Tap Into the Power of Reading to Support Language Acquisition: Multilingual Learners in the Reading Workshop

Monday, February 1 - Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Institute will be offered virtually through Zoom.

Apply Now

Grade: K-6
Hours: 11am-5pm Eastern Standard Time
Featuring: Shana Frazin, Marie Mounteer, Stephanie Barnett, and Nancy Brennan
Payment: Purchase orders for this institute can be made out to: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, 525 W 120th Street, Box 77, New York, NY 10027

Multilingual language learners can have widely varied needs. Some read fluently in their first language while others may not have received much prior instruction at all. Some have mastered grade-level phonics while others are just beginning with concepts of print. This institute will help you develop coherence in your plans to address students’ different needs, from teaching foundational skills of decoding and fluency, to supporting literal and inferential comprehension.

The institute will begin with a focus on assessing the reading needs of your MLLs. While running records provide an important snapshot of a MLL’s reading level, presenters will share additional ways to attain a holistic sense of a student’s listening comprehension and oral language. You will see how understanding the stages of language acquisition plays a key role in guiding assessments.

The Institute will then switch to how these assessments will drive your instruction. Presenters will share strategies to teach the phonological awareness, decoding and sight recognition that are appropriate for beginning readers. In upper-grade sections, you’ll hear about adapting these K-1 skills for older students, many of whom may shy away from texts and instruction that can feel ‘babyish’ when compared to what their grade-level peers are reading. You’ll work with a range of tools and texts to plan specific reading instruction, from personalized word walls to wordless picture books and lower-level graphic novels.

Native English speakers don’t merely rely on phonics—they also lean on syntax and vocabulary to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. MLLs, however, often do not recognize the syntax or know the meanings of words they encounter in print. Your presenters will suggest research-proven ways to help MLLs acquire syntax and word knowledge through oral language activities as well as through scaffolded reading practice. In particular, you’ll learn to identify what vocabulary words to prioritize, get techniques to explicitly teach these, and hear tips for threading high-utility vocabulary instruction across the day, so that you’re providing multiple exposure to these words across a variety of contexts.

After addressing decoding and vocabulary, the Institute will shine a spotlight on that important bridge between decoding and comprehension: fluency! How can your MLLs become fluent with the more complex language patterns they meet in print, particularly when these aren’t reflected in the casual oral talk around them? What does fluency instruction look like in the physical classroom and in a virtual classroom? And most significantly: how can comprehension strategies run parallel to this critical instruction in phonics, syntax, vocabulary and fluency? Perhaps the biggest lament of MLL teachers is the sparsity of instructional time in which to address these multifarious goals. A big part of this institute, therefore, is to help you develop and polish teaching methods that integrate these goals into rich, engaging, meaning-driven instruction that is recurring and time-efficient.

By the end of the Institute, you will have developed a repertoire of instructional plans that support the oral language, decoding and comprehension of your MLLs, and and have learned ways to implement these plans, when teaching in a physical as well as a virtual space.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will be offered online, in real-time via Zoom, and will not be recorded for later distribution. We will accept attendees until the institute has reached capacity.