Special Interest Groups

Adult Education

Pathways for ELLs in Adult Education Programs

By Debbie DeBlasio

W hen I asked a group of colleagues who work in Adult Basic Education (ABE) what their primary concerns were, they commented on the same few topics: the shrinking public funding, student retention, and concerns about students being ready for employment upon exiting the program. It occurred to me that these issues, and more, are addressed in a current trend in higher / adult education - the implementation of pathways. Pathways is a system designed to help students in their transition to (and through) college and / or into a career.  While there is a ton of literature on different models, I'll attempt to list the general features here:

1. Clear pathways — Very clear, direct expectations and delineated steps to reach a career.  

2. Advising — Meeting regularly with a counselor, advisor, or mentor.

3. Career Exploration — Help choosing a major / career early on in order to not waste credits or time.

4. Benchmarks — Tracking student progress and recognizing milestones. Perhaps offering certifications on the way to completing a degree.

5. Support — Offering classes on study skills, computer literacy, time and stress management, how to be a successful college student, learning self-reliance, etc.

6. Training — Collaborating with local agencies and employers to train students: simultaneous studying and training.

This Pathways concept will be advantageous to Adult ELLs in several ways. We know that a large portion of Adult ELLs attend ABE programs because they are looking for a good job or a better job. Some need to provide for themselves and their families as soon as possible.

In today's world, having some form of post-secondary education and marketable skills is invaluable to employers. Getting these students to that point as efficiently as possible is ideal, and a system that integrates academics, support services, real-world experience, and possibly a certification along the way, could significantly help them achieve that goal more quickly.  In addition to expediency, the guidance that a good pathways system would offer could help tremendously.

Adult ELLs do not only need to learn the English language; they need to understand how life in the U.S. “works,” e.g. how to interview for a job, how to fill out applications, how to work on and lead a team, what proper job etiquette is, etc. They need help navigating the unfamiliar territory that awaits them. They need the skills it takes to be in today's competitive workforce. And those who take the path to college instead of working will also benefit. A clearly defined path will prevent students from taking any class that they don’t need and provide the guidance on what it takes to be a successful college student in the U.S. These dynamics include class etiquette, how to communicate with a professor , what to expect in a college class, how to follow a syllabus, etc.

With such a plan, student motivation should increase. Students will be able to see the immediate connection to their future plans and realize the direct and supported path that they are on to get to their goals.

Debbie DeBlasio, Department Chair, Associate Professor, Languages and ESL,Brookdale Community College
ddeblasio@brookdalecc.edu
732-224-2762


Bilingual/ESL Middle School

The English Language — An Enigma Unto Itself

By Noreen M. Drucker

Many districts are experiencing an increase in the number of English language learners (ELLs) in their classes this year. These increases are not limited to grade levels or geographic areas. Schools that had less than 10 ELLs and didn’t even require the services of an ESL certified teacher are now searching for one and working on programs to fit the needs of this “new” population. Where once there were two ESL teachers servicing 40 students, there are now 2.5 ESL teachers servicing 60 students.

Today’s ELL is not all by him or herself sitting quietly in the back of the room. Today ELLs are sitting all around the classroom and all of today’s teachers are responsible for their education. Because of this, anyone who touches their lives must know more about them and be well versed in how to help them learn.

Gone are the days of the “It’s a pen,” “It’s a pencil,” “It’s a man” ESL classes. (So if you, the reader, were not teaching ESL in the 70’s and 80’s you might not have the background knowledge to understand the last sentence. It was the way we taught ESL…back in the day.) Fortunately, we have come a long way and research has given us a greater understanding of second language acquisition. We now have the WIDA standards and the three features of academic language, vocabulary usage, language forms and conventions, and linguistic complexity to guide us in our instructional practices.

All of us need to be more aware of how difficult the English language is. It is loaded with polysemous words (words with many meanings.) Over 85% of our words have more than one meaning. Think about that when you are taking a shower or taking a bus or taking a date to the movies or taking the last bite of a cupcake. The afore mentioned words are simply words with multiple meanings. If we add idioms with “take” to the list we have- “Take her out!” (Of the basketball game or totally out of the picture?)  And “He took a hit!” (Where? In the stock market? In the gut? In a poker game?)

Just that one aspect of our language makes vocabulary problematic. But let’s take it one step further. What about connotations and denotations and nuances of words. Although the definitions are the same, there is big difference between being drafted by the Army and being drafted by the NFL in the first round.

