New Horizons in Education - Jo Gusman & Associates
Ron Rohac
English Language Learner Consultant,
Middle & High School Content Area Specialist
SDAIE Specialist

Ron Rohac has been a science educator for 23 years. He has years of experience working with ELL students in a science classroom in the San Bernardino USD, and has extensive background and training n curriculum development, assessment, teacher training, staff development programs and district compliance issues. Mr. Rohac has worked for school districts in both Canada and the United States and has also been the science director for the School Research and Service. Most recently, Ron Rohac was one of the authors of Houghton Mifflin’s DiscoveryWorks science programs for grades K through 6th. An instructor at California State University at Long Beach and an educational consultant, Ron Rohac’s field of expertise encompasses the methodology of teaching content curriculum to second language speakers. He is actively sought after to work with school Districts to consult on program design, teacher training and staff development programs. His training and presentations receive the highest scores, and teachers appreciate his practical approaches to teaching and the success it can bring.

Ron Rohac’s specialty is SDAIE, or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English, or sheltered English as it is called in some areas. SDAIE was originally intended as a transition step allowing English Language Learners to move forward with academic courses such as mathematics and science while learning English at the same time through the contextual clues. Based on the linguistic theories of Dr. Steven Krashen and Dr. James Cummins, among others, SDAIE has two basic premises:

1. Comprehensible second language input
2. Supportive affective environment

The goal of a SDAIE classroom is to provide equal access to the curriculum of study. Comprehension is developed through strategies and tactics the teacher utilizes to support lectures, activities, reading, writing, questioning, and assessment. It is important to note that the focus is on content comprehension and not language development.

How is this done?
Ron Rohac outlines 4 key points for teachers to remember in lesson planning:
  1. Include a hands-on activity
  2. Provide visual clues
  3. ie. Pictures, models, manipulatives, gestures, body language realia, demonstrations
  4. Cooperative learning
  5. Small teams, selected and monitored by the teacher, can:
    a. Reduce stress/lower the affective filter which can interfere with language acquisition
    b. Provide peer support, expose students to other ways of solving complex problems, develop social skills, and provide a vehicle to practice oral language skills
  6. Support vocabulary development

Other key ideas to implement during instruction are the use of graphic organizers and reading strategies, and Ron Rohac points out to use appropriate questioning tactics. The way the questions are formulated should depend on the different stages of language development, characteristics of these different stages, and how to develop questions that can be reasonably answered depending on the linguistic stage.

Multiple languages, multiple language levels, and limited access to primary language instruction lead to teachers searching for answers to solve the content comprehension quandary. If your school faces this challenge, Ron Rohac is your answer. Which of his workshops best fits the needs of your school?

  • SDAIE Strategies for Secondary Content Teachers
  • SDAIE Strategies for Elementary Classrooms
  • When Average or Lower Isn’t Good Enough: Improving Motivation, Test Scores and Classroom Performance with SDAIE Strategies for All Students
Click here to request more information about bringing Ron Rohac to your educators or
Call 1-800-573-NHIE for more information.