SupportEd
SupportEd

English Language Learning Education Update

Diane Staehr Fenner Consulting for Educators of English Language Learners

DSF Consulting October Update October 2011 was a busy month for me as I continued work on several existing projects related to supporting ELs in multiple contexts and also had some new experiences with new clients and colleagues. I presented on the Implementation of the Common Core Standards for ELs at the Southeast TESOL conference in Richmond, VA and had a great turnout of interested teachers, administrators, and researchers at the event. Also, during the same conference, I facilitated a focus group for ESL Innovations as the company works to continue expanding their market and services for data management for ESL professionals at the district level. During the focus group, I had the chance to learn more about what challenges ESL coordinators and lead teachers face today in VA, SC, and FL regarding their data and compliance issues. Shortly thereafter, I gave a half day pre-conference institute at the annual Pennsylvania Migrant Education conference. My presentation was on building ELs’ academic language in the four domains. Again, the turnout was wonderful, and the participants were so engaged in helping their migrant students to develop the skills they need to succeed in school. Working with those dedicated teachers and administrators brought back memories of when I used to teach migrant workers’ children and when I started a class for their parents in rural North Carolina. Another highlight of the month was presenting a webinar for TESOL on preparing ESL licensure programs for NCATE Review. There were about 35 participants representing teacher education programs in institutes of higher education from across the US for this event. This was the first webinar that TESOL has sponsored on the NCATE review process, and we’ll be sure to have another webinar soon due to the great feedback we received. The number of ESL teacher education programs is increasing as the number of ELs increase in schools across the US, and the TESOL P-12 Professional Teaching Standards guide the design of ESL teacher education programs that undergo NCATE review. During October I was invited to attend an upcoming forum of researchers and stakeholders to discuss the challenges and solutions for evaluating teachers of ELs hosted by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. I’m looking forward to continuing to work in the area of teacher evaluation with Diane August as she transitions to the American Institutes for Research. She and I worked together on Year 1 of the American Federation of Teachers’ i3 grant on the Educator Evaluation for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Consortium. Speaking of the AFT grant, in October I worked with Peter Kozik and Spencer Salend on an introductory paper that will lead in to revised teacher evaluation standards that are inclusive of ELs and students with disabilities. Despite all the other projects I am so fortunate to be involved in, my main focus this month has been on completing the manuscript for a book I’m coauthoring with Natalie Kuhlman on the application of the TESOL P-12 Professional Standards for three audiences and purposes: ESL teacher education program design, NCATE/CAEP recognition, and professional development. The book will be published by TESOL in March 2012, just in time for the TESOL convention in Philadelphia, PA. I look forward to serving ELs in November and beyond through multiple projects and with my ever-growing circle of dedicated colleagues in the field. – Diane
Diane Staehr Fenner