Learn high-impact approaches to teaching vocabulary to English learners and develop classroom strategies to meet their content and language development objectives.

This engaging two-day professional development workshop is designed to increase understanding and provide practical resources regarding vocabulary instruction for educators working with English learners in their classrooms and schools. The workshops focuses on the vocabulary acquisition of English learners and on techniques to foster their vocabulary acquisition needed to meet content and language acquisition standards in the classroom.

The interactive workshop focuses on four key research-based components that comprise strategic vocabulary instruction:

  • Strategic instruction of high-utility vocabulary
  • How to fostering a motivating learning environment that is rich in words
  • Approaches to promote students' independent word-learning skills
  • Assessment techniques that inform strategic vocabulary instruction 

Based on CAL's large-scale, federally-funded vocabulary research, workshop presenters describe how research-based techniques to vocabulary instruction can be incorporated into learning activities in ESL, reading and general education classes at the PreK-12 levels.

Participants first learn about how vocabulary acquisition differs for English learners in the context of their content and language acquisition. Facilitators will demonstrate methods for identifying and teaching high frequency, high-utility academic vocabulary and then guide participants in developing classroom activities for introducing words with pictures and teaching words in the context of reading and literacy activities. Participants will learn about approaches to building student's strategic vocabulary acquisition, including incorporating learners' first languages through cognate awareness. Participants will then have an opportunity to apply what they learn by constructing engaging, multi-modal activities aimed at reinforcing students' vocabulary knowledge and assessments that can strategically inform classroom vocabulary and literacy instruction.

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


Topics include

Strategic Instruction of High Utility Vocabulary

  • Key principles for instructing English learners in content and language development classrooms
  • Vocabulary development for second language learners
  • Strategically selecting vocabulary words to meet individual instructional needs and content and language standards
  • Applying differentiated methods of instruction to teach various kinds of words
  • Using methods for explicit vocabulary instruction, including contextual and analytic instruction
  • Identifying ways to reinforce word meanings through different modalities of language

Fostering a Motivating Learning Environment that is Rich in Words

  • Promoting oral language development and incidental word learning through the four modalities of language
  • Fostering a motivating learning environment
  • Developing word awareness activities

Promoting Students' Independent Word Learning Skills

  • Activities to promote students' cognate awareness
  • Structural and contextual analysis activities
  • Activities to promote students' independent use of dictionaries

Utilizing Assessment to Inform Instruction

  • Assessing different aspects of vocabulary knowledge
  • Using formative assessment techniques to inform vocabulary instruction


  8:30 am –   9:00 am Breakfast and conversation
  9:00 am – 12:00 pm Morning training session
12:00 pm – 12:45 pm Lunch and networking
12:45 pm –   3:30 pm Afternoon training session (including mid-afternoon dessert break)


Early bird registration by March 1, 2020: $735/person.
After March 1, 2020: $865/person.
Send 2 people or more and pay $735 each.

Cost includes all training materials and breakfast and lunch each day.


This Institute will be held at the Center for Applied Linguistics. Visit our website for directions to CAL and to view a list of local hotels.

Please note that all travel arrangements and expenses are the responsibility of the participant. See our policies below for more information. 

Certificate of Completion

Participants will receive a CAL Certificate of Completion which may be used for continuing education credit.


To reserve your seat for this institute, please complete the online registration process. Please be aware that your seat at the workshop will only be confirmed once payment is received. If you are registering multiple participants, please have the name, title, school, and email addresses available before you begin the registration process. We encourage you to register as soon as possible as many workshops fill up quickly.

Before beginning the registration process, please determine your preferred method of payment (credit card, check, or purchase order). When paying by credit card using the online registration system, your seat will be immediately confirmed and you will receive a confirmation email upon successful completion of the transaction. CAL accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and VISA. For registrations to be paid by purchase order or check, please note that your seat will be tentatively reserved until payment is received. Once the payment is received, you will receive a confirmation email. There will be a fee of $15.00 for each check returned as uncollectible. Purchase orders should be uploaded directly to the registration system or emailed to payables@cal.org. For payment by check, or to pay for purchase orders, please make the check payable to the Center for Applied Linguistics and mail to: Accounts Receivable, Center for Applied Linguistics, 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016.

Cancellation Policy
Registrants: We encourage participants to let CAL know as soon as possible if you do not plan to attend the session. Participants may cancel their registration and receive a full refund up to three (3) weeks prior to the institute start date by sending an email to solutions@cal.org. After that date, no refunds will be available. However, registrants may choose to receive the institute materials by mail, postpone their attendance to a future CAL Institute, or transfer the registration to another individual up to three (3) days prior to the course start date. Contact us to discuss your options.
CAL: CAL reserves the right to cancel an event due to low enrollment or for reasons beyond our control. If we exercise this right, we will refund any registration fees which you have paid in advance. In some instances, registrants may have the option to transfer their registration to the another event. CAL is not responsible for transportation and/or hotel costs incurred by registrant.

Fair Use of Materials
Individuals who have completed CAL trainings and workshops have permission from CAL to use materials in the course of providing professional development to educators in their school or school districts. These materials cannot be used to deliver fee-based services. Email CAL if you have questions about the use of CAL materials.

COVID-19 Contingencies Language for Additional to Professional Development (PD) Contracts
CAL’s travel policy states that there will no business travel through December 31, 2020. This policy will be reviewed for the 2021 calendar year with a decision by October 1, 2020. In the event of school closures, travel restrictions and/or a high incidence of COVID-19, the district/school will make every attempt to reschedule the equivalent hours of hours of PD in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online sessions on dates/times that are mutually agreeable. CAL attests that the PD content will be the equivalent to the face-to-face sessions and also align to best practices for virtual instruction.
In the event that the PD cannot be rescheduled to a virtual delivery model, CAL’s cancellation policy applies.

If you have questions, please contact us via email at solutions@cal.org or call 202-362-0700, Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm Eastern Time.