Let’s move on to language forms and conventions, the second feature of academic language. Pronouns are used without understood antecedents and that confuses ELLs. Here is a perfect example: “Bring me that from over there and I will sign it. Then give it to her.” Instead, say what you mean clearly and concisely as in this example: “Bring me the report from the desk and I will sign it so you can give it to Ms. Murphy.”

Passive voice seems to be the form of choice among the authors of Science, Math and Social Studies books. As we speak mostly in active voice, passive voice is often encountered in writing. It becomes more difficult for the ELL when the doer is not explained. Consider this example: “The city was decimated.” There are no clues to linguistically breakdown the meaning. But if we change it to, “The city was decimated by the barbarians who took everything of value,” they now have a chance. They can use the context to define the word. Try paraphrasing to help your students understand complex text.

And now we come to linguistic complexity- the amount of text, the cohesion of the text, how it is organized and what kind of variety is apparent in the sentences. This is a key factor in writing, especially across the content areas. And in the content areas we need to include music, the arts, physical education and technology.

As we evaluate our students’ writing, we need to ask-Is the writing cohesive? Are there transition words? Do all of the sentences start with a noun followed immediately by a verb? Are the sentences varied and engaging? If the answer to these questions is “no,” we can use this as an assessment tool and base our writing lessons on what the student needs to know rather than what the teacher needs to teach.

Our language is truly complex and extremely challenging.  The obstacles to really learning it both in and out of the classroom sometimes seem unsurmountable. Sometimes, I wonder how our students manage to become so proficient in English, become valedictorians of their classes, and attend a university. But somehow they do.

Noreen M. Drucker, SIG Representative ESL/Bilingual Middle School
                 


Early Childhood

New and Noteworthy

By Monica Schnee

Happy and Healthy 2015!

This year brings some new resources that will support us in meeting the rigor and demands of the CCSS. These resources are a valuable tool to develop literacy and language as well as to inform us on different ways to collaborate with classroom teachers. The new Model Unit Exemplars for ELLs grades K-12 are now available for you to use.

All of the units can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/education/modelcurriculum/ela/exemplars/

The Kindergarten unit can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/education/modelcurriculum/ela/exemplars/k.pdf. The principles and strategies in the unit are universal so you may use them to guide your instruction and assessment. The topic is specific to the unit but the activities may be tailored to any unit you choose to teach. The assessment for Kindergarten is also “transferable” although the text dependent questions are specific to the texts.

On a personal note, the Kindergarten unit was written with a topic that we teach around March- May, Animals That Lay Eggs, as we insert instruction during ACCESS testing and Spring break. We will be able to discuss and work on this unit during our workshop at the upcoming NTESOL/NJBE Spring Conference.

However, since Spring seems a long ways ahead, I would like to share some of the resources that I use during the winter so that you may take some of the strategies from the unit and apply them to these “winter texts.”

English Language Arts is the content area where we can successfully integrate science, social studies, math, music, art and social language. It is particularly true for Kindergarten where so much of the teaching and learning for all students, not just our ELLs, has to do with “the language of the content areas.”

I use a variety of literature and informational text. There is greater emphasis on informational text in the CCSS and in terms of ELLs, the visuals of this genre and the clarity of language makes it easier for them to access content. Therefore, my list of titles is more non-fiction organized.

Whether you decide to use these texts to incorporate them to your own plans or use them in conjunction with the strategies, activities and assessment from the new Model Curriculum Exemplars, I hope you find them as inspiring, useful and full of wonderful possibilities to develop oral language, concepts and academic conversations as I do! I would love to hear your experience teaching with them during our Spring Conference Workshop. Please jot down some notes on your experience and share them with us then. Happy reading and teaching!

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Monica Schnee, Pre-k-K Sig Representative


WIDA Model

 

ESL Secondary

Restorative Practices in Schools

By Marcella Garavaglia

Students who are at risk for graduation need mentoring and intervention as soon as possible. In the article, “Sowing Empathy and Justice in Schools through Restorative Practices”, Mary Ellen Flannery discusses alternative ways to reach vulnerable students with behavioral problems. Suspensions and expulsions may lead some students into a disciplinary cycle with little opportunity for them to reflect and improve their behavior. It is vital that students understand their behavior and for school staff members to guide them along the path to success. Rita Danna, a restorative justice facilitator says, “It helps students realize they have the power to do things differently.” It helps equip students with problem-solving skills and the ability to work with different types of people, which will help them at their current part-time jobs as well as their future occupation.

