Building Bridges to Academic Success by jbi16304


									                                                                                                                        SPRING/SUMMER 2007

                                M             A            R              Y       L    A          N          D

         Works:                                  Building Bridges to Academic Success
 Advocacy Begins                                 by Laurel Conran, ESOL Teacher, Howard County Public Schools
 With Me
 by Peggy Wilson,
 Advocacy IS Co-Chair
                                                 F    our years ago I was sitting at a Parent-
                                                      Teacher Conference with a classroom
                                                 teacher, a non-English speaking parent
                                                                                                 Listed below are some program examples
                                                                                                 from Bollman Bridge Elementary School.

                                                 and an interpreter. The parent listened         • Communication – Bollman Bridge

 S   electing priorities and
     defining the role of
 advocacy for our organization
                                                 to the interpretation of the teacher’s
                                                 comments on the missing homework
                                                                                                 Elementary School hosted “Coffee With
                                                                                                 the Principal” for all Hispanic parents
                                                                                                                           to meet the
 are issues that Maryland TESOL                  and low test                                                              administrators,
 board members have struggled                    scores and                                                                teachers, and
 with for the last couple of                     hung her                                                                  staff. Parents
 years. How does the Board                       shoulders.                                                                were informed
 balance personal advocacy                       She replied,                                                              about upcoming
 with organizational advocacy?                   “I’m sorry                                                                school events,
 Last year and again this year                   but I cannot                                                              homework
 the Board submitted a letter of                 help my                                                                   policies,
 support for funding for adult                   child at home                                                             school rules,
 education to the legislative body               because I do                                                              kindergarten
 in Annapolis. That’s advocacy!                  not speak                                                                 registration,
 But there may be members who                    English.”                                                                 Parent-Teacher
 would ask, “Is that all?” Such                                                                                            conferences,
 a response leads to another                     I asked how the school could “build a           report cards, standardized tests and
 question. Will a Board that is                  bridge” between the teachers and the            opportunities to volunteer in their
 comprised of volunteers ever be                 Limited English Proficient (LEP) parents         children’s classrooms. Parents had the
 able to do more than write an                   and help their children excel in their          opportunity to ask questions and receive
 occasional letter of support? Is it             new culture, school and community.              answers and they took responsibility for
 the Board’s role to do more?                    After I shared these concerns with the          helping their children assimilate into their
                                                 school staff and administrators, outreach       new school environment.
 Perhaps the answer is…Maybe                     programs were developed to help meet
 not! Could it be that true                      specific school improvement goals and            • Decision Making – Translated
 advocacy begins with each of                    provide opportunities for LEP parents           surveys in families’ native languages
 us? ESOL educators are busy                     to become involved in their children’s          were distributed to families asking key
 people. The pressures                           education. We used the key connections          questions on the outreach programs at
                                                 with the framework from five of the “Six
              continued on page 4                Types of Involvement” by Joyce Epstein.                                  continued on page 3

               A Note From The Editors                                        2       ESOL Opportunities in Latin America               10
               Maryland Content Standards for ESL/ESOL                        5       Recruiting and Retaining Quality Teachers         11
               Are You Listening? Are Your Students?                          6       Don’t Give Up The Learning Chair                  13
Contents:      Hype About SKYPE                                               7       One-Room Schoolhouse in 21st Century              14
               Conference Keynote Speaker Opinion Survey                      7       Teaching the Teachers: How HCC ESL Does It        16
               Tips & Tricks: A First Year Teacher’s Practical Insights       8   1   Interest Section Spring Events Summaries          17
               Current Goals of MD TESOL                                      9       Award Opportunities                               19
         A Note from the Editors
Happy Spring to Everyone!                                          In this issue we hear from:

I  t’s hard to believe that this is our last time to co-edit
   the Maryland TESOL newsletter. With this edition,
our largest to date, we’ve edited six issues of news and
                                                                   • Cheryl Eisenhauer, Baltimore Country Public Schools (pg.13)
                                                                   • Laurel Conran, Howard County Public Schools (pg.1) and
                                                                   • Andrew Lantos, Baltimore City Public Schools (pg.8).
information for and about you. And it’s been quite a
journey! Recently, we were delighted to have a query               And these are all people who contacted us about making
from the Louisiana state TESOL newsletter asking to                a contribution. Thanks Cheryl, Laurel and Andrew for
republish one of our articles and noting that they really          stepping up to the plate. Please read their submissions and
like our publication and will likely be asking permission          check with them about how easy it is to play a part in your
to reprint other items in the future. It’s a nice note to leave    state newsletter.
on—beginning to get a national reputation for our state
newsletter efforts.                                                And speaking of stepping up to the plate, lastly, we’d
                                                                   like to wish all the best to Chester Gates (chester.gates@
Another happy note for us is that finally we are starting  and Katie Leite (, who
to see submissions from educators outside our Board                will be taking over the reigns of the newsletter with the
membership, something we’ve urged from the beginning of            Summer/Fall issue. Be well, do good work and keep in
our tenure.                                                        touch!

                                                                   Rachele Lawton and Linda Lark

 What are your
 favorite work-
related websites?
                                                                   EVERYONE IS INVITED!
                                                                   to hear Dorolyn Smith Speak
                                                                   at Howard Community College

                                                                   Dorolyn Smith,
Do you repeatedly go to                                       co-author of the text Active Listening,
a site for:                                                            will take place on
 - lesson plans?
 - immigration information?                                       Saturday, June 16th,
 - quizzes?
 - conversation questions?                                      from 10:00 - 12:00, at
 - games?                                                    Howard Community College,
 - standards information?
                                                                          ELB Room 100
                                                              (English, Languages and Business Building).
    Share your top 3
      with other
    Maryland TESOL
                                            [ SEE PAGE 6 FOR INTERVIEW WITH DOROLYN SMITH ]
                                                  For a map of the Columbia Campus or directions, go to this link:
       Email your              
     suggestions to:                   Please also note that this event was originally advertised as taking place on June 7.
  for inclusion on the
                                               The date has changed, however, and the event will take place on June 16.
    Maryland TESOL
     resource page.
Building Bridges, continued from page 1                                 documents, participating in hands-on learning activities,
                                                                        and going on a field trip to the library. Parents and children
Bollman Bridge. The results were shared with the appropriate            attended a closing ceremony where they were recognized
committees and became the plan for future school programs.              for their completion of and academic accomplishment in the
                                                                        P.A.C.E. program.
• Volunteering – To celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of
Bollman Bridge, parents and children had the opportunity to          Research shows that higher parental involvement is
volunteer and participate in the “Multicultural Fair.” Families      associated with higher academic performance for young
walked through the classrooms of “customs and immigration”           children (Reynolds & Clements, 2003). For the LEP families,
and had their hand-made passports                                                           differences in cultural beliefs and language
stamped. Parents shared their food,                                                         are often barriers to effective parent-school
music and culture from around the world                                                     interactions (Research Connections, 2001).
with the people in their community.                                                         Such cultural discontinuities between the
                                                                                            home and the school can affect children’s
• Learning At Home – The ESOL                                                               academic achievement (Laosa, 2003).
Teachers, Reading Specialist, and Speech                                                    According to researcher Beth Harry,
Pathologist orchestrated learning parties                                                   “Professionals who are hoping to make
through the “Ready At Five” program                                                         a difference for children must be willing
which enabled parents to help their pre-   During the Ready At Five Learning Party,         to take the initiative in building a bridge
                                           Camille Washington, reading specialist;
K through second graders with their                                                         between the cultures of diverse families
                                           Deb Bautz, SPL, and Laurel Conran,
homework when their first language was ESOL Teachers show how to retell a story.             and the cultures of schools” (Research
not English. Each teacher demonstrated     Sequencing events using pictures visually        Connections, 2001).
how to build oral language development shows parents the American linear thought
and early literacy skills. Parents were    pattern.                                         These outreach programs stressed the
encouraged to maintain their first                                                           importance of education, volunteering in
language at home as their children                                                         the classroom, discussing school policies,
learned English at school. Children’s                                                      attending school activities and bridging
class participation and test scores                                                        the cultural gap between home and school.
increased as their language and culture                                                    LEP parents developed a greater awareness
were valued both at school and at home.                                                    of ways to help their children in academics,
                                                                                           increased their skills in leadership, and
• Collaborating – Bollman Bridge                                                           learned of opportunities to take English
collaborated with FIRN (Foreign-born                                                       classes at the local community college. As
International Referral Network). Twice a                                                    a result, these parents became involved
week, two trained volunteers came to the   During the P.A.C.E. program, LEP parents         in their children’s education and students’
school to mentor and facilitate activities with their children were learning how to         reading and test scores increased as they
                                           formulate a hypothesis: Will the stratus or the
such as “Reader’s Theatre” which           cumulus cloud rain first?                         built bridges to academic success! (**see
increased oral language skills among                                                        testing results below).
the none-to-limited English speaking
students. FIRN also linked families in                                                      Laurel Conran can be reached at:
need with housing, employment, and                                               
additional community resources.

