34 Replies Latest reply: May 29, 2012 10:25 AM by mso RSS

Introductions

Tammy Dewan Novice
Currently Being Moderated

Welcome to our group dedicated to reaching ELLs!  Take time to introduce yourself to others. The co-owners of this group are Marie (mso) and Tammy Dewan.  Please let us know if you need assistance. 

  • Re: Introductions
    Tammy Dewan Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am excited that you found your way to this group.  I look forward to connecting and sharing with all of you.  You can read my profile to learn more about me by clicking on my picture icon.  Be sure to update your profile so we can learn more about you.  My hope for this group is to collect new resources to support ELLs.

    • Re: Introductions
      stamatakismc New User
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi, Tammy,

       

      I took your webinar and enjoyed it. I'm an experienced ELL teacher in Greece and the U.S. I want to keep up with new developments in education and share ideas with other teachers. I'm on the island of Crete right now and enjoying the sea and sunshine.

    • Re: Introductions
      Sharron Bills New User
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hello to all-

      I am a veteran educator with several teaching areas in Texas and New Mexico. Currently I serve my district as a central office administrator. My district has a large percentage of ELLs, with an ever-increasing number coming straight from Mexico with no English language. The emphasis of the state assessments and fewer language exemptions are putting schools under even more pressure to reach and teach these students quickly and effectively. I know that educators from across the nation are facing these same issues and our only hope is to work collectively.

      Sharron Bills

      • Re: Introductions
        mso Novice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Thanks Sharron,

        It is a pleasure to have you join our group...

        You are so right regarding pressures to have ELLs demonstrate annual progress.  I suppose that is why so many states are joining consortiums such as WIDA...to help monitor student progress.  Are you a member of any such consortium?

         

        With all of your experience, your insights into instruction will be valuable to our group!

         

        Marie(mso)

  • Re: Introductions
    abierer New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am the program manager for the International Learning Center.  We are an organization that works with refugee families in Milwaukee, WI.  We have adult ELL, Pre-GED, GED, math, citizenship and computer classes.  In addition, we have a licensed early childhood program that has a home visitation component.  We also offer enrichment programs for youth and teens at our site and at our parent organization, Neighborhood House of Milwaukee.

  • Re: Introductions
    stamatakismc New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Tammy,

     

    I now teach classical musicians and artists at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. For the past two years, the beginning level ELL students have mostly come from China which has been very interesting for me. I would like to publish an article about this experience. Do you have any suggestions about where I could do this? I'm interested in writing about teaching methods and how students from different countries adjust to the teaching style in the U.S.

    • Re: Introductions
      Tammy Dewan Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Welcome Marvine!  Writing an article focusing on Chinese speaking students would be benefical.  There is a lot of research out there on Spanish speaking students learning English but not for Chinese speaking students.  As a teacher, I find it helpful to read what other teachers have to say rather than researchers.  Teachers can speak from first hand experiences.

       

      Now to answer your question regarding where to publish an article relating to ELL, I am not too sure.  I know TESOL is a respected group, but I don't know how they go about selecting articles to publish.  I think your question would be great as a new discussion question.  I can post it for you as a new discussion or you can post it by clicking on "create new" above and then "discussions" or you can use the right hand navigation and click on "add a discussion".  If I don't hear back within a few days, I will go ahead and post your question for you.

       

      Tammy

    • Re: Introductions
      toolkit New User
      Currently Being Moderated

      Just how much do you want to write? One article, a course, a book?

       

      Who is the audience for your article?

       

      If this is a professional journal article, perhaps the "Southwest Teaching and Learning Journal" would be interested.

       

      Contact:

       

      Editors: Dr. Josephine Sosa-Fey and Dr. Kenneth M. Henrie

       

      SWTLJournal@tamusa.tamus.edu

       

      http://swtlc.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/journal-publication-opportunity-swtlc1.pdf

         

      If you would be interested in building an online presentation, the "Texas Virtual Schools Network will be offering the "2nd Annual Speaks VOLumes (Virtual) Conference" The first virtual conference was wonderful.

