Camera Lens for focusingELA Lens: Evidence-Based Instruction

Effective ELA teachers in MA use the latest research to guide their practice. They especially stay up to date on the evidence-based practices related to adult learning and ELA instruction. When teaching reading, they focus on the essential reading componentsalphabetics (phonemic awareness and phonics), reading fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension, providing evidence-based reading instruction (EBRI) appropriate to the students' performance levels, determined by diagnostic assessment. Teachers use the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model to provide explicit instruction and scaffolding for learning new skills. 

When making curricular or instructional decisions, ask the following questions:

  • For beginning reading levels (CCRSAE Levels A-B): Is instruction in phonemic awareness, word identification skills, and fluency taught and tied to results from diagnostic assessments?
  • For intermediate reading levels (CCRSAE C-D): Are word analysis and fluency instruction provided, as needed, based on diagnostic assessments? 
  • Is vocabulary instruction a focus, with an emphasis on Tier 2 words (as well as key Tier 3 words related to the content area topic)? Is practice provided in the same set of words over multiple lessons?
  • Are specific comprehension skills and strategies provided, appropriate to students' assessed reading levels?
  • Are students' engaging with appropriately challenging texts?
  • Are writing skills and strategies taught, with opportunities to draft, revise, edit, and publish/present student-generated text?
  • Does there seem to be time for explicit instruction (e.g., “I do,” “We do,” “You do”), with scaffolding, of the target ELA skills?

Tools and Resources


SABES ELA logo of books SABES ELA Curriculum Hub


Topic Area
CCRSAE (College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education)
Curriculum Development
EBRI (Evidence-Based Reading Instruction)
Media Type
Resource Type
PD Center
SABES English Language Arts Curriculum & Instruction PD Center