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Adolescent Literacy Strategies

In an increasingly fast-moving, internationally-minded world, today’s adolescents have greater literacy demands placed upon them than ever before, and bridging the gap in student knowledge is the responsibility of teachers. This class aims to teach and discuss research-based instructional practices that can help to scaffold adolescents’ literacy development in the areas of motivation, engagement, using prior knowledge, vocabulary, comprehension, and more. The techniques learned will help students achieve current goals more effectively and retain more of what they learn. Participants will also address strategies to better monitor students’ progress.

Carlow University ED 661 • Madonna University EDU 5830.04 • Notre Dame College ED 585 A • The College of Saint Rose EDT 665

The required text for this course is Reading & the High School Student: Strategies to Enhance Literacy, 2nd Edition by Judith Irvin. 978-0205489398

Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 11/12/19 - 2/11/20
  • 1/14/20 - 4/14/20
  • 3/10/20 - 6/9/20
  • 5/12/20 - 8/11/20
  • 7/14/20- 10/13/20
  • 9/8/20- 12/8/20
  • 11/10/20 - 2/9/21

Course Schedule


  • August 3-7

Nassau County

  • December 11-13 and December18-20

Session 1: Introduction to Adolescent Literacy

  • Attendance, course materials distribution
  • Instructor introduction
  • Class introductions
  • Form working groups
  • Review course requirements/overview
  • Establishing class rules and expectations
  • What is literacy and how is it used?
  • What is adolescent literacy?
  • Sharing/discussion of relevant issues
  • Course registration

Session 2: Literacy and the Adolescent Learner

  • Review homework from session one (KWL chart)
  • Adolescents who struggle with literacy: Characteristics, signs, and causes
  • Literacy theories
  • Factors influencing reading
  • Creating conceptual models
  • Summary/Closure

Session 3: Learning Environments and Instructional Practices that Support Adolescent Literacy

  • Review homework from session two (diagram of reader/text/ context)
  • Factors that motivate adolescents to read
  • Instructional strategies that motivate adolescent readers
  • Instructional strategies that scaffold the literacy growth of struggling adolescent readers
  • Incorporating instructional strategies in the classroom
  • Summary/closure

Session 4: Expository Text Challenges for Struggling Adolescent Readers

  • Jigsaw activity reflection
  • Struggling adolescent readers and informational text
  • Selecting appropriate instructional materials
  • Textbook analysis
  • Expository text strategies
  • Summary/closure
  • KWL chart

Session 5: The Importance of Prior Knowledge in the Reading Process

  • Review homework from session four (textbook analysis)
  • Importance of prior knowledge in the reading process
  • Prior knowledge strategies
  • Application of strategies
  • Creating instructional materials
  • KWL chart

Session 6: Enhancing the Vocabulary Skills of Struggling Adolescent Readers

  • Review homework from session five (prior knowledge strategies)
  • Importance of vocabulary in reading comprehension
  • Vocabulary simulation
  • Obstacles to adolescent vocabulary knowledge
  • Choosing vocabulary words for instruction
  • Guidelines for effective vocabulary instruction
  • Vocabulary strategies to increase adolescents' reading comprehension
  • KWL chart

Session 7: Enhancing the Comprehension Skills of Struggling Adolescent Readers

  • Review homework from session six (vocabulary lessons)
  • Factors that impact adolescent readers’ comprehension
  • Comprehension strategies used by proficient readers
  • Guidelines for planning effective reading comprehension instruction
  • Instructional strategies to increase adolescents’ reading comprehension

Session 8: Supporting Struggling Adolescent Writers

  • Reflection on the use of skits as a strategy to increase reading comprehension
  • Reasons adolescents struggle with writing
  • Effective writing instruction
  • Planning effective writing instruction (60 min.)

Session 9: Study and Learning Strategies for Adolescents Who Struggle with Literacy

  • Metacognition
  • Skills needed for adolescents to study and learn
  • Strategies to increase adolescents’ studying and learning skills
  • Implementing strategies to increase adolescents’ studying and learning skills
  • Assessing adolescents' study skills and learning habits

Session 10: Assessment Techniques for Teachers of Adolescents Who Struggle with Literacy

  • Defining assessment
  • Types of assessments
  • Characteristics and functions of high-quality assessments
  • Implementing effective assessment tools and techniques
  • The cyclical nature of assessment and instruction
  • Creating assessment tools
  • Complete KWLSD chart, complete course evaluation, and distribute TEI brochures
  • Synthesize current issues related to adolescent literacy.
  • Evaluate local and national impact of current legislation regarding adolescent literacy.
  • Analyze school-wide approaches to improving adolescent literacy.
  • Examine the characteristics of adolescents who struggle with literacy.
  • Compare and contrast theoretical frameworks and research regarding adolescents' literacy learning.
  • Differentiate the factors that contribute to adolescent readers' interactions with text.
  • Examine elements of successful literacy environments for adolescent learners.
  • Integrate strategies that motivate struggling adolescent readers.
  • Implement lessons to scaffold the skills of adolescents who struggle with literacy.
  • Determine common reasons why students struggle to comprehend textbooks and other expository texts.
  • Evaluate instructional materials that are appropriate for your adolescent students who struggle with literacy.
  • Integrate strategies to improve the expository text reading skills of your struggling adolescent readers.
  • Distinguish the powerful role of prior knowledge in the reading process.
  • Implement strategies and create materials to assess, build, activate, and organize struggling adolescent readers' prior knowledge.
  • Interpret why vocabulary knowledge is essential for reading comprehension.
  • Assess the factors associated with effective vocabulary instruction and learning.
  • Integrate strategies to enhance the vocabulary skills of struggling adolescent readers.
  • Incorporate strategies to build vocabulary skills in the content area classroom.
  • Appraise factors that impact reading comprehension.
  • Determine comprehension strategies used by proficient readers.
  • Integrate strategies that scaffold the comprehension skills of struggling adolescent readers.
  • Incorporate strategies to support comprehension in the content area classroom.
  • Analyze reasons why adolescents struggle with writing.
  • Incorporate strategies to scaffold the skills of struggling writers.
  • Integrate strategies to incorporate writing into the content area classroom.
  • Evaluate the skills needed for adolescents to study and learn.
  • Incorporate strategies to assist struggling adolescent readers in developing and using effective study and learning strategies.
  • Distinguish the characteristics and functions of high-quality assessments.
  • Create and implement high-quality tools and techniques to assess struggling adolescent readers.
  • Synthesize assessment results in order to plan effective instruction.
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

On-site weekend courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities page for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are required to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here. If no book is required it will be specified on the list. We have copies of many of the textbooks should you wish to purchase directly from TEI. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class and reflect the course title, dates of attendance, and credit hour information. 

Student Academic Integrity
Participants guarantee that all academic class work is original. Any academic dishonesty or plagiarism (to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and offer them as one's own), is a violation of student academic behavior standards as outlined by our partnering colleges and universities and is subject to academic disciplinary action.