       

      Contact:

       

      Connie Swiderski

      connie.swiderski@region10.org or (972) 348-1094

         

      http://pd.txvsn.org/

       

      If you want to write a lot of articles, then consider your own Blog.

       

      You can also write articles that are distributed by Article Directories. These directories distribute your articles across the Interente.

       

      http://www.articlesdirectories.com/

  • Re: Introductions
    mso Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Tammy,

    I have been teaching ELLs in northern New Jersey for 20+ years.  Most of my students have been Asian - Chinese, Japanese or Korean, with a smatering of other nationalities mixed in, such as: Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Portugese and Philippean...

    Teaching practices and curriculum have changed dramatically in this time, from having to create all of my own materials to the wealth of resources available online...Student learning has increased with advent of interactive technology, white boards, and organizations such as Thinkfinity, which make it possible to explain or demonstrater nearly anything instantly!  Curricular requirements now include all content areas compared with basic vocabulary and social language, the focus of early ESL instruction, so that reliance on technology resources such as those you shared in today's webinar is imperative.

    • Re: Introductions
      Tammy Dewan Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Welcome!  You have quite the expertise!  We look forward to learning from you.  Feel free to share any of the resources you have created;)

       

      Tammy

      • Re: Introductions
        mso Novice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Thanks Tammy,

        One of my favorite strategies for teaching math to my ELLs is to use children's literature to bring concepts to life. I am attaching a list of children's books that are part of my library of resources and that can be used from K through middle or even high school.  I have shared these at workshops/conferences and others have remarked how well older students respond to these reading selections...one is never too old to enjoy a good story!

        Also attached is a set of lessons used with some of these selections...please share with others.

        I would be most pleased to provide summary details and lessons used for any of the other selections on my resource list.

        Marie

        • Re: Documents
          Tammy Dewan Novice
          Currently Being Moderated

          Would you mind uploading these 2 helpful documents into our group document area?  That way more people can find it and we "beef up" our document area.  To upload here are the instructions:

           

          • From the gold navigation bar, click on the "Create New" drop down menu
          • Click on "Document"
          • Select the radio button "Upload a File"
          • Select our Group "Reaching English Language Learners"
          • Browse you computer for your file
          • Write a short, helpful description on how you use this resource
          • Write tags (i.e. esl, ell  ells  english  english_language_learners)
          • Click on "Publish"

           

          Thank you so much for your contributions to our community.

          Tammy

          • Re: Documents
            mso Novice
            Currently Being Moderated

            I will certainly do so...

            Thank you...

            BTW...on the article you posted for summer learning/conversation...in your blurb, did you mean for students to practice Spanish or English?

            Marie

  • Re: Introductions
    tofubeth New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    I feel like I'm coming in so late!

     

    My name is Beth and I teach ELLs at the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington, VT. Our school is officially 31 percent ELL, though counting those who have "reached proficiency," I'd guess we're closer to 50 percent. I really love technology and love Thinkfinity. I'm excited to be part of this group!

    • Re: Introductions
      mso Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks, for sharing, tofubeth,

      Burlington is such a quaint town and so beautiful in winter, with its pure white snow ...was there one winter (years ago) and temps were below zero.  My husband and I were soooo cold, that we had to buy insulated boots in one of the shops to prevent our feet from freezing!

      I am so surprised about the large number of ELLs in Burlington, VT., you must certainly be busy!  Are they mostly from one heritage/language background or do you have a mix?  In my area of NJ we have large numbers of Asian ELLs, but most of them are corporate transfers, here for 3-5 years and then they have to return to their home countries.

      Is your school "School for Integrated Arts" charter or public and what does "integrated arts" include in its curriculum? Also please share about programs...integrated, pull-out, bi-lingual, push-in, for your ELLs. 

      With such large numbers I can certainly understand your interest in technology and the benefits it has of engaging students with activities at their own pace while you might work with smaller groups.