In addition, Bollman Bridge Elementary                                                         Testing Results
School and Patuxent Valley Middle                                                              **Rigby Reading Running records
School offered an 8-session Parent and                                                         were taken before and after the outreach
Child ESOL (P.A.C.E.) program to                                                               programs. ELL students tested limited
18 families selected according to the                                                          English speakers according to the IPT (Idea
parents’ English proficiency level and                                                          Proficiency Test).
their need for interpretation. Parent and      American Education Week, LEP parents were
child classes included communicating           invited to school for a guided reading lesson   In September, according to the reading
with the school, how to help children          of the Gingerbread Man. Parents learned to      level standards, first grade students may be
with homework when you don’t                   use storytelling props to increase oral
                                               language and comprehension.
know English, understanding school                                                                                    continued on page 4

Advocacy, continued from page 1                                                         letters can be sent with one easy
                                                                                        click! Once your email is entered,
of teaching, serving on committees,                                                     the Advocacy Center sends you a
taking courses, and caring for our                                                      confirmation and a copy of the text of
families often leave little time for                                                    your letter.
anything else. Yet we care about so
much else-immigrant rights, political                                                   However, advocacy is more than letter
issues, teachers’ rights, educational                                                   writing. Teaching English language
funding and No Child Left Behind!                                                       learners and advocacy go hand-in-hand.
                                                                                        Helping our colleagues understand the
Because we work so closely with                                                         unique needs and assets of our students
immigrant communities, we know the                                                      is essential. Being the voice of our
issues and we can be a powerful voice                                                   students and their parents is part of
for our students and their families.        plugging in one’s zip code, it is easy to   advocacy. Serving on committees to
Personal advocacy is not as difficult as     find the names and contact information       request smaller classes, more space,
one might think.                            for Senators and Representatives.           translation and interpreter services,
                                                                                        testing accommodations or a broader
One lesson I’ve learned as Advocacy         If you are someone who has wanted           range of course options are all ways that
Co-chair is that our National TESOL         to write to a senator or representative     ESOL educators can be advocates.
organization makes it easy for ESOL         but you’ve never been able to sit down
professionals to be informed and            and get started, the Advocacy Center        Advocacy isn’t only something that
involved. The TESOL website provides        is for you! Once a zip code is entered,     “the Board” should do. It’s really
a link to the U.S. Advocacy Center. The     the appropriate links to senators and       up to each individual to get involved
Advocacy Center can also be reached         representatives appear. A letter format     with advocacy. Staying informed on
through Visiting this    is posted below this information. For       the issues, writing to our legislative
center is an excellent way to read about    certain key topics, talking points are      representatives, talking to our
issues related to our profession and our    presented. Letter writers can simply        colleagues, and serving on committees
students. Readers learn what issues are     use these topics , combine personal         all provide opportunities for advocacy.
currently in the Congressional spotlight,   comments with selected sections of the      It’s a matter of making a choice.
how elected officials have voted, and        talking points, or simply use the format
what issues TESOL supports. By              to write a personal letter. Completed

Building Bridges, continued from page 3

on level 1/2 (A/B) and by May students should exit levels
8/9 (H/I) to be on grade level. William, Victor, and Harriet’s
mothers’ could not attend any more programs. Therefore, the
children did not progress as fast as the other children.

According to the reading level standards, Second grade,
according to the reading level standards, students need to
enter on level 10 (J) and by May exit level 13 (M) to be on
grade level. Rachel and Nancy’s mothers could not attend any
of the outreach programs.

Students entering kindergarten are Emergent as they are
learning their alphabet letters and sounds. Students need to
exit levels 1/2 (A/B) to be on grade level. All parents were
actively involved in the outreach programs.

According to the benchmark levels, LEP parents involved
in their children’s education helped increase their children’s
reading levels.

Maryland Content Standards
for ESL/ESOL Adults Revisions
by Karen Gianninoto, ESL Specialist, MSDE, Adult Ed Co-Rep

R     evisions of the Maryland Content Standards for ESL/ESOL
      Adults are complete and posted on the Adult Education
and Literacy Resource Center web page. Based on the results
of the survey conducted in May 2006 and the advice of the ESL
Workgroup, revisions have been completed that include helpful
information for planning units and lesson planning. The sections
titled Content Standards by Level and Content Standards by
Skill are revised to reflect the National Reporting System level
changes. The section on How to Use the Content Standards has
been moved to a training guide and a short introduction has been
inserted in its place. In Spring 2007, the training guide will be
completed to help local programs continue implementing the

A special thanks to the ESL Workgroup and Kathy Ira for
posting the standards to the web. The standards are posted as a
complete document and in sections for easy access.

For ease of use, there are three ways to access the content

1. Go directly to the ESOL Content Standards page at http://

2. Go to the home page at and click
on the link under “New” on the left side of the page.

3. Go to the home page at and click
on the “ESOL/ESL” navigation button at the top. Once on
the ESOL/ESL page, scroll down and click on the Content
Standards link.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Karen
Gianninoto at or call

Are You Listening? Are Your Students?
by Linda Lark, based on a cyber-interview with Dorolyn Smith

O     n Saturday, June 16th from 10:00-12:00, the Howard
      Community College (HCC) ESL Program and
Maryland TESOL will host a workshop with Dorolyn
                                                                   • Listening is an important skill for our ESL students
                                                                     because they are living in an English L1 environment.
                                                                     They need to be able to “listen well” for social
Smith, co-author of the Active Listening series of ESL               communication, for information and for entertainment.
texts. Meet in ELB (English, Languages and Business
Bldg.), Rm. 100 for a light breakfast; then, learn how to          • We also know that listening is important from a second
incorporate Active Listening into your ESL classes.                  language acquisition perspective. We need input in our
                                                                     new FL for our brains to process and make sense of
                                                                     new grammar, vocabulary, and sounds.