As teachers we must take advantage of teachable moments; we can begin to use student actions and reactions in the classroom as a learning opportunity. In the past, I have had English language learners who would react disrespectfully to a teacher after receiving a grade sheet from a class where it identified missing assignments. I noticed that these students were not concerned with their test scores as much as they were concerned with a zero for a missing assignment. Some of our ELLs may not have materials at home to complete homework assignments due to the size or setup of their home, their work schedules, and other family responsibilities; they may lack study habits for these reasons as well. In my experience, ELLs want to be successful in their classes but may feel as if they are unable to improve their grades due to missing or incomplete homework assignments. As ESL teachers, we can provide ELLs with skills to meet with their teachers and discuss why they may not have completed certain class assignments or projects and be able to discuss opportunities to make up those assignments. I think this could be a small way to sow empathy and grow justice on both the teacher and student’s perspective.

[Editor’s note: See also: NEA and Partners Promote Restorative Justice in Schools, http://neatoday.org/2014/03/24/nea-and-partners-promote-restorative-justice-in-schools/ ,  and Restorative Practices: A Guide for Educators, New Toolkit & Infographic: What Are Restorative Practices?An Educator's Guide to Fostering Positive School Climate and Culture, http://www.otlcampaign.org/restorative-practices]

Marcella Garavaglia is the NJTESOL/NJBE ESL Secondary Representative. She teaches ESL at Colt Neck High School for the Freehold Regional High School District.
mgaravaglia@frhsd.com


Higher Education

Bridging the Gap for Students with University Experience

By Howard Pomann

Currently, at community colleges, there are many ESL students with university and professional experience from their countries who are unaware of the pathways to enter their careers in the United States.  In a recent survey at Union County College, approximately 35% of the ESL students indicated that they have had some university experience in their countries. In working with these students in recent semesters, it has become evident that many of these students do not know how to translate their careers/professions into entry level jobs, and most have little knowledge about transferring credits from their countries to their studies at the community college. 

Our goal this year has been to identify our ESL students who have had university experience and to develop academic plans for them which help them more rapidly reach useful career goals. This includes advisement on how to submit academic credentials to World Education Service (WES) and other credentialing services to transfer credits to their majors as well as advisement on receiving credit through the CLEP (College Level Examination Program.) 

When interviewing students who had knowledge about credentialing services on why they hadn’t transferred their credits, students responded with the misconception that they couldn’t transfer credits without finishing their degree in their countries. In fact, there is an advantage if students have not already completed their degrees, as students with a degree might not be eligible for financial aid grants, only loans. Additionally, most did not understand that even if they were changing their majors, i.e. from biology in their country to business in this country,  that their credits from their majors might be helpful as electives for their new degrees. And, in general, students just did not trust the process.

Getting students to transfer their credits towards their certificates or degrees is just one step in transitioning students into their chosen careers. Recently, the Consortium for Community College Immigrant Education (CCCIE) released a report, “Bridging the Gap for the Foreign Educated Immigrant,” which explores strategies that community colleges can use to facilitate the process.   These strategies include recommendations for outreach and admissions, credentialing of students’ university and life experience, academic and career counseling, and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) instruction. Go to: http://www.cccie.org

Some major recommendations include:

  1. Include the identification of students with foreign credentials as part of the admissions process.  Improve collection of data by gathering and tracking the educational background and work history of students enrolled in ESL programs so the college can help them connect to academic program coordinators and advisors.
  2. Provide workshops and individual advisement on transferring credits.  Students can use a credential calculator on the WES web-site:  http://www.wes.org/students/preliminary.asp to get a preliminary evaluation of their credentials.
  3. Develop certificates that will assist students to gain entry-level positions in their professions
  4. Provide accelerated paths of ESL instruction
  5. Pair EAP instruction with content-based instruction
  6. Develop partnerships with credit and non-credit areas to provide short-term training

At the NJTESOL/NJBE Spring Conference, the Higher Education Special Interest Group (SIG) will have a joint SIG meeting with Adult Education to explore strategies in adult and higher education programs that "bridge the gap" to provide pathways for students to employment opportunities in their professions. We look forward to your participation in the Spring conference and in the SIG session. 