      Thanks again; it's never "too late" to share...and we always look forward to what members have to say...

      BTW I checked your "blog" site...fun, interesting and very "tech savvy"...would to be so talented!

      marie

      • Re: Introductions
        tofubeth New User
        Currently Being Moderated

        We have lots of languages. I was surprised, too, when I came here. VT is not a very hetrogeneous state... Our school district has nearly 600 ELLs across the grade levels. We are a refugee resettlement area, so that keeps us hopping. Our largest population is Somali Bantu, followed by Vietnamese. The most recent immigrants are coming from Malaysia and Burma as well as Iraq. The refugees keep coming, and they are not from the same place. So bilingual programs are out of the question. There is a wide range of prior schooling. And Vermont does not easily recognize special education needs in the ELL population. So our work is quite challenging.

         

        My colleague and I service 63 children at our school, primarily pull-out, though we do some push-in. There is also a self-contained classroom, called STEP--Striving Toward English Proficiency--that takes some of the newcomer burden off other ELL teachers in the district.

         

        The Arts Integration aspect was started a couple of years ago. Teachers at my school had been arguing for years that we needed to be working on socio-economic integration. Our school was 100 percent free and reduced lunch when I started there 4 years ago. We are a failing school, so something had to be done. We had a school full of children living in poverty and what we were doing was not making changes fast enough. The school board first suggested redistricting, but when that met with resistance, the district decided to make the two most economically challenged schools, which both happen to be in the same neighborhood, public magnet schools. We now officially have no neighborhood schools, which is kind of strange. Though decisions on placement take proximity to the school of choice into consideration. Transportation is spotty and not well organized. I worry some about the kids who necessarily will get displaced by this change. But that is another matter.

         

        As an Arts Integration school, we are all supposed to be looking at our curriculum through an arts lens, fashioned after the CETA program that is backed by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. It's a fabulous program that works toward using art as a gateway to the curriculum, and curriculum as a gateway to art. When you use an artform in the classroom, the idea is that you will learn all elements of the art form, and performing the art helps to gain access to the curriculum. You can learn more about what we hope to become here.

         

        As an ESL teacher, I don't know that it changes too much what I do, but I have had some fantastic professional development that has given me great ideas--including readers' theater that is written by students and performed by students, which gives them a great handle on the vocabulary and provides adequate repetition for my students to actually retain content--and I am much more likely to have my kids use technology, because in my opinion, I can kill two birds with one stone--Tech standards as well as content standards.

         

        Thanks for looking at my blog! I just put a link to a Thinkfinity movie I made last night when I should have been sleeping...

        Beth

        • Re: Introductions
          mso Novice
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi Beth,

          You certainly have your work cut out for you! I had no knowledge of Vt. as a refugee resettlement area!  What a climate as well as culture shock for those families; what did they think of this brutal winter?

          Thanks so much for sharing...it is so interesting to see what is happening in other states.  Everything is relatively "organized" here in NJ, I assumed it was likewise in other locations as well.  Though, this is a push for more magnet or charter schools.  Reading your comments, I wonder about their success.

          I agree with you...Reader's Theater is a great way to build confidence in ELLs...though I use the "ready made" materials...have to try having students do the writing...

          Thanks again and good luck!

  • Re: Introductions
    bohallj New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi! I am a middle school librarian in Worcester, MA.  I have been a school librarian for several years, and during that time, have lost my job twice because of budget cuts. The first time that happened I realized that I needed a back-up plan. So....I returned to school and received my M Ed TESL degree a couple of years ago. I am certified to teach ESL K-12, but I am still in the library.  I love interacting my students of all ages for whom English is a second language. Right now, I am teaching adult ELLs through our local Literacy Volunteers chapter. It is very rewarding.

     

    I am looking forward to being a part of this group.

     

    Judi

    • Re: Introductions
      use2befl New User
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hello Everyone, 

       

      WOW, it sounds like there is a tremendous level of dedication to sincerely teaching ESL students.  I must say "thank you" as a God Mother of adopted Asian twins, I would feel good for them to be in any of your classrooms.  It sounds like you are just good, teachers for ALL students.  Double Pats on the Back.