                                                                   • Active Listening reflects our belief that students can/
                                                                     should be active participants in the listening process.
                                                                     For years, listening was described as a ‘passive’ skill or
                                “we in this field                     a ‘receptive’ skill. We now know that in the listening
                                ... never end                        process learners are very active in constructing
                                                                     meaning as they listen. In Active Listening we want to
                                our training, or                     help students understand that there are certain things
                                our learning.”                       that will facilitate improving listening.

                                                                   • A teacher can take any listening passage that students
                                                                     would be interested in and apply the steps in the
                                                                     Active Listening process. It can be quite a bit of work,

A Florida native who has traveled the world in the name        If this subject intrigues you and you’d like to improve
of adventure and ESL, Ms. Smith is now with the English        your students’ listening skills, come along to HCC on June
Language Institute (ELI) at the University of Pittsburgh.      16th and learn more about Active Listening from Dorolyn
During a stint at her ELI’s Tokyo branch, she met Steve        Smith!
Brown, who would become her co-author of the Active
Listening books! How she came to ESL sounds so familiar.       (Trivia challenge: If you meet Dorolyn and happen to be a
Ms. Smith studied Spanish, but knew she didn’t want to         Jane Austen fan, try to guess where her pets’ names come
teach it. While hanging out with Latin American college        from!)
friends who were studying English, the light bulb went
off: Here was a foreign language she knew well that would
allow her to work with motivated students, with many
different cultures and anywhere in the world!

Ms. Smith notes that although her formal education ended
with her MA, she believes that “we in this field ... never
end our training, or our learning. As we read journals
and books, attend conferences and workshops, share
with our colleagues, observe each other teaching, we are
always updating our ideas and our experiences. I feel very
fortunate to be in this field and to have the opportunities
that I have.” Now she plans to share with us!

While we don’t want to give away her entire presentation,
here are a few thoughts Ms. Smith shared on the importance          Dorolyn Smith speaking at her Active Listening presentation at
of listening for our ESL students and what, exactly, “active        the TESOL Convention in Seattle
listening” is.

Hype About SKYPE
by Bob Fellerath, Adult Education IS Co-Representative

S   kype may be changing everything—
    not just in the area of Adult ESL,
but in the very way we communicate.
                                              technology involved in this process, but
                                              essentially it uses a system called VoIP
                                              (Voice-over IP). Thanks to the greater
                                                                                         instruction allows the student greater
                                                                                         flexibility to schedule meeting times. In
                                                                                         addition, many older adults may have
In adult education there are many new         speeds and capabilities of today’s         health, transportation or other obstacles
efforts underway that are using the           personal computers and the worldwide       that stand in the way of attending an
cutting-edge Skype technology and             internet, we can now communicate with      evening class.
techniques.                                   video and voice instantaneously around
                                              the world. This is called “skyping”.       Convenient: Once the setup is in place,
What is it?                                                                              the student can ‘attend’ class while at
Okay, so what exactly is Skype, you                                                      home, even if the weather and life in
ask? Well, naturally it involves the                                                     general are not cooperating.
internet, but it is much more. Skype
is a new medium that allows you to                                                       Distance: Distance is not an issue. The
instantly talk with and see another                                                      students and teachers could be in the
person anywhere else in the world.                                                       same town or thousands of miles apart.
The software actually allows your
computer to operate as a telephone                                                       Interactive: This technology is totally
with video. You can make live video           How would it apply to adult                instantaneous and interactive. It is in
calls to individuals or selected groups       education?                                 essence a video telephone call to an
(currently up to 100). The calls are                                                     individual or a conference call to a
totally interactive, so there is an instant   Skype has several features that make       group.
‘back and forth” conversation. (Note:         it very attractive for use in adult
Group calls require ground rules              education. Skype is:                       Inexpensive: At the moment it is
and speaking protocols so they don’t                                                     virtually free once you have the fairly
become chaotic.)                              Flexible: An adult has many time           inexpensive equipment.
                                              constraints, not the least of which is
There is a considerable amount of             making a living. The Skype format of                          continued on page 12

                                              Conference Keynote Speaker
                                                       ~ Opinion Survey ~

  During most of MD TESOL’s annual fall conferences there have been three concurrent sessions and a keynote speaker
  session. At the fall 2006 conference, we offered four concurrent sessions and no keynote speaker.

  Please let us know your opinion on keynote speakers at future fall conferences including this coming fall, 2007.

  ® I would like a keynote speaker (in lieu of a concurrent session).

  ® I prefer four concurrent sessions.

  Other suggestions _______________________________________________________________________________

  Suggestions for speaker if we have a keynote address ___________________________________________________

  Please remove this page of the newsletter and mail it to:
  Ruby Costea, 6518 White Rock Road, Sykesville, MD 21784 or email Ruby Costea at:

  Thank you for your input!

                    Tips & Tricks:
                    A First-Year Teacher’s Practical Insights
                    by Andrew Lantos, ESL teacher at John Ruhrah Elementary School, Baltimore City

A    s I sat through my graduate courses in ESOL, I
     scoffed at the amount of time spent studying different
desk configurations. “Is this teaching ESOL or interior
                                                                     my pencil holder, 3/4 of them would vanish in no time
                                                                    at all. So, I turned to my colleagues for their creative
design?” I often wondered. Now that I find myself working
“post-Masters,” I realize the importance of such details,               • One teacher’s solution was “the pencil give and take.”
especially as I face many small but necessary day-to-day                 When asked for a pencil, he replied, “What will you
questions which were never addressed in graduate school.                 give me?” Inevitably, students would find something
Some examples are:                                                                        to ante-up. At times a student in his
                                                                                          class went shoeless for a class period
  • How do I organize the                                                                 while using a borrowed Number Two.
    mountains of paperwork lying
    around the classroom, from                                                              • Another colleague had a pencil
    papers waiting to be graded to                                                          exchange. Students usually carry
    extra copies of worksheets?                                                             around stubby little pencils about
  • Whose responsibility is it to                                                           the size of your pinky. You let the
    monitor what my students                                                                students exchange these pencils for
    keep in their folders and                                                               new pencils, perhaps colorful ones
    when their folders should be                                                            with a neat design. After assembling
    emptied?                                                             a stock of these stubby pencils, you would be amazed
  • How do I prevent my students from pilfering my pencil                how loath the children are to take these away. This
    supply?                                                              technique helped me build a supply of pencils that has
                                                                         lasted the past few months.
Paperwork became such a problem that it eventually
blocked the light from my sole window. My solution was              In the end, I am still searching for solutions and would
to adopt an in-box/out-box approach from the business               appreciate any input from empathetic teachers out there.
world. I found some cheap black stackable trays and                 Perhaps if a fruitful dialogue follows, it might be shared in
grouped them according to grade. I place handed-in                  a follow-up article or posted to an online ESOL forum. For
homework in the bottom tray and extra worksheets for each           me, a large part of a new teacher’s job is answering these
grade I am teaching in the top one. Then, as I grade work           unresolved details. And I’ve learned that we have no better
in the bottom tray, I either return it to students or store it in   resource than our more experienced colleagues who often
student folders.                                                    have “been there and done that!”

