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Teaching Reading to Students Learning English: Direct Strategies

February 14 - February 28

February 14, 21, and 28, 2024

Learn effective strategies and activities to develop English learners’ literacy skills as they develop greater language proficiency.

Please join us at this three-day hybrid Direct Strategies Institute based on CAL’s widely used What’s Different About Teaching Reading to Students Learning English? professional development program. The training will provide participants with an understanding of the methodology and strategies for teaching English learners how to decode and gain meaning from reading as they strengthen their language skills in English.

This research-based curriculum incorporates key findings from the National Literacy Panel (2006) on teaching reading comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonemic awareness, and phonics to English learners with key research-based updates. Connections will be made to college and career readiness standards (such as CCSS), including reading and writing in the content areas.

The engaging three-day synchronous and asynchronous institute is designed for classroom, ESL, and literacy teachers and school administrators who want to ensure reading progress for English learners. High school teachers working with newcomers or students acquiring early literacy skills will also benefit. CAL encourages teams of ESL, reading, and classroom teachers to attend. Facilitators will model classroom and online learning strategies that can be used directly with students to improve literacy outcomes for language learners.

To find out how we can customize this workshop for your school or district, including online options, please contact solutions@cal.org.

What you will receive:

  • 14 hours of synchronous, interactive presentations, and 7 hours of asynchronous, self-paced professional development
  • The “What’s Different About Teaching Reading to Students Learning English?” study guide
  • An understanding of the similarities and differences between teaching reading to English learners and teaching reading to native English speakers.
  • Effective practical strategies for teaching reading to English learners in oral language development, vocabulary development, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and comprehension strategies.
  • Step-by-step guidance on how to use and adapt effective reading strategies for English learners in your classroom.

Institute Agenda

Synchronous Presentation

  • On February 14, 21, and 28, 2024, participants will be expected to attend a 4.5-hour live, interactive presentation (3 hours in the AM, 90-minute lunch, 1.5 hours in the PM).

Self-Paced Content

  • During the period of February 14, 21, and 28, 2024, participants will be expected to complete approximately 7 hours of self-paced work in CAL’s asynchronous Moodle platform.

February 14, 2024, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 2:00–3:30 p.m. EST

Introductions, the Nature of Reading, Comprehension

  • Principles of effective instruction for English Learners
  • Defining literacy and the components of literacy
  • Models of literacy
  • What makes a skilled reader?
  • Reading comprehension and oral language development
  • Language functions

February 21, 2024, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 2:00–3:30 p.m. EST

Vocabulary Acquisition and Foundations of Literacy

  • Vocabulary acquisition
  • The three tiers of vocabulary for English learners
  • Selecting and analyzing the characteristics of vocabulary terms
  • Phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and phonics—in a second language
  • Centering meaning in the Foundations of Literacy

February 28, 2024, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 2:00–3:30 p.m. EST

Fluency, Content Area Reading & Putting It All Together

  • Defining fluency
  • Developing reading fluency in a second language
  • Literacy assessments and English learners
  • Disciplinary language
  • Reading in content area classrooms
  • Wrap-Up


  • Early bird registration by January 12, 2024: $1,025 per person
  • After January 12, 2024: $1,225 per person.
  • Send two or more people and pay $1,025 per person.
  • Cost includes all training materials.


Graduate Credit Option
An option for two graduate credits from Trinity Washington University is available for this CAL Institute. The cost is $495. Participants must attend all workshop days and complete an assignment to be distributed during the institute. If you have questions about the requirements and registration for the CAL Institute graduate credits, please contact CAL Solutions.


Email CAL with any questions you may have about our offerings.



February 14
February 28
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