Language and Literacy Strategies That Get Results

ExCELL is a research-based, professional development (PD) program that significantly improves teacher quality and children’s vocabulary. It is the only evidence-based PD that trains lead and assistant teachers who teach dual language learners.

Welcome to ExCELL

Exceptional Coaching for Language and Literacy (ExCELL) is a research-based year-long professional development program ​for preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade teachers and assistant teachers.

Self-Paced Learning Modules

Modules contain instructional strategies that are based on the most important language development research. The content is explained in teacher-friendly language so teachers can work smarter, not harder. ExCELL includes 6 learning modules for lead teachers and 4 modules for assistant teachers.

Ongoing 1-on-1 Virtual Coaching

Learning new instructional strategies takes continual practice and knowledgeable support. ExCELL coaches or ExCELL-trained site-embedded coaches provide continual encouragement and constructive feedback to lead and assistant teachers.

Library of Instructional Resources

We’ve selected high-quality children’s books in English and when possible, in children’s home languages, and created the accompanying lesson guides to assist teachers in implementing the effective strategies.

Each module presents language and literacy strategies to
effectively teach all children

ExCELL guides teachers in using strategies such as engaging in conversations and turn-taking, asking open-ended questions, and developing vocabulary, promoting classroom interaction throughout the day and with any curriculum.

Proven Professional Development That Meets Your Needs

ExCELL can be used with any curriculum in Head Start as well as public and private preschools and elementary schools. Children who are developing English alongside another home language (dual language learners; DLLs) as well as children who are monolingual English speakers benefit from the instructional strategies teachers learn in ExCELL. Educators at any stage of their career can benefit from learning research-based foundational skills.


Enter the classroom confident that they can promote all students’ success, including dual language learners.

Research has revealed simple yet powerful practices for building children’s vocabulary and other language skills. Mastering these practices makes teachers’ jobs easier.

Administrators & Coaches

Provide high-impact, flexible PD that teachers love.

The ExCELL model easily integrates into your existing professional development program and can be used with any curriculum.

Professional Learning Partners

Collaborate with us to enhance your programs.

Expand your reach with a powerful, research-based early language and literacy teacher professional development.

Take the guesswork out of teaching language

All early educators want to see their students learn and grow. Developing their language skills is a crucial area of growth. Research has shown several teaching strategies that teachers of very young children can use in all kinds of classroom activities to see significant changes in their students’ language abilities.

ExCELL empowers early educators to set all students up for learning and reading success, especially dual language learners.

Years of Research

Classrooms Served


of Teachers Rate the PD as Effective

Why Training in Language Practices Matters

Children’s language skills are the most important predictor of children’s success in learning to read. Teachers need to implement effective strategies to promote children language acquisition so they can be successful in school.

Improves Teacher Quality

Teachers trained in ExCELL achieve large gains in classroom quality, as measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS).

Improves Student Outcomes

Children whose teachers have completed ExCELL PD learn 90% of words taught in the classroom and show large gains on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. This means that children also learn words that are not explicitly taught.

Builds the Foundation for Bright Futures

Children’s language and emergent literacy skills in preschool and kindergarten predict reading abilities in 3rd and 4th grade and beyond. Students reading on grade level by 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to graduate on time. Schools who work with ExCELL lay a strong foundation for students’ future success.

Benefits All Students

ExCELL improves key skills that help all children, including children who are dual language learners and children with disabilities, develop strong language abilities that provide the language foundation needed to learn to read.

See How It Works!

Building students’ language skills just got easier. See how ExCELL supports teachers every step of the way to enhance their practice and accelerate child outcomes.