Integrating Social Emotional Learning in English Learner Instruction

Utilizing research-based strategies to craft SEL-embedded lessons in a culturally relevant teaching (CRT) classroom environment.

A 15 PDP course focused on embedding Social Emotional Learning (SEL) concepts and strategies into curriculum and instruction for English Learners. 

  • Analyze data on the benefits of teaching SEL skills to ELs
  • Become familiar with DESE Guidelines on implementing Social Emotional Curricula K-12
  • Be introduced to a SEL-embedded curriculum model used in a Newcomer program
  • Learn how to increase culturally responsive practices (CRT) in their classrooms
  • Practice strategies that combine academic content and SEL skills for ELs
  • Create/ revise lesson plans that integrate SEL in content-area instruction
  • Analyze rubrics and assessment strategies for monitoring and assessing SEL
  • Collaborate with peers to develop end-of-unit projects that embed SEL and CRT.

Audience: Any school educator or leader who works with K-12 English Learners. 

Format: Two six hour sessions plus a 3-hour on-line/assignment component.

PDPs: 15 PDPs that fulfill recertification requirement in English learner education.

Credit: 1 credit option available.

Registration & Information:

Webinar: Submitting a Proposal for the 2020 MATSOL Conference

Are you thinking about submitting a proposal for the MATSOL Conference, but have questions? Please join us for a webinar that will cover these topics:

  • Proposal review and selection process
  • Choosing and focusing a topic
  • Drafting the proposal
  • Submitting the proposal online
  • Preparing to present

New and experienced presenters welcome!

To prepare for the webinar, we recommend that you review the Call for Proposals at Bring your questions!

Date: Thursday November 14, 2019 at 4 pm
Presented by: Helen Solorzano, MATSOL Executive Director

2020 MATSOL Conference – Call for Proposals


Proposal deadline EXTENDED to Monday, December 16, 2019 11:59 PM

The 2020 MATSOL Conference brings together educators of English learners from across Massachusetts to learn, network, and share expertise.

Submit a proposal to present at the conference!

MATSOL encourages engaging, interactive presentations that make the theory to practice connection. Successful proposals include practical classroom activities informed by current research and pedagogy, demonstrations of successful instructional practices, examinations of current issues in education, and research that informs educators in the Massachusetts context. Presentations should engage the audience through hands-on or interactive activities when possible. 

Presentations may address audiences from all program types including PK-12 schools (public, charter and independent), adult and workplace education, community college ESL, Intensive English Programs (IEPs), private language schools, and pre-service and in-service teacher education.

Topic strands:

  • Academic Language in the Content Areas
  • Bilingualism and Biliteracy
  • Co-Teaching and Collaborative Practices
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Curriculum Development
  • Data and Assessment
  • Listening, Speaking and Pronunciation
  • Digital Learning & Technology
  • Family and Community Engagement
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Program Administration and Evaluation
  • Professional Development and Teacher Education
  • Reading, Writing and Literacy
  • Vocabulary and Grammar

Presentations take place on Wednesday, May 27 – Friday May 29, 2020.

Proposal deadline extended to Monday, December 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM.

Submit a proposal:

View webinar: Submitting a MATSOL Conference Proposal (recording)

Note: The Call for Graduate Student Poster Sessions will open in January 2020.

MATSOL Fall Conference

The MATSOL PLS/IEP and Community College ESL Special Interests Groups (SIGs) are proud to present the 2019 Intensive English Program & Community College Conference!

Please join us in downtown Boston at EC English Language School on Saturday, November 9, as presenters from the world of private language schools, intensive English programs, and community college ESL programs converge from all over Massachusetts and New England to share their insights and experiences of the ESL industry.

Session topics include: intercultural communication, test prep, lesson planning, and professional development, just to name a few. This is a great opportunity to network and share your knowledge with others who love the ESL industry as much as you.

We look forward to seeing you there! Register soon as space is limited!

More information can be found here:

MATSOL is hiring!

