Voices Vol 42 No 1

Special Interest Groups

Bilingual/ESL Middle School

What My Mother Taught Me — Or Another Perspective of the Challenges of our ELLs

By Tina Kern

Lately I’ve been pondering how our background influences our life.  As I mentioned in my last article, “Between Two Worlds," we have to be sensitive to the needs and experiences of our ELLs.  Putting those statements together led me to delve back into my childhood.  My mother had idiosyncratic quirks of language that found a way into my language.  For example, she always said, “Close the lights;" and so I repeated it into my adult life, which eventually led to the inevitability of my children internalizing and using these phrases, as well.  Unfortunately, when my children repeated several of my language “inaccuracies," they were chided, which meant they came to me and let me know exactly what they thought of my various “expressions.”

I never contemplated it further until Christopher Walken was interviewed on CBS “Sunday Morning” in October of 2012. He briefly mentioned that his parents were immigrants and that “listening to them talk gave Walken his halting speaking style.  ‘Both my parents had heavy accents, and so did everybody they knew. It's a rhythm thing - people who speak English where they have to hesitate and think of the right word. And I think it rubbed off.’”

When thinking back upon the cause of my language “quirks,” I started to revisit the translation of “Close the lights” and other phrases I try so vigorously to “unlearn.” These were literal translations and once again I had an epiphany about the origins of those phrases and lack of idioms in my home. 

Fast forward to my classroom – my students and their parents. It is obvious that my students have internalized many “interesting” phrases and mixed-up syntax.  This generation of ELLs is diverse, and a large percentage was born here, yet English is still their second language. 

As a result, I am holding a series of meetings for parents in which to provide support and “teach” them about our school programs and the language we teachers cheerfully banter about, such as “continuums” and “just-right” books. As I mentioned in another previous article, I received a grant which provides money for books for parents who speak a language other than English, to share with their children in their homes, in addition to a small lending library.

Recently we had our first meeting, which, thankfully, was very successful. For this session, I stressed the importance of reading aloud with children and how success in school – and beyond – has been positively linked to reading.   I provided information and lists of some of my favorite picture books (in both English and Spanish) as part of my presentation.   The children who also attended participated in reading one of my cherished books, Love You Forever, in English and Spanish.  Not surprisingly, not one of the parents in attendance heard of this treasure.  Right then I vowed to introduce them to many of the books which my children and I shared during quiet times.  I wanted them to feel energized and motivated to continue reading with their children at home.

I also emphasized to the parents how wonderful it is to speak another language – expressed in my own “idiosyncratic” Spanish. They were encouraged to choose some of the books I provided in Spanish as their read-alouds to take home, and to read them not once but many times.  Eventually their children would read with them, and to them, as their language experiences, vocabulary, and fluency advanced. At the end of the meeting we all smiled and hugged because we had shared special moments, as we looked forward to many more future meetings.

A further thought: All of the information gleaned from parent meetings, experiences, research, and your own epiphanies become information that also helps the regular classroom teacher.  For example, I have explained several times that our ELLs sometimes hesitate when they speak, which could be due to their reluctance to make a mistake. Often they reflect upon what they will say, or translate internally what they will say. It is imperative that we communicate information such as this to other teachers at a faculty meeting so that they understand and are patient when our ELLs converse with them.

“The more we live, the more we learn.”  I don’t know who first said this, but this is so true.  Isn’t it great!

PS: During our annual NJTESOL/NJBE I will be presenting a workshop sharing all the information from my workshops and my grant.  Looking forward to seeing you!

Tina Kern, ESL/Bilingual Middle School SIG, Morris School District, tkern@njtesol-njbe.org

Bilingual Elementary 1 - 8

A Letter to the Bilingual Elementary SIG

By Gregory Romero

Gregory Romero and FamilyMy name is Gregory Romero and I am a bilingual education teacher in grades 4 and 5, a self-contained bilingual setting in Carteret, New Jersey. Prior to this experience, I was working for the Elizabeth Public Schools at a middle school as a bilingual education teacher/inclusion teacher helping students with literacy skills in content area classes. In total, I have been working in the field of education for nearly seven years. Each and every one of those years has made me appreciate how difficult it is to learn a foreign language and how much there needs to be done in the field of education to improve the educational development of students in general, and specifically in the field of second language acquisition. I look forward to continuing my work in the field of bilingual education.

