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About LETRS
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Overview of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling)

LETRS® is a professional development series of books, workshops, and on-line courses for K-12 instruction in reading, spelling, and related language skills. We want LETRS participants to understand:

  1. The content of instruction, or what must be taught during reading and spelling lessons;
  2. The reasons why the content is important, or why all the components of reading instruction are necessary;
  3. Who needs what kind of instruction, or how to interpret individual differences in student achievement; and
  4. How to explain written English so that it makes sense and is remembered.

LETRS may be implemented as core content for professional development, a basis for graduate or undergraduate coursework in reading, or as a unique and comprehensive resource for teachers of reading.

Modules are often delivered within a sequence of three to five days of training or as a 3-credit course at the upper undergraduate or graduate level. We recommend that LETRS be delivered by a certified national or regional LETRS trainer.

We recommend that teachers who have had little experience with or exposure to the science of reading and research-based practices begin with LETRS Foundations (Glaser & Moats, 2008). Foundations is a stepping stone into the regular LETRS modules. Foundations of Reading Instruction is now an on-line course offered through Sopris West or other entities that have licensed the content.

LETRS is not a reading instruction program. LETRS modules prepare teachers to learn and use any well-designed reading program; the modules do not substitute for program-specific training. LETRS complements and supports the implementation of programs aligned with scientifically-based reading research.

LETRS modules are designed to be delivered in sequence, but flexible sequencing is also possible. In sequence, the modules build on the overview and introductory content, focusing first on phonology, phoneme awareness, and the writing system (orthography) of English. Next, the modules progress to topics in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension instruction. Later modules (7-9) target reading instruction for the primary grades and include a module on assessment for prevention and early intervention. The final series (modules 10-12), designed for educators who work with students at grade 3 and above, addresses advanced phonics and word study, comprehension and study skills in content-area reading, and assessment.

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