Voices Vol 41 No 1

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS: ESL Secondary

Preparing for High School ELLs for Post- Secondary Life
The $1,500 Pedro J. Rodriguez High School Scholarship
The $1,000 Héctor R. Villafañe Memorial Scholarship

By Caia Schlessinger

The NJTESOL/NJBE Executive Board meets every December to plan for the annual spring conference. This year’s conference will be held on May 30th and May 31st, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick. The conference theme is ‘Success for ELLs across the Curriculum.’ As the ESL Secondary Special Interest Group Representative, I am really looking forward to meeting all of you at our SIG meeting, which is held on both days of the conference. The SIG meetings are a great place to come and interact with other ESL and bilingual teachers from across the state of New Jersey.

One of the most popular topics among secondary ESL teachers is how to best help our ELLs with postsecondary planning. This can be a daunting task - from completing college applications, going on campus tours, completing financial aid applications, and searching for scholarships, to creating a college-going culture. Colorín Colorado (www.colorincolorado.org) has a number of articles to help secondary ESL teachers and guidance counselors better assist their students: http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/29256/

Colorín Colorado suggests that you start early and get parents involved as much as possible. It is also helpful to create a resource center for students and parents and to plan tours of local campuses. Establishing relationships with colleges that fit your students will also facilitate the application process. Assisting your students in determining their postsecondary goals will help keep students motivated and focused. Another tip is to keep in touch with students who have graduated and successfully joined a college community.

NJTESOL/NJBE has a wonderful opportunity to help your ELLs with the financial difficulties of postsecondary school planning. This year, NJTESOL/NJBE is offering the Pedro J. Rodriguez High School Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 to a student who is or has been enrolled in ESL or bilingual classes at the secondary level. NJTESOL/NJBE is also sponsoring the Héctor R. Villafañe Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for a college-bound Hispanic student. The applications for both of these scholarships need to be postmarked by March 1st, 2012. The recommending teacher MUST be a current member of NJTESOL/NJBE. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your students! Both of these applications can be found at: http://www.njtesol-njbe.org/scholarships12/default.htm

Caia Schlessinger is the NJTESOL/NJBE Secondary ESL Representative. She teaches ESL at Colt Neck High School for the Freehold Regional High School District. She may be reached at cschlessinger@njtesol-njbe.org

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