As a married father of a newborn son and coming from a bilingual background, I know how important it is to carefully nurture our children so that they may develop into responsible, caring adults. My multicultural background has made me sensitive to the needs of our bilingual students and has made me an advocate for the rights and needs of these children and community members.

I am very excited to be joining the NJTESOL/NJBE Executive Board. It is the beginning of a new challenge that I believe will greatly enhance my skills and knowledge of bilingual education. I look forward to continuing my development as a teacher and becoming a voice for our students and our programs through my work with this organization. I know that I will be working closely with people who have led the fight for the rights of the bilingual student. These individuals have paved the way for teachers such as myself so that today the fields of Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language are respected fields of study. Furthermore, they have created an environment in which our students are no longer treated as second class students, but as important members of the learning communities to which they belong. My new colleagues at NJTESOL/NJBE come from different parts of the State of New Jersey and a myriad of educational institutions, each bringing with him or her ideas that will greatly help spread the ideals of what Bilingual Education is and should be. I hope to be able to add to the quality of work currently being done at NJTESOL/NJBE through my participation.

Respectfully Yours,
Gregory Romero
Gregory A. Romero,Bilingual Elementary 1-8 SIG Representative, Carteret School District, gromero@njtesol-njbe.org

Bilingual Secondary

Best Practices for Adolescent ELLs

By Yasmin Hernández-Manno

A Challenging Population

Whether adolescent English language learners are citizens, residents, or undocumented individuals, Plyler v. Doe ensures their right to an education if they meet the age limits determined in state education codes. However, in many high schools across the United States, 16- to 20-year-old immigrants who seek to attend school are discouraged from enrolling and are referred to adult literacy programs offering far fewer hours of schooling. Adolescent ELLs have much to learn and little time to learn it.  Increasing the challenge is the reality that many immigrant adolescents enter secondary schools with a triple whammy—little or no English, interrupted or limited formal schooling, and limited literacy in any language.

Who Are Adolescent ELLs?

There is no more diverse learning cohort than that grouped under the term adolescent English language learner. Although many of these students are newcomers (immigrants who arrived within the past five years), others have always called the United States home. These students have often achieved oral proficiency but lag behind in their ability to use English for literacy and content learning for reasons that may be only partly related to second-language status—for example, mobility and switching between language programs (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007). There is a patchwork quilt of English language learner profiles—a quilt rich with diverse life experiences, but loosely woven with common learning needs.

Promising Principles and Practices

Adolescent ELLs benefit most from reforms that improve learning for all students, such as curriculum improvement, professional development, and school reorganization (Ruiz-de-Velasco & Fix, 2000). Such reforms must also take into account the particular context of each school—its demographic profile, existing program models, community culture, and so on.

We need to give ELLs access to the full resources of the school. One way to accomplish this is by creating cross-disciplinary school-wide teams that may include the ELL specialist, content-area teachers who teach English language learners, counselors who specialize in the needs of ELLs, key school administrators, and other staff. Such teams should have a common planning period and should meet regularly to align curriculum; plan integrated, cross-content projects; address student concerns; and monitor student progress. School support staff (the librarian, social worker, technology leader, and so on) should attend some meetings to ensure that ELLs have access to an array of learning resources and services.

A Dual Curriculum

Marzano (2003) identifies one of the key factors in fostering school achievement as "a guaranteed and viable curriculum" (p. 22). For English language learners, a viable curriculum must include a detailed developmental sequence for learning the English language in social and academic contexts; this is in contrast to a language arts curriculum for native speakers, which primarily seeks to add academic discourse to the native language that a student brings to school. A viable curriculum also must address the additional time it will take for these students to concurrently master academic literacy and content.  Such a curriculum should address the full range of English language competencies (grammatical and structural, sociolinguistic, pragmatic, discursive, and semantic) while focusing on language for social integration and on language for academic achievement.

