLAD is a K-12 instructional model consisting of 35 well-articulated strategies. It is particularly designed for teachers who have a significant number of ELLs in their mainstream classrooms. Originally known as Guided Language Experience Process, the model began in California in the 1980s and has been used as a fully developed model since 1991 (Brechtel, 2001). Currently, Project GLAD is headquartered at the Orange County Department of Education in California.
Project GLAD does not simply build basic English conversation skills, but it specifically develops academic English, building the vocabulary and linguistic structures that students must use to participate in context-rich discourse. In many classrooms, knowledge of academic English is presumed rather than explicitly taught; this can be problematic for all students, but particularly for ELLs. There is a growing consensus among researchers that teachers need to learn how to build academic language, and this has become a feature of many interventions targeted to struggling adolescents and ELLs (see, for example, Tharp, Estrada, Dalton, Yamaguchi 2000; Echevarria, Short & Powers, 2006).
The ultimate goal of Project GLAD is to ensure that all students, ELLs and native English speakers, are able to read and write grade-level text and access academic content. Project GLAD seeks to accomplish this by training teachers to use instructional strategies that can be integrated with any curriculum in different subject areas. Most commonly, these areas are in science and social studies.
The core of the Project GLAD model consists of 35 instructional strategies within four component areas. All strategies include built-in opportunities for differentiated instruction so teachers can meet the needs of all students, whether ELLs or native English speakers. This differentiation is especially important for ELLs, given that one classroom may often include students at different stages of their language development (Crawford & Krashen, 2007; Krashen & Terrell, 1983; Gunderson, 1991; Peregoy & Boyle, 2001).