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English Learner Webinar Series

Date: December 12, 2019
Location: Webinar


Language & Literacy Development in PreK–1st Grade: Words and More


  • December 9, 2019
  • December 12, 2019

This 90-minute webinar, the second installment of our English Learner Webinar Series, addressed how teachers can build language and vocabulary-rich classroom environments to support the language development of young students, with an emphasis on supporting dual language learners. Using the Teaching and Learning Cycle (TLC) framework—which weaves together content, language, and literacy for optimal learning—presenters from REL West and the Leading with Learning program at WestEd shared practical strategies for explicit vocabulary instruction.


  • Learned about how to boost young children’s academic language use, with a special focus on vocabulary and language-rich environments
  • Saw an example of interactive academic vocabulary instruction
  • Discussed ways to incorporate daily academic language learning in fun and engaging ways

This webinar shared several evidence-based strategies for improving vocabulary from the What Works Clearinghouse, including recommendations from the Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade and Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School Practice Guides:

  • Teach students academic language skills, including the use of inferential and narrative language, and vocabulary knowledge
  • Develop awareness of the segments of sounds in speech and how they link to letters
  • Teach students to decode words, analyze word parts, and write and recognize words
  • Teach a set of vocabulary words intensively across several days using a variety of instructional activities
  • Integrate oral and written English language instruction into content-area teaching

An archive of this webinar will be posted in the coming weeks. Please sign up for our mailing list to be notified when it is available.


Scaffolding Emergent Reading, Oral Language, and Writing for Dual Language Learners/English Learners in PreK–1st Grade

Date: May 15, 2019

This webinar provided practical, evidence-based resources for teachers to promote language and literacy learning for young dual language learners (DLLs)/English learners (ELs) in the early years of schooling.

The teaching and learning cycle (TLC) is a framework for scaffolding oral language development and emergent academic reading and writing by weaving together content, language, and literacy. This approach uses interactive reading, text-based discussions, and language awareness building to engage all students, including DLLs/ELs, and is intended to provide equitable opportunities to learn and thrive.

Using the TLC, presenters discussed how to provide abundant opportunities for children to think, talk, and write to develop content knowledge.


  • Learned about the TLC framework and consider its uses for promoting language and literacy development
  • Heard about examples of interactive reading and text-based discussions aligned with the TLC framework
  • Discussed how the TLC framework is a shift from traditional approaches to teaching Els

The presentation drew on several evidence-based practices from the Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade Practice Guide from the What Works Clearinghouse:

  • Teach students how to use reading comprehension strategies
  • Teach students to identify and use the text’s organizational structure to comprehend, learn, and remember content
  • Guide students through focused, high-quality discussion on the meaning of the text
  • Select texts purposeful to support comprehension development
  • Establish an engaging and motivating context in which to teach reading comprehension


Pamela Spycher Pamela Spycher is the Project Director for Leading with Learning, a U.S. Department of Education grant focused on the implementation of the California English Language Arts (ELA)/English Language Development (ELD) Framework and ELD Standards. She has led several initiatives in California to implement best practices for teaching English learners in California, including as lead writer for the state’s ELD standards for math and science. Pamela received a PhD in education with an emphasis in language, literacy, and culture and a designated emphasis in second language acquisition from the University of California, Davis.

Thea Fabian Thea Fabian is a Teacher on Special Assignment for Fresno Unified School District in Fresno, California. She works with colleagues to improve the success of English learners/emergent bilingual students by promoting high-quality instruction using the teaching and learning cycle. She’s also currently working to expand students’ access to biliteracy, including native language literacy.


This webinar series is designed for teachers, instructional coaches, teacher educators, administrators, and applied researchers.


Webinar 1

Watch the 60-minute archived webinar below, which includes an overview of the TLC, an in-depth explanation of the first 3 stages of the TLC, and an embedded video showing stage 3, jointly constructing texts, in action.

  • Overview of the TLC
  • In-depth explanation of the first 3 stages of the TLC
  • Embedded video showing stage 3—jointly constructing texts—in action.

December 12, 2019


Contact Information
Kim Austin

Early Learning, English Learner Students


  • Pamela Spycher, Project Director for Leading with Learning
  • Thea Fabian, Teacher for Fresno Unified School District