Another challenge was solving the missing pencil                    Andrew Lantos can be contacted at:
phenomenon: after putting freshly sharpened pencils into

                       M A R Y L A N D
            Everything you always wanted to
             know about Maryland TESOL,
                                                                        Check the website for all the information
                 but were afraid to ask!
                                                                         you need:

                A Note from the President: Current Goals of MD TESOL
                by Janet Schreibstein, MD TESOL President

W    e have several goals for our organization this year.
     One goal is to concentrate on long-range planning
for MD TESOL. We did two things to start this process:

                                                               One of our goals required that we seek help from outside
                                                               our organization, and we’d
1) We reached out to our members to learn what they            like to publicly acknowledge
wanted from the organization.                                  that support. On behalf
                                                               of Maryland Teachers of
2) We communicated with past presidents of MD TESOL            English to Speakers of other
(we’re 26 years old this year!) to see what insights and       Languages, the Board would
advice they could provide.                                     like to thank the following
                                                               highly skilled, successful and
Another of our major goals for this year has been to clarify   generous individuals:
our budget, financial, tax and legal status. We wanted
to make sure our organization knew its status, planned         Steve Gershman, expert
its budget with forethought, and had what we needed to         accountant and principal of the accounting firm of Katz,
go forward. We have written some long- and short-term          Abosch, Windesheim, Gershman & Freedman, P.A., for his
goals for the organization, consulted accountants, filed        generous donation of time and financial expertise.
tax returns, researched our status and are in the process of
incorporation.                                                  Jody Waltrup, associate and non-profit specialist at the
                                                               accounting firm of Katz, Abosch, Windesheim, Gershman
                                                               & Freedman, P.A., for her donation of time, research and
                                                               financial expertise to our organization.

                                                               Richard Schreibstein, Esquire and his associate, Adam
                                                               Zimmerman, Esquire, of the law firm of Schreibstein
                                                               and Hirsch, LLC for their generous donation of time and
                                                               legal expertise in preparing Maryland TESOL’s legal
                                                               incorporation. Such incorporation will assist in protecting
                                                               present and future officers of our organization from
                                                               potential liability issues.

                                                                      M D T E S O L
A third goal has been to continue a process of outreach.
                                                                      SPRING DINNER
Building on the work of previous years, this involved
seeking new members and expanding our services and
professional development to new areas of the state. It
meant creating closer contact and communication between
the board and its members. It also meant reaching out to
the non-ESL teaching community.

We are still working on all these goals—it’s an ongoing
process--and we are pleased with our progress so far.

Thanks to everyone who has participated and helped us
along the way.
                                                                            T H U R S D AY
                                                                            MAY 10, 2007
Overseas Adventures: ESOL Opportunities in Latin America
by John Nelson, Ph.D., Teacher Education IS Co-Chair

Recently, I have had the opportunity to get to know about       The opportunities that these places offer vary in length of
several ESOL programs in Latin America. I am sure that it       stay and nature of remuneration. It is possible to teach in
does not come as much of a surprise to tell you that English    a center for nearly any length of time-from one four week
is in great demand throughout Latin America and around          session to several semesters of instruction. Maryland
the world. What I want to share with you is the potential       TESOLers could take a vacation in the summer or a
that this demand offers to us as practitioners of English       semester away from their job, to teach in public schools or
language teaching. Dozens of ESOL programs are being            in bi-national centers like those mentioned above. Each
offered throughout Central and South America. Many              program offers its own set of conditions and benefits that
of these programs have been in existence for a very long        they would provide. Some pay your transportation costs
time and they have become respected centers of learning.        from Maryland to their sites. Others offer a salary for the
They also are very interested in having qualified, native-       teaching that you provide. Most have room and board
English-speaking teachers come from the United States to        available or help you to find appropriate accommodations.
their programs to provide the expertise that our educational    Some offer all of the above. I have found most offers of
systems have enabled us to develop.                             support from these programs to be quite generous.

At the same time, many members of Maryland TESOL                For me, the traveling is fun and rewarding. However,
have enjoyed the opportunity of working in ESOL                 living and working in another country is even more
programs in various Latin American countries. I have            enriching. One gets to know the people, their customs,
shared my experiences in Mexico and Ecuador with other          their culture and their outlook when working among
TESOLers who have had similar experiences in Peru,              them. The friendships that I have made around the world
Chile, Costa Rica and other countries throughout Latin          through teaching ESL have been very important to me. I
America. Nearly all of us report wonderful anecdotes of         cherish them. Whether I lived in a place for a few weeks
rewarding experiences from our involvement abroad.              or a few years, I have found that teaching ESL in different
                                                                places is one of the biggest perks our profession has to
It strikes me that Maryland TESOL could provide its             offer. I would like to encourage all Maryland TESOLers
members with a valuable service by developing a bank of         to seek out teaching opportunities abroad, and I plan to
Latin American contacts associated with ESOL programs           help our organization develop a network to facilitate these
which members could access there for their own overseas         opportunities for all of us. I hope you will join me both in
adventures. I frequently hear our members say, “Oh, I           pursuing these opportunities for yourselves and in sharing
would love to go somewhere and teach,” and I hear my            contacts and experiences that you have already enjoyed
contacts in Latin America say, “Oh, we would love to have       with others.
teachers from the US work in our program.” My hope is to
develop a way for these two parties to make contact.            John Nelson can be reached at

Programs in Latin America come in various sizes and
offer various forms of instruction. There are bi-national
language centers throughout Latin America—perhaps more
than 80 in number—who, among other things, run adult
education programs for people who want to learn English.
They typically have courses that run for 4 to 8 weeks.
Most of their clientele are young adults or high school and
college students. I am personally acquainted with very
good bi-national centers in Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico.
There are also K-12 teaching opportunities in many
countries. With the importance of English, school systems
are offering more and more English instruction to younger
and younger students throughout the area. In public and
private schools, the demand for English and, with it, the            John Nelson with Cinthya and Patricio, teachers at CEN, the Bi-
                                                                     national Center in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Cinthya and Patricio took a
desire for native English speakers is very great. I happen to        methods class that John taught in Guayaquil in the summer of 2005.
know of opportunities in Ecuador, Peru and Chile.

