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English-Language Learners Webinar

Supporting English-Learners This Fall: Focus on Assets, Not Deficits

This event occurred on August 25, 2021 3:05 PM EDT, but is available to view on-demand.
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The country’s 5 million English-language learner-students—three-quarters of whom speak Spanish as their home language, federal data show—faced unique challenges during the periods of remote schooling last year. Some worry that these students may have regressed in their English skills during that time.

But experts say that these students also experienced potential benefits from spending more time at home immersed in their families’ languages and cultures. They say teachers will need to give English-learners proper support going forward, which includes ensuring they are learning language within content and not in isolation; doing holistic assessments that take into account any gains made in home languages; and most importantly, avoiding assumptions on how much or how little progress was made in English-language skills.

This webinar explores these and other support strategies for educators working with English-learners this fall.

Barbara Lora
English Language Acquisition Coach Brockton Public Schools
Lora, a native Spanish speaker, has been an educator and advocate for multilingual learners and their families for 19 years. She is currently an English language acquisition coach for Brockton Public Schools in Massachusetts, where she supports elementary educators in the best practices in content and language development for English learners. Barbara has led professional development programs for teachers and paraprofessionals on sheltered content and language acquisition methodologies, using data to inform instruction, and culturally responsive SEL practices.
Steven H. Weiss
Senior Researcher, Understanding Language-Center to Support Excellence in Teaching Stanford University
Weiss is a senior researcher at Understanding Language-Center to Support Excellence in Teaching within the Stanford Graduate School of Education. His work cultivates leadership capacity at the school site, district and state level to lead systemic change for Multilingual learners. Prior to joining Understanding Language, he worked at the Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) program at WestEd. Before this, Weiss worked as a school administrator, a bilingual/ESL resource teacher, and a high school Spanish/History/ESL teacher. He holds an M.Ed. from U.C.L.A., an M.A. in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University, and an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College.
Ileana Najarro is a reporter for Education Week covering race and opportunity in schools across the country.
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