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Preparing Adolescent English Learners for the Common Core: Practical Strategies for Tackling Complex Texts (B-1)


This academy offers secondary teachers the practical strategies and tools they need to aid adolescent English learners (ELs) in accessing complex literary and informational texts and performing grade-level-appropriate tasks. Participants will explore steps to take and strategies to use to engage students and progressively build their knowledge and skills. 

Who Should Attend?

  • Middle and high school (Grades 7–12) ESL & content teachers
  • Curriculum developers 

What Will I Learn?

In this workshop, participants
  • define complex texts as framed by the Common Core Standards
  • highlight aspects of complex texts that may be challenging for ELs
  • demonstrate how to select and adapt complex texts for students with different levels of proficiency
  • model ways to incorporate academic language development when working with science and social studies themes
  • explore ways to fully engage students in class discussions and learning activities related to texts
  • engage in hands-on practice of featured strategies using social studies and science themes

About the Workshop Leaders

Nancy Cloud, EdD, directs the MEd in TESL program at Rhode Island College. She specializes in curriculum and instruction for K–12 ELs. Publications include Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners (Cloud, Genesee & Hamayan, Heinemann, 2009) and Teaching Adolescent ELLs:  Essential Strategies for Middle and High School (Cloud et al., Caslon, 2010).  

Amanda Sox Agudelo, assistant professor in the Med in TESL program at Rhode Island College, has 10 years of  teaching experience in K–12 settings. She specializes in preparing teachers for educating ELs and biliteracy development in dual-language settings. She presents regularly at national conferences, including TESOL, and has published in national journals about EL education.