miPLACE For Educators of ELs

Virtual Professional Learning Opportunities

Collaborative Groups for Educators of English Learners (miPLACE Collaboratorium)

English Learner Educator Community

  • This group is intended for ESL/Title III/Bilingual program Directors, Coordinators, ESL teachers, other teachers of ELs, and support staff. ESL/Title III educators have opportunities to connect and collaborate. Resources are shared.

English Learner: Difference or Disability?

  • This group is for educators of English Learners who have IEPs or for those suspected of having additional learning needs beyond English language acquisition. Group members have access to documents, links, forums, and information related to English Learners and Special Education.

Creating Cultures of Thinking for English Learners

  • In this collaborative group, participants will learn how to cultivate a Culture of Thinking with English Learners. The Eight Cultural Forces that define the classroom will be explored and relevant connections are made. Specific Visible Thinking Routines and student examples will be shared. Participants engage in forum discussions and posts to extend their learning.

What do Michigan School Leaders Need to Know About English Learners?

  • This group provides access to resources and collaborative opportunities associated with the Michigan School Leaders Need to Know About English Learners? professional learning experiences. Educators unable to attend the in-person learning may find useful the presentations and resources offered in this collaborative group.

Book Study: Seven Steps to Separating Difference from Disability (by Catherine Collier)

  • This group is designed for educators who seek to learn more about how to determine if an English Learner has second language acquisition issues or other learning issues via a study of the book Seven Steps to Separating Difference from Disability. The purpose of this group is to encourage educators or teams of educators to collaboratively and purposefully study the book Seven Steps to Separating Difference From Disability by Catherine Collier.


Courses for Educators of English Learners (miPLACE HUB)

English Learners 101

In this short course you will learn about the following topics:

  • Federal Definition of English Learner
  • Different Types of ELs
  • How Long It Takes to Learn Another Language
  • Participation in ESL/Title III Programs
  • Federal Guidelines
  • EL Identification is a Federal Requirement
  • Landmark Court Cases and ELs
  • ESL/Title III Instructional Program
This course takes approximately 15 minute to complete.

Supporting English Learners in Mathematics

This course, for teachers of third through fifth grade English Learners, will identify the unique needs of English Learners in math classrooms, and provide strategies for supporting language demands while maintaining the rigor of mathematics content instruction.

Academic Language and English Learners

Academic language is the language needed by students to do the work in schools. It includes, for example, discipline-specific vocabulary, grammar and punctuation, and applications of rhetorical conventions and devices that are typical for a content area (e.g., essays, lab reports, discussions of a controversial issue.) This course will introduce participants to principles of academic language development. Participants in this course will learn strategies for boosting academic language development in English Learners. Resources from WIDA, CAL, and Kate Kinsella will be explored and used to help participants develop supports for ELs in their classes. SCECHs are available upon successful completion of this course.

Addressing the Needs of Long Term English Learners

This course is intended for educators who are interested in learning about Long Term English Learners (LTELs). Participants will examine characteristics typical of LTELs and explore promising practices to engage and move the learners forward. SCECHs are available upon successful completion of this course.

Developing Oral Language Proficiency in English Learners

In this course participants will define oral language proficiency, learn the principles of language acquisition, explore the link between oral language and vocabulary development, discover new approaches to explicitly teaching listening and speaking in order to foster oral language proficiency, and create a comprehensive plan to promote oral language development in English Learners. Participants will examine principles of oral language development and explore promising practices to engage and move the learners forward.

Social Emotional Learning & Trauma for English Learners

In this course, participants will explore the unique considerations for the social emotional needs of English Learners and the multilingual community. They will learn about different sources of trauma and stressors and how they may impact student well-being and behavior in the preK-12 classroom, along with practical activities to develop mindfulness and build on resilience. Participants will discover ways to tap into the language, cultural assets and community funds of knowledge to build resilience through each area of the CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) Framework. Finally, the course will guide participants in self and district reflection and a final project. This course contains six modules and a final project.