The language curriculum should include not only instruction in the specialized language of each academic subject area (for example, in math, hypotenuse, angle, and so on), but also academic cohesion words and phrases (such as thus, therefore, as a result of) and specialized academic process words (such as explicate, enumerate, define). Finally, these students should have "safe-space" opportunities not just to read and write this language, but to practice the spoken language of academic conversations so they can participate confidently in teacher-to-student interactions and in collaborative learning groups.

A promising classroom structure sometimes called the ELL cluster model has emerged in some schools to integrate some of the benefits of newcomer programs while avoiding linguistic segregation from native-English-speaking peers (Rance-Roney, 2008). A special cohort of content-area teachers is trained in methods for teaching the English language and in theories of second-language acquisition. Within these globally focused classrooms, one-quarter to one-third of the students are English language learners and the remaining students are native English speakers. This classroom model uses elements of the sheltered instruction approach for ELLs, a class structure wherein content mastery and academic language skill are developed concurrently. Although the class is conducted in English, classroom aides who speak the ELLs' native languages may assist. The teacher creates an environment that legitimizes the students' appropriate use of the native language to support the learning of academic content.

Native English speakers in cluster classrooms benefit from the diverse perspectives their multilingual students bring to class discussion. In addition, the use of such instructional techniques as increased use of visuals, deeper development of background information, and more activities that increase student-to-student interaction supports learning for every student. A crucial component of the cluster model is building intentional communities to foster interaction and respect among cultures. Further research is needed on the ELL cluster model, but at the very least, in these classrooms their teachers and classmates view ELLs as resources, not as liabilities.

In Double the Work, Short and Fitzsimmons (2007) recommend adopting flexible student pathways that may entail an extended school year or day schedule, night and weekend classes, or simply a plan that enables late-entry adolescent ELLs to stay in high school for more than the expected four years. A school's individualized education plans for late-entry ELLs may include summer sessions, after-school tutoring, block scheduling, and literacy intervention classes. A partnership with the local community college also enables students to begin their college programs while they finish an extended high school schedule.

ELLs are more transient on average than native speakers. As families settle in the area, they may try out different housing options or move to build closer family connections. School district offices should monitor the flow of students within and across district borders and identify other schools and districts that may share the same ELL population. Working together to build both a coherent shared curriculum and parallel learning records will mean more cohesive services for adolescent ELLs.

If we look beyond the labels, there is surprising agreement in what constitutes best practices for adolescent English language learners. It is up to school leaders to implement the school reforms that work and to think outside the traditional boxes that have restricted the achievement of these students.


Marzano, R. J. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Rance-Roney, J. A. (2008). Creating intentional communities to support English language learners in the classroom. English Journal, 97(5), 17–22.

Ruiz-de-Velasco, J., & Fix, M. (2000). Overlooked and underserved: Immigrant students in U.S. secondary schools. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

Short, D. J., & Fitzsimmons, S. (2007). Double the work: Challenges and solutions to acquiring language and academic literacy for adolescent English language learners—A report to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.

Yasmin Hernández-Manno, Bilingual Secondary SIG, Newark Public Schools Central Office Supervisor of Bilingual & ESL Education, ymanno@nps.k12.nj.us

Early Childhood

The Magic of Books

By Monica Schnee

Is there anything more exciting or inspiring than a great book? Reading is so many things to different people. To me, reading is about the beauty of words, the power of sentences, of pages pulling me in to discover learning and thinking, of pictures transporting me to a world of color and texture. Reading and language is my mainstay and form me as a person and as an educator.

In my personal life, books are my best friends. They introduce me to characters and places, to laughter, tears, and introspection, to ways of learning how to teach, to cook, to knit, to travel, to decorate, and so much more. They enrich my life and my family’s.

In school, books guide everything I do. They are my anchor to content and language. Books support all of my instruction through their visuals, their use of vocabulary and syntax. Every lesson I teach is somehow framed around a book. My excitement over books is contagious and my students learn the power of books as they watch me talk about each book that I share with them. One of my kindergartners, a beautiful boy from India, brings me a book a week that he discovers at the public library. This month, he brought me a wonderful book about hibernation. I shared his book with my 40 kindergartners. We used it to add to our exploration of animals that hibernate. He was beaming with pride! The power of a book.