       

      I am a grad student- elementary spec ed teacher prior to returning for my ESOL certification and MA in reading.  I want to empower all students through reading.

       

      Enough about me.  I am curious if anyone has a suggestion of a poetry book or poem appropriate for an ESOL teacher to ESOL teacher inservice?  I wanted to put together a presentation on reading & writing in elementary school {ESOL students} and present to a group of experienced elementary ESOL educators.

       

      Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and suggestions.

       

      Jeanie

      • Re: Introductions
        mso Novice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi Jeanie,

        How awesome, a twins adoption...from which country and how old are they?  And how lucky they are to have you as their God Mother...

        You are so right about reading as "empowerment"...our district is beginning a new program using the Reader's Workshop model.  All classroom libraries are leveled - that means all books are coded to specific reading levels and students are also tested and their reading levels are identified. Then students can read the appropriate literature for maximized comprehension and enjoyment...

         

        Have you or anyone else been using either Readers Workshop or Writer's Workshop models?

         

        Thanks for joining our group....I am sure you will have so much to share!

        Marie (mso)

        • Re: Introductions
          tofubeth New User
          Currently Being Moderated

          We use the reading/writing workshop model in our district. Using leveled texts is so much the way to go. The part teachers forget, though, is how books get tougher when you don't have the background knowledge to deal with it, regardless of the text level...

          • Re: Introductions
            mso Novice
            Currently Being Moderated

            Hi,

            You are so right, background knowledge is crucial for ELLs.  I recently explored Wonderopolis - it is so awesome and can be a great resource for our students and their families.

            I plan to host after-school "Explore Wonderopolis" sessions for students and family members.  They can wander through the site with my help, gain lots of vocabulary and knowledge on a variety of topics of interest.  It will certainly expand their horizons and add to background knowledge. 

            It would also be fun to have students create projects at home and bring them in for a show-and-tell activity.

             

            Have you or others looked at the Wonderopolis site? A bit advanced but with teacher direction it could be so motivating. 

            What do you think?

             

            Marie

        • Re: Introductions
          use2befl New User
          Currently Being Moderated

          Thanks Marie,

          Your words are very kind.  As for the girls, they are from Cambodia and now 10 years old.  The years pass way too quickly. 

           

          I am so excited to be part of the group here.  It is wonderful to read all the great things that go on in classrooms, considering media and such play to the negative.  I would love for a reviewer/reporter to take time to just scan the dedication to the profession and the passion for the students demonstrated here.

           

          Thanks again for your kindness.  I look forward to reading more of your postings.

           

          Jeanie

    • Re: Introductions
      mso Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Judie,

       

      Thanks for seeking out our group...we welcome your participation.

      Good for you with the back-up plan...working with ELLs is so wonderful as they are so eager to learn, and with your knowledge of books as a librarian, I am sure you will light up their worlds with great literature. 

      As Jeanie (above) said, "reading is empowerment" !

      Keep up the good work...volunteer work with Literacy Volunteers is most valuable to all...

      Welcome again,

      Marie(mso)

  • Re: Introductions
    daejonb New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi.

     

    I am glad that this group was introduced to me by Jane Brown.

     

    I am Bryan Minor and I teach ELLs in Dae Jeon South Korea. I hope that I will be able to contribute to and use the resources available here.

    • Re: Introductions
      Tammy Dewan Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      We are very excited to have you join us from South Korea!  I just recently moved to Australia and it has been an eye-opening experience living overseas.  How is life in South Korea?  AU is incredible!  Nice people, beautiful country!  My husband in military and our friends who have been stationed in South Korea have really enjoyed their stay. 

    • Re: Introductions
      mso Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Welcome, daejonb!

