Escalate English®

English Language Development Program Grades 4–8

HMH Professional Services
  • Why?

    Accelerated, Accessible Language Development

    Escalate English® surrounds students with rich, topically connected content to build their oral, written, and academic language proficiency while providing the support and tools needed to make the content accessible.

    Creates Active Learning Environment

    As full participants in learning academic language and content, students will be equipped with the skills needed for academic success.

    Dynamic Instruction and Digital Tools for Speaking, Reading, and Writing

    Designed for today’s digital natives, Escalate English merges tools that students use every day with 21st-century digital tools that make learning a lifelong endeavor.

    Why Escalate English

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    • Overview

      Make a Difference

      In the first video above, hear one English learner’s story as she struggles through the U.S. education system and learn what could have made the difference in achieving academic success.

      Escalate English Overview

      HMH® is proud to announce Escalate English® 2017, a new intensive English language development program for students in Grades 4–8 who are, or are at risk of becoming, long-term English learners. View the second video above to learn more about how Escalate English helps students raise their proficiency and realize their potential.

    • Accessible Rigorous Content

      Escalate English® provides rigorous yet accessible content in a digital and print environment, surrounding students in rich, topically connected language and activities that are cognitively and linguistically demanding.

      In preparation for these demanding texts, the innovative Text X-Ray targets potentially challenging elements and provides background on their demands, challenges, and opportunities.

      Text X-Ray

      Just-Right Scaffolding in the Teacher Edition provides teachers with varied levels of support for students at Substantial, Moderate, and Light levels for each selection.

      Just Right Scaffolding

      Skills Toolboxes coach students in the listening, reading, speaking, writing, and research skills needed for success with each lesson. These tools help English learners rapidly increase their proficiency in academic oral and written language, serving to bridge the achievement gap.

      Skills Toolboxes
    • Active Learning Environment

      To help students develop grade-level academic language proficiency, Escalate English® requires students to use and learn language as listeners, readers, viewers, and writers. Materials promote relevant academic discussions and purposefully require language production.

      Following each selection, Collaborative Discussion prompts in the Student Edition encourage rigorous academic conversations.

      Escalate English Work Sheet 2

      Speak Out! and Write On! activities prompt students to react orally and in writing to content they have just explored.

      Speak Out - Write On
    • Universal Design

      The HMH Player® is redefining digital and classroom instruction and providing a truly interactive, personalized learning experience for students. Students can download Escalate English® content, including all texts, interactive lessons, video, audio, and writing in myWriteSmart, when their device has access to the internet. Then they can engage with this high-quality content when offline, anywhere, anytime. Their work will automatically upload when they are back online!

      To enable students to be purposeful learners, Universal Design for Learning is exemplified in the use of digital resources that break down barriers to learning. The Student eBook provides digitally enhanced content to increase students’ listening, speaking, reading, writing, and viewing skills. Students manage their personalized learning through annotation and note-taking, make personal word lists through Toolboxes, and craft original responses with collaborative feedback from teachers and peers through myWriteSmart.

      myWritesmart Example

      The use of performance tasks throughout the program encourages independent and creative responses to tasks. Resources such as allow students to research and explore content related to unit topics, engaging them in independent learning.

      Escalate English FYI
    • Current and Culturally Relevant

      All program materials were selected for quality, ethnic and gender diversity, age appropriateness, and interest. Current young adult literature, classics, podcasts, videos, and science- and social studies-based informational texts engage students in a range of genres and styles.

      Graphic novel selections make classic literature and biographies of famous people accessible and fun to read.

      Escalate English Graphic Novel

      Authentic podcasts relate to the unit’s topic and help sharpen students’ listening and comprehension skills.

    • Correlations

      Correlation guides indicate how the ELD and ELA standards are addressed in the Escalate English® program. Select a guide to see specifics at a particular level.

      Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Escalate English © 2017 correlated to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts

      Grade 4 (262 KB)

      Grade 5 (205 KB)

      Grade 6 (278 KB)

      Grade 7 (216 KB)

      Grade 8 (278 KB)


      Protocol for Review of Instructional Materials for ELs

      Escalate English WIDA® PRIME™ (725 KB)

    • Program Consultant
      Introducing the Program Consultant for Escalate English®!
    • Scope and Sequence

      The Scope and Sequence provides an overview of the concepts to be covered in a given period of time, as well as how those concepts are addressed over the series as a whole. View the Scope and Sequence to see the progression and order of topic introduction.

      Scope and Sequence (2.4 MB)

  • Features

    Escalate English® helps English learners rapidly increase their proficiency in academic, oral, and written language and achieve grade-level success. Engaging and motivating content helps students thrive like never before.

    Instructional and Planning Support

    Instructional and Planning Support

    Teachers are able to provide the support needed to help English learners excel with an easy-to-follow yet flexible structure, tools for planning and instruction, and multiple opportunities for differentiation.

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    Effective Language Expression Tools

    Effective Language Expression Tools

    Students use academic language effectively in a supportive environment as they discuss selections and ideas with peers, produce oral and written responses, and work collaboratively with classmates.

