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What is Project GLAD®?

Press Release BE GLAD® Announcement        Endorsement by Co-Creator Marcia Brechtel   

The Guided Language Acquisition Design

Project GLAD® is a model of professional development in the area of language acquisition and literacy. The strategies and model promote English language acquisition, academic achievement, and cross-cultural skills. Project GLAD® was developed and field tested for nine years by the United States Department of Education and is based on years of experience with integrated approaches for teaching language. Tied to the Common Core Standards and State Standards, the model trains teachers to provide access to core curriculum using local district guidelines and curriculum.

The federally funded research project field-tested the model and was completed in the early 1990’s.  The U.S. Department of Education placed a mission of national dissemination upon us at the conclusion of the federal project.  At that point, the project ended and our goal to make the nation ‘BE GLAD’ began.  BE GLAD™ LLC has been providing Project GLAD® training for almost 20 years and has an elite set of trainers.  It is the only organization currently endorsed by Marcia Brechtel the co-creator of Project GLAD® to provide this professional development to educators in the area of language acquisition and literacy.

GLAD is an instructional model with clear, practical strategies promoting effective interactions between students and students and teachers and students that develop metacognitive use of high-level language and literacy.  During the staff development, teachers are provided with the instructional strategies, together with the theory and research that support the model, and the curriculum model that brings these all together in the context of district and state frameworks and guidelines.  This includes 21st Century Skills, Common Core State Standards, integrated with NGSS & state Social Studies Standards.  The second part is a demonstration session in the classroom where the model is demonstrated with students using an integrated CCSS based unit.

BE GLAD training results in teachers’ renewed commitment to high expectations and high standards for all students. The results for students have been continued gains in standardized test scores, as well as renewed involvement in a classroom that is, not only student-centered, but fosters a sense of identity and voice.

Project GLAD is a United States Department of Education, OBEMLA, Project of Academic Excellence; a California Department of Education Exemplary Program, a model reform program for the Comprehensive School Reform Design, and training model for five Achieving Schools Award Winners. It was the recommended K-8 project by the California State Superintendent of Schools for teachers of English learners. It is also highlighted as a California Department of Education “Best Practices” program for Title III professional development funding.


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BE GLAD® is a model of staff training for language acquisition. Teachers are trained to modify the delivery of instruction of students to promote academic language and literacy. BE GLAD has two aspects to its success.

1. The first aspect is the “what” of the language acquisition model

The “what” is that the Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) provides an organizational structure for an integrated, balanced literacy approach. The integration, of listening, speaking, reading, and writing into all content areas and the interrelating of science, social studies, and literature with each other, underscores research that language is acquired most effectively when the emphasis is on meaning and the message. Language, any language, should be acquired while studying something of interest or real life use.

Writings in the field of brain research and standards-based instruction reinforce that by integrating the content areas and direct teaching of metacognitive strategies, learning is made more relevant and meaningful, thus insuring more efficient and effective learning. The strategies and classroom implications foster a risk-free, cross-culturally sensitive environment within which students are able to acquire academic language and concepts. Although, as written, the Project GLAD model is intended for English language acquisition for English language learners, it is valuable for acquisition of language for all students. The structure, strategies, and classroom implications, are invaluable in a multilingual setting. BE GLAD has been used successfully in gifted and talented settings.

2. The second is the “how” of the staff training


*EDUCATOR TRAINING begins with a total of 6 or 7 days. This includes Element 1 and 2 for the initial training.*

For a training at your site location with custom dates, please contact or 1-844-438-4523 toll free


Element 1: 2-Day Workshop (Theory and Research)

The BE GLAD Training is available to anyone in the profession of education.  It involves the Two-Day Research and Theory Workshop where participants will have the opportunity to dialogue and learn with other professionals in the field about the research that supports the model and its development, planning support connecting with the Common Core State Standards, an introduction to integrated units, and exposure to about forty effective teaching strategies. It covers the works of educators across the disciplines: reading, writing, brain compatible teaching, language acquisition, cross-cultural respect, primary language, and coaching. Research is directly tied to specific classroom implications, strategies and organization.

