In this article we lay out the tenets of a communicative repertoire (CR) approach to meeting the needs of English learners (ELs) in the context of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). We begin by critiquing the underlying theory of language that has long guided approaches to EL instruction. We then illustrate how the CR approach builds on more contemporary understandings of language and language development, noting its compatibility with the CCSS, and providing an example of what this approach looks like in a twelfth-grade English literature class for ELs. Building from this example, we illustrate the general framework for developing lessons from a CR perspective that align with the CCSS and can be used across a variety of instructional settings. Finally, we discuss what policies and opportunities for teacher professional development might be conducive to supporting this instructional approach and to ensuring that the CCSS is implemented in ways that maximize EL academic achievement and engagement.