All times listed in Eastern time.

Tuesday, November 15

Bring your coffee and join us for a morning networking session. Pennsylvania Department of Education advisors, Center for Schools and Communities staff, and English Language Development educators who serve in various roles will be in attendance to meet and greet and engage in informal discussion.

Challenging the Specter of Semilingualism in Language Education Policy and Practice

Nelson Flores, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Educational Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, Philadelphia, PA

Raciolinguistic ideologies have continuously framed the language practices of racialized communities as inherently deficient and in need of remediation. One such ideology is the idea that racialized bilingual communities are semilingual in that they have failed to develop full proficiency in any language. This presentation will trace the origin of semilingualism within the context of the implementation of the Bilingual Education Act in the 1970s. Participants will examine the ways that the specter of semilingualism continues to inform contemporary educational approaches to supporting racialized bilingual students. Dr. Flores will discuss an alternative framing of language education policy and practice that frames the cultural and linguistic practices of these communities as essential to their educational success.

In the Classroom: Unpacking Genre with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition

Genres can be defined as rhetorical actions that users of language draw on to respond to perceived repeated situations (Hyland 2007). Each genre (e.g., biography) shares some characteristics, such as specific discourse organization, language features, or other similar patterns of language use. Genre theory poses that the study of genre affords explicit and systematic explanation of the ways people use language for particular purposes (Martin and Rose, 2007; Hyland, 2007). This session focuses on how we might use this understanding of genre in classroom settings.

Research and literature suggest that highlighting genres that recur frequently in and across classrooms can support educators to teach language explicitly and systematically, and in a way that enhances learning in disciplinary contexts (e.g., Brisk, 2014; Derewianka and Jones, 2016; Gibbons, 2015; Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004; Humphrey et al., 2012; Martin, 1985).

In this interactive presentation, we will explore how the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition, supports understandings of genre within the teaching and learning cycle, a pedagogical approach that guides all students, especially multilingual learners, to simultaneously develop language and content learning. (Accurso and Gebhard, 2020; Brisk, 2014; de Oliveira and Lan, 2014; Derewianka, 1991; Gibbons, 2009; Spycher, 2017; Spycher et al., 2018)

Fernanda Marinho Kray, Ph.D., Researcher, Standards Program Lead Developer, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI


Responding to Multilingual Learners Experiencing Trauma

Join us as we use case studies to connect and investigate the intersection of experiencing trauma and striving toward English proficiency. How can we as educators equip ourselves with the tools necessary to respond in a trauma-informed and culturally responsive way to our multilingual learners who are experiencing trauma? What traumatic experiences are our multilingual learners carrying with them in their backpacks and how can we support those students?

First, we will dig into the basics of trauma and how it affects the brain. We will unpack what trauma symptoms look like in the classroom and then consider the cultural influences that should factor into our responses as educators. Lastly, we will learn how to serve as protective factors and agents of change to repair the effects of trauma on our students’ brains, developing a classroom community of emotional safety.

Kate Fritz, LIEP Supervisor, Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12, New Oxford, PA


The Rights to Special Education Services for Dually Identified Students and the Implications on the Referral and Identification Process

This session will outline state and federal guidance for referring, identifying, and servicing English Learners with disabilities. We will examine how a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) provides focused support for students designated as ELs with or without disabilities. Participants will learn how to generate and determine the priority questions to explore successful implementation of systemic culturally and linguistically responsive practices for multilingual learners with disabilities. We will also explore ways to engage students, parents, families, and caregivers in the ongoing process of data gathering and data-based decision making.

Maria Ronneburger, M.A., Educational Consultant, EL State Lead, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), Harrisburg, PA


Where’s the Equity in Classroom Assessment for Multilingual Learners?

As educators and advocates of ever-expanding numbers of K-12 multilingual learners, we must strive to ensure equity in assessment practices. This presentation unveils a classroom assessment model that highlights the active engagement of students and teachers. Through interactive activities, we define three approaches to assessment – as, for, and of learning, reflect on related strategies, and apply these ideas across settings.

