Introduction to Online Classrooms and Best Practices


Watch the recorded presentation to learn some of the best practices MATSOL has developed while hosting online meetings. Members can also download all materials that were used during this presentation. If you have tips or resources that you like to use, please share on the Padlet link provided!

Materials from the presentation:
PowerPoint Presentation
Zoom Meeting Procedures
Shared Padlet

Thank you to all who came to the live presentation. Our intention is to help and we hope this does!

Free Multilingual Online Libraries

Multilingual online books that can be accessed for free.

Free Multilingual Online Libraries

  • Unite for Literacy: Early Learning eBooks: More than 100 original ebooks carefully crafted to connect with young children and their families. Books are written in English and include audio narration in English and 28 languages.
  • Worldstories: A growing collection of short stories including retold traditional tales and new short stories from around the world. The stories can be read and listened to online, or downloaded and they’re all free!
  • International Children’s Online Library: A searchable library of digital children’s books in more than 50 languages.
  • Rosetta Project: Books in Multiple Languages: Digital books in more than 40 languages.
  • Epic!: Completely free for teachers and librarians, Epic!  is a digital reading platform for kids ages 12 and under. Epic! offers more than 35,000 thousand high-quality and award-winning fiction and nonfiction books, audio books, and videos from 250 publishers. Books in English and Spanish.

For Parents

2020 Awards – Call for Nominations/Proposals

MATSOL awards and grants recognize Massachusetts educators of English Learners for excellence, creativity, and innovation. 

2020 Call for Nominations & Proposals

  • MATSOL Teacher of the Year: For excellence in the education of English learners.
  • Anne Dow Award for Excellence & Creativity: For leading collaboration to support the education of English Learners.
  • Linda Schulman Innovation Grant: Grants of up to $1,000 for pedagogical projects that benefit English language learners by improving their language competency or increasing their understanding of American culture.

Submission deadline: Monday, March 23, 2020


MATSOL Statement Supporting the Safe Communities Act

Jan 24, 2020: MATSOL submitted testimony to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security in support of the Safe Communities Act H.3573 (Reps. Ruth Balser & Liz Miranda) and S.1401 (Sen. Eldridge).

The Safe Communities Act restores confidence in our public institutions by allowing our police and court officials to focus on public safety, providing clear guidance for their interactions with ICE, ensuring that in Massachusetts, no one has to live in fear, and everyone’s civil rights will be respected.

The passage of the Safe Communities Act is not just a public safety issue; it is also an educational issue. MATSOL urges legislators to support the Safe Communities Act in order to protect students and their families, and to allow our students in all educational contexts to pursue their educational goals. Most immigrant families include US citizens and people with varied immigration statuses, so the bill will have a far-reaching impact within our school communities. If we are serious about valuing every student, we need to show this by creating an environment in which every student can learn and thrive. The Safe Communities Act is vital to the success of Massachusetts students and the future of the Commonwealth. 

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!

Medford teacher Christine Hingston receives MATSOL Teacher of the Year Award

Christine Hingston has worked as a language teacher for over 30 years old, and her lifetime of dedication towards teaching students of all ages is finally being recognized.

Hingston, who is currently the English Learner (EL) program teacher at Roberts Elementary School in Medford, recently learned she was selected as this year’s Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL) Teacher of the Year Award, and she was shocked when she learned the news.

“I thought it was a mistake,” she said with a laugh. “I looked at the email and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. Is this a joke?’ I was really astounded.”

MATSOL has a three-day conference every year, and each year, they honor an EL teacher in Massachusetts for great teaching performance in the field. The award applies to all EL teachers in the state from kindergarten through grade 12, and Hingston will receive the award on May 30 at this year’s conference.

“They always give this award out and different teachers nominate someone,” Hingston explained. “They reached out to people in Salem. They reached out to a past student so they really worked hard at it which is fantastic.”

Hingston found out she was going to receive the award around two weeks ago, and she really appreciated that her fellow teachers nominated her.

