CIMA 2018 Call for Presenters

The 2018 Conference on Instruction for Multilingual Advancement will take place at ESC Region 13 on October 2 & 3, 2018.

Have a great session idea you would like to present at CIMA 2018? The CIMA 2018 call for presenters is officially open and accepting proposals. The deadline for submissions is September 5, 2018.

What makes CIMA great is the unique intersection of compelling content and engaging presenters. Do you have relevant expertise? Engaging content that could benefit stakeholders in the LOTE, ESL, and/or Bilingual setting? We want to hear from you.

While any session that has the potential to improve learning outcomes for language learners will be considered, this year’s theme is Culture and Community, and sessions that incorporate these topics are appreciated.

Sessions are approximately 60 minutes in length, and room setup consists of participants sitting in small groups with circular or rectangular tables.

All presenters are given a full conference pass free of charge.


Submit a proposal HERE.

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Planning to Take the TEXES 154 ESL Supplemental?

Upcoming ESL Academy Opportunities

Due to changes in certification requirements for ESL content-based programs, secondary staff who serve ELs in English language arts and reading, mathematics, science, and social studies are now required to be ESL certified. Having only Sheltered Instruction training is no longer sufficient (See slide 71 and 72 here).

If you have concerns about your numbers of certified teachers, this fillable calculator is a good tool for determining your campus needs.

Do you have staff who need to to prepare for the TEXES 154 ESL certification exam? We offer an ESL Academy here at the Region 13 ESC this fall.

What: ESL Academy Online (FA1839305)

Who: Teachers of ELs

When: October 16-18, 2018

Where: Region 13 ESC, 5701 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX 78723

Register HERE.


Looking to attend an ESL Academy right away?

Try the ESL Academy Online.

This self directed online course provides a foundation for understanding language acquisition and explores best practices in ESL instruction while preparing participants for the TExES exam #154: English as a Second Language Supplemental.

The online course includes a copy of the ESL Academy Notebook. ($60 value) The notebook includes examples to support participants’ understanding of the 10 Competencies for the exam, as well as several embedded practice questions, and a practice exam to assist the participants in continued studying prior to their taking the TExES #154. Learn more about the ESL Academy Notebook here. After you register for this course you will be contacted so we can confirm your shipping address.

An electronic copy is also provided in the course so you can get started right away, but we do recommend using the printed copy for this review course.

If you do not wish to receive the printed ESL Academy Notebook, please be sure to opt-out by using the following promotional code during checkout: ESLOPTOUT

When you opt-out, your registration fee will be adjusted to $240.

What: ESL Academy Online (FA1635950)

Who: Teachers of ELs

When: Access anytime

Where: Online

Register HERE.


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Rural School Districts See 24% Drop in Students Taking Algebra II

San Antonio (June 7, 2018) – The class of 2018 is the first to graduate under the new graduation requirements put in place in 2013 by the Texas legislature. Many advocates raised concerns that lowering graduation requirements could possibly affect college readiness and preparation.
With funding from the Greater Texas Foundation, IDRA conducted a mixed method study to examine the early effects of the new graduation requirements. Key findings show:
  • Rural districts lost 24 percent in Algebra II course enrollments


  • Forty-five districts studied chose to require the “distinguished level of achievement” designation as part of their default graduation plan for their students, thereby mirroring the previous graduation requirements. Losses in Algebra II course enrollment are less pronounced among these districts.


  • Students in high-poverty schools are more likely to declare non-college bound endorsements than students in low-poverty schools. (While no endorsement path is set up specifically to prepare students for college, the multidisciplinary studies and STEM endorsements are described as most likely to do so.)

Read more from here.



1 Neighborhood. 24 Kindergarten Classes. 40 Languages. (Some Miming Helps.)

Many of us have taught in, or visited a dual-language classroom in Texas where a common L1 (maybe Spanish or Vietnamese) is used in tandem with L2 (English). We have witnessed first language supported  English learning, and particularly in the lower grades, the rapid leaps students take in becoming multilingual. The appropriately trained teacher can guide students to these successes.