Element 2: Classroom Demonstration Session (Days 3-6 of the training)

After attending the 2-Day Workhshop, the Four or Five Day Demonstration Lesson occurs. The demonstration is a unique opportunity for teachers to observe students utilizing the strategies with a BE GLAD elite trainer. The participants will be supported by a BE GLAD elite coach who will facilitate a deeper understanding of the strategies, their variations, and engage participants in meaningful conversations around the model. During the afternoons of the demonstration, participants will be able to start planning and preparing materials to use in their classroom right away to effectively support application and implementation. Seeing successful strategies with students is the most effective method of promoting change.


Element 3: Follow-up and Coaching

The trainers and leadership team develop a customized plan for Follow Up support. Trainers will provide customized follow up coaching to BE GLAD trained teachers. Teachers will receive individualized and grade-level team support around Project GLAD strategies to increase implementation of the use Project GLAD strategies. This differentiated model will provide and encourage collaboration, support, modeling of strategies, reflection and goal setting. Follow-up coaching might include classroom modeling, co-teaching, planning sessions, time to create standards-based lessons and prepare strategies.

Element 4: Gladiator

Teachers and district staff deepen their knowledge of the BE GLAD model and strategies to develop support for sites and districts. Districts can create model classrooms at each site to be a resource for BE GLAD trained staff.

Element 5: Trainer-in-Training (TnT)

Teachers and district staff increase their comprehension of the BE GLAD model to become certified trainers to conduct trainings within their own district. This supports districts to sustain implementation of BE GLAD in their district. TnT's build internal capacity for future BE GLAD trainings in their district. *Must be trained in Elements 1 & 2 to be eligible. If you are interested, please apply.

October 19-23, 2015 TnT session

Element 6: Agency Trainers

Certified trainers continually receive updates and enhance their practice. Structures for data collection and adhering to the purity of the process and strategies are shared consistently. The continued improvement of our practice is celebrated every 2 years with recertification as an Agency Trainer. Only Certified Trainers that maintain this level of rigor will be recognized by BE GLAD as elite trainers.

September 17-18, 2015 Recert session

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Project GLAD® stands for and promotes an educational setting that produces effective, literate citizens of a global society. It is a model of respect for diversity not only in language and ethnicity, but, also, in thinking, learning, and personal experiences. It provides support for teachers and students alike to face change and success effectively and confidently.

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The following features make the Guided Language Acquisition Design promote successful, involved teachers and students:

• A unique blend of academic language and literacy that marries the research from many fields and organizes the strategies and classroom implications into a process.

• The model is not only firmly rooted in research, but it has been field tested both in district and out for the past 18 years. It has been found useful as a trainer of teachers and as a trainer of trainers.

• A classroom environment that values the student, provides authentic opportunities for use of academic language, maintains highest standards and expectations for all students, and fosters voice and identity.

• Primary language can be provided by trained bilingual teachers, trained bilingual aides, trained parents, or cross-age/peer tutoring. The unique aspect is that with this model both languages complement each other through integrated themes.

• The amount of oral language for negotiation for meaning and cross-cultural interaction is extensive.

• The training model is successful because it values teacher’s time, viewpoints, and expertise of the teachers, as well as promoting collaboration and peer coaching.

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Based on current areas of research, a brief summary of some strategies and classroom implications follows:

1. Teach to the Highest

• A classroom environment that values the student and provides authentic opportunities for use of academic language and maintains the highest standards and expectations for all students (Goodman, Shefelbine, Cummins, Smith, and Collier).

2. Brain Research--Metacognition

• A time to activate and focus prior knowledge; inquiry charts, brainstorming, and clustering (Costa, Rico, Kovalik).

• An opportunity to insure a common base of understanding and scaffolding, direct experiences, films, visuals, teacher read alouds (Krashen, Collier, Swain, Long, Vygotsky).

• Students taught how and encouraged to organize thoughts and texts utilizing multiple intelligences: graphic organizers, summaries, visuals, or contextual and semantic clues (Costa, Rico, Krashen, Long, Marzano, Gardner, Lazear).

• Metacognitive aspect of teacher and students modeling of how an answer was arrived at, not merely what the correct answer was (Costa, Farr, Sagor).

3. Brain Research and Second Language Acquisition

• A student set purpose for learning; motivating, stated result or goal; student choices; connections made between personal background knowledge and new learning, inquiry charts (High Scope, Hunter, Cummins, Wolfe).