Howard Pomann, Higher Education SIG Representative, is the Director of the Institute for Intensive English, Union County College (pomann@ucc.edu, 908-965-6030)


Parent and Community Action

Resources for Parent and Community Action

By Karen Nemeth

Lots of questions have come up on the NJTESOL/NJBE Hotlist recently about choosing and using apps and websites with ELLs.  These are questions that affect teachers as well as families in New Jersey and across the country.  Fortunately, top experts have joined in to give us the information we need.  The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop has just published an interactive guide called Family Time with Apps: A Guide to Using Apps with Your Kids. It can be downloaded as an interactive iBook or as a regular PDF file – and it can be helpful for teachers as well as parents. http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/publication/family-time-with-apps/

Another trusted source, Common Sense Media, has developed a website that lets teachers and families search for apps, games and websites according to age, topic and quality ratings. Visit www.graphite.org.  [Editor’s Note: This website was reviewed by Marilyn Pongracz, NJTESOL/NJBE’s Technology Coordinator in the Fall 2013 edition of Voices. She wrote, Graphite, http://www.graphite.org/, is a searchable list of reviewed media for the classroom from the non-profit organization, Common Sense Media.  Their simple and efficient search engine provides searches by media type: games, apps, or websites, as well as subjects and grades, and by cost – free, free to try, or paid.  Other places to start are the “Top Picks” and the blog.  The site also gives the option for you to create your own “board” on the site with the resources that you choose.  One drawback is that you can view the site or app within Graphite, but to actually go to another site, you have to open a new window and search for it.]

The WIDA website posted a new report, Focus on Technology in the Classroom, that can be found here:  http://wida.us/professionalDev/educatorResources/focus.aspx

To sum up the research and guidance from experts, well-known experts Roberta Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pacek (authors of Einstein Never Used Flashcards) wrote an article whose title says it all “Active, Engaged, Meaningful, and Interactive: Putting the ‘Education’ Back in Educational Apps” (June 10, 2014, PsychologyBenefits.org blog)

We will be talking about ideas and concerns for using technology in school and at home in several workshops at the 2015 NJTESOL/NJBE conference. Please start planning ahead to attend and join us for the Parent and Community Action SIG meeting.

Karen Nemeth, Coordinator, Parent and Community Action SIG, NJTESOL/NJBE
Karen@languagecastle.com


Socio-Political Issues:

Position Statement on Protecting the Rights of English Language Learners

By Elizabeth Franks

The year 2015 marks a significant milestone in New Jersey educational history. We are celebrating 40 years of protecting the rights of language minority students through the New Jersey Bilingual Education Act. In light of this celebration and the fact that the needs of this growing population have not specifically been addressed under the recent reforms, the New Jersey Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages-New Jersey Bilingual Educators (NJTESOL/NJBE) has developed this position paper.

New Jersey led the nation 40 years ago when the legislature adopted the NJ Bilingual Education Act on the heels of the Lau v. Nichols Supreme Court decision. This decision basically concluded: “There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.”

It is time for us to renew our commitment to the language minority students in the state of New Jersey. Unfortunately, in this day of Common Core State Standards and PARCC assessments, districts, teachers and students are pressured to use the same grade level texts as their English speaking peers, and take the same assessments in English, (no matter their level of English proficiency), and receive minimal services from certified specialists; thus dismissing the ruling in the Lau v Nichols case and ignoring the requirements in our own state law.

The general provisions of the NJ Bilingual Education Act include:

 

In the past, New Jersey has always been a leader in the provision of achieving high standards while at the same time protecting the rights of this defenseless minority. However, under the current reforms, this specialized group has been ignored. Therefore, NJTESOL/NJBE recommends the following:

1.  Assess ELLs appropriately and establish valid accountability measures.

Historically, New Jersey provided full year exemptions and created alternate measures in Spanish. At this time, the PARCC test in Language Arts is only offered in English and newly arrived 9th, 10th and 11th grade students are required to take the assessment.

NJTESOL/NJBE firmly believes that this violates the rights of ELLs to be validly assessed in a language that they understand. Therefore, we recommend that ELLs, AT ALL GRADE LEVELS, who have recently arrived, should be exempt from ELA testing for the first full year. The federal guidelines define a recent arrival as: “... a LEP student who has attended schools in the United States for less than 12 months … During the period within which an LEP student may be a recent arrival to the United States (during his/her first 12 months attending schools in the U.S.) a State may exempt such a student from one administration of the State’s reading/language arts assessment.” (p. 4) 

Furthermore, since the majority of ELLs speak Spanish and districts are required to develop bilingual programs, NJ should follow the lead of New York and Louisiana and invest in developing PARCC or an alternate assessment in Spanish so that students are assessed in the language of instruction and can demonstrate competency in the content standards.

