Learn More about COLLTS PreK Curriculum from the American Institutes for Research

Lee & Low Books is the exclusive publisher of the American Institutes for Research preschool curriculum, Cultivating Oral Language and Literacy Talents in Students (COLLTS). Today we’re sharing frequently asked questions about the curriculum.

Is COLLTS only for dual language learners?

No! The Center for English Learners at the American Institutes for Research designed the COLLTS PreK curriculum to meet the needs of dual language learners and English learners in any PreK setting. All children can benefit from COLLTS.

Are the books included in the kits?

Book bundles are sold separately because PreK settings vary widely in how many staff at different sites want to have the mentor text to share with students. You may customize number of copies for English here and Spanish here.

What are the unit mentor texts for English and Spanish?

The Read Aloud Bundle for Spanish includes:

  • A Lola le encantan los cuentos
  • Un día de nieve
  • El regalo de Fernando (bilingual edition)
  • El sol del verano
  • Los pájaros de la cosecha
  • Pescar es divertido

The Read Aloud Bundle for English includes:

  • Lola Loves Stories
  • The Snowy Day
  • The Paper Crane
  • From Seed to Pumpkin
  • Fernando’s Gift (bilingual edition)
  • Over in a River: Flowing Out to the Sea

How many kits should I order for my school/district?

Order 1 kit per classroom.

Where can I learn more about the research behind COLLTS?

In 2019, COLLTS was used in treatment classrooms to support dual language learners’ (DLLs’) oral language development. The intervention consisted of teacher professional development; curricular materials that guided teachers in principles of effective instruction; interactive book reading, in which children are exposed to language-rich settings; and targeted skills instruction to build foundational literacy skills.

Key Findings:

  • Children who participated in the intervention showed significantly larger gains than children in control classrooms in three domains of oral language. These domains have consistently been shown to be developmentally sensitive and positively related to the bilingual reading achievement of DLLs.
  • The study demonstrates that an intervention can be easily integrated into preschool programming and result in significant improvements in children’s oral language, compared with children in control classrooms whose teachers did not receive COLLTS curriculum and training.

Journal Article: Developing Oral Language in Young Dual Language Learners, Cultivating Oral Language and Literacy Talent in Students (COLLTS)

Learn more about the pilot and study findings here.
Watch the webinar about research findings here.

Writing! In Prekindergarten! Why are there writing activities in a PreK curriculum?

These are included to introduce and model for students early foundations of writing. Students may participate in writing by attempting their own written language, drawing pictures, and/or dictating their ideas orally to a teacher who will transcribe student responses. The majority of the space in the writing handouts is for students to sketch and illustrate their responses.

I have multiple languages in the classroom, not just Spanish and English – will these units work for my teachers?

Yes! COLLTS includes evidence-based strategies to support all dual language learners as they acquire English, such as the use of visuals, scaffolding of questions and answers, and supporting multi-model vocabulary instruction.

We already have preschool curriculum – how can this pair with what we are already doing?

COLLTS can easily be integrated into a variety of program models and existing curriculum. The interactive book reading can be used for language and literacy time or the practices of COLLTS can be incorporated into existing routines and programs.

How were the mentor texts chosen?

The Center for English Learners at AIR purposefully selected these mentor texts for their literacy and informational quality, text type, rich language appeal to young children, multicultural themes and content, and the extent to which their content aligns with state college and career readiness standards for kindergarten.

Why is this curriculum six units, instead of whole year?

This curriculum is designed to teach adults the best, evidence-based strategies for supporting early literacy development. After educators, librarians, and caregivers practice and hone their skills with these six units and six read alouds, they will be prepared to continue applying these strategies when engaging preschoolers with any read aloud. COLLTS empowers teachers to be more strategic and effective in developing children’s language and literacy skills during read-alouds and center time.

Can we see a sample before we buy?

Yes! On the product pages, you can preview an English unit and a Spanish unit. Please contact COLLTS@leeandlow.com or Jill Eisenberg at jeisenberg@leeandlow.com to see a full unit in English and full unit in Spanish.

Can we pilot before we buy for the whole school/district/library system?

Yes! Please contact COLLTS@leeandlow.com to order one kit and book bundle to pilot.

Where can I get a recording of the latest COLLTS webinar?

Available here.

Is this designed only for Head Start?

COLLTS can be implemented in Head Start centers, daycares, Transitional Kindergarten, library storytime programs, family childcare, homeschool settings— anywhere serving preschool students! The teacher guides have been field-tested and written with approachable, realistic prompts and support for educators, librarians, volunteers and caregivers to use confidently.

Can we get additional professional development?

Yes! AIR has a team of experts with decades of experience training educators to work with DLLs. Please contact Patricia Garcia-Arena at 312.690.7374 or pgarcia-arena@air.org to learn more about the technical assistance options available.

I’m ready to buy – what now?

Fill out our interest form and we’ll be in touch!