Books and certain authors shape the language that I teach. I use them to create vocabulary lists, to model language, and to teach writing. We become authors ourselves and write many books “a la…” You can visit my website to see some of our publications: eslschnee.weebly.com/

In my constant quest for resources, I have found some very helpful websites by librarians that help me keep up with the increasing number of high quality children’s literature. These resources, together with the invaluable collaboration with our own school librarian, offer me different ways of addressing my instructional objectives as well as covering the Common Core Content Standards for English Language Arts. There are thousands of great fiction or literature texts but when it comes to nonfiction, or informational texts, the choices are not as plentiful. Below is a list of websites that can help you find great books in every genre. Enjoy!

Monica Schnee, PreK-Kindergarten SIG, River Edge School District

ESL K - 5

Parallel Lessons: Sailing and Teaching ESL

By Noreen M. Drucker

Life mirrors art, or so they say. In my latest learning experience  I found out that life mirrors education, and in this case, the education of English language learners.

Having always wanted to sail, I finally signed up for a learn-to-sail course in Florida. I was very excited as I prepared for my classes. I read the two sailing  books cover-to-cover. I learned all the nautical terms. My brother, a former Boy Scout, patiently taught me how to tie a bowline, a square knot, and a double hitch.

As the classroom session began, I thought I was ready. After all, I had prepared myself to learn to sail, just as our students prepare themselves to learn English. They study some English in their native countries and they develop literacy skills in their native language.

But all of that can be easily washed away, as I found out when I started my class. I was floundering, as ELLs often do, in a sea of incomprehensible input.

The first day I stared at the pictures in the PowerPoint presentation. I had the academic vocabulary. I knew the bow from the stern and starboard from port, but the instructor was asking me to apply what I learned. He would show me a picture and ask, “ Which is the leeward side?” “Which way will the boat go if you turn the tiller to starboard?” What happens to the jib if you trim the jib sheet?” I was at a loss. The linguistic complexity was too high for someone on such a low nautical language proficiency level.

Just then the instructor left the room and came back with a 3D model  of a sailboat with a 36” mast. “Scaffolding!” I cheered. “A  good teaching strategy for all students, an essential teaching strategy for ELLs.” With the model in my hands, I had a concrete example,  a resource, a manipulative and, all of a sudden, I was swimming in a sea of comprehensible input!

When asked again, I had all the answers that had eluded me.  I could move the tiller and watch the boat go left when I turned it right (port /starboard). I could let out  the jib sheets and watch the sails ease. I could imagine a wind, where it was hitting a sail and suddenly identifying  the leeward side was easy.

Once out  on the water, I found out that steering was not very difficult, if you only moved the tiller ever so slightly. Man-overboard rescues were actually fun to practice (we used an orange doll with a flag on his head as the Man Overboard).  Tacking,  or “coming about,”  the act of turning a sailboat across the eye of the wind  was easy to do. I had references, visuals, and resources to help me.

But I could not learn to jibe- put the stern of the boat through the eye of the wind. Take a look at this video on how to jibe http://www.ehow.com/video_2358860_jibe-sailboat-sailing-lessons-online.html . I actually watched the video on my iPhone the night before.

Yet,  I continued to struggle. My affective filters were up; I was frustrated as I could not “see” where the wind was coming from. Most of all, I was petrified that the boom would come about and smack me in the head.  Not a good learning environment, but similar to one that ELLs are often confronted with.

Fortunately, the instructor realized he had to change his tack. He decided to go aft and take hold of the boom.  He broke down the jibing  process into “chunks” that I could understand. Instead of having the boom come swinging around at a tremendous rate of speed, he slowed it down by holding on to it, thus creating a “controlled jibe”. This way my brain had the processing time to figure out what I needed to do and my not so young body had the opportunity to get out of the way. I was able to use all the resources at my disposal- the telltales on the sails, the direction of the wind, the position of the mainsail, and the words of the instructor to help me learn to jibe.

There are many similarities between learning to sail and learning English. Scaffolding, using visual resources, and providing processing time are just some of them. As teachers we are lifelong learners and our  learning experiences can only enhance our teaching. The next time you embark on a new learning experience, think about how it can benefit your students. 

Learning to sail and learning English …….the similarities will astound you!

Noreen M. Drucker is the SIG K-5 ESL Representative.