The Revolving Door: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Teachers
by Catherine Green and Alison Hanks-Sloan, Program Administration IS Co-Reps

A     s spring approaches, educational systems nationwide
      begin to examine where their vacancies may be for
the upcoming school year. Local educational agencies are
                                                                         • How do you differentiate instruction in a class of
                                                                           ELLs with mixed levels?

challenged with not only filling vacancies due to teachers          Questions related to specific classroom management
leaving the system for another county, a career change,            scenarios address a teacher’s ability to apply common
or retirement, but also as a result of the creation of new         sense and create order in the classroom. This is often
positions to meet the demands of an increasing ESOL                challenging to educators who have only worked with adults
student enrollment.                                                or who have the book sense, but not the common sense.
                                                                   Without classroom order, the best lesson plan cannot be
Nationwide there is a shortage of qualified teachers.               implemented successfully. If the candidate hasn’t revealed
Teacher education programs                                                                     her/his classroom style in previous
have vacant seats. The vacancy                                                                 responses, examine the topic
challenge impacts schools as the                                                               further:
retention rate for new teachers                                                                •     How would you establish
is frighteningly low. Statistics                                                               rules, routines, and classroom
show that more than 50 % of new                                                                procedures at the beginning of the
teachers leave the classroom within                                                            school year?
3 to 5 years. Not only is finding                                                               •     What would you do if you
qualified teachers important, but                                                               found that the students were not
keeping them is also a significant                                                              following your rules?
responsibility of the school system.                                                           •     What system do you have
                                                                                               for rewards and for consequences?
Recruiting teams are using their                                                               •     What guidelines do you use
magic to lure prospective teachers                                                             to formulate your rules?
via career change programs                                                                     •     When should you implement
such as the Resident Teacher                                                                   your classroom rules and
Program, alternative certification                                                              procedures?
programs, financial incentives, and
competitive benefits packages. All                                                               The other challenge is to assess
of these strategies help to get teachers to sign a contract, but   potential new teachers to see if they are ready to teach in
as more teachers are hired, school administrators and central      our schools’ classrooms. Many teacher candidates are new
office staff are realizing that teachers are coming to the field     to the United States, having taught overseas, but having
of education with varied educational training and experience.      never been in a classroom in Maryland or anywhere else in
Does “certified” truly mean “qualified”? And does “qualified”         the U.S. Knowing the school system’s climate and culture
truly mean “effective”?                                            is so important. It’s also essential that teachers have a
                                                                   sense of what new and different situations they are likely
In order to find and hire “effective” teachers, recruiters must     to experience. Ultimately, we have to remember that nice
have experience in the educational field. Recruiters need to        doesn’t always equate to effective. Additionally, being
ask very specific questions to gauge how an applicant may           qualified according to certification guidelines doesn’t mean
interact with students, such as:                                   the teacher is qualified to teach our students. Interviews are
      • How do you inspire your students to learn?                 the first step to getting great teachers in the door. The other
      • What motivates you as an educator?                         challenge is keeping them.
      • What methods do you use to deliver instruction?
      • What would I see when I walk into your classroom?          We have a responsibility to welcome teachers into our
                                                                   system and to be accessible to them. During the first year of
Pedagogical questions related to their area of expertise help      teaching, the new college graduate, the career switcher or the
examine how the teachers move from theory to practice:             veteran teacher who has relocated deserve our support and
     • How would you teach a [content area] lesson on              availability. Keeping that revolving door from ushering a
       [specific subject] to a group of [grade level] students?     candidate into our program then right back out again requires
     • How do you provide instruction that addresses the           a commitment from us, our schools, and our system.
       needs of new language learners?

SKYPE, continued from page 7

Who is using it?                                               How do you get started? What’s needed for this new
One of the first areas to embrace this new technology is in
the area of foreign language learning. For example:                 • computer
                                                                    • broadband internet connection
  • Dickenson College has a facility called the “Mixxer”            • cam (a small computer camera that will be pointed at
    ( with over 7,000                      the computer operator)
    participants worldwide. Log on to this page and click           • headset with microphone.
    on FAQ. Some of                                                                             • the Skype program
    the basic issues are                                                                        (which can be downloaded
    covered. Basically,                                                                         free)
    the “Mixxer” is
    a forum where                                                                              Most newer computers
    individuals who are                                                                        have the speed and storage
    set-up for Skype                                                                           necessary to handle
    communication can                                                                          Skype. A broadband
    find other students                                                                         internet connection is a
    and teachers who                                                                           must because “dial-up”
    are interested in                                                                          just can’t handle it. The
    communicating in a target language. This program           camera needed is quite small and relatively inexpensive
    was developed by Todd Bryant, who posts his e-mail         ($20 - $120). Headsets range from a few dollars to as much
    address for any inquiries.                                 as you want to spend. The software itself is free and very
                                                               painless to download (I wonder how long that will last....).
  • Private tutoring and classes in foreign languages are      Actually, the whole set-up process was rather simple and
    being offered using this technology.                       straightforward, and I’m not particularly talented in the
    For instance, Dragon & Phoenix is a school in Beijing      technology department. Once the basic set-up is in place,
    that advertises one-on-one Chinese tutoring (www.          there is no end to the number of things you can do if you                         are so inclined (sending pictures, texts, etc.)

  • Teaching ESL using this technology is also seeing          Conclusion
    some progress. There are a number of web pages and
    new technologies that are associated with internet         So is Skype the way of the future? It is difficult to imagine
    language learning. One of them is:                         anything, no matter how technologically advanced, that
    Robert Godwin-Jones of the Virginia Commonwealth           could replace the one-on-one contact experienced in a
    University wrote and article: Emerging Technologies,       traditional classroom. As I see it, Skype will not replace a
    Skype and Podcasting: Disruptive Technologies* for         classroom nor is it trying to do that. However, technology
    Language Learning. It can be found on the Language         is coming at us fast, and the world is a changing place.
    Learning & Technology web page:        Finding new ways to reach more people is a good thing.
    vol9num3/emerging/default.html                             Skype and the technology it represents are sure to take a
                                                               role in the progression of language learning. In the area of
*Note: “Disruptive technology” (or disruptive innovation)      adult education in the U.S., learning English is crucial to
is defined as “a technological innovation, product, or          acculturation and employment. Even if Skype technology is
service that eventually overturns the existing dominant        not ideal, it can play an important role in the ESL education
technology or product in the market.”                          of adults.

This article is quite informative about the uses and
technology involved in Skype use for language learning.
There are also a number of interesting links provided at the
end of the article.

Don’t Give Up the Learning Chair:
An anecdotal incident in the life of an ESOL teacher
by Cheryl Eisenhauer, ESOL Teacher, Wellwood International School, Baltimore County Public Schools

A    s I drove to school, my mind kept returning to the new
     student that I was to get that morning. I took several
deep breaths and told myself, “Just do the best you can,
                                                                 for the new student. Now it remained to be seen how things
                                                                 would work with the beginners’ group at 10:15.

