Teaching Reading to Students Learning English: Direct Strategies

Please join us at this three-day virtual 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 institute is designed for classroom, ESL, and literacy teachers as well as school administrators who want to ensure reading progress on the part of 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:

  • The What's Different? 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 the areas of oral language development, vocabulary development, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency and comprehension strategies.
  • Implications of college and career readiness standards and the science of reading on literacy instruction for English learners.
  • Step-by-step guidance on how to use and adapt effective reading strategies for English learners in your classroom.

Institute Agenda

Self-Paced Content

  • Between April 13th and April 27th, participants will be expected to complete approximately 7 hours of self-paced work in CAL’s asynchronous Moodle platform.

April 13, 2021: 9am-12pm and 1:30-3pm 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

April 20, 2021: 9am-12pm and 1:30-3pm 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

April 27, 2021: 9am-12pm and 1:30-3pm 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 March 12, 2021: $855/person

After March 12, 2021: $1,030/Person. Send 2 people or more and pay $855/person.

Cost includes all training materials.

Credit - 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 requirements and registration for the CAL Institute graduate credits, please contact CAL Solutions.