PL7. Teaching Language Comprehension – Part 1

Course Progress


This module is part of the Primary Literacy Series designed to assist all educators and other interested stakeholders in helping students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become proficient readers. In this module, participants will learn about the skills required to develop strong, strategic language comprehension skills outlined in Scarborough’s Reading Rope, specifically direct instruction in building background knowledge, vocabulary, literacy knowledge, and language structures in the context of grade-level complex text.

Time estimate: 2.5-3 hours

  • Teaching Language Comprehension – Part 1
    • Pre-Assessment
    • 1. Language Comprehension & Complex Texts
    • 2. Building Background Knowledge
    • 3. Building Literacy Knowledge
    • 4. Building Vocabulary Knowledge
    • 5. Teaching Language Structures
    • 6. Summing it Up
    • Post-Assessment
    • Module Evaluation
How to use this Module


Welcome to the seventh module in the Primary Literacy series, Teaching Language Comprehension: Part 1, in the ALL Ohio Literacy Library! This module is geared towards all educators and other interested stakeholders who want to further their knowledge about teaching language comprehension skills to develop strong, skilled readers. In this module, you’ll learn how to teach background knowledge, literacy knowledge, vocabulary, and language structures using grade-level complex texts. As educators, caregivers, and other roles that support children and education, we must understand that strong word recognition alone will not create proficient readers, therefore an emphasis on language comprehension skills throughout each grade K-5 is necessary in elementary education.

Whether you are an early interventionist, caregiver, teacher, administrator, paraprofessional, parent, related service provider, higher education faculty or candidate, or have another role in helping a child develop their reading skills, we want to first say THANK YOU. We know that your time is valuable and you would not be here if you weren’t interested in supporting outcomes for young children and families.


We recommend completing The Simple View of Reading Module before enrolling in this module.

Module Description

This module explores the language comprehension skills of Scarborough’s Reading Rope, specifically direct instruction in building background knowledge, vocabulary, literacy knowledge, and language structures in the context of grade-level complex text.

The following topics are discussed in the text, linked resources, embedded audio, and video:

  • Language Comprehension and Complex Text
  • Building Background Knowledge
  • Building Literacy Knowledge
  • Building Vocabulary Knowledge
  • Teaching Language Structures
  • Summing It Up

After completing this module, we encourage you to enroll in any of our other Foundational Literacy or Primary Literacy modules to learn about literacy basics that are essential for students of all ages.  Additionally, the next module in the series, Teaching Language Comprehension: Part 2, will continue to build upon the knowledge presented in this module. 

This module aligns with Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement, the importance of evidence-based, differentiated core literacy instruction, and Ohio’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports structure as a Theory of Action to guide the design of effective instruction and appropriate interventions as part of school improvement efforts.

In addition, the module aligns with the following recommendations in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Practice Guide – Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade

  1. Recommendation 1: Teach students academic language skills, including the use of inferential and narrative language and vocabulary knowledge.

Learning Objectives

Number 1

Identify the language systems related to reading proficiency and the changing emphasis of instruction.

Number 2

Identify and apply evidence-based strategies for building knowledge.

Number 3

Identify and apply strategies for teaching text structures and features associated with different text genres.

Number 4

Identify and apply evidence-based strategies for teaching vocabulary.

Number 5

identify and apply evidence-based strategies for teaching sentence structure.

Course Navigation, Design, and Policies

Throughout each course, you will see a Course Outline with a green ribbon and the title of the course at the top right corner of the page. The outline displays every section of the course. Click any section to jump right to it.

At any time you are in a module, you can go back to the Home Module page by clicking the Back to Module button located directly under the module outline.

As you go through the course, you will have the opportunity to click the Mark Complete box at the end of each section. When you do this, the sections you have completed will be crossed off in your outline, and you will be taken to the next section of the course.

Your progress will automatically be saved within the learning management system, and you can view your course progress through the progress bar located near the top of most sections.

Exiting and Resuming a Module

Know that your progress will automatically be saved within the learning management system. If you exit the website, once you log back in you can easily access your courses by clicking the on the My Dashboard button located on the gray ribbon on top of every page.

Note Feature within the Modules

Throughout each module, you will notice some Reflection boxes that provide various prompts. Each reflection will be in a grey box with an image of a pen/lightbulb. A built in feature of each module is the ability to take notes and save them for your future use. This feature can be used within any part of the module, but is especially helpful for the reflection activities.

To access the note feature, simply click on the purple Take Notes button fixed in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. When you click on this button, a Take Notes box will appear. This box can be moved anywhere on the screen. Within the box, there is a SAVE button as well as a Print Button.

The easiest way to print all the notes you take from the entire module is to click View All Notes. When you click View All Notes, you will be taken to a page like the one below.

Click the boxes of the Notes you would like to print, and then click Download Selected. All your notes will be downloaded into one document separated by headers.

Purpose and Structure of Modules

All Ohio’s comprehensive learning modules are relevant to any educator working to support students’ literacy development. In each module, you will find in-depth narrative text, linked resources, realistic scenarios, reflection activities, and embedded audio and videos.

Each module is self-paced. The approximate time for completion of the module is listed in the Simple View of Reading Module text box on the home page of the module. 

Additional information included on each module’s home page include:

  • Required prerequisites for the module.
  • A more detailed description of the module.
  • Helpful downloadable resources for the module including an outline of the module’s content and supporting resources, a step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules, and an in-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.
Certificates and Badges

Professional Development Certificates are available for each comprehensive learning module. To earn a Professional Development Certificate, you must obtain a passing score of 85% or more on the module post-test. Please note that you are only allowed up to two attempts to obtain a passing score to earn your certificate.


When completing professional development modules within All Ohio, you can earn badges based on your engagement in and mastery of content within each comprehensive learning module. You earn Achievement Badges when you demonstrate proficiency with module content (i.e., obtaining a score of at least 85%), whereas Engagement Badges are awarded based on your level of participation on the site.

Your earned Certificates and Badges will be displayed on your “All Ohio Dashboard.”
Academic Honesty
High standards of honesty and integrity are expected when completing professional development within this learning management system. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in the completion of activities and/or claiming credit for work not done or done by others.  Any violation of these expectations can result in removal from this learning management system.

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Helpful Resources Related to this Module

Module Resources

An outline of the module’s main content and supporting resources.

Welcome & Navigation

Step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules. 

Ohio Literacy Library

In-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.

Enroll in this Module