Content objectives

  • Demonstrating declarative knowledge
  • Demonstrating over time the facts that collectively are expressed in terms of the six facets of understanding: learners can explain, can interpret, can apply, have empathy, have perspective, and have self-knowledge (six facets of understanding).

Language objectives (in the target language)

There are several ways of thinking about possible language objectives that are most suitable for a particular content course:
  • Performance demonstrating procedural (tacit) knowledge. (deep structure)
  • Form valid, reliable, and unbiased arguments (deep structure)
  • Provide innovative solutions to real-life problems (deep structure)
  • Make decisions that resolve cognitive conflict by developing understandings through a difference of opinion or perspective (deep structure)
  • Create innovative ways of communicating with others (deep structure)
  • Develop lexicon, key vocabulary, jardon, slang, etc. (surface structure)
  • Use and understand appropriate grammar via specific linguistic skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking (surface structure)

Recognize the relationship between deep structure and surface structure objectives. Although it is not necessary to explicitly state surface structure objectives, in order for students to achieve deep structure objectives (which should be explicit), surface structure errors that emerge in any given lesson will need to be addressed (implicitly or explicitly, or both) between teacher and student. It is important to try to anticipate intentional and incidental language objectives as the course progresses.


The planning of intended content and language objectives should be stated beforehand in the course syllabus. Whether expressed as deep or surface structure objectives, the target language should be explicit so that the learner understands what the expectations are from the first day of class. A reflective educator will monitor the realization of objectives throughout the course and communicate these findings with colleagues so that departmental changes for improving the curriculum can be made in an ongoing basis.


The theory behind teaching and learning of content and language objectives (bilingual education) as stated in this wiki is primarily based on the SIOP model, content and language integrated learning, and understanding by design (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005).

  • Move learners from being dependent, to independent, to interdependent individuals who are not afraid to take chances, share their successes and failures with others, and are concerned for the well-being of not only themselves, but others as well.



Literature related to SIOP discussions can be found in the Mendeley SIOP Group, and additional links can be found in the SIOP Diigo Outliner.