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Content Area Language and Literacy for Academic Success in Middle and High School (CALL)

CALL institutes provide secondary educators with the tools and skills necessary to analyze the academic language demands of course-specific texts and materials. CALL supports teachers in designing effective instruction that meets those demands. 

Common Core State Standards

Academic Literacy Development Across the Content Areas

The Common Core State Standards require an integrated, interdisciplinary model of literacy in which the instruction of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language is embedded in content area instruction. Extensive research establishes the need for college and career ready students to be proficient in reading complex informational text independently in a variety of content areas.

CALL stresses the importance of improving content area language and literacy instruction for all students in every content area. CALL offers practical, research-based routines to help teachers make their challenging instructional materials accessible, relevant, and comprehensible. CALL provides a comprehensive approach that supports teachers in successfully implementing the Common Core State Standards. The end goal is for students to learn to comprehend complex texts across a range of types and disciplines in order to build strong content knowledge.

Unique Program Features

The CALL program is unique in the way that:

  • It is based on a comprehensive framework for literacy that helps to demystify the particular components that are causing challenges for students.
  • It helps teachers access and respond to needs through differentiated instruction.
  • There is a focus on academic content-area text and scaffolded support to access the text.
  • It contains teacher tools to support text analysis and lesson planning.
  • It provides models for explicit instruction in academic and comprehension strategies.
  • It includes strategies for differentiation across level of English Proficiency for English Learners.
  • It addresses multiple factors that influence student motivation and engagement.
  • There is a focus on sustained collaboration and implementation through a professional learning community model geared towards secondary teachers. 

Objectives

The institute's objectives are as follows:

  • Understand the importance of academic literacy in the 21st century
  • Become familiar with a comprehensive literacy framework for assessment and instruction to learn about the skills required for developing academic literacy
  • Understand the specific role language plays in making content-specific instructional materials accessible to stduents, particularly ELLs.
  • Learn an approach for identifying both content and language objectives in daily instruction, applying the basic components of backwards design and text and task analysis.
  • Learn to implement instructional strategies and routines to help make content-area text more accessible to all students and to increase students' use of academic language.
  • Understand why students need explicit instruction in English syntax, grammar, and vocabulary to be able to participate in academic genres, both oral and written.
  • Learn strategies and identify opportunities for providing EL students with academic English language instruction and practice.
  • Learn about a sustained model for teacher collaboration in the content area and grade level teams to support implementation of this professional development program.