Once assessed, students’ PARCC and ACCESS for ELLs scores should be analyzed with valid accountability measures which take into consideration the varied growth patterns according to the student’s English language proficiency (ELP) level (Cook, Boals & Lundberg, 2011). The ELL subgroup’s status is ever dynamic. Therefore, the ELP levels of students’ data used to establish the target growth may not be equivalent to subsequent years’ cohorts. Consequently, the current system does not accurately capture the growth patterns across the various grade levels.

Too often schools have been designated as a Focus or Priority school because of this perceived “gap” between the general population and the ELL subgroup, which may, in all actuality, be a result of the process of second language acquisition. English language proficiency levels should be considered when calculating Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO –Title I) and Annual Measureable Achievement Objectives (AMAO-Title III).  

2. Implement realistic high school graduation requirements. (N.J.A.C. 6A:15-1.4)

Historically, 25% - 45% of ELLs passed the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) on their first attempt in their junior year. This is a subgroup which relied upon the multiple administrations of HSPA in their senior year as well as the options offered under the Alternate High School Assessment (AHSA) to demonstrate competency in English and/or their first language. Although the percentage of ELLs who utilized AHSA  in native language was low, the result of a high school diploma was and is priceless; especially considering the data that the ELL subgroup has the lowest high school graduation rate (NJDOE, 12/3/14). Under the current guidelines, there will be NO options to demonstrate knowledge in a student’s first language in any of the alternate assessments.

In addition, when districts do the right thing and allow ELLs an additional year to develop English proficiency and competency in the content areas, they are penalized for not graduating their students in four years.

3. Ensure that ELLs are receiving effective instruction from certified specialists (N.J.A.C. 6A:15-1.9)

Due to the recent budget crisis and interpretation of the Common Core State Standards, many districts reduced the number of ELL specialists and ELL administrators. ELLs were pushed into general education classes without the instructional support for the students nor the professional development for teachers to effectively instruct ELLs. In addition, administrators who have no background knowledge or experience in second language acquisition were placed in charge of bilingual and ESL programs and thus lack expertise needed to design, guide and evaluate best practices.

4. Ensure that all teachers receive support on methods and strategies to effectively instruct ELLs

Therefore, all teachers who work with ELLs should receive professional development and support from specialists on effective strategies in working with culturally and linguistically diverse students (N.J.A.C. 6A:15-1.8).

Proactively, teacher education programs in the state colleges and universities should be required to include courses/credits on working with ELLs since there are over 60,000 ELLs in New Jersey across 475 districts.

5. Provide ELLs with appropriate materials that reflect the reality that these children are developing a second language which is a “complex and long term process” (WIDA, Guiding Principle #9, 2014).

The NJDOE has not provided clear guidance on the use of alternative materials and pathways (other than grade level texts) to achieve the standards. Using only grade level texts when teaching ELLs repudiates the conclusion of Lau v Nichols decision:  “for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.” In addition, this practice is a contradiction of the research on effective strategies for ELLs. Districts need specific guidance from the NJ Department of Education on how to address the CCSS for ELLs while they are in the process of learning a second language.

6. Meaningfully engage parents of ELLs in the educational community (N.J.A.C. 6A:15-1.15).

Too often linguistic and cultural barriers prevent parents of ELLs from sustained engagement in the educational system. In order to protect the rights of children, parents need to be informed and feel empowered. So, districts need technical and financial assistance to provide informational and educational programs for parents. As parents are the child’s first teachers, they too must understand the second language acquisition process and how best to support their child’s learning at home.

7. Award a Seal of Biliteracy to New Jersey students who demonstrate proficiency in English and another language.

In this era of global competency, knowing two languages is a definite asset. Acknowledging this
fact and to celebrate student achievement, NJTESOL/NJBE and Foreign Language Educators
of NJ (FLENJ) established a pilot program last year which recognized over 200 students who  
were able to pass proficiency tests in two languages. Eight states have already passed legislation
that officially awards a Seal of Biliteracy to deserving seniors. By supporting this initiative, the
NJ Department of Education recognizes the implicit and explicit value of bilingualism for all.

NJTESOL/NJBE contends that all ELLs can meet rigorous, content standards but need a different pathway and supports to arrive at that destination. NJTESOL/NJBE supports holding districts accountable for the education of their ELLs, however, the instructional environment and accountability measures must be research-based, valid and reliable for this special population. We ask the New Jersey Department of Education to lead the state’s educators with its support of the Bilingual Education Act in not only protecting the rights of language minority students and ensuring that ELLs receive a free and appropriate education but also in celebrating and encouraging all students to develop the skills and ability to speak two (or more) languages.


