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The New Light on Literacy: Early Reading Intervention for English Language Learners DVD and companion book of lessons bring to life a recent study conducted by researchers at the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts at The University of Texas at Austin and researchers at The University of Houston. In the study, first-grade English language learners struggling to learn to read received 50 minutes of additional reading instruction daily for seven months. The intervention was matched to the students' core reading instruction. The English and Spanish curricula share underlying design principles and were written to address literacy issues related to each language. Each lesson consists of activities addressing the components of effective reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension. During the story-retell component, students received explicit vocabulary instruction and guided practice in retelling the story.

The DVD and companion book of lessons offer examples of effective research-based strategies. Teachers, administrators, and parents can see the strategies in action and then read the lessons for a more detailed description of the procedures. The materials can be utilized in a variety of ways, including professional development sessions, parent or tutor training classes, and community meetings.

The project is one of five studies in a large-scale, multistate research effort examining literacy and oracy development among Spanish-speaking bilingual students. The research was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Institute of Educational Sciences (Grant Award PO1 HD 39521, Development of English Literacy in Spanish-Speaking Children). The DVD and companion book of lessons were developed using funds provided by the Meadows Foundation.

Part 1: The Search for Answers

Part 2: The Students

Part 3: The Intervention

Part 4: Story Retell

Part 5: Toward Brighter Futures

Published Date



English Language Learners
Reading Instruction


Bilingual Teacher
General Education Classroom Teacher
School Administrator

Grade Level


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