Supporting English Learners

September 2020

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During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture. Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community. Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.
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Monthly ESOL Webinar Dates!

September 22nd

October 27th

November 24th

January 26th

February 23rd

March 23rd

April 27th

All webinars will start at 9:00 am!

Zoom link

Equity: Let's Talk About It!

What is our responsibility as educators?

Of course, we all want to create inclusive classrooms and foster equitable teaching practices, but it's hard to do so without a fund of knowledge, skills, and practice. We ask ourselves where do I even start? Can one person make a difference? Isn't it kinder to treat all children the same? This section of the newsletter will attempt to address some of these critical questions and offers a few resources, from articles to webinars, filled with all the resources you need to grow as an educator committed to equity. We start with defining terms.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion... are they synonyms?

This article focuses on the tech industry, but it gives thorough explanations about what each of these terms mean, along with accompanying thought exercises. How can we transfer this knowledge to our own classroom and school settings?

Here's Just the Webinar You Need!

This list of free on-demand webinars courtesy of Teaching Tolerance is unparalleled. Whether you want to learn about a particular group of people, or a particular subject area, get ideas for the age group you teach, or get resources for leading change & difficult conversations, or all of the above, you need look no further!

How to Create An Anti-Bias Environment

Click here for a fantastic, in-depth exploration of how to approach curriculum and assessment across all age levels from an anti-bias perspective.

KELPA Updates!

Since KEPLA results will not be available until after September 20, we do not know which students passed the KELPA to be exited, so all students that were eligible for ESOL services at the end of last school year are still eligible for services this year. When KELPA scores become available, students scoring proficient will be moved to transitional status and will not take the KELPA in the spring. Guidance for coding students is on page 14 of the updated ESOL Program Guidance.

Foundations of KELP Standards

This video will focus on understanding the organization of the KELP Standards, as well as understanding the foundations of the KELP Standards themselves.

Navigating the KELP Standards

This video will focus on navigating the 2018 Kansas English Language Proficiency (KELP) standards document as well as becoming more familiar with the components of the KELP standards.

KSDE Presents: Virtual ESOL PD

Beth Skelton, will be providing a series of four, online 90 minute workshops geared towards taking language learning to new heights and empower educators by giving them the necessary tools to do so. Below, you will find the FREE sessions and registration links. I hope you will take the time to participate in the awesome upcoming professional development provided by KSDE!

Monday, September 28th
Building Academic Language K-12

4-5:30 pm
Register Here

Monday, November 9th
What's Different About Teaching Reading to ELLs PreK-3

4- 5:30 pm
Register Here

Monday, February 22, 2021
Making Complex Text Accessible for English Learners Grades 4-12

4-5:30 pm
Register Here

Monday, April 12, 2021
Teaching Language through STEAM Competencies

4-5:30 pm
Register Here

Join our October remote PD series designed specifically for Kansas English Learner educators! Sarah Ottow, Founder and Director, of Confianza ( will facilitate four remote workshops as a professional learning community around the four topics below, each Tuesday after school in October. Each session will move through connecting, learning, applying, and reflecting on action steps to infuse in your practice. Come to any or all of the sessions with your ideas, your questions, and your reflections where we will engage in hands-on, collaborative learning!

To register for the FREE sessions, please click the name of the workshop. After registration ends, the workshop link will be sent via email to registered attendees.


October 7, 2020

4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Learn ways to execute different ways of co-teaching so that students' needs are in the center and that both the language specialist and content specialist are part of a co-equal partnership.

Pre-Work Reading: The Building Blocks of Strengthening an EL Co-Teaching Partnership

Culturally Responsive Texts

October 13, 2020

4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Be more intentional about integrating diverse students’ identities in your classroom so that all students feel included and that all students have opportunities to learn about different cultures and perspectives.

Pre-Work Reading: Honoring Students' Identities

Teaching with a Language Lens

October 20, 2020

4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Create language goals to accompany content goals and learn how to have corresponding appropriate language expectations for different proficiency levels in your classroom.

Pre-Work Reading: Teaching Language through Content

Formative Assessment with a Language Lens

October 27, 2020

4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Integrate formative assessment “snapshots” to help students own their language development process and to have classroom-based data to guide your instruction.

Pre-Work Reading: Language Snapshot to Measure ELD

Books to Consider

Below, are three books for you to consider using with your students for read alouds or book clubs. For English Learners in particular, read alouds offer an engaging, context-embedded opportunity to teach features of academic language in English.