MATSOL is hiring a Program & Member Engagement Coordinator to support MATSOL board members and volunteers in planning, organizing and facilitating engaging and informative activities and events for educators of English learners.


  • Coordinate development of activities that promote member development, networking, professional learning, and advocacy. Oversee MATSOL volunteer initiatives. Do outreach to MATSOL members to join and lead member groups and committees. Assist volunteers in innovating new activities; Work with board and staff to increase member engagement and volunteer opportunities.
  • Support leaders of MATSOL special interest groups. Provide training on MATSOL resources and policies. Assist members in planning in-person and online meetings and events including agenda planning, site logistics, registration, communications, technology use, and publicity. Facilitate meetings if needed.
  • Coordinate communication with members and the public about MATSOL’s activities, positions, and strategic priorities. Create and disseminate information and publicity through MATSOL communication channels including email, MATSOL publications, and social media.
  • Coordinate development of regular webinars, blog posts, and other content presented/created by members and experts.
  • Work collaboratively with the board and staff to plan and deliver programs. Contribute to developing strategic objectives, planning activities, and evaluating programs. Take the lead in coordinating innovative programs and events.
  • Contribute to annual conference planning and management, and work on-site at the conference. Coordinate volunteer opportunities related to the conference.
  • Attend MATSOL events, meetings, and conferences to oversee or assist with site logistics, facilitation, and other tasks.
  • Perform other tasks as needed to support programs and member engagement.


  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including written communication, in-person and online presentation/facilitation, and social media.
  • Demonstrated project management skills with the ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Demonstrated event management skills.
  • Strong technical skills including MS Office Suite, Google Suite, WordPress, ZOOM, Survey Monkey, WordPress, and social media platforms. Ability to learn new systems including the MATSOL association management system (member database, website, and event registration).
  • Ability to travel within Massachusetts to MATSOL member meetings and events. Occasional overnight travel required. Ability to attend evening and weekend meetings and events (in-person and online).


  • Three to five years of experience leading and managing in a collaborative environment.
  • Experience successfully recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers.
  • Experience planning and facilitating meetings (in person and online), events, webinars and professional learning activities.


  • Experience working with teachers or in educational or nonprofit settings.
  • Understanding of and experience with English learner programs in PK-12, adult and university settings.
  • Bilingual in any language.

View full job listing and apply!

Students Have Strengths. We Build on Them!

muliticultural students strengthAt the 2019 MATSOL Conference, you will find multiple workshops to help you use student strengths, building on their own funds of knowledge. You will learn strategies for recognizing and celebrating student identity and culture and explore social-emotional learning; trauma-informed practice; impact of poverty on learning; and creating physically and emotionally safe environments.

Here are some (just some!) of the workshops you can choose to participate in:

  1. Incorporating Story Books into Culturally Responsive ESL Teaching
  2. A Culturally Responsive Classroom Looks Like…
  3. There is no L without SEL: Social-Emotional Learning in ESL
  4. Practical Use of Translanguaging and Multiliteracies in the Classroom
  5. Empowering ELs by Turning the Tables: Students Teaching Teachers
  6. Telling Our Stories in Pictures and Words: Creating Identity Texts
  7. Walking in the Footsteps of Asian Students and Their Families
  8. The Dos and Don’ts of Family Engagement in Early Childhood
  9. Break (dancing) through cultural and communicative barriers
  10. To Teach Them, You Must Know Them – Brockton to Cape Verde
  11. Enacting Social Justice Principles in K-12 ESL Instruction
  12. Engaging Haitian Students and their Families

There is a lot to look forward to at the 2019 MATSOL Conference. See you there!

Rapping the Quadratic Formula

Jake Scott

Jake Scott

Jake Scott remembers a time when he had an immigrant student who was exceptionally good at math. Jake sent the student to a higher-level math class, but he soon heard the student was not doing well.

The student came back and told him, “There’s nobody who looks like me in that class, and I feel like I don’t belong.”

“I realized,” Jake told MATSOL, “that if I was going to send minority students to learn in that class, I had to be willing to raise my hand and go teach it.”

