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RICA Study Guide for the Bilingual Authorization
This module is an on-line guide to the content of the California Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA) focused on the literacy learning needs of second-language and bilingual readers. I provide teacher candidates with resources published on my website to help you prepare for the RICA examination. The RICA Standards were revised in 2009. This RICA Study Guide is especially designed for teacher candidates who are completing the Bilingual Authorization credential or certificate and expect to teach in dual language programs. These resources will help to better prepare teachers for effective literacy instruction for ALL California's readers and writers, but especially language minority students who are classified as limited English proficient. Twenty-five percent of California's students are classified as English language learners (ELLs) and 33% of all students in grades K-3 are classified as limited in English proficiency. Consequently, literacy instruction must address the particular characteristics and challenges of these learners. I encourage you to contact me at moramodules.com with your questions and comments.Good luck on the RICA!
Jill Kerper Mora
Recommended books for RICA preparation
Birch, B. (2007). English L2 reading: Getting to the bottom. 2d Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers.
Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (2003). Put reading first: The research building blocks for teaching children to read. Washington, D.C.: National Institute for Literacy. Available on-line at http://www.nifl.gov/publications/pdf/PRFbooklet.pdf
Gambrell, L.B., Morrow, L. M. & Pressley, M. (Eds). (2007). Best practices in literacy instruction, 3rd edition. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
RICA Content Domains & Competencies
DOMAIN 1: Planning, Organizing & Managing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessment
001 Understand how to plan, organize, and manage standards-based reading instruction.
002 Understand the purposes of reading assessment and best practices related to standards-based entry-level assessment, monitoring of student progress, and summative assessment.
DOMAIN 2: Word Analysis
003 Understand the role of phonological and phonemic awareness in reading development and how to develop students' phonological and phonemic awareness skills.
004 Understand the role of concepts about print, letter recognition, and the alphabetic principle in reading development and how to develop students' knowledge and skills in these areas.
005 Understand important terminology and concepts involved in phonics instruction and recognize the role of phonics and sight words in reading development.
006 Understand how to develop students' phonics knowledge and skills and recognition of sight words to promote accurate word analysis that leads to automaticity in word recognition and contributes to spelling development.
007 Understand the role of syllabic and structural analysis and orthographic knowledge in reading development and how to develop students' knowledge and skills in these areas to promote accurate word analysis that leads to automaticity in word recognition and contributes to spelling development.
DOMAIN 3: Fluency
008 Understand the role of fluency in reading development and factors that affect students' development of fluency.
009 Understand how to promote students' fluency development.
DOMAIN 4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge
010 Understand the role of vocabulary, academic language, and background knowledge in reading development and factors that affect students' development of vocabulary, academic language, and background knowledge.
011 Understand how to promote students' development of vocabulary, academic language, and background knowledge.
DOMAIN 5: Comprehension
012 Understand literal, inferential, and evaluative comprehension and factors affecting reading comprehension.
013 Understand how to facilitate reading comprehension by providing instruction that prepares students for the reading task, scaffolds them as needed through the reading process, and prepares them to respond to what they have read.
014 Understand how to promote students' comprehension and analysis of narrative/literary texts and their development of literary response skills.
Second Language Writing: Processes and Activities
015 Understand how to promote students' comprehension of expository/informational texts and their development of study skills and research skills.
RICA Content Domains & Literacy Instructional Competencies for English Language Learners (Mora & Grisham, 2001)
RICA Domain & Content Area
ELL Knowledge Base
Domain 1: Planning and Organizing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessment
(1) Conducting ongoing assessment of reading development
(2) Planning, organizing, and managing reading instruction
Knowledge of language assessment of ELLs provides information on language proficiency and first-to-second language transfer that may enhance or impede literacy development. Language assessment provides the basis for targeting areas of weakness and patterns of errors and to monitor oral language development in relation to reading and writing skills.