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    Enhanced Digital Learning

    Dynamic Digital Learning

    From our digitally enhanced Teacher and Student Edition eBooks to our interactive myWriteSmart and myNotebook, the digital features in Escalate English help teachers utilize all technology to engage, motivate, and assess students.

    Learn More

    Explore More

    • Instructional and Planning Support

      To provide teachers the support and background needed to deliver effective and engaging lessons, tools for instructional and planning support are available in the Teacher Edition before the lesson and online in the Teacher Dashboard. These tools provide teachers the support and background needed to easily plan their instruction. Each 60-minute lesson can easily be divided into 15-minute modules to allow for flexible delivery.

      Text X-Rays illuminate the opportunities, demands, and challenges of each selection in the Student Edition.

      Text X-Ray

      Unit at a Glance provides a view of the selections, performance tasks, topics within How English Works, Vocabulary Strategies, and Academic Vocabulary.

      Unit at a Glance

      Weekly Instructional Overviews outline each of the four parts of the lesson.

      Weekly Instructional Overview

      The Teacher Edition provides When Students Struggle annotations for additional support and To Challenge Students annotations for extending learning for advanced students.

      When Students Struggle To Challenge Students

      Just-Right Scaffolding helps students of all proficiency levels access and actively respond to content.

      Just Right Scaffolding
    • Effective Language Expression Tools

      Escalate English® creates an active learning environment for students to use academic language effectively as they discuss selections and ideas with peers, produce oral and written responses, and work collaboratively with classmates. Students engage in language production frequently throughout each unit, both orally and in writing. Rubrics and checklists provide clear guidance for evaluating speaking and writing for completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness in academic settings.

      Collaborative Discussions help students negotiate ideas, explain and describe, inform, justify, and persuade each other while staying within the context of facts and ideas presented in the lesson.

      Escalate English Work Sheet

      Write On! and Speak Out! activities prompt students to respond in writing or orally to content they have just explored.

      Write On - Speak Out

      Skills Toolboxes coach students in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and research skills for different types of spoken and written expression.

      Skills Toolboxes

      Performance Tasks require students to use effective expression, evaluated through rubrics.

      Performance Tasks
    • Dynamic Digital Learning

      Digital tools, easily accessed through an online dashboard, provide a means for students to develop the close reading routines needed for academic success. Annotation tools, text highlighting and underlining, and audio enable students to make the texts their own. The Teacher Dashboard provides access to all resources, progress monitoring tools, media, planning, and professional development.

      Escalate English eBooks

      Student and Teacher eBooks provide digitally enhanced text to engage students, amplify learning, and allow for access anywhere at any time.

      Online Student Resources include digital versions of the Student Activity Book, Browse Magazine, videos, podcasts, and more. These help students build the listening, speaking, reading, writing, and viewing skills that are critical for college and career readiness.

      Online Student Resources

      myNotebook enables students to easily collect, organize, and tag text evidence to use in the development of Performance Tasks.


      myWriteSmart maximizes support with this dynamic digital workspace for drafting, revising, collaborating, editing, and completing performance tasks.


      The HMHfyi engages students with current, real-world texts aligned to unit topics for additional reading and responding.

      Escalate English FYI

      Digital Teacher Resources feature letters in multiple languages to connect with students' families, handbooks with resources and practice for students who need additional support in foundational skills, and Show-It Visuals to provide context for each unit's instruction.

      Digital Teacher Resources Escalate English
    • Engaging Student Materials

      To help aid students as they connect, the Student Edition is a collection of six multi-genre units of study, topically connected language, and activities that are cognitively and linguistically demanding. The topical organization aids students as they connect varied selections to each other and to themselves, enhancing comprehension and inspiring communication.

      Escalate English Student Edition

      Browse Magazine includes topical articles related to the Student Edition that feature idiomatic language, puzzles, and engaging visuals for independent reading.

      Escalate English Browse Magazine

      The Student Activity Book contains listening, speaking, reading, writing, and viewing practice, plus personalized toolboxes and a glossary.

      Student Activity Book
    • Comprehensive Teacher Materials

      To help students improve their language, the Escalate English® Teacher Edition provides a complete instructional plan with point-of-use strategies and rich scaffolding to help students improve their language proficiency while meeting ELD and ELA standards. All topics in Escalate English align to the topics in HMH® English Language Arts programs to allow for smooth transition or more intensive exposure.

      The Teacher Edition is organized into six units of instruction. Each unit contains 30 lessons, each divided into 15-minute sections. The lesson design in Escalate English supports active student engagement for optimal language learning. With each lesson, students explore a topic, build vocabulary, and learn about how English works. This structure provides many opportunities for students to listen, view, read, and respond orally and in writing.

      Escalate English Lesson Focus

      Explore the Topic activates prior knowledge and begins student/teacher and student/student conversation about the topic.

      Escalate English Explore the Topic

      Build Vocabulary reinforces selection and academic vocabulary or provides strategies that help students determine and construct meaning.