But what if many different L1s are spoken in your classroom? What if there are no, or few common L1s?

Read about an EL Newcomer program in Toronto where many L1s exist in this article by Catherine Porter for the New York Times.

“Amna’s first language was Urdu. Her friend Talyah’s was Arabic.

But the other day in the corner of a classroom, they spoke English in between giggles, while spilling marbles into a funnel.

The girls are students at Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy — a school in the Thorncliffe Park neighborhood of Toronto that was built just for kindergarten children from the nearby apartment buildings.

The school has 630 students, all between the ages of 4 and 6, and most are the children of immigrants. This makes up 24 classes of kindergartners.

They arrive speaking 40 languages but very little English, reflecting the motto of Toronto, “Diversity Our Strength.” So teachers wear cords around their necks with little laminated pictures giving basic instructions.  FULL ARTICLE.

10 Sheltered Instruction Strategies You Can Use This Fall

Our English Learners benefit from Sheltered Instruction because we embed English language acquisition in our content, right? How do we know which strategies are best suited to each lesson? Are we reaching all of our ELLs? What do we know about the proficiency levels of the ELLs in our classrooms?

This half-day training was created to provide teachers with a deeper dig into 10 Sheltered Instruction strategies. Participants are encouraged to bring student TELPAS data from last year, so that together we can learn more about planning for specific students. S.I. strategies are most effective when we meet our students at their current level of proficiency.  Once we know where are students are in their English language development, we can make informed decisions about shaping language objectives for our lessons.

What: 10 Sheltered Instruction Strategies You Can Use This Fall (SU1839372)

Who: Teachers of ELLs

When: August 7, 2018  9am-12pm

Where: Region 13 Education Service Center in Natural Bridge Room

Register HERE.

For questions please contact Daniel Schaetz at

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Sheltered Instruction: The Blueprint

This single day workshop is designed to equip and empower teachers who serve ELs from Kinder through 12th grade.


Providing quality instruction to English Learners of various levels of language proficiency is no easy task. It requires that classroom teachers be adept at strategically linking academic vocabulary with content area instruction.

Linking language and content is simple, but simple doesn’t mean easy! In Sheltered Instruction: The Blueprint, teachers will explore four key components of sheltering instruction, and will use sample students throughout the training to build capacity in moving theory to practice.

Participants will leave this training prepared to better serve the ELs in their classrooms, and improve learning outcomes for all students.


What: Sheltered Instruction: The Blueprint (SU1838875)

Who: Teachers of ELs

When: July 25  9am-4pm

Where: Region 13 Education Service Center

Register HERE.


Kinesthetic Word Webs

The blog at Teacher Created Materials offers some great ways to sharpen your classroom strategies over the summer months in their series, Summer of Strategies.


“Movement is crucial to learning. We must move because the “sit-and-get” method is overused and not as effective as when we have the chance to increase our oxygen intake and shift the activity.

This strategy turns a web graphic organizer into an activity that incorporates movement. With this strategy, teachers provide students with content information on index cards and students create a Kinesthetic Word Web.

Strategy Steps

  1. Prior to the start of the lesson, write the lesson’s main topic on an index card. Choose two to five words or phrases related to the main topic and write one word or phrase on each index card. Create multiple sets of index cards so that each student will get one.
  2. Distribute to each student one of the index cards created prior to the start of the lesson.
  3. Instruct students to walk around the room looking for words related to the words they have and to the main topic. For example, if studying about weather (main topic), Student A has sunny and he/she finds Student B with snowy, they connect together and continue to find more words.
  4. Once a group believes they have found all of the words, have students form an outer circle and have the main-topic person stand in the middle. The outer circle of students places one hand on the shoulder of the student with the main topic, creating a Kinesthetic Word Web.
  5. Repeat this activity, but this time remove some of the main-topic index cards and some of the detail index cards, and replace them with Wild Cards (blank index cards).
  6. Ask students to find to which group they belong. Those with Wild Cards can join any group by writing a detail on their cards that places them with an appropriate web. Students with Wild Cards must be able to justify their answers.
  7. Have students share with each group how they decided where they belong and why.
  8. Debrief with students by discussing questions, such as the following:
  • If the main topic was not on an index card, could you still create your own?
  • Did you discover any words that could appear in multiple webs?