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ESL Secondary

Previewing the Spring Conference and Updating the NJDOE Model Curriculum

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 29th and May 30th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick. The conference theme is “Language, Heritage, and Culture – The Magic in English Language Learning”. The keynote speakers will be Nonie Lesaux and Mary Ellen Vogt. It’s going to be a great conference! As the ESL Secondary Special Interest Group (SIG) 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.

In my last article, I wrote about the model curriculum being designed by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). The framework being created by the NJDOE is a work in progress, so I would like to provide you with an update. For those of you reading about this for the first time, the NJDOE has developed a model framework for developing curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It can be found by following this link: http://www.state.nj.us/education/modelcurriculum/   When you click on English Language Arts (ELA) or Math you will find Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) based on the CCSS designed by grade level and grouped into Units. These were developed by cohorts of general education teachers.

A group of ESL teachers has since met and, beginning with the Student Learning Objectives –SLO- in English Language Arts - ELA, developed language targets for English language learners- ELLs. By following the WIDA framework, they identified the performance criteria (WIDA) and created performance indicators by proficiency levels. Currently, Units 1 and 2 are available. The ELL units contain supports that will help the teacher and student meet the rigor of the CCSS. The cohort of ESL teachers is continuing work on Units 3, 4, and 5.  This may serve as a framework for those of you who are working on a curriculum. As a framework, you will be able to layer these performance indicators into a thematic unit and adjust with your materials and resources and connect to your local curriculum. You may want to inform your districts of this initiative and let them know that you may be revising the curriculum as more information becomes available.  PowerPoint presentations from the workshops are posted on the DOE Bilingual Education website under ‘all news’: http://www.state.nj.us/education/bilingual/

I will be presenting specifically on this topic at the spring conference. I look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.

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

Parent/Community Action

Times of Crisis

By Karen Nemeth

We’ve talked about how to use parent and community action connections to help our ELLs get the support they need when facing challenges, and to help them get the recognition they deserve from our community.  In this article, I want to talk about a different approach.  Let’s consider community action as a way to involve ELLs in efforts to reach out and help their neighbors during times of crisis.  With the extensive news coverage about Hurricane Sandy, the resulting damages and the rise of relief efforts, there are many lessons for students who are new to our country and our language. 

Your students can hold a bake sale or a clothing drive or a bike-a-thon.  If they are old enough, they might even participate in cleanup or rebuilding efforts at the Jersey shore.  These activities can be linked to your existing curriculum with opportunities to learn English language and content area knowledge in math, language arts/literacy, and social studies.

Here are the top 5 reasons to get your ELLs involved in community outreach right now:

There’s a lot to be gained from giving to our neighbors.  Students who are ELLs can really get involved, especially if they have support from their teachers.  I will list some options to explore with your students.  Please remember that neither I nor NJTESOL/NJBE endorse or recommend any of these.  We list them for information purposes only and invite you to do research on your own.

Please contact me if you have any thoughts to share about this article.  I will be collecting additional information to share at the NJTESOL/NJBE Spring Conference at the Parent and Community Action Special Interest Group meeting.

Karen Nemeth
Coordinator, Parent and Community Action SIG

Special Education

Accommodations/Modifications for Special Education ELLS During State Testing

By Claudia Plata

As we close one quarter of the school year and are now familiar with the challenges our ELLs face, it is time to take a closer look at modifications that will help them succeed during testing.  It is essential to become familiar with the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan established by the Child Study Team.

While not all students with a disability require specialized instruction, those who do are controlled by procedural requirements from the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA).  An IEP is developed with the cooperation of a team of professionals who have closely interacted with the student and the student’s parents.  Such professionals may include the classroom teacher, special education teacher, counselor, and school psychologist.  Additionally, depending on the student’s specific needs, the attendance and assistance of an occupational therapist, speech therapist, physical therapist, and/or vision or hearing specialist may be needed. 

The elaboration and implementation of an IEP ensures that a student with an identified disability is receiving specialized instruction and related services at the elementary and secondary educational levels.  On the other hand, a student with a 504 Plan receives the academic accommodations necessary for his/her success.

In both cases there are a few accommodations that apply during state testing including ACCESS.   A student’s IEP describes the student’s goals for the year, which in turn is broken down into short-term goals in order to accomplish success. 

