January 2012 has been a very rewarding month for DSF Consulting, a woman owned small business located in the Washington, DC metro area that is dedicated to the achievement of English Learners (ELs) in US K-12 settings. Here is an update of some of the projects we’ve been working on this month.

2012 kicked off with a meeting at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) office in Malden, MA. At this meeting, Lilia Bartolome from the University of Massachusetts Boston, DESE representatives, and Diane planned for the creation of Rethinking Equity and Teaching of English Language Learners (RETELL). RETELL is a professional development course that thousands of content area teachers across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will take to better prepare them to work with English learners. The course is going to be a very collaborative, transparent, research-based effort with input from teachers, administrators, researchers, and other stakeholders from across Massachusetts. The group continues to make great strides in creating a course that will support all teachers who work with ELLs.

In Diane’s role with TESOL International Association, she facilitated the review of 25 program reports for National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation, which was a new record for TESOL. She also vetted applications from approximately 60 volunteer TESOL/NCATE reviewers to choose ten new reviewers to be trained in March. Also, we are very busy preparing for our NCATE workshop, which will be held on March 28 in Philadelphia. It’s exciting to witness how more and more ESL teacher licensure programs are becoming interested in framing their programs around the TESOL Professional Standards.

Some other interesting notes are that Diane was invited to serve on a dissertation committee for Heather Linville, a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Heather is going to conduct research on how advocacy for ELLs is operationalized in ESL teacher licensure programs.

Colorín Colorado asked Diane to co-author a paper with John Segota of TESOL International Association about the importance of English language proficiency and professional teaching standards in policy considerations for ELs to provide some context around EL policy conversations. This paper will be one in a series of papers Colorín Colorado commissions related to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for ELs.

Finally, Diane was invited to review a research manuscript for AERA’s Review of Education Research.

Upcoming events in February:

On February 4, Diane will be presenting preliminary findings about ONPAR science assessment research for ELs with Laura Wright from the Center for Applied Linguistics at the Virginia ESL Supervisors’ conference in Richmond, VA. Dr. Wright and Diane will also present this topic at the TESOL convention. On February 14, Diane will present a webinar on ELL Programs: Legal Concerns and Implementation Strategies for Progressive Business Publications.