Special Education

Introducing Your New SPED SIG Representative

By Sonya Bertini

Happy New Year! I am both honored and pleased to be the new SIG representative for special education. I have taught ELLs since 1980….Yikes!  I began my teaching career in Madrid, Spain as an English as a Foreign Language teacher and became a member of TESOL Spain at that time. In 1997 I moved back to the United States and taught ESL for several years before becoming a bilingual teacher.

As a bilingual teacher I noticed how many ELL students with disabilities were not being properly evaluated or serviced and I grew very concerned. So, in 2005 I decided to get my degree in Special Education and have been working as a bilingual/ESL special educator for the last five years. To better understand the needs of my students, I became certified as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant and work with the Child Study Team of the Vineland Public School District in the summer. Presently I am the only bilingual special education teacher at the secondary level in my district. I teach a diverse group of students ranging from 9th to 12th grade every single subject in a self contained classroom….needless to say, it keeps me on my toes. My students are “doubly special” and I am their ardent advocate!

I look forward to working with the NJ TESOL Executive Board and meeting all of you at the Spring Conference. I will be holding a panel discussion at the conference where I hope to open up a question and answer session during which any issues, doubts or queries you have concerning special education and ELLs are covered. In an effort to better prepare for the session, and ensure that your particular questions are addressed by the participants, I would ask you to kindly email me any of your questions or concerns. I am including a link to the NJ DOE which you can refer to. It is http://www.nj.gov/education/bilingual/news/FAQse.htm.

I am truly excited to hear from you and meet you in May.

Sonya Bertini, SPED SIG, Vineland Public Schools, sbertini@njtesol-njbe.org


Supervisors

Highlights of the 2014-2015 Year

By Regina Postogna

The 2014-2015 school year is well under way. I’ve provided highlights for this time period below.


FALL 2015
Second year of SGOs and SGPs

AMAOs – Measurement of student achievement on the ACCESS test changed from 10 scale points to a .5 growth measurement which equates to 27-28 scale points.

ACCESS Test 2013-2014 & 2014-2015
Tier A Listening and reading portion capped at 4.0
Tier B-Listening and reading portions capped at 5.0
Tier C- Students can demonstrate up to 6.0 level of proficiency in all portions

When in doubt tier up. Many districts did not meet either AMAO 1 or AMAO 2 because students could not demonstrate their full ability on the ACCESS test because of the CAPs in levels A and B.

This year it is recommended that ESL/Bilingual Supervisors review with their staff how students will be tiered for the 2015 ACCESS test.

PARCC – March 2015 – First administration of the test. The link below will take you to the PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual, Third Edition. Follow the link below to access it.
http://www.parcconline.org/parcc-accessibility-features-and-accommodations-manual

After reviewing the manual make certain to meet with your lead district testing coordinator so he or she can inform each school’s testing coordinator of the accommodations available to English language learners.

The PARCC testing coordinators at the NJDOE are as follows:
High School-Veronica Orsi veronica.orsi@doe.state.nj.us  (609) 292-8739
Middle School-Timothy Steele-Dadzier timothy.steele-dadzie@doe.state.nj.us (609) 777-2087

The NJTESOL/NJBE Spring Conference will be held on Wednesday, May 27th and Thursday May 28th this year and the Supervisors Special Interest Group (SIG) will hold a joint meeting with the NJPSA ELL Committee.

Dr. Regina M. Postogna, Supervisors’ SIG


Teacher Education

Call For Poster Sessions

By Kristi A. Bergman

As the newly appointed Teacher Education SIG Representative, I am looking forward to serving on the NJTESOL/NJBE Executive Board and working closely with the other members.  Currently, I am the Director of PALS Rutgers Newark. Prior to this position, I was the Chair of ESL and Modern Languages at Atlantic Cape Community College and an adjunct instructor at The College of New Jersey and Rowan University in their graduate and ESL/Bilingual certificate programs.  During my years in the classroom, I had the opportunity to teach ESL in higher education to a wide range of students as well to help prepare new ESL K-12 teachers and higher education instructors. 

If you are a graduate student who has created interesting lesson plans or researched timely topics that are related to our field, or if you work with graduate students and would like to share your experience, please consider submitting a proposal for a poster session. You may also consider joining the Graduate Student Forum at our Spring Conference on May 27th and 28th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick.  

ESL teachers are such an integral part of education: your ideas and research are greatly valued.  Please feel free to contact me directly at kristi.bergman@rutgers.edu if you are interested in sharing ideas or getting more information about the conference.