Spotlight: Using Technology with ELs

One of my favorite aspects of integrating technology into instruction is the availability of resources to support students with different learning needs. Students who are struggling can benefit from the excitement and engagement offered by a tool like the iPad or Chromebook. I think now, more than ever, we all see the viable role that technology can play in education. Teachers of English Learners (ELs) can use technology to promote growth in their students.

*Please note that these are merely suggestions and are not required or sponsored by KSDE.

Here are a few for you to consider:

Jamboard- is a giant white think space or canvas that is dynamic and requires out-of-the-box thinking. It can be used in any subject for all students! It is accessible via the web through Google Drive, or by using the free mobile app for iOS and Android, even on Google Play-enabled Chromebooks. Jamboard is the perfect tool to use with your students because it supports the 5 Cs of Education, which are communication, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and curation. It allows students to brainstorm, research, organize information, and show their work as well as create illustrations, concept maps, timelines, flowcharts, emoji story writing, sketch notes, and digital storytelling components.

Read & Write- is a helpful text-to-speech app for students with a variety of literacy needs, including English learners.A valuable tool to make classroom use of websites and digital documents more accessible to all students.

Setting up a Virtual Read Aloud Lesson Sequence- Kelly, from the English Learner Portal, shares how she created a Google Slide/PowerPoint show to facilitate a sequence of read aloud lessons. The lessons can be teacher led or done asynchronously by students.

For students without internet access, the videos can be embedded and sent to students on a thumb drive. Record a collection and fill that thumb drive with literacy! When students are all back in school, these lessons become great independent work/centers/listening activities!

Spotlight: Resources for ELs

Supporting ELs in 2020-21: Looking Back and Looking Ahead Padlet

Practical Strategies & Resources to Teach K-12 ELs Online from SupportEd

Eslathome is where you will find links to activities for students in grades K through 12. They require only paper and pencil, and some materials that can be found around the house.

Spotlight YOUR school/district!

If your school or district is doing something awesome that you want to share with others in Kansas, please send your pictures (with descriptions) to and I will spotlight your happenings in the next month's newsletter.

*In addition, if you would like to see something added to the newsletter, please send your suggestions to as well!

Professional Development: Online for Free!


Theme: Distance learning and language learners

A non-profit, virtual conference that removes the physical, financial, and time barriers for teachers of language learners.

View here

Remote or In Class ESOL Instruction – Elementary

Presenters: Ashley Zoglmann

Diana Mendoza

Allysson Gagne

Remote or In Class ESOL Instruction- Middle School

Presenters: Emily Brown

Stephanie Dalrymple
Amber Boyington

Remote or In Class ESOL Instruction- High School

Presenters: Joanna Schindel
Jiahong “Annie” Wang

Replay: Gamification in the Classroom for English Language Learners

Webinar Recording:

Webinar Slides:

Replay: Teaching ELs from a Distance: Tips for Fall Planning

Webinar Recording:

Webinar Slides, Handouts, and Certificate of Attendance:

Replay: High-Impact Virtual Literacy Instruction for ELL Students

Watch Recording here

More Professional Development Opportunities!

NABE Slow Institute

Cost: $49

The first-ever NABE Slow Institute will be a virtual event offering sessions on topics

relevant to teaching in times of COVID-19. Slow events allow for deeper engagement

between the speaker and a smaller audience as well as encourage attendees to further their thoughts and ideas on the subject of the presentation.

Sept. 8- ELL: Equity, Language, Literacy

Sept. 10- Transformative Emotional Intelligence Part 1

Sept. 15- What Washington is Doing for Our Learners During the Crisis

Sept. 17- Transformative Emotional Intelligence Part 2

Sept. 22- Bilingual Education and Heritage Language Development in the Year 2020

Sept. 24- Engagement and Equity for Families and Communities

Sept. 29- Using our Current Situation to Shift from Institutionalized Curriculum Towards a CRI

More information, here.

Community at a Crossroads:
The Right to Education

October 3, 2020
Virtual Conference

More information, here

TESOL 2021

March 23rd-26th

Houston, TX

More information, here

Let's Connect on Twitter!

Use the hashtags : #KsELs and #KsESOL

Approved Kansas Colleges and Universities Offering ESOL Endorsement Courses

Kansas is ALWAYS looking for more ESOL Endorsed teachers! If you know of anyone interested in obtaining their ESOL Endorsement, here are a list of partnering universities and colleges:

Benedictine College

Bethany College

Emporia State University*

Friends University

Newman University*

Fort Hays State University*

Ottawa University*

Kansas State University*

Pittsburg State University*

McPherson College

University of Kansas*

Mid-America Nazarene University*

Washburn University

Wichita State University

*indicates online option available

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