LOOK at these conference sessions!

Bilingual classroom

This is a watershed moment for all of us who work with EL students. Thanks to the LOOK ACT (which you and MATSOL helped to pass), we have opportunities to teach bilingual students in ways we haven’t been able to do for years. How do we take advantage of those opportunities?

If you’ve been wondering about that too, consider attending some of these sessions at the 2019 MATSOL conference! These sessions are presented by your fellow educators in the field.

  1. Codemeshing and Multimodal Literacy: The LOOK Act’s Translingual Potential
  2. EL Student Success Plans: From the Ground Up
  3. Impact of English-Only instruction on English Language proficiency of ELs
  4. LOOKing at Our Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Community Engagement Practices
  5. Primeiro Eu Canto, Depois Eu Falo: Teaching Two Immersion Students
  6. Supporting Positive Identity Development and Language Learning in Science Classrooms
  7. The Politics of the Look Act Teaching Spanish Heritage Language

We are also very fortunate that the staff of the Office of Language Acquisition from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) are coming to share their perspectives on topics including Curriculum and Professional Development Updates from OLA, ELE Compliance and Alternative Programming Proposals, English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC): Getting Started, LOOK Act Requirements for English Learner Benchmarks, State of the State 2019: Update on English Learner Education, the State Seal Of Biliteracy, and The LOOK Act and Alternative Programs in Massachusetts.

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


Biliteracy Pathway Awards

Massachusetts schools can create a road map for language learning with Biliteracy Pathway Awards!

The Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) Biliteracy Pathway Awards are designed to encourage long-term language study by recognizing and rewarding language learning in elementary, middle and high school. The awards can be given in addition to the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy, an award for graduating high school seniors.

The pathway awards were originally developed during the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot, which operated from 2016-18 before passage of the LOOK Act. The LOC is continuing to support the awards and provide resources for implementation.

LOC Biliteracy Pathway Award levels:

  • LOC Biliteracy Participation Award (ACTFL Novice-High): For preschool and elementary school Students & students with disabilities (all grades).
  • LOC Biliteracy Attainment Award (ACTFL Intermediate-Low): For elementary & middle school students.
  • LOC Biliteracy Achievement Award (ACTFL Intermediate-Mid): For middle and high school students.

Find out more at SealOfBiliteracyMA.org

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.

LOOKing Forward to a New Era

In 2019, it’s a whole new world for teachers of English Learners in Massachusetts.

LOOK ActWith your support, the LOOK Act passed in 2017. This groundbreaking law:

  • Restored bilingual program options for ELLs
  • Established a new dual language endorsement for teachers
  • Created ELL Parent Advisory Councils
  • Established a State Seal of Biliteracy to reward high school graduates who are proficient in a language in addition to English.

What new opportunities has the LOOK Act opened up for educators? What can we do now to help our ELL students as a result of the new law?

To find out, register for the MATSOL 2019 Conference. Our theme is “LOOKing Forward to a New Era.” We will hear from keynote speakers, and attend workshops and poster sessions, designed to make sure we are all ready to do the most we can for our students under the new law.

Register now so that we can enter this new world together.

Helen Solórzano
Executive Director

P.S. If you have already submitted your registration, we look forward to seeing you in May!

MATSOL Conference is Filling Up!

matsol classroomHave you been meaning to register for the MATSOL Conference in 2019? This week may be your last chance. Registration is getting full!

You know that the workshops, the keynote speakers, and the pre-conference institutes are all top-notch. I know that you are the secret ingredient that makes the conference so special to all of us, year after year.

Register for the conference today! As an individual, you can register online using your credit card right here. If you are using a check or Purchase Order, or if you want to register as a group, fill in the form here and upload the completed form, then send in payment.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Helen Solórzano, Executive Director, MATSOL

New Seal of Biliteracy website

The Language Opportunity Coalition has a launched a new website at www.SealOfBiliteracyMA.org with resources developed during the SoBL pilot project from 2014-18. The site includes:

  • Criteria and certificates for the Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) Biliteracy Pathway Awards, a compliment to the State Seal of Biliteracy that can be awarded to students at lower grade and language proficiency levels. 
  • Links to criteria and regulations for the MA State Seal of Biliteracy on the DESE website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/ell/biliteracy/
  • Implementation resources that can be used for the state and/or LOC awards, including timelines, best practices and exemplars.

Visit the new site at www.SealofBiliteracyMA.org!

Call for Nominations Extended – MATSOL Board of Directors

logo-matsol_181007_400x192Deadline extended to April 1, 2019!

Show your commitment to MATSOL and help shape our future! MATSOL seeks competent, energetic, committed members to take a leadership role, work on behalf of the organization, and represent MATSOL members and stakeholders.

By serving on the Board of Directors, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Provide leadership for achieving MATSOL’s mission to promote equity and excellence for English Learners;
  • Help shape development of member activities, professional learning opportunities, and conferences;
  • Participate in advocacy at the local, state, and national level;
  • Encourage engaged and active MATSOL membership;
  • Build on our affiliate partnership with TESOL;
  • Ensure that MATSOL continues to operate as a healthy and vibrant non-profit organization.

In return, you will have the opportunity to expand your professional network, learn new skills, build your resume, and make a positive impact in our field.

Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by a colleague. Deadline extended to April 1, 2019.

Find out more!