A Celebration of our ESC1 Bilingual Community: October 2020
¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to our monthly bilingual newsletter!
Check out these wonderful kiddos from Rio Grande City CISD celebrating ¡el Mes de la Hispanidad desde sus casas! Adorable! Thank you, Mr. Jesús Martínez for the pictures! They remind us why we do what we do every day, challenges and all! And if you want to see what happens to our English learners once they leave our schools, check out the story of Allegra Rodriguez, graduate of Hidalgo High School, whose video is featured below! Gracias a Ms. Marta Garza for sharing it with us!
We hope you find a lot of valuable information in these newsletters! We will be sending them directly to your inbox, so we can keep track of how many of you access them for compliance purposes, but please know that what we really want is for you to share then with the world! Feel free to distribute them with teachers, administrators, and everyone else that you think might benefit from this information. Our goal is to strengthen even more our bilingual connections across the region, even when we are staying more than 6 feet apart ;)
¡Mil gracias y esperamos que disfruten este boletín!
Virtual Learning Tips: Breakout Rooms in Google Meets, by Claudia Coronado
Did you know you can create break out rooms in Google Meets? The process involves creating multiple meetings and allowing students to join one of them. Think of this as 4 physical tables in your real classroom. You’ll send the students to the meetings when they are in a virtual lesson with you and you are then able to move around each group and check in with them as they work. Not only can you use different rooms for students to collaborate, but you can also split a meeting into smaller forums to facilitate learning by differentiating instruction based on learning styles.
Multicultural Book Spotlight, by Dr. Lileana Ríos-Ledezma
US, In Progress
A wonderful collection of short stories told from the perspective of contemporary Latino children and their experiences living in the United States. Each story begins with a refrán and provides an opportunity for the reader to think critically about the point each refrán makes in relation to the story.
My favorite chapter from the collection is Burrito Man...I cried and I am sure you will too. The cuentos shed light on real-world issues, sensitive topics, and heart-breaking experiences; thus, providing opportunities for critical dialogue to take place. Us, In Progress is a stellar, must-read for middle school aged children.
~ ESL CORNER ~
Tips for ESL teachers, by Claudia Coronado
General best practices are a foundational base for quality instruction for English learners, but they are insufficient in providing accelerated learning. Best teaching practices must be combined with an explicit language focus in sheltered instruction to support comprehension and use of academic language for English learners. (Moughamian, Rivera, & Francis, 2009; Hansen-Thomas, 2008, as cited in the TEA ESL Literature Review). Second language acquisition requires explicit language instruction in conjunction with meaningful and authentic communication. Therefore, teachers must move from general to targeted and intentional instruction.
~ LA ESQUINA BILINGÜE ~
Tips for Bilingual Teachers, by Niranda Flores
For English learners, starting the school year can be somewhat scary and overwhelming especially if they are new to the US school system. So as their new bilingual teacher, what can you do to ease some of the discomfort and lower their affective filter? Below are a few simple recommendations to help you create a welcoming and inclusive environment and set your English learners on a path towards success.
Always accept and validate the use of their native language as well as the knowledge they bring. This will in turn help them stay positive and value their identity.
Take a few minutes to interact and get to know them beyond what you see and hear at the surface level.
Display visuals around the room as points of reference to important classroom information.
Assign them a friendly partner to help them get acclimated, and if necessary, translate important information.
Include total physical response activities to facilitate participation as well as ease some of the anxiety and fear of speaking in front of their peers.
Thankfully, English learners across Region One have awesome bilingual teachers who are happy to serve as a bridge into the unknown. We wish you an amazing 2020-2021 school year!
~ A LOOK INTO THE PAST ~
We are leaders; We are Texas, by Betty A. Cárdenas
Where were you in 1968? Studying, teaching, not born? Although the year 1968 might seem foreign to your existence, decisions made then continue to impact us today. This was the year that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) of 1968.
When the vast majority of the states resisted the BEA which required states to support emergent bilinguals with programs that taught them in their native language, Texas leaders, including Senator Ralph Yarborough, not only served as counsel to President Johnson but established options for states to choose from. In 1973, Texas mandated bilingual instruction for emergent bilinguals in districts that met the rule of 20. Even after the BEA returned autonomy to the states, and others like California enacted English-only policies instead, Texas pushed forward with continued research and support for bilingual program policy.
Now, almost 50 years later, our policies continue to evolve in the right direction. In the meantime, other states are working toward changing their policy from subtractive to more additive implementation as they discover what Texas knew long ago: including native language instruction will only make emergent bilinguals stronger.
~ SELF-CARE CORNER ~
Because CARING begins with YOU! By Niranda Flores
Translanguaging, por Lileana Ríos-Ledezma, PhD
Translanguaging is a término used to describe the ability a multilingual person has to utilize their full linguistic repertoire.
Picture this: two alumnos working together to complete a task. Both are Spanish speakers, but they are strong in English and often use a blend of Spanish and English to explore academic conceptos. Translanguaging allows these students to make connections between ideas and make those ideas and their voices heard.
Translanguaging intends to disrupt the belief that boundaries exist when we “language”; thus, validating the language practices of our English learner familias when they communicate using blended elements of multiple languages. When teachers adopt a translanguaging approach, it provides an inclusive and just education for the English learner comunidad as well as humanizes bilingual students’ learning processes (Gloria and Leiva 2014).
What can teachers do to crear safe translanguaging spaces? España and Herrera, authors of En comunidad, provide some ways to support translanguaging in the classroom.
Provide lessons in English, in Spanish, or use features of both.
Use a bilingual text to allow students to engage with both languages: hear the text in one language and read the words in another language.
Encourage students to engage in discussions and take notes using their full linguistic repertoire.
Show tolerance as well as affirm, celebrate students’ responses (written or oral) as they navigate their linguistic
~ BILINGUAL DIRECTORS CORNER ~
So Much To Do, So Little Time
English Learner Portal: txel.org
2020-2021 Bilingual Exceptions and Waivers
Julie Martinez, Director for English Learner Support at TEA
Title III Courses Now Available at ESC1
~ UPCOMING EVENTS ~
- TABE Virtual Conference: 10/10 Keynotes (Dr. José Medina and Dra. Ofelia García, plus 50+ pre-recorded breakout sessions) Here is a video explaining how it will all work! Remember, you may use Title III for this event!
- TABE Virtual Institutes (Including the Bilingual Directors Institute): 10/17
- Diverse Learners Summit: 10/20
- RDA 101: 10/21
- ACET Fall 2020 Conference: 10/27-29
- Effective Educators Leading Success Conference: 11/07
- Texas Assessment Conference: 11/16-17
- ESC1 Assessment Conference: 12/01
- RGV-TABE Virtual Conference: 01/22-23
Karina E. Zuno-Chapa, M.Ed.
Director of Language Proficiency, Biliteracy, and Cultural Diversity
Claudia Coronado, M.Ed.
Niranda Flores, M.Ed.
Lileana Ríos-Ledezma, PhD