During ACCESS testing for example, ELLs with an IEP have to follow the accommodations that their plan mandates. It is implemented in the classroom throughout the year within the WIDA Guidelines for ACCESS Testing ELLs with Disabilities.  These include the use of certain electronics (readers, text enlargers), and use of a scribe to mention a few.

A student with a 504 Plan shares limited accommodations of a student with an IEP.  His/her 504 Plan is determined by the academic ability, not by the physical or mental disability.  Some of the allowances they share during examination are that the student takes the test in a separate room, directions may be read in the student’s native language or rephrased for clarification, and extra time may be deemed necessary according to the disability described in the student’s plan of instruction.

Ultimately, both the IEP and the 504 Plan require annual updates to accommodate for specific circumstances.  In any case, make sure you communicate with your student’s counselor or Child Study Team member to revamp ways to provide various opportunities for your students and their success.

Further information may be found at http://www.wida.us/assessment/ACCESS/, http://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/accom900.htm.

Claudia Plata is the SIG representative for Special Education.  She is a teacher at the Perth Amboy Public Schools and can be reached at cplata@njtesol-njbe.org .


Using the New Teacher Evaluation Models to Start Conversations about ELL Achievement

By JoAnne M. Negrín

Since starting my supervisory adventure last school year, I have been given many new hats to wear. I now supervise music, dance, and drama (I call this life’s great irony because I was the kid who played on rests and marched on the wrong foot. Don’t even ask about dance and drama.) I have also taken on a role as district trainer for the Danielson Framework for Teaching, Vineland’s chosen model for teacher evaluation. As I have gotten to know the framework, I have found that the domains, components, and elements of the framework provide a very useful springboard to start conversations within the district about how we can best serve our ELLs.

One of the great things about using the framework is that it emphasizes the importance of equity and high expectations for all students in every classroom. All teachers are expected to exhibit the ability to differentiate for all learners and to provide rigorous instruction for all learners. This expectation is consistent with the Common Core State Standards, which hold all teachers responsible for their students’ language development. These changes represent a major shift in philosophy and practice for many teachers and districts. In the past, the responsibility for ELLs’ language development was often viewed as the exclusive domain of the ESL teacher.

Many non-language teachers express anxiety about being able to meet the demands of providing this high-quality instruction for students who are in the process of acquiring English. A high school teacher in my district encapsulated this anxiety in a phone call to me, “How am I supposed to teach this student when he can’t understand a word I say?” The framework helps to define what effective teachers know and do. While other professions have long had clear definitions for these concepts, definitions of excellent teaching have been far more elusive. The ability to describe and discuss teaching excellence provided by the new evaluation frameworks both opens the door and creates the structure for professional dialogue and sharing of techniques among teachers with different professional expertise. I cannot remember a time when non-language teachers were more open to input from their ESL/bilingual colleagues.

As I travel to schools in my district providing introductory training about the Danielson Framework, I ensure that I make explicit the ways in which the framework applies to working successfully with our ELL population. I do so in a positive way, showing teachers the potential that ELLs hold for growth (e.g., “If I want to look like a superstar on the growth model, give me a room full of ESL students and former ESL students. With the right tools in my toolbox, their potential for growth is better than that of any other student group in the district.”) I also ensure that they know that they can contact my office with any questions they may have, and that they are aware that they have ESL, Bilingual, and World Languages colleagues who are knowledgeable about the needs of language learners and can also provide insight.

I hope that you are intrigued by the possibilities for increased dialog and collaboration with colleagues that the new evaluation models present. I will be presenting about this topic along with Ms. Dawn Bell, a middle school math teacher who is an enthusiastic supporter of ELLs, at the NJTESOL/NJBE Spring Conference. You don’t have to be a supervisor to attend, and you don’t need to be using the Danielson Framework for Teaching. All you need is an interest in finding ways to reach out to your colleagues about how we can all use the new models to help our students. I hope to see you in May.

JoAnne Negrín is  the NJTESOL/NJBE SIG Representative for Supervisors. She is the Supervisor of ESL, Bilingual Education, World Languages, & Performing Arts at Vineland Public Schools.