This interactive, multi-session workshop explores engaging, research-based practices (in both remote and in-person classes) for teaching beginning level English learners with limited first-language literacy.

Please note: This course will take place in Blackboard where you will find all virtual session information, course materials, and additional resources. You cannot access the online course from the SABES website. You will receive a separate email one to two days before the course begins with instructions on how to access the Zoom session. If you do not receive these instructions, please check your Spam folder and/or send an email to nruskin@edc.org


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ESOL teachers who are interested in remote or in-person literacy instruction for ESOL learners with limited first-language literacy

This professional learning series is for ESOL teachers working with adult learners who have limited first-language literacy and are also at the beginning stages of learning English. Through independent readings, reflective classroom tasks, and interactive, facilitated webinars, participants will explore relevant research and its implications for best practices in the remote or in-person classroom. The sessions will focus on reading development for these learners, using the whole-part-whole approach, to build a foundation of literacy skills. Participants will share ideas for developing effective, engaging, and satisfying teaching and learning experiences for literacy-level language learners. 

In Session 1 — a two-hour facilitated session on Friday, February 9, 2024from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.— we will discuss the unique characteristics of adult literacy-level learners in regard to their learning needs and their acquisition of both literacy and English; explore the roles of "orality" and "literacy" and how they interact inside and outside of the classroom; and discuss the role of scaffolded instruction, as well as empathy, in adult literacy-level instruction.

Between Sessions 1 and 2, you will be asked to try out an activity or an approach in the classroom and share in an online discussion thread; read two short research articles; and watch a video with accompanying study guides. This independent session is estimated to take one to two hours.

In Session 2 — a two-hour facilitated session on Friday, February 23, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. — we will discuss research findings from the articles and video as well as how that research can be applied in teaching; try out hands-on phonics activities; and discuss the role of "balanced literacy" in classroom instruction.

Between Sessions 2 and 3, you will be asked to try out an activity or an approach in the classroom and report on responses in an online discussion thread; explore two or three online resources from a provided list; and complete a short questionnaire about the content and usefulness of the resources. This independent session is estimated to take one to two 1-2 hours.

In Session 3 — a two-hour facilitated session on Friday, March 8, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. — we will share the resources that participants explored and discuss how they could be used to enhance instruction for literacy-level learners; brainstorm ways to bring multisensory learning into remote and in-person instruction; and make a sustainable plan for incorporating learning from the sessions into future teaching practices.

Following Part 3, you will have the option to receive one-on-one coaching with literacy-level instructional expert, Lee Haller, to extend your learning and support your ongoing implementation of new practices and approaches.

Come prepared to discuss engaging research-based practices with your teaching colleagues and leave with ideas that you can implement immediately to support ongoing literacy instruction. 

    Learning Objectives

    Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Describe language development in adult literacy-level learners
  • Articulate connections between relevant research and effective classroom practices with adult literacy-level learners
  • Identify and utilize online and print resources for both learners and teachers that can enhance literacy-level teaching and learning
  • Incorporate research-based practices for developing literacy skills in literacy-level learners into regular classroom instruction and routines, both in-person and remotely
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)

Ability to participate actively in Zoom by voice and video

02/09/2024 - 10:00 am to 02/09/2024 - 12:00 pm
02/23/2024 - 10:00 am to 02/23/2024 - 12:00 pm
03/08/2024 - 10:00 am to 03/08/2024 - 12:00 pm
End Date

United States

PD Center
SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum & Instruction PD Center
Topic Area
Digital Literacy
Distance and Blended Learning
ESOL/English Learners