This session has been completed.

Words Their Way™ and Strategies to Support English Language Learners

Registration Closed
Facilitator(s): Barbara Nicholson
Valerie Behiels
Date:March 14, 2017
Time:9:00 am – 3:30 pm
(includes lunch, which is not prepared in a nut/gluten-free environment)
Location: Edmonton (Fantasyland Hotel)
17700 - 87 Avenue
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Course code: 17-LL-255

Target Audience

Grades K-7 Teachers, Literacy Coaches with familiarity with Words Their Way™ Word Study in Action

About this learning opportunity

This session is designed for classroom teachers working with English Language Learners who wish to enhance their instructional approach by incorporating effective word study strategies to help with language acquisition. This session will provide opportunities for hands-on, developmentally appropriate word work which leads to a greater understanding of our English language.

During the morning session, there will be a focus on Words Their Way™ and you will:

  • Review a spelling inventory to analyze where ELL learners are experiencing difficulty and begin working with word sorts designed specifically for ELL learners
  • Review the underlying success of word study and vocabulary as it pertains to balanced literacy instruction
  • Discuss specific reading, writing, characteristics and learning styles presented by ELL
  • Examine the Words Their Way with English Learners professional resource, unpacking key concepts to assist with classroom programming needs
  • Actively engage with word sort activities and games designed for ELL
  • Plan for next steps in individual classrooms
  • Familiarize you with online PD Toolkit

In the afternoon, you will learn effective, explicit reading and writing strategies for all levels of English language learners. Oral language development and vocabulary strategies for ELLs in the context of the regular and diverse classrooms will also be explored.


Fantasyland Hotel is pleased to offer ERLC an “open block” for this event. Individual reservations can be made by contacting their Hotel Reservations Department directly at (780) 444-5541 or toll-free at 1 (800) 737-3783. Callers MUST ask for Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium's corporate weekday rate of $164.00 and $210.00 weekend rate. 

This learning opportunity is being subsidized through funding from Alberta Education.

About the facilitator(s)

Barbara Nicholson retired from her role as Principal (French Immersion) to pursue her passion of promoting excellence in Literacy on a broader scope.  As a consultant and presenter of First Steps in Literacy, she worked with system leaders Canada-wide to include this excellent research-based approach to teaching Literacy.

As a co-ordinating principal at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, she was instrumental in the writing, delivering and evaluation of Additional Qualifications courses for teachers, in the areas of Literacy and Mathematics.

Working with leaders from the Ontario Public School Boards Association, Barbara helped to create leaning modules to assist schools and system leaders to embrace  “Accessibility for All”  “The Accepting Schools Act, Bill 13” in all Ontario schools.

Most  recently Barbara worked with teachers from International Schools in the Greater Toronto Area  to introduce and consolidate “Words Their Way,” with the goal of helping teachers to include  a stellar approach to Word Study as part a Balanced Literacy program.

Valerie Behiels has been an an administrator, reading specialist and ESL consultant with Edmonton Public Schools for over 40 years and taught grades one to six.  Brief breaks were provided by the arrival of three children and a sabbatical leave for her Master’s degree at U of A.  Her past 8 years in ESL consulting with EPSB has been an interesting journey of research and hands on experience.

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