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1) English Language Learners and Academic Language

This webcast is made possible by AFT Teachers, a division of the American Federation of Teachers, as part of a Colorín Colorado partnership between AFT and Reading Rockets.

Featuring Dr. Robin Scarcella, providing an overview to academic language instruction for English language learners, as well as teaching strategies, activity ideas, and recommended resources


2) Building Oral Language into Content Area Instruction (Research from CREATE)

Diane August, Senior Research Associate, Center for Applied Linguistics Presented October 29, 2008

In this webinar co-sponsored by CREATE and SchoolsMovingUp, Dr. August builds on her January 23rd webinar, Building Oral Language into the Basal. She describes methods to develop the language proficiency skills of English learners in the context of language arts, math, and science instruction in elementary and middle schools. Examples of methods include read-alouds of expository and narrative text, explicit attention to academic language, and reinforcing oral language through writing. This work is part of CREATE's ongoing research funded by the US Department of Education to improve the language and literacy skills of English learners.


3) Learning All-Purpose Academic Words

Catherine Snow, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education Presented September 6, 2007

The relationship between reading comprehension and vocabulary is well-established, and content area teachers recognize their responsibilities to teach students the words associated with their disciplines undefined words like photosynthesis, legislative, and dodecahedron. Unfortunately, second language speakers in particular (and students from low-literacy families more generally) often don't know the all-purpose academic words undefined words like process, formulate, and structure undefined that occur with high frequency in both content area textbooks and the definitions of disciplinary words. There is little space in the structure of departmentalized middle and high schools to teach these words, as important as they are.

In this presentation, Dr. Snow provides an overview of Word Generation, a program that builds on research-based principles for teaching vocabulary to design instructional units that focus on all-purpose academic words for students in the middle grades. In addition to teaching vocabulary, it provides opportunities to engage in purposeful academic discussion and write persuasive essays. Her discussion also includes results from a pilot implementation in three schools that provide some evidence of the program's effectiveness in addressing these goals as well as in leading to higher levels of student motivation.


4) Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent ELLs

Deborah Short, Senior Research Associate, Center for Applied Linguistics Presented April 5, 2007

In this interactive online presentation, participants explore research on adolescent English language learners (ELLs) and examined the findings and policy recommendations from the recent report of the same name. Dr. Short, the study’s co-author, discusses the development of academic literacy for second language learners, identifies the backgrounds of adolescent ELLs in U.S. schools, and compares model programs for these students with current practices. Specific instructional strategies that promote academic literacy for language and content classrooms are also described.

SIOP Webcast:

5) Making Standards-Based Lessons Understandable for English Learners: The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model

Jana Echevarria, Professor of Education, California State University, Long Beach Presented November 8, 2007

The challenges English learners encounter in learning grade-level content (e.g., math, science, social studies) through a second language are well documented. In this presentation, Dr. Echevarria provides an overview of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model of instruction, which provides educators with a research-based approach for making standards-based lessons understandable for English learners. With an emphasis on engaging learners and providing ample opportunity for students to use academic English in meaningful ways, the SIOP’s 8 components and 30 features offer a framework around which lessons are organized. With its growing body of research, the SIOP Model has been shown to improve the achievement of students whose teachers implemented it to a high degree. The observation protocol is used by school administrators, teachers, staff developers, and university faculty for observing and quantifying a lesson’s effectiveness. Currently the SIOP Model is used in all 50 states in the U.S. and in several other countries.


6) English Language Learners in Middle and High School

Made possible by AFT Teachers, a division of the American Federation of Teachers, as part of a partnership with AFT, Colorín Colorado, and Reading Rockets.

Featuring Dr. Deborah Short discussing effective instructional strategies for teaching English language learner students in middle and high school.


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