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Becoming a Certified Literacy Teacher

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) have joined forces to create a certification program for teachers of reading. The goal of the program is to encourage the preparation and designation of highly knowledgeable and skilled teachers.

To ensure that reading is taught well to all students, IDA wrote The Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. Based on current research, the IDA standards outline what a teacher of reading should know and be able to do to teach reading well.

 

The Certification Exam for Educators of Reading Instruction (CEERI)

Teachers who complete the Reading 101 modules will learn about critical skills for proficient reading and best practices that support students’ acquisition of these skills. As a measure of success in learning the Reading 101 content, teachers may wish to attain certification offered through the Center for Effective Reading Instruction and The International Dyslexia Association. A requisite step to certification is successful completion of the Certification Exam for Educators of Reading Instruction (CEERI).

The CEERI was developed under the guidance of Applied Measurement Professionals and with the input of 1,200 educators. The exam is computer-based and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.  There are three types of multiple-choice exam items: recall (34%), application (48%), and analysis (18%).

  • A recall item requires the examinee to remember specific information. For example:

    Orally segmenting words into their individual sounds is an example of what kind of activity?

    1. morphological
    2. syntactic
    3. phonological
    4. orthographic
  • An application item requires the examinee to make use of knowledge. For example:

    A student makes the following errors on a written composition: ilegal for illegal, atract for attract, and oposite for opposite. The student would benefit from instruction in

    1. combining forms.
    2. chameleon prefixes.
    3. word origins.
    4. free morphemes.
  • An analysis item requires the examinee to consider and use three points of information to solve a problem or make an instructional decision. For example:

    At mid-year, a second-grade student’s fluency rate is 55 words correct per minute. The student’s weekly spelling test average is 65%. The student’s scores on a standardized reading assessment with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 21.06 are listed below.

    Subtest Score

    Listening Comprehension

    61

    Reading Comprehension.

    35

    Vocabulary

    39

    Word Attack

    34

    Word Identification

    37

    Spelling

    31

    While reading aloud, this student misreads the word steep as step. To meet the student’s instructional needs, the teacher should have the student

    1. listen carefully as the teacher reads the sentence with the misread word.
    2. reread the sentence that contains the word repeatedly to improve fluency.
    3. listen to the teacher dictate the word, say the word, and segment the word into sounds.
    4. identify the syllable type, determine the vowel sound, and read the word.

For more information about the CEERI, visit the Center for Effective Reading Instruction website.

Certification

Certification from CERI or IDA aims to encourage the preparation and designation of highly knowledgeable and skilled teachers of reading. The certification program is multi-tiered.

Tier 1 – Certified Structured Literacy Teacher

Classroom teachers are prepared to use data to plan, monitor, and adjust instruction in the general education classroom to meet the literacy needs of students. This certification is awarded by CERI.

Requirements: Successful completion of coursework aligned with the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards and the Certification Exam for Educators of Reading Instruction.

Tier 2 – Certified Structured Literacy Interventionist

Interventionists are prepared to work with those students who in spite of appropriate classroom instruction are not meeting grade-level benchmarks. These individuals also work with and support classroom teachers in planning and implementing literacy instruction in their classrooms that meets the needs of all students. This certification is awarded by CERI.

Requirements: Successful completion of coursework aligned with the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards, the Certification Exam for Educators of Reading Instruction, and a supervised practicum that is commensurate with the certification tier.

Tier 3 – Certified Dyslexia

Level I: Practitioner
Level II: Therapist

The Certified Dyslexia Practitioner and the Certified Dyslexia Therapist are prepared to work with those students who are diagnosed with dyslexia and related difficulties. These certifications are awarded by IDA.

Requirements: Successful completion of coursework aligned with the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards, the Certification Exam for Educators of Reading Instruction, and an intensive supervised practicum that is commensurate with the certification tier and level.

Visit the IDA website for more information about knowledge and practice standards for teachers of reading.

Figure 1. The three tiers of certification

Figure 1. The three tiers of certification. Tier 1 requires successful completion of the CEERI. Tier 2 requires successful completion of a supervised practicum and the CEERI. Tier 3 requires successful completion of additional course work, intensive supervised practicum, and the CEERI.

The knowledgeable and skilled teacher of reading

Skilled reading is the foundation of academic success, economic opportunities, lifelong learning, and quality of life. The knowledgeable and skilled teacher of reading can make a difference in the lives of his or her students!


Additional resources

In addition to the Reading 101 modules, the following resources will also help you prepare for the Certification Exam for Educators of Reading Instruction (CEERI).

  • Expert Perspectives on Interventions for Reading, edited by L.C. Moats, K.E. Dakin, and  R.M. Joshi (2012)
  • Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment, Pre-K-6, edited by M. Hougen and S. Smartt (2012)
  • Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, 3rd edition, edited by J.R. Birsh (2011)
  • Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills Activity Book, Revised Edition, by S. Carreker and J. R. Birsh (2011)
     

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, scientific, and educational organization. The mission of IDA is to pursue and provide the most comprehensive range of information and services that address the full scope of dyslexia and related difficulties in learning to reading and write. IDA has been serving professionals in the field and individuals with dyslexia and their families for 55 years.

The Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI)

The mission of the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) is to further evidence-based approaches to reading so that all students acquire the highest levels of literacy and thrive. CERI fulfills its mission by offering certification to general education teachers and reading interventionists that affirms their knowledge and skills in teaching literacy using a structured approach to language. CERI is an independent 501(c)(6) organization founded by the IDA.

 

Reading 101 is a collaboration with the Center for Effective Reading Instruction and The International Dyslexia Association.

"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox