Presenter Preview with Joy Van De Hoef: Cross-Content Vocabulary Activities and Strategies

CIMA 2017 is just 13 days away and we know participants are eager to plan their schedules! With so many great guest speakers and breakout sessions being offered we thought you might like a preview, so we asked our presenters a few quick questions to help guide you.

We’re going to continue our preview with Joy Van De Hoef. In addition to serving as a Bilingual/ESL Specialist here at Region 13, Joy is also our Dual Language lead contact and a Master Reading teacher. In our interview with Joy, she gives us a brief overview of her session:

Q: What’s your name?

A: Joy Van De Hoef

Q: What’s the title of the session you’ll be facilitating at CIMA?

A:  Cross-Content Vocabulary Activities and Strategies

Q:  If you don’t mind, give us a quick preview of the content – what are you going to cover?

A:  In this session, participants will discover not only how to select appropriate vocabulary, but learn effective activities that can be used across the content areas to promote linguistic and academic success. We will demonstrate and practice strategies that move students beyond mere introduction to new vocabulary and into deeper understanding that is critical for true acquisition and implementation. Participants will leave with tools that they can use the next day.

Q:  CIMA is for stakeholders in the Bilingual, ESL, and LOTE fields. Who is a good fit to attend your session?

A:  Anyone who would like to increase his or her collection of quick and effective vocabulary activities and strategies would benefit from this session.

Q:  How will your session contribute to improving learning outcomes for language learners?

A:  Words are the currency of communication and so much more than just memorization is required for mastery. Systematic vocabulary selection and effective activities to practice these words and concepts lead to vocabulary acquisition and successful usage.

Q: As a presenter, you get to attend CIMA, too. What excites you about the conference?

A: I appreciate the opportunity to network and learn from other educators that support language learners.

Haven’t registered yet? Click here to join us!

Presenter Preview with Seth Herrington -Why Students Tune Out: Sources and Solutions

CIMA 2017 is only 14 days away and we know participants are eager to plan their schedules! With so many great guest speakers and breakout sessions being offered we thought you might like a preview, so we asked our presenters a few quick questions to help guide you.

We’re going to launch things off with Seth Herrington – he’s the Program Manager of the Bilingual/ESL Team here at Region 13, and also serves as a Bilingual/ESL Specialist. Seth spends a good part of his time helping districts and charters navigate the complexities of Bilingual and ESL programs. At CIMA, Seth will be leading a breakout session titled “Why Students Tune-Out: Sources and Solutions”. Here’s a little more about it Seth, and about the session:

Q: First things first, what’s your name?

A: Seth Herrington

Q: What’s the title of the session you’ll be facilitating at CIMA?

A:  It’s called “Why Students Tune Out: Sources and Solutions.” 

Q:  If you don’t mind, give us a quick preview of the content – what are you going to cover?

A:  So, as educators, I think we’ve all experienced that moment where we really feel that we’re delivering content that is engaging our students, but when we look out at the students in our classroom, we see at least a few students who are totally checked out from what we’re teaching. And sometimes, it’s the same students, every day, seemingly without fail. It’s frustrating! In this session, we’ll look at the various reasons students may neglect to engage at school, and then we’ll delve into solutions specific to each source. Low motivation, for example, is something I hear teachers mention regularly – and for good reason! It’s hard to motivate students once they’ve lost that “fire” to engage. Anyway, that’s one of several sources we’ll talk about, and while there’s no quick solution, we’ll spend some time talking about how we can work towards improving outcomes.

Q:  CIMA is for stakeholders in the Bilingual, ESL, and LOTE fields. Who is a good fit to attend your session?

A:  Honestly, this content is good for everyone, LOTE, Bilingual, and ESL stakeholders will all benefit, and it’s good content regardless of your role within each of those categories.

Q:  How will your session contribute to improving learning outcomes for language learners?

A:  When our learners aren’t engaged, or if they’re dealing with something that inhibits their cognitive capacity, all the hard work we spend planning is, well, maybe not wasted, but at least compromised! Teaching students who are acquiring a language requires that we plan with that in mind, and this session will help participants do that better.

Haven’t registered yet? Click here to join us!

Parent Literacy Trainings in Action

Region 13 Bilingual/ESL Specialist Ivonne Santiago is presenting Parent Literacy Training for ELL parents of students K-2. In just 45 minutes to 1 hour, each workshop in the series of 8 offers parents strategies for increasing student literacy at home. Districts have the choice of receiving the training in Spanish or in English, and the series can be customized to fit campus needs. Additionally, each session features a goal setting component to help parents focus on student needs.

The 8 topics:

  • The Importance of Reading to Your Child
  • Finding the Right Book
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Comprehension
  • Questioning Techniques
  • Improving Fluency
  • The Reading and Writing Connection
  • Literacy in Spanish and English

See Parent Literacy Training in action at Rockdale ISD:


Why SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) is Essential for ELLs

When considering language acquisition, anxiety, stress and self-consciousness can become major roadblocks for ELL students. When a student’s affective filter is crowded with these distractions, the ability to focus on instruction becomes a challenge. Frustration, low-motivation, and boredom often follow exponentially.

