Voices Vol 41 No 3


SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS: ESL Secondary

Post-Conference Energy

By Caia Schlessinger

My name is Caia Schlessinger, and I am pleased to continue on in my second year as the NJTESOL/NJBE Secondary ESL Special Interest Group Representative. I currently teach English I, II, III, and IV /ELL ELLs at Colts Neck High School, part of the Freehold Regional High School District.

I thoroughly enjoyed attending this year’s NJTESOL/NJBE Spring Conference. The Hyatt was a wonderful venue and the presentations that I attended were outstanding. I always feel spoiled attending this conference, as the vendors, poster sessions, presentations, and attendees are all so passionate about English language learners and their success.

My high school students always comment on my energy whenever I return to the classroom after attending the spring conference. I feel rejuvenated and inspired, as if I had just graduated and was entering the classroom for the first time. I always arrive back at school full of ideas and strategies that I learn at the conference.

Our Secondary ESL Special Interest Group met on both days of the conference. It was such a pleasure to meet so many SIG members and to discuss topics of interest together. As you all know, ESL programs vary immensely in size, organization, and content delivery. Here is a list of some of the hot topics that we explored together:

The Bilingual Education Code: http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap15.pdf
ESL Certification and the Highly Qualified Teacher Initiative: http://www.nj.gov/education/grants/nclb/guidance/esl.htm
World language Graduation Requirements for High School ELLs: http://www.state.nj.us/education/aps/cccs/wl/guide.htm#II4
The WIDA English Language Development Standards 2011 Draft: http://www.wida.us/standards/elp.aspx
The ACCESS for ELLs Assessment:
http://www.wida.us/assessment/ACCESS/
The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts:
http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf
The Alignment of CCCS to WIDA ELD Standards (Coming soon!):
http://www.state.nj.us/education/bilingual/
The PARCC Assessment: http://www.parcconline.org/classroom

As your ESL Secondary SIG Representative, I am looking forward to sharing ideas and collaborating with all of you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me personally or through the Hotlist* with any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy your summer!

(*To be part of the Hotlist, contact Marilyn Pongracz at mpongracz@njtesol-njbe.org and asked to be added to the listserve. Use a personal, not school, email address. )

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