You are here

Module 2 Facilitator Guide: Oral Language and Phonology

Building strong foundations: developing early literacy skills. Module 2: Oral language and phonology.


In this module, participants will:

  • Examine the language foundations of reading and learn about the oral and written language systems related to literacy.
  • Learn the progression of oral language development and make connections between the language components and literacy instruction.
  • Explore how a language-rich environment in the classroom can help further develop students’ oral language and literacy learning.
  • Explore examples of the three elements of a language-rich environment and videos of lessons that demonstrate how teachers can provide interactive language opportunities.
  • Learn about the three most common reading related phonological processes and their contributions to reading development and difficulties.
  • Learn about the importance of phonological awareness and explore the levels of phonological awareness and the developmental progression of phonological awareness skills.
  • Learn how to teach phonological awareness and implications for typical and struggling readers

Young child looking at a book in a library setting

Teachers Do:

  • Detailed Module 2 Outline
  • Module 2 Resource Library

Facilitator(s) Do:

  • Article: The Role of Early Oral Language in Literacy Development
  • Article: 6 Easy Ways to Improve Turn & Talk for Student Language Development
  • Article: The Myth That Young Children Cannot Be Screened for Dyslexia!
  • Article: Dyslexia Basics
  • Article: The Development of Phonological Skills
  • Article: Capitalizing on Similarities and Differences between Spanish and English

  • Video: What is Phonological Awareness?
  • Video: Introduction to Articulatory Phonetics (Consonants)
  • Video: UFLI: Blendable Sounds
  • Handout 2.1: The View of Reading
  • Handout 2.4: The Five Components of Language and Implications for Literacy Instruction
  • Handout 5.1: Phonological Awareness Continuum


Essential Questions:

Part 1: The Language Foundations of Reading:

  • What is the relationship between language comprehension, reading development, the Simple View of Reading, and Scarborough’s Reading Rope model?
  • What is the role of early oral language in literacy development, and how is it influenced by the progression of oral language development?
  • What is the teacher’s role in creating a language-rich environment, and how do these elements of a language-rich environment impact students?

Part 2: Phonological Awareness Development and Instruction:

  • What is the relationship between phonological awareness and reading development in Scarborough’s Reading Rope model?
  • How do the developmental progression and continuum of phonological awareness skills intersect in high leverage instruction?
  • How are the elements of effective phonological awareness infused into instruction?
  • What instructional moves capitalize on similarities and differences between Spanish and English?

Reflection Questions:

  • Are there any methods/practices that you currently implement but can enhance? If so, how?
  • Are there any methods/strategies that you plan to embed in your instruction? If so, which ones? How will you do so?



Curriculum Dive:

Use the Curriculum Evaluation Tool or the Curriculum Dive - Notetaking Template (DOCX) to review your primary literacy instructional resources. For this module, review using the section of the template with the heading “Phonological and Phonemic Awareness.”

Student Profile:

In the previous session, teachers selected a student struggling with learning to read and compile all literacy data currently available for the student. Use the Student Profile Template (DOCX) to complete an analysis of the student’s data and observations of the student’s oral language and phonological awareness abilities.


The Implementation phase of the Facilitator guide is to target important instructional practices and ensure that these practices are in place or progress throughout K-3 classrooms.

Effective Instructional Practices in Oral Language and Phonological Awareness: self-assessment:

Using the Features of Effective Instruction Checklist (DOCX) and the “Phonological and Phonemic Awareness” section of the “ Look Fors” document, have teachers reflect on their own instructional practices. What do they do regularly and well? What features may they be overlooking or need development? Have each teacher mark the areas in which they consider themselves effective and features they wish to improve upon. For each area, ask teachers to highlight one “look for” they want or need to improve on the most. This category can be focus points for coach or administrator observations.

Features of Effective Instruction: plan for observations (For coaches/administrators)

Between now and the next session, focus coaching or observation cycles on effective instructional practices. Observe each K-3 teacher using the “Look Fors” for phonological and phonemic awareness in the Leader Look For Document for PA and Phonics (DOCX). You can also observe each teacher using the "Look Fors" for oral language in the Leader Look For Document for Oral Language