Designed to provide teachers and administrators with research on how English learners learn to read in a second language and the supports they need to be successful at decoding and comprehending. 

Solutions - online course foundations of lit els nature of reading

In this online, self-paced course, participants will explore learning to read in a second language and the supports they need to be successful at decoding and comprehending. This online course is developed from CAL’s workbook and Study Guide, What’s Different about Teaching Reading to Students Learning English? and based on decades of research by CAL on the development of second language literacy and extensive experience working effectively with educators to help English learners succeed in the classroom.

Foundations of Literacy for English Learners will explore the strengths English learners bring to reading in English, including bilingualism, and the challenges they experience in developing vocabulary, fluency, phonological and phonemic awareness, letter recognition, phonics, and reading comprehension. 

This online course is divided into three modules designed to provide an overview of research-based approaches to reading instruction and are dedicated to select areas of literacy development and instruction. Each module begins with a warm-up activity and includes a narrated PowerPoint presentation and readings. Throughout the course, participants have opportunities to reflect upon and practice new learning, self-assess through quizzes; view real-world examples through video demonstration; and apply lessons learned through applicable wrap-up activities.

  • Module 1 defines “reading” and situates literacy as part of comprehensive and effective instruction for English learners. After determining the components of skilled reading, participants will analyze the backgrounds of English learners in their classrooms and the strengths and challenges they bring to the reading process and overall comprehension.
  • Module 2 includes a demonstration of what it is like to learn to read in a second language and the types of supports needed become fluent readers in an additional language. Participants will also consider the linguistic differences between languages and how they affect reading, both at the level of decoding and comprehension. Lastly, participants will apply what they have learned and research the language of one of their students to determine how to support that student’s literacy skills.
  • Module 3 examines the four-cueing systems model of reading, analyzes the predictors of reading success, and explores how to use the information from a running record to investigate how a student’s first language knowledge may be impacting their decoding or reading comprehension.

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

Each module is self-paced and takes approximately five hours to complete. 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.

CAL also offers a tiered pricing structure for schools and districts who wish to have 10 or more teachers take the online course. 

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