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Language and Literacy Development and the Common Core

Course Instructors: 

Laura Alvarez is a middle school Humanities teacher at Melrose Leadership Academy in Oakland, CA and was previously a 4th and 5th grade bilingual teacher. She also supports teachers who are engaging in inquiry into their students’ learning and their own teaching through Mills Teacher Scholars, a professionaldevelopment program at Mills College. She has served as an instructor, supervisor, and cooperating teacher for pre-service teachers at Mills and Stanford University. Laura holds a Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics from Stanford University and an M.A. in Education from Mills College. Her research focuses on understanding and supporting bilingual students’ language and literacy development in English, as well as in their primary language.

Course Dates: 
SSTI 2013
Section of Course/Event: 
Previous Courses
Course Name: 
Language and Literacy Development and the Common Core - Designed for English language arts, social studies, and science teachers who teach English language learners and linguistically diverse students in grades 4-12
The Common Core State Standards emphasize the importance of language and literacy development across the disciplines. In particular, increased time is to be spent reading and writing informational and argumentative texts both in English language arts and in the content areas. It is clear that all teachers must now support the language and literacy development of their students, especially English Language Learners and other students who are learning academic uses of language. This course will focus on understanding the language and literacy demands of the Common Core and learning how to support ELLs to meet the new standards. We will analyze the linguistic and conceptual demands of texts and tasks in different disciplines. We will then use this analysis to design instruction and assessment that helps students comprehend, discuss, and write challenging texts in different genres. Teachers will participate in and reflect on strategies that they can use with their students to build their language and literacy abilities, as they learn content. Instructional strategies will focus on creating opportunities for students to talk about text, as a way to deepen their reading comprehension and understanding of content, analyze model texts, and prepare them to write. Finally, participants will design sequences of lessons they can use in their classrooms.