Download the complete lesson on Kinesthetic Word Webs. Click Here to Download

Check out this article by LaVonna Roth and more posts from the Teacher Created Materials blog here.

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Careers for Raising the Literacy Rate: How to Take Action and Give the Power of Reading & Writing

At Learn How to Become students and adults can access current data about career paths in detail. They offer an in depth look at specific jobs and education requirements across a broad spectrum of careers. What a great resource for weighing college and career decisions! The excerpt below is taken from their section on careers in literacy. See the full article here.

“Most people take the ability to read and write for granted, but for some, literacy is elusive, putting them at a profound disadvantage in a society heavily dependent on the written word. Keep reading for an in-depth look at professional avenues to improve literacy, from volunteer work with grassroots organizations to full-time careers. The issue of literacy is also covered at length, including some of its root causes and the societal consequences of having so many people who struggle with even basic tasks such as reading a menu or paying bills.


Any number of factors can affect literacy, from learning disorders to a fundamental lack of education or access to resources. Following are some of the main types of people who need literacy assistance, as well as a look at the underlying causes.

Adults who never learned to read and write at a proficient level

Low literacy can be a vicious cycle. About one in four U.S. children grow up without learning how to read, and these youths are four times more likely to drop out of high school, making them even less likely to receive help with literacy issues.

English speakers with learning disabilities

About 85 percent of people with learning disabilities have problems reading and writing. Low literacy is often associated with conditions like dyslexia, which affects the ability to read, and dysgraphia, which causes difficulty with writing.

ESL (English as a Second Language) learners

Immigrants often need literacy help, particularly those who come from economically disadvantaged countries. Likewise, American-born children of immigrants are also likely to need help learning how to read and write in English.

Children in underserved communities

Schools in underserved communities often lack sufficient resources to ensure students become literate. These students may also come from families with low literacy rates, often meaning they have less exposure to books or other reading materials.”

To learn more about the path to a career in literacy visit

Supporting Children and Parents Affected by the Trauma of Separation

In a joint publication from Child Trends and the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, Jessica Dym Bartlett, MSW, PhD and Maria A. Ramos-Olazagasti, PhD offer research based support for families experiencing trauma due to separation.

“Parents, educators, mental health providers, and other adults who come into contact with immigrant families separated through border detention or deportation can provide effective care by understanding and responding to children’s age-related needs and reactions to trauma. For example, adults can help very young children by maintaining regular feeding, eating, and sleeping routines; showing physical affection; and showing patience if the child cries excessively, regresses, develops severe separation anxiety, or exhibits difficulty with self-regulation—all natural responses to early childhood trauma. Most importantly, adults can buffer young children from the adverse effects of this trauma by providing consistent, sensitive care that is responsive to their emotional and physical needs.”

Read more at Child Trends here.

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Is Your Vocabulary Instruction Lit?

Understanding slang words and their academic synonyms is an essential language skills for EL language development. Here’s a great activity from Sharroky Hollie, Ph.D. for the Summer of Strategies blog series over at Teacher Created Materials.

I often joke that one of the ways I realize I am getting older is that when I hear younger people use slang, I cringe. The cringe is not so much about them using slang but more about me not knowing what has been said. There is probably no greater separator of generational differences than the use of slang. Likewise being able to validate and affirm the current generation’s use of slang is a great way to relate and connect with them. Unfortunately, many of us mistakenly see slang as completely representative of what a nonstandard language is, rather than recognizing that slang is simply part of the vocabulary of any language. In general, vocabulary or semantics….read more here.


This article appears in the Teacher Created Materials blog.

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