Margo Gottlieb, Ph.D., WIDA Co-Founder and Lead Developer, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Bring your lunch and join Pennsylvania Department of Education staff for office hours. During this hour, PDE staff will share any relevant updates or reminders and answer questions from participants. Participants will also have opportunities to engage in discussion with other ELD colleagues.

Bob Measel, Title III Director and Bilingual Education Advisor, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Julia Hutton, Bilingual Education Advisor, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Culturally Responsive Teaching from Preschool to Teacher Education

This insightful and interactive session will explore ways to engage all students and create a culturally conducive learning environment, using culturally responsive pedagogy. Becoming and remaining culturally competent is an ongoing learning and self-reflective process. This process will serve as the core of the presentation. Come and discover how to become a better educator for every student that runs, walks, or rolls through your classroom door!

Heather-Lee Baron, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Middle and Secondary Education and Educational Leadership, Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA


ELD Curriculum Writing: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

The presenters will share the story of the ongoing journey of ELD curriculum writing from the perspective of a rural, low incidence district. The focus will be on the process of ELD curriculum writing, the challenges and celebrations, and the work still to come.

Sandra Ness, Ed.D., Director of Pupil Services, South Eastern School District, Fawn Grove, PA

Amy Waltemyer, ESL Teacher, South Eastern School District, Fawn Grove, PA


Empowering Teachers as Leaders

Implement a clear mission and vision for your English Language Development department that focuses on creating teacher leaders, professional learning practices, timely feedback on instruction, and clear goals and expectations to support a co-teaching environment. This session will share strategies to empower teachers to be leaders on their grade level teams as well as on building-based leadership teams. Participants will receive resources used in professional learning communities with ELD teachers, administrators, and new teacher induction. Discussion will examine ways of providing timely feedback that addresses language and content instruction. Participants will engage in breakout discussions and should come prepared to share innovative ideas around leadership with colleagues.

Kathy Alston, M.Ed., ELD Department Supervisor, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA


Refugees in School: Teaching Children of Trauma

Teaching refugee children is an incredible challenge. From language and cultural differences to the challenges of engaging parents, it is an uphill climb. Refugee children, no matter what their circumstances, have suffered trauma. You cannot educate a traumatized child without first addressing the trauma. This presentation will focus on principles to guide your work in addressing this issue, including establishing communication, making a trusting relationship with the child, and staying aware of how a child’s traumatic experiences affect their ability to focus in the classroom. This presentation will also serve to remind educators that each of these children is a bundle of potential, and we will discuss the importance of seeing the light in each child.

Makaya Revell, Founder, Marie Mambu Makaya Foundation and Peace Promise Consulting, York, PA

More information to follow.

Wednesday, November 16

Bring your coffee and join us for a morning networking session. Pennsylvania Department of Education advisors, Center for Schools and Communities staff, and English Language Development educators who serve in various roles will be in attendance to meet and greet and engage in informal discussion.

Reframing the Conversation About SLIFE: Achievement Gap or Cultural Dissonance?

Helaine W. Marshall, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Director of Language Education Programs, Long Island University – Hudson Campus, Purchase, NY

Why do SLIFE – Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education – have difficulty succeeding even when we design Newcomer Programs for them? Why do they disproportionately drop out of school?

By addressing the underlying cultural dissonance SLIFE are experiencing, we can build a mutually adaptive approach that is culturally responsive and sustaining while it fosters the transition to school success. Learn how to reframe the conversation about SLIFE to create fertile spaces for their learning in our schools.

How can we maximize equity and opportunities for students arriving without prior schooling and/or exposure to literacy-based instruction? Beyond acquiring English language proficiency or even developing literacy skills, such students, known as SLIFE must meet a hidden challenge: the cultural dissonance they face in the formal educational classroom setting.

While our classrooms are designed to prepare for life after schooling, to develop independent learners, and to engage students in critical thinking tasks, students who have primarily learned outside of a formal context are instead seeking immediately relevant, meaningful, practical tasks, interconnectedness with fellow students and the instructor, and a sharing of responsibility. By shifting our teaching paradigm to adapt instruction to these students, we can avoid deficit thinking and reframe the conversation around this cultural dissonance, which will make their school success and academic achievement more likely.

