This self-paced online course is designed to help educators explore the theoretical background and practical applications of two components of the SIOP Model: Building Background and Comprehensible Input.

Based on decades of research by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) on how language is learned and extensive experience working effectively with educators to help English learners succeed in the classroom, this CAL SIOP Essentials online course is divided into three overarching modules (see below).

Using examples based on the widely-used and effective SIOP Model, participants will read and view instructional activities that showcase features from the Building Background and Comprehensible Input components.

Each module is guided by both content and language objectives, beginning with a warm-up activity and includes a narrated PowerPoint presentation and readings. Throughout the course, participants have opportunities to reflect upon and practice the new learning; self-assess through quizzes; view real-world examples through video demonstration; and apply lessons learned through wrap-up activity.  

Module 1: Linking concepts to students’ backgrounds & Links explicitly made between past learning and new concepts

This module provides an overview of the first two features of the Building Background component. Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • evaluate the particular importance of linking new concepts to students’ background knowledge for English learners; and
  • to develop an activity for building background for application in their teaching context.

Module 2: Emphasizing Key Vocabulary

This module provides research on vocabulary acquisition and practical techniques for the instruction of words and phrases for English learners. Upon completion of this module, participates will be able to:

  • interpret research on second language acquisition and vocabulary;
  • categorize vocabulary items using the 3-tier framework;
  • analyze a video of a lesson for vocabulary strategies; and
  • create a plan for vocabulary instruction which includes selecting key vocabulary words and instructional activities.

Module 3: Comprehensible Input
This module connects comprehensible input to second language acquisition theory and encourages participants to evaluate their own provision of techniques to build comprehensible input, including selecting texts, visuals, and media; performing gestures; and adjusting teacher speech for student’s linguistic proficiency levels. Participants will learn to:

  • identify techniques for presenting content concepts in ways that are comprehensible to students;
  • analyze video clips of lessons for features of comprehensible input; and
  • create a set of annotated, comprehensible instructions for an academic task.
  • evaluate the particular importance of linking new concepts to students’ background knowledge for English learners; and
  • to develop an activity for building background for application in their teaching context.

Upon registration and payment, you will receive log-on credentials for the course via the email you provided upon registration. 

Each module can be done at your own pace and it should take no more than five hours to complete all three modules. You will have three months to complete the course. At the conclusion of the course, participants will receive a certificate of completion from the Center for Applied Linguistics which can often be used to obtain continuing education credits.

Please follow the registration link to begin the registration and payment process. 

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