      Escalate English Build Vocabulary

      How English Works provides instruction to build knowledge of English grammar, and to increase automaticity and accuracy, beginning with oral language.

      how English Works
    • Engaging Podcasts and Videos

      Students are immersed in rich, topically connected contexts to develop grade-level academic language proficiency. Digital tools provide additional background and exposure to content while prompting relevant academic discussions.

      Stream to Start™ videos introduce each unit topic and provide background while appealing to students.

      Stream to Start Videos

      Authentic podcasts from NPR® and other sources relate to the unit’s topic and help sharpen students’ listening and comprehension skills.

      Escalate English Authentic Podcast

      Language Cam videos model academic language useable in real-world contexts.

      Language Cam Video
    • Assessment and Performance Tasks

      Escalate English® provides a wide array of assessments to help inform, guide, and monitor successful student progress. Escalate English exceeds the expectations of traditional assessments with tools and practice opportunities to prepare students for rigorous ELD and ELA assessments.

      Unit Pretests measure students’ abilities and knowledge of unit vocabulary and language structures and help determine how much practice and scaffolding students will need. This helps the teacher determine how to maximize instructional time.

      Unit Pre-Test

      How English Works Assessments, administered after every five lessons, measure mastery of language structures and concepts in oral and written formats at different levels of production.

      How English Works

      Vocabulary Assessments, after every ten lessons, confirm that students know and can use newly acquired academic and critical vocabulary.

      Vocabulary Assessment

      Language Analysis Formative Assessment provides a running checklist of students’ progress against language standards.

      Language Analysis

      Unit Performance Tasks assess students’ mastery and ability to apply the concepts through research, opinion, informative essay, response to literature, narrative, and narrative presentation.

      Unit Performance Tasks

      Unit Assessments feature questions in multiple formats, including selected response, constructed response, and open-ended questions.

      Unit Assessments
  • Resources

    Building Success With Academic Language

    Escalate English® reflects what we know about effective academic language instruction for English learners—that it is through active engagement with rigorous, grade-level texts and tasks across listening, speaking, reading, and writing, that they can make the academic gains needed for success on high-stakes assessments, and to become successful in college and careers. Best-in-class language, literacy, and content instruction and technology work in an integrated approach to bring notable results to every classroom.

    Escalate English Efficacy Graph

    An Efficacy Study of Escalate English at Grades 6–8

    Students using Escalate English showed significant growth in Grades 6 to 8 over the course of the study during the 2016-2017 academic year. The Escalate English program is effective in increasing the language skills and knowledge of lower performing as well as higher performing Grade 6 to 8 students to analyze complex texts, determine evidence, reason critically, and communicate thoughtfully.

    An Efficacy Study of Escalate English (267 KB)

    Access to Rigor for EL Success

    Download Access to Rigor for EL Success, a white paper written by Dr. Elena Izquierdo, program consultant for Escalate English. Learn more about strategies that teachers can use to support their English learners’ development of academic skills and lead to success in school and career.

    Access to Rigor for EL Success (981 KB)

    A Research-Based Approach

    This informative research report explains how Escalate English was designed and written to accelerate the development of students’ proficiencies across the language process and build the skills needed for academic success.

    Escalate English: A Research-Based Approach (2 MB)

    The Cognitive Benefits of Bilingualism/Biliteracy by John De Mado

    Whether a student is learning English as a second language, or is a native English speaker learning a world language, the more opportunities students have to become bilingual and bi-literate, the greater their prospects will be for academic and career success. Download this paper for insights that validate the work you do every day with your language learners.

    The Cognitive Benefits of Bilingualism/Biliteracy (500 KB)

    Communication First! Six Best Practices for the Second Language Classroom by John De Mado

    All language learners benefit from a ‘linguistically friendly’ classroom, one in which students are free to acquire a second language without fear of sanctions on what they have yet to learn. According to white paper author John De Mado, “there is an intimate relationship between language acquisition and an individual's willingness to take linguistic risks, to be vulnerable, and to use intuition in order to confront more language than he or she owns. This dynamic is essential to a student’s second language growth.” Download this paper for six essential classroom practices that can transform your classroom into a ‘communication first’ environment.

    Communication First! Six Best Practices for the Second Language Classroom (392 KB)

    Ensure Equity of Access

    Learn more how to manage English learner in-class access to grade-level content.


    3 Key Benefits of Bilingualism

    Check out our infographic on why learning a second language is good for your mind and your career.

  • HMH Professional Services

    Our Mission Is to Advance Yours

    HMH® Professional Services forges student-centered partnerships with schools and districts in the belief that all learners deserve a quality education and the opportunity for lifelong success.

    HMH Professional Services includes teachers, leaders, and technologists. Our Professional Learning Consultants become part of your team, working right beside you to build and implement professional learning plans that respect the unique needs and culture of your school or district community. Through program, practice, and technical services, we work collaboratively to unlock the full potential of every student, teacher, and leader.

    Comprehensive Services for K–12 Educators

    We offer teachers and instructional leaders a full suite of learning and support to deepen their mastery and hone their teaching skills throughout the school year.


    Visit us at to learn more.

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