This presentation introduces MALP, Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm, a culturally responsive and sustaining approach that creates fertile spaces for learning through a paradigm shift. MALP expands our notion of formal education by including dynamic practices that combine elements from the learning paradigm of students from non-formal, non-literate backgrounds with the priorities of formal, literacy-based instruction.

Action Research: Developing a Co-teaching Protocol to Move Language Development to the Forefront of Learning

A team of both English Language Development and content teachers created an action research project to focus on improving instruction that benefited multilinguals. We wanted to ensure language development and academic content were the foci for instruction. Over the course of three years, these teachers have continued to grow through professional learning, planning and implementing a co-teaching protocol, adjusting instruction based on feedback from administrators, and expanding to co-teach with other content teachers within the school. Session attendees will gain insight into action research and its effect on multilinguals’ academic and language growth. Panelists will discuss how the co-teaching protocol was developed and implemented as well as the successes and challenges. Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of intentionally placing language development and academic content instruction in lesson planning, instructional practice, and assessment.

Kathy Alston, M.Ed., ELD Department Supervisor, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Kelly Darvishi, M.Ed., ELD Teacher (K-5), Melrose Elementary School, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Keenan Lee, M.Ed., ELD Teacher (K-5), Melrose Elementary School, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Julie Miller, ELD Teacher (K-5), Melrose Elementary School, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Elizabeth Quinn, M.Ed., First Grade Teacher, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Amanda Sheaffer, ELD Teacher (K-5), Melrose Elementary School, Harrisburg School District, Harrisburg, PA


Educating All Educators: The Imperative of Educator Preparation for Opportunity and Equity of English Learners

Advancing equity and reducing opportunity gaps for English Learners (ELs) requires a call to action for all involved in their education. In this interactive session, we will explore the personal and sociopolitical factors that influence the education of English Learners through multiple lenses, including pre-service and in-service teachers, administrators, students, families, and other stakeholders in the education of ELs. A case will be made for the professional development of all stakeholders in terms of their contributions and unique roles in educating and supporting ELs. Participants will discuss systemic and local solutions, as well as ways to advance equity and reduce opportunity gaps for ELs through collective power, organization, subversion, critical advocacy, and action.

Christopher Weiler, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Elementary, Middle Level, Library and Technologies Education, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA


Now What? Trauma-Informed Classroom Strategies for Migrant Students

Many students are coming into our classroom from around the world as migrants or refugees. English language development is a priority.

Elaine Harper, Ph.D., Director, Elaine Harper Consulting, Adjunct Faculty, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH


Supporting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Families in Education

In this session, attendees will gain awareness of current research on educational issues affecting culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families. Identification of best practices and gaps within the research will be discussed.

Peggy Hickman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, Arcadia University, Glenside, PA

Bring your lunch and join Pennsylvania Department of Education staff for office hours. During this hour, PDE staff will share any relevant updates or reminders and answer questions from participants. Participants will also have opportunities to engage in discussion with other ELD colleagues.

Bob Measel, Title III Director and Bilingual Education Advisor, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Julia Hutton, Bilingual Education Advisor, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

A Journey in Systematic and Explicit Instruction in Phonics: ECRI and Our Bilingual Approach

A team from State College, Pennsylvania, will share its journey to student literacy success through Enhancing Core Reading Instruction (ECRI). The team will share the past, present, and future of our transition to systematic and explicit instruction. A discussion and review of data will focus on how our diverse community of learners benefits from the newly formed multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) processes, including the infusion of bilingual education.

