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Language and Literacy Instruction for Spanish/English Emergent Bilingual Learners

April 11, 2023

April 3-7 and 11, 2023

Language and Literacy Instruction for Spanish/English Emergent Bilingual Learners: Linguistic differences between Spanish and English and their Impact on Language and Literacy Instruction  

Institute Overview

Participants will learn research-based strategies for effective literacy instruction in programs where content is delivered in Spanish and English, such as dual language bilingual and transitional bilingual education programs.

This interactive institute is designed to provide participants with research-based, effective methods for teaching academic language and literacy to students in grades K-8 in programs in which students are afforded the opportunity to learn in both Spanish and English. Classroom practices are framed by an understanding of how Spanish and English linguistic features are the same and different.

The 15-hour institute will provide both live (synchronous) and on-own (asynchronous) online learning and take place over several days. It will include:

  • Workshop/webinar sessions with CAL facilitators to understand and discuss effective practice as well as network with other educators with similar priorities
  • A culminating project in which participants plan a lesson based on what they have learned

Institute Objectives

Participants will be able to

  • explain why knowledge of the systems is important for teaching in bilingual settings
  • identify systems and structures of Spanish and English
  • describe cross-linguistic practices
  • use methods for teaching students the similarities and differences between languages to promote metalinguistic awareness

Curriculum Overview

The following provides an overview of the institute topics. Practical classroom-based instructional strategies are embedded throughout the presentation.

The Context for Spanish Language and Literacy Instruction

  • Participant introductions
  • Current trends in the research on biliteracy instruction in the U.S. educational context
  • Understanding the value for students of comparing and contrasting Spanish and English

Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences between Spanish and English

  • Building metalinguistic awareness to promote cross-linguistic transfer
  • Examining similarities and differences between the languages related to
    • Phonology and orthography (sound-letter correspondences)
    • Morphology (word parts and word formation)
    • Lexicon (vocabulary, cognates and false cognates)
    • Syntax (sentence structure)
    • Discourse (spoken or written)
    • Pragmatics (language use in context)
  • Assessing language production holistically

Schedule:  April 3-7 and April 11, 2022 (ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN STANDARD TIME)

Monday, April 3, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Webinar I: The Context for Language and Literacy Instruction in a Spanish/English Dual Language Program
Tuesday, April 4, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Webinar II: Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences between Spanish and English – Part I
Wednesday, April 5, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Webinar III: Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences between Spanish and English – Part II
Thursday, April 6, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Webinar IV: Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences between Spanish and English – Part III
Friday, April 6, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Webinar V: Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences between Spanish and English – Part IV
Completion of Project on Own 3-hour, self-paced project
Tuesday, April 11, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Webinar VI: Assessing language production holistically and Project Presentations


This Institute will be held online through interactive online webinars and a self-paced assignment. 

Project Due for Last Class on April 11 (3 hours on own)

Application to Your Classroom

  • Design an activity for developing metalinguistic awareness. A sample lesson will be provided. You will share your work with fellow participants on the final day.
    • Include: Your Name, Location, Description of your Program and Class
    • You will need to address the following:
      • What is the target language of instruction?
      • What content, theme and standards are you addressing?
      • Which system and structure will you address?
      • What is the structure in English; what is the structure in Spanish?
      • Provide background: what came before. What other instruction is the language-connection activity embedded in?
      • Activity: What activity will you use to compare the structures with students? (Provide photos, illustrations, or descriptions of materials you will use.)
      • Follow-up: What will you do as follow up to ensure that your students use what they have learned about the structure in the future?


Early bird registration by March 6, 2023: $665/person.

After by March 6, 2023: $715/person.

Send 2 people or more and pay $665 each.

Certificate of Completion

Participants who have attended all webinars and completed the project will receive a CAL Certificate of Completion for 15 hours which may be used for continuing education credit depending on the requirements of your state or district.



Please contact:  solutions@cal.org



April 11, 2023
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