While there are many accommodations and strategies teachers can employ to help lower the affective filter, SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) activities can also contribute to the effort. Students require safety and comfort in the classroom, but also the social tools to successfully interact with their peers and the regulatory mechanisms to check in on their own well-being.

“Social and emotional skills taught in classrooms often include skills such as kindness, empathy, gratitude, resilience and fairness. While all students can benefit from instruction in what these skills look like, English learners in particular will need support in what the skills sound like, including the words and phrases that exemplify the particular skill. Cultural considerations should also be discussed, as the particular skill may manifest in different ways in different cultures, especially in terms of how people appropriately react to them, and the gestures and body language associated with the skills.”

Excerpt quote and photo credit go to:

Read more here and here.

7 Great Resources for Parents of ELLs

Want to support your ELL students when they are away from the classroom? Promoting parental and community participation in ESL or Bilingual Programs for ELLs helps to ensure a rich learning environment at home.  Providing parents with resources like the ones below is a great way to help parents stay active in the education of their children:

As campus staff, here are some additional ways you can help build relationships with families:

1. Face to face meetings with parents of ELLs to discuss ways they can help their ELLs at home and school.

2. Help set up a parent center in your school stocked with resources to help and lend out to parents of ELLs.

3. Provide short workshops to parents of ELLs on various academic topics such as writing tips, homework tips, vocabulary tips, etc.

4. Work in collaboration with your community social service worker or guidance counselor to find learning opportunities such as ESL classes or parenting classes.

5. Work in collaboration with school ESL teacher or administrator to visit homes of ELLs.


-Contains excerpts from a Title III SSA release from ESC 17.


Connecting Content and Language for English Language Learners

Want to develop your pedagogy, academic language strategies, and differentiation techniques necessary to address the diverse needs of your ELLs? Join us at the Region 13 ESC for a 4-part series called Connecting Content and Language for English Language Learners.

Who: K-12 Teachers of ELLs

What: Connecting Content and Language for English Language Learners (FA1737608)

When: 10/16/17, 11/13/17, 12/6/17, 1/10/18

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

Professional Learning Objectives

  • Build pedagogical knowledge related to language development

  • Understand Content ELD and ALD

  • Learn to create a language rich environment and acquire strategies for building academic language

  • Experience research-based practices for making content comprehensible

  • Learn research-based strategies for generating output and structured language interaction

  • Acquire ELD strategies that best lend themselves to each of the content areas

  • Learn how to scaffold and differentiate language learning in the content areas for varying levels of language proficiency

Register here!

NOTE: FREE for one secondary teacher/coach per district who is participating in the Title III Shared Service Agreement (SSA). Districts not in the Title III SSA are allowed to send one secondary teacher/coach for $400 (includes four days of training and materials). Districts participating in the  Bilingual Coop may send one teacher/coach at reduced rate of 50% off.


What Everyone Should Know About Child Refugees

In 2016, students with refugee status numbered 37,500, while 90,000 more newcomers settled here without the official designation. Many arrive with very little, taking great risks for the prospect of safety and security in a new home. Young people are often unaccompanied in their journey to the United States, traveling and often living with extended family or friends.

Watch this short video about 16 year-old Ana and her 8 year-old sister. Their unique family situation is just one of many challenges to consider when discussing the obstacles refugee students face. Recent changes in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy have many concerned. As educators it is our responsibility to mitigate this stress and anxiety for our immigrant students.

For the latest updates on federal policy and DACA, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Want to learn more about the challenges faced by refugee students? Attend CIMA to learn how you can support this student population. The Conference on Instruction for Multilingual Advancement takes place on November 6 & 7. Find out more here.

Image credit goes to Child Trends News Service.

Looking ahead to October LPAC

As September comes to a close, and you are wrapping up BOY LPAC meetings, it’s a great idea to look ahead and plan for the coming months. The LPAC Year-at-a-Glance (check your livebinder) is a great resource to keep close by when considering your ELLs and their annual progress.

Need a refresh on meeting protocol? Review the LPAC Framework here, and check out the video series by Region 20 ESC for some quick examples of how to conduct your meetings.

Strategies that Advance ELLs’ Academic & Linguistic Success

Want to help your ELLs by adding some new tools to your belt? This hands-on opportunity provides educators practical tools and a variety of techniques that will help your English language learners understand content curriculum while simultaneously developing their social and academic speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. We will highlight several effective learning strategies and discuss how to adapt and differentiate the activities throughout the grade levels and across content areas.

This training and the training titled Effective ELL Engagement & Formative Assessment Strategies (SP1837733) are best taken in sequence as they complement each other, but it is not required.

Who:  Teachers of ELLs

What: Strategies that Advance ELLs’ Academic & Linguistic Success (FA1738187)

When: September 27, 2017 9am-4pm

Sign-up here!