Jonathan Klingeman, M.S., Director of Federal Programs and Gifted Services, State College Area School District, State College, PA

Alix Croswell, K-12 Family Liaison and Bilingual Educator, State College Area School District, State College, PA


Primary Sources and Compelling Grade-Level Social Studies Topics Provide Powerful Learning Opportunities for English Language Development

Primary source investigation engages all students, yet the understanding of how it can be used to strengthen ESL learning is relatively new. WIDA 2020 highlights the importance of English Language Development in the context of grade-level content in the various disciplines. In this session, we will show how lessons built to meet English Language Development objectives can introduce students to meaningful social studies content and compelling primary sources.

The lesson examples and teaching methods we will share are part of a Library of Congress-funded project to support collaboration between teachers and leaders in social studies and leaders and teachers of English Language Development in teaching with primary sources.

Alison Noyes, M.A., Program Manager, Emerging America Program, Collaborative for Educational Services, Northampton, MA

Allison Audet, History Teacher, Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA


Strategic Modeling of Teacher Talk for ELs to Bolster Their Language and Provide Equity

Teachers can empower all students, including our English Learners, and provide them with a more equitable education through strategic modeling of robust vocabulary throughout the school day. Yet, this topic is rarely touched upon in teacher preparatory programs or teacher training. In this session participants will (1) gain a rationale for the importance of strategically modeling elevated language to students throughout the school day, (2) explore strategies for using academic vocabulary across the content areas, and (3) gain tools for bolstering teacher talk at the word, sentence, and discourse level.

Carmen Shahadi Rowe, Ed.D., Educational Consultant, Accelerating Language, LLC, Lancaster, PA

Kristen Haase, ELD Teacher, School District of Lancaster, Lancaster, PA

Thursday, November 17

Bring your coffee and join us for a morning networking session. Pennsylvania Department of Education advisors, Center for Schools and Communities staff, and English Language Development educators who serve in various roles will be in attendance to meet and greet and engage in informal discussion.

Creating Voice for the Voiceless: A Journey in Bilingual Education and Family Support

Using American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSR) funding to meet the growing migrant learner needs in State College, Pennsylvania, the leadership team discusses the process of writing and developing a new position supporting the growing Spanish-speaking population in the community, their unique needs, and how the position continues to transform. The team will discuss the goals of the newly created position, the success stories, and future goals.

Jonathan Klingeman, M.S., Director of Federal Programs and Gifted Services, State College Area School District, State College, PA

Alix Croswell, K-12 Family Liaison and Bilingual Educator, State College Area School District, State College, PA


Get ROOTED – Connection Points of DEI and SEL for District Integration

This session will discuss the grassroots efforts of a few vocal teachers, which turned into a districtwide social and emotional learning and diversity, equity, and inclusion (SEL/DEI) implementation. Strategies and planning tips will be provided to encourage the inclusion of all student and staff populations, K-12 planning, discussions with stakeholders, and more.

Amber Abreu, Director of Student Services and ELD, Lebanon School District, Lebanon, PA


Implementing Arts-Based Pedagogy to Design Equitable Instruction for Emergent Bilingual Learners

The arts provide an opportunity for Emergent Bilingual Learners (EBLs) to express content knowledge and social and emotional awareness in ways that other “traditional” methods of teaching often exclude (Vetere, 2018). While several valuable teacher-focused manuals have been created that share examples of arts-based learning strategies, (e.g., Heathcote and Bolton, 1995; Maley and Duff, 1982; O’Neill, 1995; Spolin, 1986), these texts largely fail to address clear procedures to design an effective arts-based curriculum that adheres to the challenges of K-12 standards-based instruction (Belliveau and Kim, 2013; Wagner, 1998). The presenter will provide step-by-step instructions for ESL and content-area instructors that focus on implementing one arts-based pedagogical strategy, drama-based instruction (DBI), to complement existing standards-based curricula.

The presenter will (1) briefly explain how research in drama and education, as well as theories of second language acquisition, informed the development of the curriculum design procedures, (2) provide a series of hands-on exercises that walks the participants through the design process, and (3) share examples of successful DBI lessons that have used these procedures in diverse K-12 settings while discussing potential pedagogical challenges. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of how to create their own drama-based lessons to provide equitable access to content-area instruction for learners of English in their classrooms.

