Connect is based on scientifically proven pedagogy in language and literacy . The curriculum is built on specialized knowledge necessary for working with culturally and linguistically diverse learners, the assets they bring into the classroom, and the unique academic challenges they face . Connect was created specifically to address the developmental needs of English Learners (ELs) as they grow in language proficiency and content knowledge . Lessons contain differentiation and offer scaffolds for students who need additional support (including students with disabilities), as well as amplification for students who would benefit from additional challenges (including gifted learners) . Literacy and language instruction is supported and designed specifically to advance ELs’ knowledge of listening, speaking, reading, grammar, and writing using both English language development and academic standards . Special attention is devoted to academic vocabulary to ensure access to discipline-specific content language and syntax . All components of Connect frame the education of English Learners from an asset-based perspective . Research background Language learning in Connect The foundational research on language indicates that there is a distinction between acquiring a language and learning it (Krashen, 1982) . ELs acquire their home language in natural ways through the process of communicating with their families and communities . When children are acquiring language, their parents or caretakers do not pause to explain a grammatical point or overtly note the pronunciation of a word . Instead, they address the linguistic development in authentic and natural ways . In contrast, when learning a new language, students must learn about structure, pronunciation, and usage . In a classroom setting, complex emotional and motivational factors come into play as students strive to develop language . Krashen (1982) referred to this as the “affective filter .” When the affective filter is high, students may experience anxiety, self-consciousness, boredom, annoyance, or even alienation . When the affective filter is low, students experience less anxiety and are actively engaged . Connect is structured to create environmental and pedagogical supports that engage ELs in the simultaneous learning of language and content in an engaging and welcoming manner . Meaningful tasks are posed in inviting ways that engage students in learning to speak, listen, read, and write in English— at levels that challenge them while offering support . Language interaction in the classroom The work of Vygotsky (1978) has long served as a foundation for much of the research and theory on language development . He strongly believed in the role of social interaction in the development of cognition and language—notably, the importance of multiple exposures and meaningful interactions with language . Students cannot learn a language through rote memorization and have it be preserved or applied in any meaningful way . Instead, repeated exposure is crucial . Further, Bruner’s (1977) work also emphasized the importance of revisiting concepts and ideas . He noted that learning requires a continual deepening of understanding in progressively more complex ways . Connect contains multiple opportunities for repeated interaction in pairs, small groups, and whole groups . Vocabulary and concepts are revisited and reviewed throughout the curriculum . Building upon the foundational research and translating it into progressive applications shows that language instruction has evolved . Stanford’s Understanding PHILOSOPHY AND RESEARCH Tv