some things are out of your control.”                            When the time came, the children were very excited to have
                                                                 a new student join their group. They took turns writing their
The day before, when I went to my mailbox at the end of          names on the board for her and clapping out the number of
the day, a new student routing slip was waiting for me. In a     syllables in their names. Next we located South Korea on
school that averages one hundred or                                                    the globe and then located each of their
more ESOL students each year, the                                                      countries for their new friend to see.
arrival of newcomers is fairly routine.                                                So far so good! I put the new student in
However, when I saw first grade non-                                                    the chair to the left of mine with Alex
English speaker on the intake form,                                                    sitting across from her in his special
my heart sank. She would become                                                        seat.
the newest member of my first grade
beginners’ group that met each                                                          Then something wonderful happened.
morning at 10:15. How in the world                                                      Alex fell in love! He leaned over and
was I going to give her the attention                                                   whispered in my ear. “She’s beautiful.
she would need in this dysfunctional                                                    She looks like a cute little mouse.” I
group?                                                                                  whispered back, “Yes, she’s really cute.
                                                                                        Let’s be really good workers so she’ll
I had been trying, for what was                                                         like us.” I kept my fingers crossed that
beginning to feel like forever, to build                                                being a role model for the “cute little
a sense of community and to establish                                                   mouse” would transform Alex into the
behavior and learning routines with                                                     type of learner he needed to become.
this group. Some days were a little better than others, but it   And it did, at least for that 30-minute class. It turned out to
was always a challenge, regardless of my twenty-two years        be a wonderful morning for all of us.
of experience and (quickly disappearing) “ bag of tricks.”
                                                                 There was some residual carry over for the next few days,
It seemed as if every child in the group had some issue,         especially when I reminded Alex that he wouldn’t want
but the main problem was little Alex. At six years old, he       his new friend to get into trouble by copying bad choices
was street-smart and full of social language, but had few        made by others. Overall, the week was a good one for the
school readiness skills. Everyday he needed to sit on his        entire group. With Alex somewhat settled down and more
“learning chair” nearly touching my right knee so that           focused, life had certainly gotten better. I had visions of
gentle reminders could be issued and one-to-one assistance       accomplishing all sorts of learning tasks. The week ended
could be given. He was a constant disruption and took so         on a very positive note.
much time away from the others in the group. He had lived
in a home full of domestic violence until his father returned    Monday morning the honeymoon was over. Alex had
to his native country last year. He was one of five children      returned to his “pre-puppy love state.” Reality set in, and
with a single mother working day and night to make ends          the adjective “dysfunctional” reared its ugly head again.
meet. I wish she had agreed to keep him in kindergarten
again this school year. It may have been his best chance.        Teaching is full of adjectives, whether you want them or
                                                                 not. Alex is a challenging, exasperating, frustrating student.
After arriving at school the next morning, I met the new         But for a brief week he’d become promising and sweet.
child and her family in the lobby and welcomed them to           Each morning at 10:15, I take a deep breath and remember
America. They were from South Korea and had been in the          that week with longing as I pull Alex and his “learning
USA for just a few weeks. The little girl was friendly and       chair” up to my knee.
didn’t seem at all frightened. I escorted the family to the
first grade classroom and introduced them to the teacher. I       Cheryl Eisenhauer can be reached at
was relieved to see that everything was ready and waiting

                   What Works: A One-Room-Schoolhouse in the 21st Century?
                   Managing a Multi-level Classrom
                   by Jennifer Carlson, Secondary IS Co-Chair, Anne Arundel County Public Schools,

In an ideal world, an ESOL teacher                printed parts of the passage to be     step mini-lesson plan based on new
teaches classes of students who                   dictated for the beginners (like a     vocabulary (See boxes 1 and 2 below).
are at approximately the same                     cloze exercise).                       These students model the lesson, and
proficiency level (newcomer, beginner,           • “A Resource for Self-Correction,”      in time the newcomers learn the pattern
intermediate, etc.). In a world bound by          where the students and teacher         and can continue practicing on their
block scheduling and serving multiple             work together to create a list of      own. The lesson involves saying new
schools at one time, however, multi-              writing rules students should know.    vocabulary and having students repeat,
level classes are becoming more and               Students then use this list to self-   modeling a conversation using the
more common.                                      correct their work and take more       words and allowing the students to
                                                  ownership of their learning.           practice it, and playing various basic
For the past 3 years,                                                                                     vocabulary games-such
despite my attempts                                                                                       as Memory-to reinforce
to place students in                                                                                      the words. At the
leveled classes, I have                                                                                   end of the lesson, the
always had at least one                                                                                   student-teachers write
class that is large (15-                                                                                  a summary of how the
25 students), multi-                                                                                      lesson went and what
leveled (newcomers                                                                                        they learned from being
– intermediates), and                                                                                     the teacher. Though
comprised of students                                                                                     they are excused from
from three grades (6-                                                                                     some of the other
8) and several native                                                                                     work the rest of the
languages. Through                                                                                        class is doing, they are
trial and error,                                                                                          accountable for the
persistence, and a                                                                                        main concepts taught
little necessary humor,                                                                                   and may have extra
I have learned ways                                                                                       homework. Being the
to manage a multi-                                                                                        teacher is a privilege,
level classroom and                                                                                       and it has helped
effectively meet the                                                                                      with management-if a
needs of all students.                        Despite these and other wonderful          student is not on task or has not done
                                              ideas in the book, I still found myself    the homework, he or she is not eligible
I must start by giving credit to Natalie      struggling with effectively serving my     to be the teacher.
Hess, author of the book Teaching             newcomers. I knew I had to devote
Large, Multi-level Classes (Cambridge         more time to them, but found that          Next, to engage all students in work
University Press, 2001). This book is         the intermediate students were not as      suited to their proficiency level, I
full of invaluable tips and activities that   patient as the newcomers. While the        use the “Workshop” model found in
work for any class, multi-leveled or not.     newcomers waited quietly for me, the       elementary classrooms. I break the
Some of my favorites are:                     intermediates were constantly seeking      students into reading groups, and they
  • “Making Mine Long,” where                 my attention. I therefore developed        spend 15-20 minutes in three rotations:
     students have to go around adding        instructional models that engage all       Group (reading time with the teacher),
     words to a simple sentence in order      students, and one that specifically         Assignments (including work they
     to make it long, descriptive, and        allows the intermediate students to        “must do” and work they “may do”),
     interesting.                             teach the newcomers.                       and Stations (a choice among activities
  • “Multilevel Dictation,” where the                                                    like Bingo, computer time, a quick art
     teacher creates varied dictation         In the first model, I assign one or two     activity, or silent/partner reading).
     options, from a blank page for the       intermediate students to teach the
     most advanced students to pre-           newcomers by following a step-by-                             continued on page 15

One-Room Schoolhouse, continued from page 14                   I make sure I show something that they have studied. It is
                                                               a tremendous feeling for them when they beat one of the
They must turn in their assigned work and document what        more advanced kids and get to stand up!
they did during station time.
                                                               One of my ultimate goals is to provide individual attention
Finally, it’s good to have quick, competitive games that       and feedback. By having students teach other students,
engage all the students. I borrowed an idea from a math        reflect on their own work, and know the procedures and
teacher who was practicing multiplication tables with          routines, it’s possible to meet with all students and assess
her students. One student stands behind another, and the       their strengths and weaknesses. Undoubtedly, there are
teacher shows a flashcard with a multiplication problem         moments in the classroom, especially at the middle school
on it. If the person standing says the correct answer first,    level, where students refuse to work cooperatively, and you
then he/she moves on to the next student. If the person        have to resort to “busy” work to settle them down. With
sitting gets it right, then he/she stands up, moves to the     consistent modeling and discipline, however, the students
next student, and the standing student takes his/her seat. I   respond well, gain ownership of their learning, and acquire
have used this model with antonyms, present/past forms of      the English skills they need. I just wonder if the teachers
verbs and contractions. To differentiate for my beginners,     back in the 1800s used these strategies!

                                                                                         What are your
                                                                                         favorite work-
                                                                                        related websites?

                                                                                        Do you repeatedly go to
                                                                                        a site for:
                                                                                         - lesson plans?
                                                                                         - immigration information?
                                                                                         - quizzes?
                                                                                         - conversation questions?
                                                                                         - games?
                                                                                         - standards information?

                                                                                             Share your top 3
                                                                                               with other
                                                                                             Maryland TESOL

                                                                                               Email your
                                                                                             suggestions to:
                                                                                          for inclusion on the
                                                                                            Maryland TESOL
                                                                                             resource page.