Tim Vetere, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL


What Does Recent Literacy Legislation Mean for English Learners?

How does recent legislation support our growing EL population? With the passage of legislation focusing on the Science of Reading (House Bill 2045) and structured literacy (House Bill 1642), literacy is at the forefront of school improvement efforts. This session will provide a thoughtful interpretation of the legislation with a focus on practical application for English Learners and school communities.

Ernesto Ortiz, Jr., Senior Literacy Engagement Specialist, AIM Institute for Learning and Research, Warminster, PA

Differentiating Instruction for ELs in the Content Classrooms

This workshop is designed for K-12 content teachers who are responsible for educating English Learners in their content classrooms. Federal and state policies make clear that the ELs must have equitable access to the same standards-based rigorous content instruction as all students, and that content teachers maintain responsibility for ensuring their content instruction is accessible to ELs. Participants will review the state and federal requirements that outline content teachers’ responsibilities for differentiating instruction and assessment. Practices, strategies, and design considerations will be analyzed and discussed.

Andrea G. Kolb, Ph.D., Vice President of Education, WITF, Inc.


Digging Deeper to Support EL Families

This session focuses on how our Bilingual Outreach Workers empower our English Learner families with parent sessions, access to community resources, alternative communication, and supporting parents at their home school buildings. Our goal is to provide our families a voice and build long-lasting connections and relationships to foster community in our district.

Deborah Hioutis, Special Programs Coordinator, Office of Special Programs, School District of the City of York, York, PA

Gabriela DeHart, Bilingual Outreach Worker, Office of Special Programs, School District of the City of York, York, PA

Ximena Izquierdo Bernabe, Bilingual Outreach Worker, Office of Special Programs, School District of the City of York, York, PA


Re-Assembling Assessment: Multilingual Learners, Writing Portfolios, and Knowing, Becoming, and Doing Language and Literacy in the Elementary Grades

Despite the wealth of promising instructional practices for multilingual learners that emphasize the importance of sociocultural approaches to content and language learning, school-based assessment largely remains something that students are expected to do independently. Participants in this session will explore how student writing portfolios in the elementary grades – when approached as collaborative, emergent, and entangled processes of reflection, revision, and sharing – can make assessment more equitable for multilingual learners and provide important insights into how students know, become, and do language and literacy.

Kristin Larsen, Ed.D., ELD Curriculum Specialist, Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs, School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Teaching Outside the Box: Exploring Respectful Family Engagement Alternatives

Increasing opportunities and advancing equity for multilingual learners often requires us to “think outside the box” or, in the cases that we will describe, “teach outside the box.” This session will discuss details about two non-traditional opportunities that we have provided for families to help children and mothers acquire English in the comfort and security of their own space. Our session will include information about providing teacher-led instruction in peoples’ homes, the use of interpreters and translators, student apps, communication with families, and more!

Julie Baxa, Ph.D., Professional Learning Specialist, GrapeSEED, Chesterfield, MI

Jodie Shell, M.A., Professional Learning Specialist, GrapeSEED, Harper Woods, MI

Bring your lunch and join Pennsylvania Department of Education staff for office hours. During this hour, PDE staff will share any relevant updates or reminders and answer questions from participants. Participants will also have opportunities to engage in discussion with other ELD colleagues.

Bob Measel, Title III Director and Bilingual Education Advisor, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Julia Hutton, Bilingual Education Advisor, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Promoting Opportunities for Multilingual Learners Through Productive Talk and Engagement

Timothy Boals, Ph.D., Founder and Director of WIDA, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Current research emphasizes the importance of ensuring that multilingual learners are provided with scaffolded and rich learning opportunities while acquiring English. To do this, schools must avoid falling into the trap of seeing English as a prerequisite to rich learning. All teachers, not just language specialists, need to understand how to create engaging spaces for learning content and promoting language and literacy practices while honoring students’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds. During this keynote address, Dr. Boals will discuss what productive or dialogic talk looks like in classrooms that maximize engagement and foster literacy skills. Some examples of WIDA resources that teachers can use will be included.