We will hear Jake, a decorated educator, wrestling coach, Math rapper, and author, give the keynote address “Empowering the Next Generation of ELLs,” on the closing day of the 2019 MATSOL conference, Friday, May 31.

Jake reminds us that the demographics of this country are changing. Educators need to prepare ourselves to show the emotional sensitivity, the flexibility, the welcoming tone, and the celebration of success that an increasing number of ELL students is going to require from us.

Jake is looking forward to being inspired by you and your work. (And if you want to hear what a Math rap on the quadratic formula sounds like, just click here!)

Re-Imagining Migration: Educating a World on the Move

Who are the migrants in your classroom? Could one of them be you?

Adam Strom

Adam Strom

At the MATSOL conference,  hear Adam Strom’s keynote address: “Re-Imagining Migration: Educating Youth for a World on the Move,” on Thursday, May 30.

Adam Strom wants us to think about migration as what unites us. It’s not only the story of the 26% of school-aged children in the U.S. who are immigrants or the children of immigrants.

Migration is how many African Americans came to Massachusetts from the South. It’s how many of our grandparents got here.

It may be how you got here, too.

At root, Adam says, migration is a “good news” story. It’s vital to democracy to teach the immigrant experience, from Irish immigrants during the potato famine to Chinese immigration on the West Coast. We also want to hear from today’s migrant families about the challenges they face and how they are overcoming them.

Come hear from Adam Strom how we can provide ELL students with the social emotional supports and the learning experiences that will build their potential for leadership.

You Can Lead the Way, After the LOOK Act

For the past fifteen years, school districts in Massachusetts have operated under restrictions that inhibited bilingual education, despite growing evidence that native language instruction supports English language development and academic achievement for English Learners.

With the LOOK Act on the books, we are entering a new era in EL education. What possibilities does this open up for educating EL students in their native language? And what can we learn from the experience before and after Question 2 restricted bilingual education in Massachusetts?

At the MATSOL conference, we will all find out!

Maria Estela Brisk

Maria Estela Brisk

Keynoter Maria Estela Brisk will speak on “Learning from the Past, Moving to the Future: The LOOK Act – An Opportunity for Quality Education,” on the first day of the conference, Wednesday, May 29.

“I’ve worked with MATSOL a long time, and many members are my students,” she says. “In all those years without bilingual education, MATSOL members have been amazing advocates. You have kept the flame alive.”

In the new environment since the LOOK Act passed, Professor Brisk believes, ESL teachers can lead the way—and ELL students will benefit.

Pre-Conference Institutes Sold Out!

MATSOL members, you are a dedicated bunch. Not only have you registered for the 2019 Conference in record numbers, but you’ve signed up for two Pre-Conference Institutes on Tuesday, May 28, to become even better teachers.

Here’s what you can look forward to.

Teaching and Learning Content-Based Literacies: 
Systemic Functional Linguistics in Action

Presented by Meg Gebhard, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Meg Gebhard

This interactive session will help you explore how language works in different ways to construct content-specific meanings in the types of texts or “genres” your students are routinely required to read, write, and discuss.

The morning session will guide participants in analyzing personal and literary narratives using multicultural children’s literature. The afternoon session will focus on scientific explanations and arguments using authentic texts written by middle schoolers.

Co-Teaching for English Learners: Collaborative Planning, Instruction, Assessment, and Reflection

presented by Andrea Honigsfeld, Ed.D. and Maria G. Dove, Ed.D.

Andrea Honigsfeld

Andrea Honigsfeld

Maria Dove

Maria Dove

Are you an ESOL teacher who works with content-area teachers (or vice versa)? Do you want to improve your co-planning, co-instruction, co-assessment, and reflection processes—all for the benefit of your EL students?

In this pre-conference institute, these four key components will be illustrated using authentic video clips of both novice and experienced co-teaching teams. The presenters will guide you as you develop short-term and long-term plans to support the language, literacy, and content skills of ELs in your integrated classroom.