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It Takes Two to Tango: How Teachers Can Develop Language and Foundational Skills Through Meaningful Literacy Activities (M-2)


In this session you will learn how to embed effective language instruction into literacy activities in elementary classrooms. The activities presented are designed to engage and support English language learners, and build on the resources they bring to school. Whether working on phonological awareness, word study, writing, or reading informational text, vocabulary and academic language instruction are critical to helping students make meaning as they engage in literacy.

Who Should Attend?

Elementary-level teachers, ELL specialists, program coordinators, curriculum or reading specialists, and administrators

What Will I Learn?

In this workshop, participants
  • examine the critical role of language development in literacy learning
  • share and learn a number of ways to embed language instruction into typical reading and writing activities
  • discuss the ways that students’ background knowledge and home literacies can be used in writing activities
  • practice selecting key vocabulary and academic language structures from texts for developing readers
  • learn key steps in providing effective vocabulary instruction for students with a range of skills in English

About the Workshop Leader

Lori Helman, PhD, is co-director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research and associate professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She spent 20 years as a bilingual teacher and new-teacher mentor and is currently partnering with a large urban school district to improve literacy achievement in six elementary schools.