Essentials of Coding: ELL

In Essentials of Coding: ELL, students who are learning English as a second language learn Computer Science concepts and build their own learning games. They receive contextualized support for understanding the text and developing English language mastery as they use the course. Just like their native English speaking peers, ELL students are introduced to JavaScript programming by playing a simple coding game and modifying it. They learn the foundations of game design and coding by re-creating their own version of the game, designing their own custom digital art for screen background and characters, adding a narrative, and a unique learning goal for future game players.


Recommended & Required:


  • Recommended as a first course for all new CS learners in middle or high school and a prerequisite for 201a – Intro to Computer Science: Web Design
  • Cloud-based tools are used for this course (no software installation)
  • Completing this course takes 12-20 hours

How It Works:


Essentials of Coding for English Language Learners (ELL), is designed to support students who are at various levels of English language mastery so they are able to learn introductory Computer Science concepts and build their own learning games with the same level of success as their native English speaking peers.

To achieve this goal, we have embedded supports for ELL scaffolding and modifications that include:

  • Simplified English language instructional text
  • Rollovers for key vocabulary words that present a definition with image
  • Picture glossary with English and Spanish definitions
  • Sentence stems and examples for writing tasks
  • Teacher-controlled option that lets students switch between ELL and native English or Spanish versions
  • ELL lesson plans for teachers
  • Supplemental materials (lesson handouts, reproducibles including key vocabulary cards and anchor posters)
  • Language Objectives mapped to TEKS (TX) and Common Core State Standards
  • Personalized Learning: Every lesson provides ways to differentiate instruction based on student's language levels

Before beginning coursework, students are introduced to the Globaloria online learning platform. They learn about working in an online community and how to get help from our Help Center Experts.

Students begin their coursework by playing a coding game called "MakeQuest" and changing elements and inputs inside its code: this gets them familiar with writing and editing code. After playing through MakeQuest, students follow an iterative design process to create their own version of MakeQuest. In the process, students learn to use digital drawing and paint tools to design their own custom art, and are guided on how to import their digital assets, write code, and fully implement their remixed version of MakeQuest.

Students end the course having produced, playtested and presented their own MakeQuest remix.

Skills Covered:

Language Learning Objectives: Through explicit instruction and language learning strategies, students will practice and improve skills within the four modalities of language – learning, speaking, reading and writing.

  • Vocabulary Acquisition – Lessons emphasize vocabulary acquisition by building upon student's prior knowledge, recognizing cognates and using key vocabulary to Retell.
  • Conceptual Understanding – Each lesson includes visual and video supports giving students the context needed to learn each course topic.
  • Writing – Students will demonstrate comprehension of each lesson when answering each Project Page question by using embedded writing supports such as sentence stems.
  • Speaking – The curriculum promotes teamwork enabling students many opportunities to develop and practice both social and academic language.

Game Design Concepts: Concept Development (Backstory, Goals), Design Plan, Paper-Prototyping, Debugging, Presenting, Publishing

Coding Concepts: Variables, Functions, Comments

Design Concepts: Drawing and Paint Tools, Asset Export and Import


Learn more about how Globaloria can help your school.