Teaching the Teachers: How the HCC ESL Program Does It
by Linda Lark, HCC ESL Instructor and MD TESOL Newsletter Co-Editor

A    bout 5 years ago I arrived at Howard Community
     College (HCC) to teach one sole ESL course at
night. I was a rank neophyte and very aware of it. When I
                                                                veteran teachers, then they in-turn are observed by the ESL
                                                                staff during their first 4 weeks of teaching. The teacher
                                                                receives feedback, as does her mentor, and a Plan of Action
attended my first professional development session, I was        is drafted for any fixes required.
delighted with how much I learned. Then they passed out
the Additional Assignment forms to pay us. Pay us?! I           The kind of in-services offered has evolved to meet the
thought I was attending gratis and was glad to do so (but       needs of the teachers and the program as it has grown.
don’t tell my boss that). That was my introduction to           Recent and slated professional development sessions
how the HCC ESL Program provides its instructors with           include: Power Point & Other Technology, CASAS
ongoing training and enrichment opportunities. Recently I       Training, Conversation around the World, Literacy, Cultural
interviewed the ESL Program Director Rebecca Price and          Differences, and Workshops on Writing, Conversation,
her Program Developer Janet Schreibstein to learn how they      Listening and Assessment. Each semester starts with a 4-
created this innovative and successful program.                 hour in-service for all teachers, the only one with required
                                                                attendance. Teachers are all paid to come and learn
Operating under the Continuing Education Department,            what’s new in the program—admin matters, new courses,
HCC’s non-credit ESL Program has grown 12-15%                   personnel and many other little gems. For instance, this
annually over the past 15 years. Offering 120 courses a         year there was a special presentation on student retention
semester to 950 students, or 1800 separate registrations,       ideas. In the early years, periodic in-services emphasized
they employ 4 full-time and 60 part-time faculty. Rebecca       communicative skills and the student-centered classroom.
said her training philosophy is to provide whatever support     Then technology took precedence, and the payoff is that
is needed by the classroom teachers. Janet noted that the       HCC’s ESL instructors are using more technology than
program has very high standards, and they want to give          most other places in the state. Of recent class observations
all teachers the means to maintain those standards. In the      Rebecca says, “I can’t believe the technology I’ve been
early days, MSDE provided staff development for the grant       seeing. The use of technology, even in low-level classes,
courses-and it still does-but as the program expanded to        brings learning alive!” Lately, writing and conversation
include many non-grant classes, staff development offerings     teaching has taken center stage. The ESL Program has
had to increase. So it was only natural to continue that        worked hard to define procedures and criteria for these
same level of support from within.                              skills, so the in-services were a way to ensure consistency
                                                                in application.
The training offered is extensive and varied. It usually
responds either to an observed need or to teacher requests.     Attendance at presentations is usually appropriate by
Each year Janet conducts a rigorous overall program             topic—smaller for specialist events, bursting at the seams
evaluation, including a list of previous in-services to rate    for other more general offerings. While they’ve drawn
and the opportunity to suggest future topics. Each in-          on outside speakers from time to time, Rebecca and Janet
service also is separately evaluated by participants (typical   are both enthusiastic about using their own teachers as
response: “Excellent!”). Teachers are observed on-the-          resources, too. Who knows the program better than its
job—newcomers during their first few weeks, others               own instructors? This is also an opportunity to let in-house
periodically—and this, too, is a source for training ideas.     people hone their presentation skills, and it affirms that they
Rebecca pointed out that such a program doesn’t happen          are doing something good and worthy of sharing.
by chance. Janet’s program development work is crucial to
designing and managing a training program of this scope         What are the challenges of such an active training program?
and caliber.                                                    When queried about the cost of offering so much and such
                                                                specialized training, Rebecca pointed out that “If training
Training for HCC ESL instructors starts when they’re hired.     isn’t a priority, you pay for it someplace else. You’re
Each new teacher—about 12 per year--is assigned a mentor        solving problems later!” Any money spent has been
in a related subject area and with a similar schedule. The      recouped by fewer classroom difficulties and more students
newcomer attends a New Teacher Orientation (the nuts and        coming back. If they run out of money, they simply
bolts of the job), then works with her mentor (who receives     offer the programs as non-paid events. And this doesn’t
a small stipend) to answer other questions and generally        adversely affect attendance! Probably the biggest difficulty
learn the ropes. The key here is ongoing face-to-face           is scheduling these events. With so many part-time
communication, someone always there for support. New            instructors, many teaching full-time elsewhere, inevitably
teachers are paid to attend two one-hour observations of
                                                                                                       continued on page 18
                    Interest Section Spring Events Summaries

Elementary Education                                         stage directions, costumes and props! Mr. Holland
                                                             emphasized that drama can be used for students of any
                     It was a crisp Saturday in February,    age and that the benefits are numerous – not only does
                     the winter sun glistening brightly      drama develop creativity, but it helps develop students’
                     on the remaining ice patches lining     reading, writing and listening skills, as well as helping
                     the parking lot of Mamma Roma’s         them gain confidence in speaking. The students love
                     Italian restaurant in Odenton,          it and Mr. Holland has seen tremendous success in all
                     Maryland. It was here that fellow       students who participate! For more information, search
Maryland “TESOLers” met for the annual spring                “Readers’ Theater” online.
Elementary Education interest section over a delicious
lunch, animated conversation and - of course - fabulous
presentations from accomplished instructors in the           Teacher Education
TESOL field!
                                                             Nine of us met over dinner at the 94th Aero Squadron
The first presenter, Dr. Debra Suarez, is a professor at      Restaurant in Prince George’s County. We discussed 2
the College of Notre Dame who has done extensive             topics, the broadening of the Teacher Education SIG to
research on the topic of heritage language learners. A       include teacher trainers from all types of ESOL Teacher
heritage language learner (HLL) is a US born English         Training programs, and the establishment of a bank of
language learner who has been raised in a home where         opportunities abroad for Maryland TESOL Members.
a language other than English is spoken, who speaks or       Both topics were positively received and the discussion
at least understands that language, and who has varying      was strongly positive for both. We spent about two and a
proficiency in both English and the native language. In       half hours over dinner and our deliberations. It was a fun
most cases, this L1 maintenance is a deliberate choice       and productive event.
of the family – a choice to preserve native cultural and
linguistic values rather than assimilating completely into
American culture. HLLs are a rapidly growing group           Secondary Education
of individuals who are defying the expectation that a
family’s native language will be replaced by English                             On Thursday, March 1, MDTESOL
within three generations. As Dr. Suarez states in the                            members gathered at Hunan Manor
Winter 2006 edition of Maryland TESOL News, if                                   Restaurant in Columbia for an evening
educators are made aware of the conscious decision of                            of lively discussion and information
these individuals to maintain their native language and      about test-taking strategies for ELLs. Kory Twit from
culture, heritage language learners “will likely look into   Anne Arundel County Public Schools shared valuable
the future with a confidence and ability that can come        insight into the importance of teaching strategies for
only from a strong sense of family, (from) knowing who       success on tests, both standardized and teacher-made.
they are, and having assured advantages of more than one     By knowing certain clues, such as recognizing absolute
language.” For more information on heritage language         words and qualifiers within a test question, ELLs can
learners, please visit            increase their chances of getting the correct answer. They
                                                             can also look for hints on tests, such as choosing the
Dr. Suarez was followed by Baltimore City ESOL               answer that matches grammatically (i.e. noticing a or an
educator Paul Holland, who spoke passionately of the         before a blank) and recognizing choices that are merely
benefits of using drama in the ESL classroom. Mr.             distracters. In this era of high-stakes testing, ELLs can
Holland provided suggestions on how to help children         benefit greatly from explicit teaching of strategies that
dramatize a variety of texts, including simple picture       will boost both their score and their confidence!
books such as Bill Martin Jr.’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear,
What do you See? or Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham,
as well as more complex texts from which high school
students transformed narratives into plays with dialogue,

