The University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC) is authorized by Sopris West to offer Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS®), a professional development series for educators, throughout the state of Utah and in western Colorado.

LETRS professional development responds to the need for literacy educators to have deep expertise about reading development. Developed by Louisa C. Moats, EdD, LETRS provides the foundational knowledge necessary to understand how students learn to read, write, and spell-and why some of them struggle.

LETRS provides educators with a core understanding of language structure and helps them gain in-depth instructional information to complement their teaching practices. Rather than replacing the core basal reading program, LETRS brings deeper knowledge of reading instruction by addressing important individual components: phoneme awareness; phonics, decoding, spelling, and word study; oral language development; vocabulary; reading fluency; comprehension; and writing, as well as the foundational concepts that link them.

While LETRS trainings are primarily designed for reading and language specialists, they are open to any classroom teacher or administrator interested in improving the quality of reading instruction in his or her school district.

LETRS trainings typically last two to three days, with one LETRS module covered each day. We recommend training in sequential order of the modules. Modules 1-6 of the program are intended for educators at all grade levels; Modules 7-9 are for K-3 educators, and Modules 10-12 are for grades 3 and above.

Location & Fees

The UURC will deliver each module at a subsidized rate of $100 per individual per module. This fee includes a manual for each participant. For an additional $100, participants who wish to earn undergraduate or graduate university credit may register for continuing education credit (1 credit for completing modules 1-3, inclusive).

Schools and organizations in the state of Utah and western Colorado may contact the UURC to schedule LETRS training(s) on-site or at the UURC.

Regional LETRS Trainers Affiliated with the UURC
Kathleen J. Brown, Ph.D.
Matthew K. Fields, Ph.D.
Leslie Adams, M.A.
Michele Blake, M.Ed.
Holly Dean, M.A.
Grace Craig, M.A.
Linda Jensen, B.S.
Ursula Brock
Trina Robbins

The above individuals received their LETRS training from Nancy Hennessy, national LETRS trainer and former president of the International Dyslexia Association. In January, 2008, they attended the second annual LETRS Summit for additional training, under the direction of Louisa Moats, Ed.D.

Research base

The LETRS program's underlying principles are grounded in several scientific research reports, including "Blueprint for Professional Development," Reading First Leadership Academy, U.S. Department of Education (Moats, 2002); "The Missing Foundation in Teacher Education," American Educator (Moats, 1995); and "Measuring Teachers' Content Knowledge of Language and Reading," Annals of Dyslexia (Moats and Foorman, 2003).

See here for a more detailed description of the deep research base for this program.

Participant Comments

"LETRS has transformed my understanding of reading/writing instruction. The modules are jam-packed with useful activities and practices to facilitate reading success for all children."
     -Dana Schwartz, Reading Coach, Arizona

" . . . LETRS reflects the best of the research, presented in a comprehensive way that is useful to professional developers and to teachers."
     -Dr. Jan Hasbrouck, Author / Consultant

"Component by component, I consider the LETRS series to have the strongest reading development and reading instruction content available today. Its theoretical framework is current and based on scienfitically-derived empirical evidence. It goes the extra mile in making this framework come alive with hands-on examples of research-based "best practice." Whether educators want to learn more about phonological awareness, comprehension, oral language, or any of the other basic components, LETRS should be among their top considerations."
     -Dr. Kathleen Brown, Director, University of Utah Reading Clinic

"Thank you for providing the most valuable training I've received in my entire educational career. I now have the knowledge, backed by research, to support my teachers as we create reading success for all students!"
     -Gary Robinson, Principal, Indiana

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