“I was really shocked,” Hingston said. “The fact that they nominated me was very touching. Everybody is busy. There are other EL teachers here and they are so busy with their jobs. [The fact] they found time to collect evidence on me was pretty heartwarming and thoughtful.”

The MATSOL nomination committee chooses the candidate based on a variety of factors, such as showing a long-term commitment to the education of English learners, demonstrating leadership qualities, mentoring others, fostering a relationship with the kids, parents and the community, supporting new teachers in the field and being a successful te acher.

“Ms. Hingston has demonstrated all of these attributes to the highest degree, and she serves as an exemplary role model to her colleagues at the Roberts and throughout the district,” Medford Public Schools Public Information Officer Lisa Evangelista wrote on her blog.

Hingston was recently honored at the School Committee meeting where she received a certificate for her great work, and she was also recognized at the School Department meeting and received flowers for her achievement.

“It was really nice,” Hingston. “It was something I never would have expected.”

Hingston even mentioned she received an email from a past student who learned about her award.

“She emailed me, telling me how happy she was,” Hingston said. “I couldn’t believe it. It was pretty cool.”

Love for teaching

Hingston started her career in Lawrence in bilingual education teaching Spanish, and she then went to Japan to teach English to adults. However, she had four kids, and she eventually switched to teaching part time at Bunker Hill Community College as an adjunct professor teaching English to students.

She then went back to work full time into elementary public education in Salem, where she was for eight years, and then went to Medford six years ago.

“I love Medford,” she said. “The students that are here are lucky to be in this program because it’s a good program, we have a good coordinator, the principals are really supportive and the teachers work well together. It’s a wonderful community.”

Hingston teaches English and other basic subjects to one fifth grade class of 16 immigrant students, and the kids speak a variety of languages in the class, such as Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole and Spanish.

“They are all students that come from other countries,” Hingston explained. “It’s amazing how quickly the kids pick up English. Yes we teach them English but through content. It’s like a regular class. They are not yet ready for the mainstream classroom.”

Hingston further explained how her class works.

“Kids come here and they have to learn grade level curriculum in another language,” she said. “Some of the kids, this is their second year here. They have English but their writing and reading isn’t strong enough but they quickly pick it up.”

“I enjoy the kids the most,” she continued. “It is always something new. They are amazing, always learning new things and teaching me things, which is incredible.”

Hingston said she really likes working with the students from other countries because many of them have very challenging life circumstances.

“I enjoy it because they are just so earnest and sincere, and they have all come here with a dream in mind,” Hingston said. “Not to make it sound like a cliché, but they all have come here looking for an opportunity. Their families are all working really hard. They think it’s wonderful to be here. They love America. Many of them are separated from their families. They may just be with their dad and their mom is back there so it’s really difficult for a lot of these kids.”

Although Hingston is teaching them English and other subjects, she noted that helping the students emotionally is a large part of the job as well.

“The emotional piece is big,” Hingston said. “It’s not just the curriculum. Adjusting to maintaining your own culture but also adopting a new culture, doing them both is tough.”

Although it is challenging helping these kids emotionally, she said it is her favorite aspect of the profession.

“I love that part of it,” she said. “When I became a Spanish speaker and studied it and taught in Spain for a bit, I knew that I wanted to be involved in different cultures. It makes you more open minded.”

Hingston said the whole class is taught in English, but she will often clarify things in other languages or even get help from other students in the class as well.

“I will use students to translate,” she explained. “A good student in math who understands something may help someone who is struggling. We learn right away that we are using the native language in class to clarify information.”

Hingston also added she utilizes an app that helps her communicate important information to parents.

“I can text a message to the parents and it translates it,” she said. “The parents can text back in their language and it texts me back in English, and I am on this all the time. There is so much communication now between the teachers and the parents.”

Overall, she loves what she does every single day.

“I’ve been teaching a lot of years,” Hingston said. “I love my experience in Medford. It is very supportive. The kids are great. The parents are great.”

Hingston doesn’t know how many years she will have left teaching, but she knows she is going to end her teaching career in Medford.

“I feel blessed to have come to Medford,” Hingston said. “Medford has been just so welcoming. There are so many different languages. It really is a nice community.”