     IS Spring Events Summaries                                  Teaching Teachers, continued from page 16

                                                                 some are left out. The latest solution is to hold an “ESL
Adult Education
                                                                 Professional Development Day” on Sat., April 21, in
                                                                 direct response to “... pleas for more workshops outside
On Saturday, March 3, Karen Gianninoto, Adult Education
                                                                 of regular business hours.” It will have five separate
Interest Section coordinator hosted the Maryland TESOL
                                                                 sessions ranging from writing and conversation to literacy
Spring Event on the campus of Chesapeake College.
                                                                 skills and ending with a hands-on Power Point tutorial.
The featured speakers were Octavia Shaw and Stephanie
                                                                 How’s that for responding to “customer” needs?
Shultz. Chesapeake College was quite easy to find as
it is located in Wye Mills, only a brief drive east after
                                                                 The HCC ESL Program also goes outside the box to
crossing the Bay Bridge. Both the day and location were
                                                                 extend other training opportunities to its teachers. The
beautiful. A good group had gathered to join in the very         annual MD TESOL Conference is considered part of staff
substantial and delicious catered breakfast. The sessions        development and employees are actively encouraged to
started promptly at 9 AM. Karen Gianninoto started the           attend. For those who join MD TESOL, HCC ESL will
day off with some introductions and words of welcome.            pay their conference fee. Sometimes they also team with
Janet Schreibstein, President of Maryland TESOL, was             MD TESOL to sponsor an in-service event. Two years
also on hand to give some Maryland TESOL news and                ago they brought Judy Gilbert to campus to talk about
State and Federal legislative updates. The floor was then         pronunciation and opened the session to the entire state.
handed over to Octavia Shaw of Montgomery Community              This June it will be Dorolyn Smith to discuss teaching
College. She took the group through several “Get to              listening, and MD TESOLers once again are invited. The
Know You” activities that were very lively and effective.        HCC program also supports attendance at the annual
Everyone not only knew more about each person in the             MAACCE conference and the international TESOL
room, but had some fun activities they could use in future       conference.
classroom situations. Octavia went on to discuss aspects
of motivation and finished with “Ten Steps to Success.”           Ultimately, it’s HCC’s ESL instructors who determine the
When Octavia was finished, the group had more than ten            success of this energetic and innovative program. Here
tips for success that they could put to use. After a short       are three teachers, from very different backgrounds, who
break, Stephanie Shultz of the Telemon Corporation was           are clearly pleased with it.
handed the microphone and quickly introduced the group
to her application of “Total Physical Response” (TPR-            “As all ESL teachers know, our best resources are
James Asher) in teaching ESL. Stephanie also had ten             other teachers. That’s what makes HCC’s teacher
strategies to be used in achieving learning goals. Stephanie     training program so successful. Through an educational
had the group conversing with each other in a new                In-Service program that runs periodically all year,
language when Karen had to step in and tell the group that       teachers are guaranteed a chance to glean the wisdom
the meeting had run to the end of its time. After a few brief    of others’ experiences in the classroom. By attending
closing thoughts, the meeting was brought to end. It was a       professional development workshops on such subjects
morning well spent.                                              as pronunciation, conversation and computer technology
                                                                 I have been able to take useful ideas and activities and
                                                                 implement them with my own class the very next day.”

                                                                 “We very fortunate to have so many learning
                                                                 opportunities available to us. We have so many teachers
                                                                 who share their expertise and experiences and we all
 RI                                           IN THE A

   N                                       IS                    benefit.”
       G                        G
           IS                 IN

              IN            PR
                 THE AIR • S                                     “From hands-on technology workshops to activity
                                                                 idea exchanges to consciousness-raising of cultural
                                                                 differences, our training sessions cover so many aspects
                                                                 of ESL instruction and good teaching practices. These
                                                                 sessions are especially helpful to those teachers new to
                                                                 the profession or to ESL, but even veteran teachers benefit
                                                                 from hearing a novel idea or being reminded of effective

                                Maryland TESOL Award Opportunities!
                                 GOT AN IDEA? Let Maryland TESOL Fund It!
                            Or recognize a colleague who has made a difference in the
                             lives of English Language Learners and/or TESOLers.
                                                   See below for details of both the
                                    Professional Developement Award and the Ann Beusch Award.

    Professional Development Award                                              Ann Beusch Award
1. Purpose: The purpose of this award is to reward or            1. Purpose: The award was established to honor the
   recognize individual efforts that promote, benefit                accomplishments of former Supervisor of Foreign
   and/or enhance the profession of teaching English as             Languages and ESOL of the State of Maryland, Ann
   a Second Language.                                               Beusch. The Ann Beusch Distinguished Service
                                                                    Award honors individuals who exemplify the spirit
2. Criteria:                                                        and dedication to international students that Ann
      (1) The allocation of funding should benefit the               demonstrated during her long tenure as a State
      profession by way of the knowledge and skills the             Supervisor of ESOL and Foreign Languages.
      recipient garners and/or the ideas and efforts the
      recipient promotes.                                        2. Criteria: This award is bestowed upon individuals
                                                                    working outside the fields of ESL and International
      (2) The recipient must be an active contributing              Student Services who have made sustained,
      member in good standing in Maryland TESOL and                 exemplary contributions to the field and/or its
      not a current member of the Executive Board or                students. Individuals whose daily employment
      the Awards Committee.                                         responsibilities are directly related to international
                                                                    students and/or their families in any way are not
      (3) Each prospective awardee shall submit the                 eligible.
      Professional Development Award application along
      with two letters of support related to his or her          3. Presentation:
      involvement in ESL. The Committee must receive
      the application by April 30, 2007.                               (1) The award is non-competitive. The Awards
                                                                       Committee will consider all nominees meeting the
      (4) The recipient is obliged to publicize a summary              sustained and exemplary test criteria for the award.
      or overview of how the award was used to benefit
      our profession. A written summary must be                        (2) There is no limit to the number of awards that
      submitted to both the Maryland TESOL newsletter                  may be bestowed in any given year.
      and the Awards Committee.
                                                                       (3) The Award is presented at the annual May
This year’s award will be made in the amount of $500.                  business meeting of Maryland TESOL.
Maryland TESOL will present the annual Professional
Development Award this May. Why not allow us to
present it to you?                                               Submit nominations to Becki Maurio, Past President at
                                                        or via mail to 3820 Sandy
Past awards have been given for projects that developed          Hook Road; Randallstown MD 21133.
training modules for ESOL professionals and websites for
new immigrants in Baltimore and for action research.             Deadline is April 30, 2007.
Submit application materials to Becki Maurio, Past
President at or via mail to 3820
Sandy Hook Road; Randallstown MD 21133.

Deadline is April 30th, 2007.

 Maryland TESOL
 Janet Medina
 4614 Smokey Wreath Way
 Ellicott City, MD 21042

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