Research-Based Vocabulary Instruction for English Learners

Please join us for this engaging two-day institute designed to increase understanding and provide practical resources regarding vocabulary instruction for educators working with language learners in their classrooms and schools. The institute will focus on the vocabulary acquisition of English learners and on techniques to foster vocabulary acquisition needed to meet content and language acquisition standards in the classroom.

Based on an interactive flipped classroom model, this online institute focuses on four key research-based components that comprise strategic vocabulary instruction:

  1. Strategic instruction of high-utility vocabulary
  2. How to foster a motivating learning environment that is rich in words
  3. Approaches to promote students' independent word-learning skills
  4. 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 then 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 construct activities aimed at reinforcing students’ vocabulary knowledge through engaging, multi-modal activities and assessment activities that can strategically inform classroom vocabulary and literacy instruction.

The institute is designed for classroom teachers working with language learners in grades PreK-12. ESL, reading and other school specialists who work with classroom teachers, school administrators, as well as other educators will also benefit from  this valuable professional development opportunity.  Collaborative teaching teams are especially encouraged to attend.


Self-Paced Content

  • Between February 25th and March 4th, 2021, participants will be expected to complete approximately 3 hours of self-paced work in CAL’s asynchronous Moodle platform.

 February 25, 2021: 9am-12pm and 1:30-3pm EST

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

 March 4, 2021: 9am-12pm and 1:30-3pm EST

  • Activities to promote students’ cognate awareness
  • Structural and contextual analysis activities
  • Activities to promote students’ independent use of dictionaries
  • Assessing different aspects of vocabulary knowledge
  • Using formative assessment techniques to inform vocabulary instruction
  • Wrap-Up


Early bird registration by January 29, 2021: $735/person.

After January 29, 2021: $865/person. Send 2 people or more and pay $735 each.

Cost includes all training materials.

Register early, as space is limited.