Domain 2: Developing Phonological and Other Linguistic Processes Related to Reading
(3) Phonemic awareness
(4) Concepts about print
(5) Systematic, explicit phonics and other word identification strategies
(6) Spelling instruction
Language assessment and miscue analysis provide clues to areas of weakness in phonemic discriminations based on contrasts in phonology of ELLs’ first language and English. Phonics instruction can be tailored to the features of English that are distinct from the child's L1 based on detection of omissions, substitutions, syllable juncture and other errors that appear in students' writing.
Domain 3: Developing Reading Comprehension and Promoting Independent Reading
(7) Reading comprehension
(8) Literary Response and analysis
(9) Content-area literacy
(10) Student independent reading
Language assessment data inform teachers about the reading level the ELL can achieve for instructional reading based on their oral proficiency and comprehension. Text can be matched to proficiency levels so as to maximize students' success in independent reading
Domain 4: Supporting Reading Through Oral and Written Language Development
(11) Relationship among reading, writing, and oral language
(12) Vocabulary development
(13) Structure of the English language
Language assessment serves to identify grammatical errors and syntactic patterns where ELLs require instructional support and/or intervention. Knowledge of the natural progression of L2 development and interlanguage helps teachers set realistic expectations for growth in literacy. Formal and informal assessment of vocabulary indicates areas for targeted instruction in pre-reading activities.
Balanced Biliteracy Instruction Framing Questions
The following questions to orient teacher credential candidates to the over-arching issues and program design aspects of the RICA domains. They represent a starting point and a summary and conclusion to test yourself for global understanding and application of the RICA content areas.
- What is meant by a balanced approach to literacy instruction? Describe the components of a balanced literacy program. What components of a balanced literacy program must be in place to address the particular needs of language minority students?
- What is phonemic awareness? What are the theories about why is PA important in teaching children to read and write? How does phonemic awareness relate to the alphabetic principle and phonics? Name some strategies for developing students' phonemic awareness. Can phonemic awareness transfer from a child's native language to English? What areas of phonemic awareness may need special attention in the case of bilingual learners?
- How and when do we teach vocabulary? When it is effective and appropriate to pre-teach vocabulary directly before reading a text? What vocabulary teaching strategies are particularly appropriate for L2 learners of English?
- Define structural analysis. What is its purpose? What facts and information about the history and structure of English does a teacher need to know in order to provide explicit instruction in structural analysis? What concepts of structural analysis apply to Spanish and English?
- What are some of the impediments to full comprehension of written text? Describe strategies for aiding students' comprehension of text. Are the same strategies applicable to narrative text and literature as compared to expository (content-area) text? Elaborate on the similarities and differences between narrative and expository text reading tasks.
- Describe the components of an effective spelling program. How do these components parallel the developmental sequence or stages children go through in learning to spell? What is the current perspective on the use of word lists for spelling?
- What is the role of performance assessment in a balanced comprehensive approach to literacy instruction? What types of reading performance should be assessed? Describe tests and instruments that are commonly used and/or commercially available for each type of assessment. Beyond the instruments that are commercially available, what tools for assessment can a teacher employ to provide a complete picture of a particular student's reading performance?
- In what ways are instruction in oral language, reading and writing linked? What is taught in an effective writing instruction program? What is the writing process and what is its role in a balanced literacy program?
To gauge your confidence level in using Spanish in biliteracy instruction and your philosophy of biliteracy instruction, take this survey "quiz" as a reflection activity.
Mora, J.K. (2006). Differentiating instruction for English Learners: The four-by-four model. In T.A. Young & N. L. Hadaway (Eds.). Supporting the literacy development of English Learners: Increasing success in all classrooms (pp. 24-40). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Mora, J.K. (2001). Effective instructional practices and assessment for literacy and biliteracy development. In S. R. Hurley & J.V. Tinajero (Eds.) Literacy Assessment of Second Language Learners (pp. 149-166). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Mora, J.K. & Grisham, D.L (2001) !What deliches tortillas! Preparing teachers for literacy instruction in linguistically diverse classrooms. Teacher Education Quarterly, 28 (4), 51-70.