RBERN's ESL/Bilingual Education News from OCM BOCES Instructional Support

February 2016

RBERN Logo Welcome to the monthly E-News for the Mid-State Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN), located at OCM BOCES in Syracuse, NY.

Please share this information with colleagues in the field. You can also send us items that you'd like us to include in next month's E-News. Mid-State RBERN can be reached at:

Thank you for your interest in the education of New York's English Language Learners.

Dear Colleagues:

This month’s topic: Teaching English Language Learners across the Content Areas.

As stated in the Blueprint for ELL Success, “All teachers are teachers of ELLs”. Therefore, it’s important that everyone working with ELLs be aware of the best practices and strategies to support them. In this issue, we will explore the areas of academic vocabulary, writing content and language objectives, content writing for ELLs, sentence starters and more in our Resource Spotlight.

We’ve also added some new sections to our E-News to help highlight some important information, strategies, and news, all related to the monthly topic. There is a Content Corner, Home Strategies, Newcomer Nook, Tech Tips, and an Administrator section!

RBERN Announcements: SAVE THE DATE!

Targets of Measurement & Performance Level Descriptors

February 10 @ GST BOCES

This workshop engages participants in a variety of activities all geared toward deeper understandings of constructs that impact the NYSESLAT assessment and, therefore, instruction for ELLs. This will be accomplished through information sharing, work in dyads, collaborative reflection, whole group and small group work. Participants will examine a piece of expository text, identify and compare content vs. linguistic demands, connect them to the ToM through crafted questions. Participants will additionally craft their own NYSESLAT type of questions that connect to ToMs.

Don’t forget to visit the RBERN library to check out books and other resources. We even have iPads we can loan out for you to pilot in your classroom.

Rigor and ELLs

February 24 @ GST BOCES, April 15 @ OCM BOCES

This workshop will show how instructional rigor and academic English can exist with ELLs. In spite of its reputation, academic rigor does not have to be a negative when it comes to ELL students in your classroom. With proper support & guidance, ELL students can demonstrate an in-depth mastery of challenging tasks as they develop cognitive skills (quality of thinking not quantity). Implementing concepts and resources from a variety of sources (Barbara Blackburn, Willard R. Daggett, Tony Wagner, Robin Scarcella, Kate Kinsella, Lily Wong-Fillmore, Linda New Levine & Laura Lukens, among others) we will examine how instructional rigor and academic English can exist with ELLs.

New York ELL Leadership Institute

February 29 in Albany

Participants will be able to review the shifts of the Blueprint for ELL Success and CR Part 154, and how they connect to each other. They will also be given the chance to create an implementation plan for ELL success, with support and feedback. In addition they will document, analyze, reflect, and share their best practices with other districts throughout NYS.

NYSESLAT Turnkey Training

Statewide NYSESLAT Training of the Trainer Two-Day Event Presented by Metritech, the developer of the NYSESLAT. Participants must be responsible for training the scorers for the Spring 2016 NYSESLAT in their respective districts and should be a qualified and experienced scorer and/or scoring trainer.

  • Option 1 – Mid-West Region, March 21–22

    For more information contact:

    Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES
    Mid-West RBERN
    3599 Big Ridge Road, Spencerport NY 14559
    Phone: (585) 352-2704
    Fax: 585-352-2613
    Email: VKellers@monroe2boces.org
  • Option 2 – At OCM BOCES, March 30 & April 1

    Seating is limited. Districts are permitted to send only one representative to one of the two trainings offered by Mid-State RBERN. Participants must be responsible for training the scorers for the upcoming Spring 2016 NYSESLAT in their respective districts and should be a qualified and experienced scorer and/or scoring trainer.

The purpose of these training sessions will be to train participants to become familiar and apply the content and dimensions of the Speaking and Writing Rubrics from the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT). By using rubrics to reliably and validly score the constructed-response items in the Speaking and Writing subtests, participants will learn how to conduct training for local educators.

The training sessions will be administered by Mid-State RBERN resource specialists who will provide overall facilitation of the training sessions. Foci of the training will include:

  1. To review the structure and design of the NYSESLAT;
  2. To provide training on the content and dimensions of the Speaking and Writing Rubrics;
  3. To demonstrate the application of the Speaking and Writing Rubrics to selected audio and written student responses; and
  4. To provide outlines of how local educators should be trained to score Speaking and Writing, and how local scoring of Writing should be conducted/executed.

Co-Teaching Models for ELs/ELLs/MLLs Workshop

March 9 at the Syracuse Teacher Center

Minimum Requirement for Participation: Co-teaching Teams must consist of an administrator, ESOL and Content Area Teacher. Co-teaching teams will examine the co-teaching models used for the integrated instruction of ELs. Teams will also explore defining a vision for collaboration as well as discuss the need to reframe the role of the ENL teacher to increase the effective collaboration between grade level/content and ENL teachers. Alignment to the BluePrint for ELL Success: Principle 1: All teachers are teachers of English Learners and need to plan accordingly. Principle 6: District and school communities leverage the expertise of bilingual, ESL, and Language Other Than English (LOTE) teachers and support personnel while increasing their professional capacities.

Building the ELL Brain for Language and Academic Success

March 11 @ OCM BOCES

Despite educators' best efforts to teach students English as quickly as possible, the process is often extremely slow and many may never develop academic English fluency. Complicating the process may be the additional constraint of poverty. Join Dr. Martha Burns as she reviews the newest research on the ELL brain, the impact of poverty on the brain, the advantages of true bilingualism, and how effective technological adjuncts can build the English brain, quickly, moving ELL students to proficiency.

