Explicit vocabulary instruction can often be a neglected vein of ESL instruction. This article provides research-based, user-friendly ideas to grow students beyond a surface level knowledge of words to deeper vocabulary comprehension and usage. Read More
ATLAS offers various professional development (PD) activities focused on reading instruction for adults. Our professional development offerings are based on Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI), described in more detail below.
Language & Literacy Institute
One of our primary activities for improving reading instruction is hosting the Language & Literacy Institute, a two-day, intensive training that takes place in late January each year. The large event brings together reading, writing, and ESL educators in ABE to collaborate with and learn from one another. The Language & Literacy Institute is organized by the Language & Literacy Advisory Team, and we offer an array of workshops on reading and literacy instruction topics that have emerged as priorities in the state. In addition, we offer the CCR (College & Career Readiness) English Language Arts (ELA) Foundation workshop in conjunction with this event each year.
Are you looking for more information about the College & Career Readiness (CCR) reading standards?
- Visit the CCR Standards page to find out about professional development around the CCR Standards
- Visit the CCR Standards library to find resources for implementing the ELA (English Language Arts) Standards, including reading
STAR (STudent Achievement in Reading)
STAR is a national project from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) that provides research- and expert-proven practices for teaching adults the four major components of reading instruction: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. STAR specifically targets adult students reading at grade level equivalents (GLE) 4.0-8.9 – Low/High Intermediate Basic Education (and in Minnesota ABE, Advanced ESL) – which are large and complex populations across the nation.
It is not a reading curriculum, but rather a program-wide reading reform initiative that includes professional development, tools, and resources that expand participants’ knowledge of effective reading instruction. STAR improves the ability of participating practitioners to build local and state systems that support reading improvement.
Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI)
Evidence-Based Reading Instruction or EBRI is a set of practices proven to increase the reading achievement of a particular student population (including children, adolescents, and adults).
STAR has been very successful across Minnesota, but not all programs are able to implement the reforms necessary – for example, programs serving numerous Beginning level (or pre-STAR) students, the Department of Corrections, and less-populated rural areas.
In an effort to find alternative ways of promoting the integration of EBRI more broadly across the state, in 2012 the Minnesota STAR Leadership Team studied the similarities and differences between STAR and EBRI. They concluded that EBRI practices are broader than STAR and relevant for (most) “EBRIbody” in MN ABE. This means that these practices are appropriate for all program managers and reading teachers committed to increasing the reading achievement of Beginning ABE and ESL Literacy, Beginning Basic Education, Low/High Intermediate Basic Education, Low/High Intermediate ESL, and Advanced ESL students.
STAR and EBRI Practices
- Conduct diagnostic reading assessments and use results to plan reading instruction.
- Provide direct and explicit instruction in the reading components of need.
- Maximize learner (or student) engagement in reading instruction.
- Select relevant reading materials and teaching activities.
- Organize reading routines based on need(s), monitor their effectiveness, and adjust as needed.
In addition to the activities listed below, be sure to visit the ATLAS Reading resource library. It contains a wealth of resources on the four components of reading instruction – including MN STAR/EBRI Teacher-Recommended Print and Online Resources – as well as Diagnostic Reading Assessment and more.
This 6-part series of webinars provides the background of Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI), tools and processes for assessing readers’ strengths and weaknesses, crucial skills for all four reading components, and practitioner-tried routines for teaching them across ABE and ESL levels.
The Language & Literacy Advisory Team (LLATé) is an ATLAS-sponsored team designed to strengthen language, reading, and writing instruction in Minnesota through relevant, meaningful, and effective professional development for practitioners.
The Advisory Team is responsible for visioning and the creating a long-term strategic plan for language & literacy PD in Minnesota, as well as specific tasks yearly to support established PD efforts, such as the January Language & Literacy Institute.
The goal of the STAR Cohort is to implement organized reading routines addressing the needs and priorities of NRS ABE levels 2-4 (Beginning Basic ABE, Low-Intermediate, High-Intermediate) and/or NRS ESL 6 (Advanced). ATLAS conducts a STAR Cohort every other year, beginning in odd-numbered years and finishing in even-numbered years. Participation in STAR is done at the program level; individuals do not apply, but rather their programs do.
New Reading Resources
The High School Equivalency Center, part of LearningExpress Library (LEL), helps students prepare for the GED, HiSET, and TASC exams by offering tutorials and micro lessons in reading, writing, grammar, vocab, spelling, and math. The Adult Core Skills Center gives adults the tools they need to achieve their personal educational and career goals, whether that includes becoming a U.S. citizen or improving reading and vocabulary skills. Read More
Registration Deadline: MON. 2/26/24 Participants will engage in a couple of classroom activities to experience scaffolding, checking comprehension and the gradual release of responsibility. These aspects of teaching and tutoring are then defined, explained further and participants get opportunities to practice them. Learn More
Registration Deadline: TUE. 2/27/24 You will be able to join Xue’s open office hour to come with any questions or issues that you have. If you need help with a technical issue,… Learn More
Registration Deadline: Register up to the date of each Coffee Talk. This past year, we have added a new option to our testing services, making us a two-test state. We have had and continue to need help with connectivity issues, online proctoring, scheduling availability, student identifications, accommodation issues,… Learn More