Addressing the Needs of Struggling Readers (Webinars)


Webinar Video: Supporting students learning English


Dr. Lori HelmanPresented March 19, 2020 by Dr. Lori Helman, Director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research.

Increasingly, students in K-8 classrooms speak a language other than English at home and learn English at school, making them emergent bilinguals. These multilingual students bring linguistic resources that can be called upon during instruction and will profit from clear, explicit, active learning strategies in class.

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Topics Covered

In this webinar, you will learn ways to:

  • Enhance the explicitness of your teaching so that it is more understandable for emergent bilinguals.
  • Engage students in interactive lessons so they are involved and connected to others.
  • Increase student self-esteem and responsiveness in class by valuing their home language skills and showing how they can connect these to learning English.

Educators who make conscious efforts to use these three practices find that students make better sense of the curriculum, more fully understand the learning goals, and are able to transfer their home language skills into the English-medium context.

Webinar Handouts and Resources

pointer Slides for this presentation
pointer Learning in a New Language: A Schoolwide Approach to Support K-8 Emergent Bilinguals, by Lori Helman (ASCD, 2020); Study guide (ASCD, 2020)
pointer Assessing language and literacy with bilingual students: Practices to support English learners, by Lori Helman, Anne C. Ittner, K. McMaster (Guilford, 2020)
pointer Lori Helman’s faculty home page: Learn more about Dr. Helman's interests and work
pointer Read Naturally's English Language Learners page: Learn more about ways that Read Naturally Programs support emerging bilingual learners


55 minutes 

About the Presenter

Lori Helman, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, where she is also Director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research. She researches and teaches classes in literacy development, reading difficulties, effective teaching practices for multilingual students, and works with literacy professionals to implement schoolwide systems of support. She is a former bilingual elementary school teacher, school district literacy coordinator, and new teacher development program leader. Dr. Helman is the author or coauthor of 16 books and has written chapters, journal articles, and curriculum support materials that investigate literacy learning with diverse students. Her most recent book, "Learning in a New Language: A Schoolwide Approach to Support K-8 Emergent Bilinguals," was published with ASCD in January 2020.

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