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Practice Guide iconPractice Guide
Released: December 2007
PDF (1.1 MB)
The target audience for this guide is a broad spectrum of school practitioners such as administrators, curriculum specialists, coaches, staff development specialists and teachers who face the challenge of providing effective literacy instruction for English language learners in the elementary grades. The guide also aims to reach district-level administrators who develop practice and policy options for their schools.
Strong Evidence
Screen for reading problems and monitor progress.
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Strong Evidence
Provide intensive small-group reading interventions.
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Strong Evidence
Provide extensive and varied vocabulary instruction.
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Minimal Evidence
Develop academic English.
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Strong Evidence
Schedule regular peer-assisted learning opportunities.
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Conduct formative assessments with English learners using English language measures of phonological processing, letter knowledge, and word and text reading.

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Provide focused, intensive small-group interventions for English learners determined to be at risk for reading problems.

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Provide high-quality vocabulary instruction throughout the day.

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Ensure that the development of formal or academic English is a key instructional goal for English learners, beginning in the primary grades.

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Ensure that teachers of English learners devote approximately 90 minutes a week to instructional activities in which pairs of students at different ability levels or different English language proficiencies work together on academic tasks in a structured fashion.

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Education Levels:
  • Elementary
  • Administrator
  • Parent/Family
  • Policymaker
  • Researcher
  • Student
  • Teacher

This practice guide was prepared for the WWC by Optimal Solutions Group under contract ED-05-CO-0026 and by American Institutes for Research under contract ED-02-CO-0022.

  • Russell Gersten (Chair)
    RG Research Group and University of Oregon
  • Scott K. Baker
    Pacific Institutes for Research and University of Oregon
  • Penny Collins
    University of California at Irvine
  • Sylvia Linan-Thompson
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Robin Scarcella
    University of California at Irvine
  • Timothy Shanahan
    University of Illinois at Chicago

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