• Chances to negotiate meaning from language and text; cooperative activities for problem-solving and social skills; heterogeneous homogeneous flexible groupings (Long, Kagan, Vygotsky, Cummins, Shefelbine).

4. Reading and Writing To, With, and By Students

• Reading that stresses the purpose and joy before the skills; beginning with writing and reading one’s own language; immense amounts of being read to; time for silent sustained reading and silent sustained writing with oral book sharing and quickshares (Goodman, Krashen, Flores, Traill, Shefelbine).

• Direct teaching of concepts, vocabulary, and necessary skills; text patterns, academic language, writing patterns; decoding skills (UCI Writing Project, Bettances, Chall, Reading Task Force, Marzano, Beck, Shefelbine, Adams).

• Writing that stresses the metacognitive use of reading and writing as a process; use of clustering/brainstorming to initiate writing; acceptance of developmental level of writer; editing and revising done in appropriate places in the process. No over-editing in early drafts; not all writing brought to editing stage; use of conferencing methods to guide student through the process; use of logs for personal responses to texts or issues; use of interactive journals (Goodman, Graves, Calkins, Rico, UCI Writing Project).

• Language functional environment; language charts, poetry kept on walls - read and used by students; reading and writing the walls daily. Big Books on walls, shared reading/writing experiences (Traill, Cummins, Flor Ada).

5. Active participation in all components of the unit, negotiating for meaning, comprehensible output personal interactions and 10/2 (Long, Cambourne, Cummins, Swain, Goldenburg, Costa)

6. A theme, year planning, and strategies that foster standards-based learning respect, trust, identity, and voice. The use of personal interaction values oral ideas and cross-cultural respect. (Cummins, Wiggins and McTighe, Berman, Baron).

7. Ongoing assessment and evaluation using a variety of tools to provide reflection on what has been learned, how it was learned and what will be done with the information. Assessment, ongoing and summative, based on strengths as well as needs. Direct teaching of test language and test taking skills. (Costa, Wiggens, Farr, Treadway, Lazear)

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An unsolicited quote by a teacher at one of the adopting schools’ district board meetings:

“I teach a 4/5 combination at Finley, and I formerly taught at Fryberger, and when I taught at Fryberger, I had, I would say, between 6 and 10 English learners and maybe one would be non-English speaking. When I started teaching at Finley last year, I had about 25 English learners. Of those, I’d say 16-18 were levels 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s, 8 were non-English speaking. And I suddenly discovered that the way that I had taught before simply didn’t work. I was really frustrated. I was really floundering, and then, we received the GLAD training--the entire staff received GLAD training. I ran right back to the classroom, developed the first GLAD thematic unit, and all I can say is I, I mean I feel like a born again GLAD convert because it’s totally changed my teaching. I think that it is the single most important and valuable and effective teacher preparation that I’ve received--and I include in that student teaching--I wouldn’t trade all of the conferences that I’ve had in the last six years for the GLAD training. And I don’t want you to think that it’s only for English learners, or that it’s only for low-ability. I would happily and with great conviction teach a class of GATE students using the GLAD methodology--it’s plain old, good teaching, and I wish every teacher in the our school district could have the training. It’s wonderful. Thank you.”

A student quote:

“I like how you always use charts, so if you forget something overnite, you can come back and remember, also sitting in groups because if you need help, they are there for you.” (Jeff--4th grade)

An administrator’s quote:

“The feedback was wonderful. Both trainers said things that validated what we were doing and things that led us to improve our work.”

A parent and board member quote:

“ Project GLAD is a phenomenal program. Our teachers in our Dual Language Program here in Travis Unified have all been trained in the GLAD strategy, effectively apply it in their classrooms, and their walls are rich with vocabulary. They are awesome!”

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BE GLAD® & Project GLAD® have over 30 years of data and personal testimony to our effectiveness.

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For further information, please contact BE GLAD: Toll Free 1-844-438-4523

Noshaba Afzal, Director of Trainings

 (844) 438-4523 ext. 701

Jabbar Beig, Executive BE GLAD Officer

(844) 438-4523 ext. 700

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updated 07/28/2015 & website owned and operated by BE GLAD since 1996. Independent Project GLAD Agency not affiliated with any state, county or district. It's why we can customize and deliver the best!

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