Students who are learning to read must become aware of the smallest segmented parts of spoken words (phonemes) that are represented by graphemes (letters and combinations of letters) in written words,” (IDA, 2022) and as such, teachers have the responsibility to deliver evidence-based instruction that facilitates students’ acquisition of these early literacy skills. Now consider the additional layer of educating a rapidly rising English learner population. To support the acquisition of both language and literacy, specialized teacher knowledge is required. This session explores research from two seminal literacy reports to support an integrated approach to phonemic awareness, phonics, and handwriting instruction, and the importance of capitalizing on two key adjustments—oral language proficiency and cross-language transfers – to advance second language and literacy acquisition among ELs.