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Spanish Literacy Institute (¡en español!): Fostering Spanish Language and Literacy Development

July 11, 2022 - July 14, 2022

Learn research-based strategies to provide effective language and literacy instruction in Spanish in developmental and transitional bilingual, dual language and immersion education programs.

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 topics in the institute. 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)
    • Lexicon (vocabulary, cognates and false cognates)
    • Morphology (word parts and word formation)
    • Syntax (sentence structure)
    • Discourse (spoken or written)
    • Pragmatics (language use in context)
  • Assessing language production holistically


Three Workshop Webinars between July 11, 12 and 14, 2022 (ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN STANDARD TIME) 

Webinar I: Monday, July 11, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm EST with 1 hour lunch break Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences between Spanish and English – Part I. Phonology, Orthography
Webinar II: Tuesday, July 12 – 11:00 am – 5:00 pm EST with 1 hour lunch break Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences between Spanish and English – Part II. Semantics, Syntax, Pragmatics
Completion of Project on Own 3-hour, self-paced project
Webinar III: Thursday July 14 – 11 am – 1:00 pm EST Assessing language production holistically and Project Presentations


This Institute will be held online using a combination of interactive online meetings and self-paced assignments.

Project Due for Last Class on July 14 (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?

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.

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



July 11, 2022
July 14, 2022
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