**NEW** Collaborating for English Learners

The Collaborating for English Learners course in miPLACE is designed for general education and ESL/ELD teachers to explore best practices and practical approaches to co-teaching and collaborating. Participants will examine strategies for promoting access to and increased engagement in language and content instruction for English Learners in a collaborative classroom environment.

Honigsfeld and Dove (2019) describe an integrated, collaborative approach to serving English Learners as having these defining characteristics:

  • The core content curriculum is integrated with language and literacy development goals.

  • Daily instruction intentionally includes language and literacy development targets across all content areas.

  • Support services are fully integrated into the regular school schedule.

  • Educators plan, deliver, and assess instruction in collaboration with each other.

  • All children have a strong sense of belonging in the class and school community.

In this course, participants will interact with print and digital resources, post to forums, individually reflect, and design a plan for collaboration that meets the needs of their unique teaching and learning contexts.

This course contains seven modules. Each module is designed to take roughly seventy five minutes to complete with the final project requiring approximately two hours to complete. A total of 10.75 SCECH hours are pending.


Recorded Webinars for Educators of English Learners (miPLACE English Learner Educator Community group resources)

Taking the Mystery Out of Title III Spending

In this one hour recorded webinar, presenters Christin Silagy and Kallee Iverson review allowable uses of Title III funds. Participants will explore the differences between using Title III funds to supplement or supplant ESL programs, services, and resources. A comprehensive list of resources is provided.

Culturally Responsive Parent Engagement for Title Programs

In this one hour recorded webinar, presenters Lisa Lockhart, Karen Morrison, and Lindsay Novara provide an informational presentation about family and community engagement, as required under ESSA. Participants explore the differences between traditional parent involvement and a more comprehensive view of family engagement. Examples of successful district family engagement initiatives are shared. A list of resources is provided.

Understanding Long Term English Learners

In this interactive webinar we explore who our Long Term English Learners (LTELS) are, the reasons why they are not meeting proficiency criteria, and specific strategies for addressing their unique needs. Facilitators Kallee Iverson and Christin Silagy, also provide an overview of the ESSA requirements for reporting LTELS.

TESOL's The 6 Principles for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners

We are excited to offer this new, six-part webinar series in which we will explore TESOL’s new book, The 6 Principles for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners. Pam Schwallier, Regional EL Consultant, West Michigan, and Suzanne Toohey, ESL/Title III Consultant, Oakland Schools, will lead us in this engaging professional learning experience. The webinars will feature interactive activities, classroom/school examples, and opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from around the State. Each webinar will begin with a short update on current EL hot topics and will explore one of TESOL’s 6 Principles with application to PreK-12 Michigan schools, and end with a Q&A session. Participants are welcome to join us for any or all sessions! Webinars will be recorded and archived. All educators of English Learners are encouraged to join us: paraeducators, EL teachers, general educators, special educators, building administrators, central office administrators, university professors, grants coordinators, etc. (NOTE: each webinar will be archived shortly after the interactive webinar.)


Virtual Learning Module

Guidance for Effective Intake of English Learners

The school enrollment or intake process is unique for English Learners. English learners encompass many categories of students, from pre-K through 12th grade. These students represent various cultural and linguistic backgrounds. They may also have home, community or cultural experiences that are vastly different from those of a native speaker of English. English learner families may be in transition from country to country or state to state at different times throughout the school year. In order to ensure a smooth intake process for English Learners districts are encouraged to have a defined, transparent, streamlined protocol in place. We hope this recorded, on-demand resource will provide districts with the guidance needed to develop a district specific protocol for English Learner intake.


How do I access these virtual learning opportunities?

Click here for instructions on joining miPLACE.


Are you seeking evidence to demonstrate that you are highly effective?

Certificates of participation will be awarded & SCECHs will be offered for some courses. Check the course descriptions for more information.



For more information contact:

Suzanne Toohey, ESL/Title III Consultant, Oakland Schools

Collaborate. Learn. Grow.