Follow the Research
Follow the research!
The first time I heard/read about Virginia P. Collier’s research on second language acquisition was during my first English as a Second Language course in college.
I was blown away by the research that language, culture, and academic development MUST be supported SIMULTANEOUSLY not in isolation.
Read “Promoting Academic Success for ESL Students” book to learn more about this research and more.
As soon as I began working as an ESL teacher, I began practicing this research & sharing it with my colleagues.
I came to realize that to practice this research, collaboration with mainstream educators was IMPERATIVE.
My first co-teaching experience was intimidating but wonderful. We even ended up looping from 4th grade to 5th grade with our students — The best co-teaching years I've ever had at the elementary level with Ms. Culbreth.
Today, during a webinar (which I highly recommend) I was reminded of this important research— just look at the data in the image below. And though this well-known research across the US is on dual language education, I can't help but be drawn to the ESL pull-out services and its results.
Pulling students out of their mainstream classroom, beyond second-grade, to provide ESL services is detrimental & IT DOESN’T WORK.
I worked with elementary school children and from Kindergarten grades to 2nd grade, students didn't complain about coming to my ESL classroom. However, students in 3rd grade through 5th grade, would prefer staying in the classroom and working in small groups with me. They felt part of the classroom community. They knew they belonged and were different than their peers.
As my co-teachers and I planned our small group instructions, we intentionally grouped our ESL students mixed in with all students. Our book clubs and group services were so much fun.
So, here're some of the strategies that have worked as I worked with ESL students in mainstream classrooms:
This is just my 11th year teaching ESL so I am still learning and practicing. I'd LOVE to hear from you! What are your thoughts? Are you familiar with this research? How are you practicing this research? What services do you find more effective and why?
Please, share your answers in the comments below and I'll be happy to reply to you.
Thank you so much for reading!
One Word 2023
"One Word isn't about WHAT but WHO. Who do you want to become, not what you want to accomplish?" ~ Dan Britton
I LOVE this time of year - time of reflection and planning. Time to analyze what went well and what can get better. I'm not tough on myself. I know life is life and things happen. Sometimes things go as planned, some other times they just go the opposite of what we planned.
Anyway, while reflecting on 2022 and my #OneWord, I can see how this word really came alive. Many things unfolded in my life. I became an author, I started serving students mainly in an inclusion model, my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary...and so much more that is UNFOLDING!
I had a busy year. I know I did. But it really hit me when I read my daughter's Christmas card message. "I know you have been busy this year so I hope you like what I got you."
This message coming from my 8 year-old really got to me. It made me stop and think how many times have I told her "I'm busy" and put other things before her. Or how busy had I've beed that she didn't reach out to me because she knew I was "busy".
Anyway, as I was thinking about my #OneWord2023, I wanted a word that would help me with the "being busy" reflection.
I don't think I am stopping what I'm woking on since my book just released. What I can do is BE. Unapologetically BE who I want to BE and also BE present.
Thank you for reading!
A Year of PLC
"Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life." – Amy Poehler
What a year!! In October 2021, I started meeting virtually with a group of teachers of newcomers who are interested in learning new strategies, and gain lessons ideas to serve and teach their newcomers. I have a list of over 300 teachers who monthly receive an invitation to meet and learn together. Of course, not all teacher attend, but sessions are recorded and I know MANY go back and catch up on the recording.
Our monthly meeting routine is basically the same every time. We have an expert and guest speaker share for 30-40 minutes then we go into grade-level breakout rooms to discuss deeper about the topic.
In our breakout room, we have a shared document where we make notes of any ideas or resources we lean about from each other.
I am so grateful to amazing and superheroes in the field who have agreed to join us and share their expertise with us. We are better because of their teaching and guidance.
A HUGE shoutout to these amazing #PLC4newcomers’ superstars who shared with us from November 2021 to December 2022.
If you are interested in watching our previous meetings, follow this link to my YouTube channel ===> https://bit.ly/PLCplaylist
We are continuing these meetings in 2023. If you'd like to joining our PLC email list, please enter your information HERE and I will make sure you're invited to our next meetings.
Be sure to check out these amazing presentations and follow our SUPERSTARS!!
November - Supporting Struggling Learners with Patricia Vitale-Reilly -- @pattyvreilly
December - Does This Work with English Learners? Holly Genova -- @GenovaHollyAnn
January - Language Lens with Sarah B. Ottow -- @SarahOttow
March - Re-Imagining Migration with Adam Strom -- @afstrom
March/April -- Ramadan with Abeer Ramadan-Shinnawi - @shinram1
May - Wild About WIDA with Courtney Morgan -- @MrsMorganTeach
June - Celebrating Us with Lee Perez - @LanguagePerez
October 2022 -- Boosting Achievement with Carol Salva -- @DrCarolSalva
November 2022 - Engaging Families with Hannah Levister -- @HannahL_MLP
December 2022 - Sense of Belonging with Valentina Gonzalez -- @ValentinaESL
If you watch any of these fantastic presentations and find it helpful, please share a comment with me. I'd love to know how we're impacting YOU and your students.
Thank you for reading and watching!
AVUM FREE Virtual Conference
Amplifying the Voices of Unaccompanied Minors Virtual Conference
When & Where:
July 21, 2021
10:00 am – 1:00 pm CDT
What it is:
Amplifying the Voices of Unaccompanied Minors is an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to hear from those who have lived the experience as an unaccompanied minor in the American school system.
To register - Click HERE
WIDA Featured Educators
March 2021 Featured Educators:
BookTalk time ?— Emily Fɾαɳƈιʂ ? (@emilyfranESL) June 17, 2020
We Are Not From Here by @jetchez#StoriesMatter & these stories must be told!
3 historias fantásticas & their journey will stay with you FOREVER ?????????☀️? #DignidadLiteraria
Hear full review: https://t.co/yWPZ5OZUTW pic.twitter.com/HVpPfN6gEn
We can. We should. We are. #DestroyRapeCulture#SpeakUp#ShoutTogether@PenguinTeen @PenguinClass https://t.co/b6PkJzYlob— Laurie Halse Anderson (@halseanderson) July 1, 2020
We started this session discussing how important it is to have an understanding on how second language acquisition (SLA) works. From a student perspective I can tell you that knowing and understanding the process of acquiring and reaching proficiency in a targeted language has a process and it must be respected. It sure takes a huge burden off our students' shoulders when they learn that it takes time and we can always start with basic before mastering the academic language.
For teachers, understanding SLA is important so when we plan our lessons, we plan strategically to support each student at his/her specific level of language process.