Hosted by six of the ten regional educational laboratories that compose the REL Rural Working Group, this series of three webinars provided a national audience of education stakeholders with research-based information on better serving ELL students in rural areas. Participants began to formulate an action plan for serving ELL students more effectively, with the assistance of expert presentations, practitioner presentations, and guidance for planning.

For more information, please contact:

Kenwyn Derby


WEBINAR SERIES (Archived): Serving English Language Learner Students in a Rural Context

March 02, 2011 - March 16, 2011

Webinar #1: Wednesday, March 2, 2011  (View archive.)

The Big Picture: Why is it Important to Address Rural ELL Populations?

In the first webinar of the series, participants engaged in a national discussion about the implications of research for the success of rural ELL students, featuring the IES Practice Guide Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in the Elementary Grades. There was an overview of the changing student population in rural schools and an introduction to the webinar topic, along with specific research and recommendations for screening for and monitoring reading progress. Presenters included:

  • Dr. Sarah Moore, Research Associate at the Center for Applied Linguistics. She provided a definition of ELL students and discussed identification of these students.
  • Dr. Jerry Johnson, Consultant, The Rural School and Community Trust, and Assistant Professor, Educational Studies, Ohio University. He discussed the rural context and provided a picture of the national rural ELL student population.
  • Dr. Russell Gersten, Executive Director of Instructional Research Group, a nonprofit educational research institute; professor emeritus, College of Education, University of Oregon; and lead author of the featured Practice Guide. He provided an overview of the Practice Guide recommendations and the basis for them.

Webinar #2: Wednesday, March 9, 2011  (View archive.)

From Research to the Classroom: Recommendations of the Practice Guide Applied to a Rural Context

In the second webinar, participants engaged in a discussion about specific research and recommendations for implementing research in the field, specifically for small reading groups and peer-assisted learning opportunities. Dr. Russell Gersten once again presented research-based recommendations from the featured IES Practice Guide. Also,  a panel of practitioners from rural areas shared how they have successfully implemented research-based practices related to small-group and peer-assisted learning in order to raise student achievement.

Webinar #3: Wednesday, March 16, 2011  (View archive.)

Building Capacity to Serve ELL Students in a Rural Context

In the third and final webinar, participants engaged in a discussion about implementing research in the field, specifically for building capacity through professional development and consortia-building in order to better serve ELL students in rural areas. The keynote presenter was Dr. Robin Scarcella, professor, University of California at Irvine, where she also serves as Director of the Program in Academic English and ESL; and co-author of the featured Practice Guide. Also featured was Laurie Nesrala, Lead Coordinator at the WRITE Institute, and practitioners from rural areas across the country, who shared how they have successfully implemented the discussed research-based practices.

How can we help you?

Do you want to know the latest research or where to turn for information? This free collaborative service from the 10 RELs provides references, referrals, and brief responses to education questions. To ask a question, visit the national portal and select REL West -- or directly.

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