      How exciting to have a member from South Korea. Many of my students are corporate transfers from South Korea and our district has a large population.  What grade levels do you work with? I wonder if it would be possible to set up an e-pal system for our students? Let me know what you think about that.  Perhaps your students would like to get some first hand opinions about our American schools.

      I am also curious about what your program includes...please share...

      Thanks for joining us...

      Marie (mso)

  • Re: Introductions
    toolkit New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am interested in ESL/ EFL/ ELL because I would like to teach English in several countries...sometime in the future.

     

    My degrees are in Special Education, and I am a Texas Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). I am also a Licensed Professional Counselor Continuing Education Service Provider, and a Certified Continuing Education Online Instructor.

     

    My ELL experience includes nine years as a Resource Teacher (80% Hispanic Students).

     

    I also served 11 years as a School District Technology Coordinator/ Administrator.

     

    I always wrote my own materials, and after retiring from school district work, I published and shared enough materials to keep any teacher busy customizing those modular frameworks for years.

     

    I developed a system of "Visual Phonics"...based upon a "Speech Therapy" program..."Auditory Discrimination in Depth."

     

    http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/InterventionReport.aspx?sid=280

     

    http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=WWCirbradd07

     

    Because I learned to read using the "Whole Word" method, it took me three years to learn English Phonics. Because I taught Learning Handicapped students  and Bilingual Students with this method, I know that precise phonetic reading materials are rare. (Every spelling book I investigated was filled with phonetic errors.)

     

    The "Auditory Discrimination in Depth" is inadequate for instruction, but I built materials based upon...

     

    * The Mutual Story Telling Technique

    * Total Physical Response (TPR) and Total Physical Response - Story (TPR-S)

    * Higher-Order Thinking Skills

    * Multiple Intelligences

    * The Multi-Modal Behavioral Counseling Model (Targeting Learning Styles)

     

    So, although I am interested in teaching English in other countries, I am not interested in enrolling in six graduate courses to obtain another certification. I built an online ESL/ EFL Teacher Professional Self-Development course in my effort to become certified to teach online. Memorizing theories for a midterm and final exam holds little appeal form me. I prefer to focus on what works and what delivers measurable student outcomes.

  • Re: Introductions
    Leah Montano New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Greetings from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam!

     

    Hello everyone!  I work as the ELD/ESL K-12 Program Coordinator at APU International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  It is an exciting time here at our school since we are encouraged to integrate 21st Century skills in our curriculum.  I hope to exchange ideas on improving English proficiency and academic language/skills through content-based instruction.  I am also interested in differentiation, SIOP, and just connecting with other professionals for professional growth.  I want to add that I love attending webinars by Thinkfinity (especially the ones given by Tammy and Marcia!)


    Chuc Mung Nam Moi,

     

    Leah

    • Re: Introductions
      mso Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Leah,

      Welcome to our group!  How exciting to have you join us from across the globe.  We would be so interested in learning about how your classes are structured in Ho Chi Minh City schools. 

      Many school districts in NJ use the SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) method with ELLs and find the 8 components of the process to be very effective.

      I just responded to a question from the Reading and LA group...regarding Marzano's Nonlinguistic Representations...these strategies work especiall well with our ELLs. You can check out the link below for more info:

      http://www.learningfocused.com/index.php/resources/newsletter/what-are-nonlinguistic-representations

       

      mso(Marie)

      PS- I agree, our Tammy is an outstanding webinar presenter!

  • Re: Introductions
    rhondalit New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Rhonda and I am an ESL Specialist. I have taught ESL in adult education and university programs.I specialize in teaching low literacy beginners in ESL, but have taught all levels. I currently train other ESL instructors in community colleges across the nation on best practices, strategies and pedagogy for the ESL classroom. I am excited to join the group!

     

    Thanks,

    Rhonda

    • Re: Introductions
      mso Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thank you Rhonda, and welcome!

      You will be a wonderful resource for us...What are some the best practices that you share with those in the community colleges (favorites of those instructors you are teaching)?

      I am sure we would all love to hear more

      Thanks so much!

      mso (Marie)

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