Featured Publication

Aspire cover

Professional Development for Bilingual and ESL Paraprofessionals: The Aspire Curriculum

Browse and download samples from CAL’s research-based materials.

Onsite Services

CAL can offer professional development institutes and other services at your location.

Contact us to learn more.


CAL logo

CAL Solutions PreK-12 ELL Education – Local Invitation-Only Workshop

Hot Topics in ELL Education logoImproving Oral Language Proficiency for English Language Learners

Presented by Dr. Betty Ansin Smallwood

January 13, 2012
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC

This special event is the first in a series of Hot Topics in ELL Education workshops offered by CAL in the coming year. Open only to CAL’s valued local practitioners, the workshop is designed to help participants address important issues in oral English proficiency and academic vocabulary in an interactive learning environment through hands-on activities, short readings, and viewing of new classroom videos.

While the importance of oral language and vocabulary development is widely recognized by practitioners, many teachers need knowledge and practical tools for encouraging this development in their classroom. The workshop will address common questions such as: What are the conditions that promote language learning in classrooms? How can ELL students increase their oral/aural language skills and academic vocabulary? What practical steps can practitioners take to help their students develop these crucial skills? Participants will learn teaching and learning processes that promote aural/oral second language and vocabulary development and strategies to increase these skills in their students.

Using real-world examples, research-based principles of instruction, and newly developed resources from CAL, the workshop is designed for K-12 mainstream practitioners who have (or anticipate having) ELL students in their classrooms. Topics covered include classroom conditions for oral language development; oral language proficiency levels and listening comprehension; strategies for promoting oral language development; how to create cooperative learning structures in the classroom; academic vocabulary learning; and how to effectively use story books, songs, chants, poetry, and rap to promote language development.

Connecting Diverse Culture videoNew Classroom-based Video Footage
The workshop presents new video footage of effective uses of academic language in a mathematics classroom and of the use of jokes in the classroom, and a step-by-step video presentation of teaching vocabulary words and reading aloud to young ELLs.

Participants will receive hands-on training in strategies they can use in the classroom and educational settings, CAL’s new training handbook, Listening and Speaking: Oral Language and Vocabulary Development for English Language Learners (K-8), and a packet of relevant materials and information.

There will be ample opportunity to network with fellow workshop attendees and to discuss with other practitioners how this information applies to their own school or classroom environments.


  • Describe classroom conditions that promote second language learning
  • Explain how language input and output affect second language learning
  • Distinguish five levels of oral language proficiency and teacher and student behaviors appropriate for each level
  • Examine teaching strategies that scaffold learning while increasing classroom interaction, comprehensible input, language output, and academic language learning
  • Identify cooperative learning structures and explain how they promote interaction and develop oral language and vocabulary
  • Develop a list of teaching strategies that enhance academic vocabulary development in classrooms, with particular attention to the needs of second language learners
  • Develop a list of student learning strategies that facilitate academic vocabulary

Participants will receive

  • CAL’s new training handbook: Listening and Speaking: Oral Language and Vocabulary Development for English Language Learners (K-8)
  • Hands-on training in strategies to use in the classroom
  • A package of relevant training materials, information, and resources
  • Time to discuss how this information applies to their own educational setting
  • Networking opportunities with other professionals in the field
  • Continental breakfast and a full lunch

Please Join Us for this Invitation-Only Workshop
Register today for this workshop to learn more about this important topic and network with other local educators about best practices for working with English learners in the classroom.

Register Now »

Friday, January 13, 2012 - 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Coffee and Conversation 9:00 am – 9:30 am
Session (Part 1): 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch (provided): 12:00pm – 1:00 pm
Session (Part 2): 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Networking 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

(Snow date, Friday, January 20, 2012)

Center for Applied Linguistics
4646 40th Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20016

$225/person. Send 2 or more and pay $200/person.
Special pricing for this invitation-only workshop includes all training materials, as well as a continental breakfast and full lunch.

Registration and Payment
Registration is open to invited participants only. Register early, as space is limited to 25 participants. CAL will keep a waiting list and may schedule a second workshop depending on interest.

Please determine your method of payment (credit card or purchase order) at the time of registration. Your seat at the workshop will be confirmed once payment is received. If paying by purchase order, you can complete the online payment form by entering your purchase order number. If you do not yet have a purchase order, complete steps 1-4 on the registration form to tentatively reserve your seat, and fax a signed copy of the purchase order to 888-700-3629 as soon as possible.

Cancellation Policy
Refunds will be provided for all cancellations received in writing 72 hours prior to the course start date. After that date, registered individuals can choose to transfer their registration to another individual.

Questions about workshop registration, payment, cancellation, or to be added to the waiting list for future workshops, contact Marilyn Raphael or call 202-355-1500.

Questions about workshop content, contact Dr. Betty Ansin Smallwood, Director of CAL Solutions, PreK–12 ELL Education.

Back to top


Image Placeholder

Participants will receive CAL’s new training handbook: Listening and Speaking: Oral Language and Vocabulary Development for English Language Learners.

Register Now »

Oral Language Proficiency

Image Placeholder

"Oral language functions as a foundation for literacy and as the means of learning in school and out. However, despite its importance for learning, many teachers know much less about oral language than they need to know."
Wong, Fillmore, and Snow (2002)