"What courses or certifications should I pursue if I want to do more with reading instruction and literacy?"
That is one of the top questions I get asked. I have tried to steer away from answering it . . . UNTIL NOW!
Why would I try not to answer this question? Because one class, course, or program DOES NOT prepare you to work with literacy. It might provide you with a great foundation, but more is needed. We are constantly learning more about how we learn to read.
Here are my top places to learn more about structured literacy.
Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) - This has been one of my favorite training so far. It really teaches about the methodology and how it can be applied to multiple programs.
International Dyslexia Association (IDA) - IDA offers professional development opportunities delivered by SLPs, teachers, and top researchers in the literacy world.
University of Florida Literacy Institute - For those that want more of a structured program via a University, here is one program that offers just that!
The Reading League - A nonprofit with the goal of educating professionals and parents about structured literacy practices. Learn more about your local state chapter.
The Florida Center for Reading Research - A multidisciplinary research team compromised of teachers, speech therapists, and social workers. They have resources available for professionals and families.
AIM Institute for Learning and Research - Offers free research symposiums available live and recorded.
MGH Institute of Health Professionals - Designed for educators/ professionals with a license in another area or subject matter that want to become reading specialists.
(DISCLAIMER: I work as an independent contractor for Cambium Learning Group. Thoughts and opinions are my own and I do not reflect the company)
These are just my top recommendations, but there are many other great trainings available to professionals.