Bilingual Education Institute-Dual Language Programming featuring Dr. Sonia Soltero

March16 & 17 by invite only

This two day institute facilitated by dual and bilingual education expert Dr. Sonia Soltero of DePaul University will guide participants through the design and implementation of dual language programs. Participants will explore and discuss the following topics: Current Research on the Benefits of Bilingualism and Biliteracy, Current Trends and Research on Dual Language Education, Seal of Biliteracy, Dual Language Fundamentals: Goals and Models, Creating Sustainable Quality Dual Language Programs, Leadership and Administrative Supports, Teacher Qualifications and Professional Development, Instructional Materials and Resources, Short Term and Long Term Planning, Family and Community Participation, Student Assessment and program Evaluation.

Integrating English Language Development and Content Area Learning: A Conversation-Based Approach

February 1-June 16, offered by Stanford University

This is designed to help teachers use conversations to develop students' language, literacy, and thinking skills within content area classrooms. The course addresses how to create a culture of conversation in your classroom, as well as how you can use conversations to teach the skills of interpretation, argumentation, and application across disciplines.

Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering Language for College and Career Readiness (Spring 2016)

February 18-May 3, offered by Stanford University

This course looks closely at student-to-student conversations and addresses ways to improve students' abilities to engage in the types of interactions described in the new standards.

TESOL International Convention, 2016: Reflecting Forward

April 5-8, Baltimore, Md.

Language Learning and Language Disability Conference –SAVE THE DATE! (May 6 at OCM BOCES) The conference will feature three tracks of learning specifically designed by resource and instructional specialists at The Mid-State RSE-TASC and RBERN for ENL and Content area teachers, Special Education teachers and Administrators to ground them in their understanding of ELLs and SWDS. Then participants in their respective district teams will apply key takeaways and apply them to address key questions to consider when determining if an English Language Learner is having difficulty in school based on common second language acquisition issues and/or if the learner is showing signs of a learning disability. In addition, teams will take steps in the development of a district data collection tool with the guidance of keynote speaker, Dr. Audrey Cohan of Molloy College

Scaffolding Instruction in the Integrated ENL Classroom Workshop

May 12 at OCM BOCES

Minimum Requirement for Participation: Co-teaching Teams must consist of an administrator, ESOL and Content Area Teacher. Overview Co-teaching teams will review and discuss the shifts in the CCLS, their impact on ELs and how to effectively teach academic language to ELs in tandem with content. Teams will participate in activities exploring how to choose appropriate academic vocabulary to teach ELs and how to scaffold instruction for ELs at different levels of proficiency. Alignment to the BluePrint for ELL Success: Principle 3: Districts and schools engage all English Language Learners in instruction that is grade-appropriate, academically rigorous, and aligned with the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core and P- 12 Common Core Learning Standards.

Planning for Effective Instruction of ELs in 2016-17 Workshop

June 1 at OCM BOCES

Reflecting upon the implementation of CR Part 154 in 2015-16, participants will examine their building schedules to ensure ENL teachers can collaborate effectively with content teachers. Alignment to the BluePrint for ELL Success: Principle 2: All school boards and district/school leaders are responsible for ensuring that the academic, linguistic, social, and emotional needs of ELLs are addressed.

NYS TESOL 46th Annual Conference, 2016: Collaboration in the ENL Classroom and Beyond, Syracuse, November 4 & 5, 2016

Resource Spotlight

Content Corner

This month we’re highlighting scaffolding. Scaffolding is a strategy that can be done in all content areas. In Rebecca Alber’s article, On the Spot Scaffolding for Students, she first explains the difference between scaffolding and differentiating a lesson, and then gives three tips for how to scaffold on the spot in your classroom.

Hey Look! Another great resource!


The GO TO Strategies: Scaffolding Options for Teachers of English Language Learners, K-12 click here, scroll to the bottom of page, and download the PDF.

Home Strategies

This guide for parents will inform them of what to expect with the Common Core Standards and how they can help their children meet these expectations at home.

Parent’s Backpack Guide to Common Core State Standards

Newcomer Nook

Judie Haynes’ website, Everything ESL, has a great article about activities for newcomers located here. She offers 11 tips for classroom teachers to help ease student transition into the classroom and support their learning needs.

Tech Tips

Vocabulist allows students to upload a document, select unknown words, and Vocabulist will provide definitions for those words. Students can then download their words and definitions as a PDF or send it to Quizlet, where it can be turned into digital flashcards. Thanks to Richard Byrne from Free Tech 4 Teachers for this idea.

Newsela Articles from national and regional sources that are formatted at different reading levels. Each article comes with a quiz and writing prompt.

For Administrators

Administrators play such an important role in maintaining an environment in which ELLs can succeed.Colorin Colorado provides many great sources of ENL information for administrators. Click here to read this blog by Dr. Ayanna Cooper who discusses four steps to strengthen your ENL Program.


Regional News and Events

The Many Faces of Newcomers Friday, February 26, 2016 8:30–3:30 at Salvatore’s Italian Garden, 6461 Transit Rd, Depew, NY 14043. 716‐683‐7990. Cost $50; Includes continental breakfast, lunch and book; Making the Transition by Helaine Marshall, Ph.D. Deadline to register: Monday, February, 15, 2016. No on-site registration.


Coming Next Month


Check out Mid-State RBERN’s blog!


Here’s the ISS Blog and here are the Mid-State RBERN Entries. Please let us know what you think!

Contact Us

p: 315.433.2664 | e: rbern@ocmboces.org | w: http://rbern.ocmboces.org

Follow Us Online

Ed-News sign up here OCM BOCES Instructional Support (IS) offers specialized E-Newsletters centered around our different departments. To view the choices or to sign up, visit our E-News Sign-up page. You may unsubscribe at any time. Like us on Facebook Check out our blog Read our Tweets Visit our website Visit
© 2016 OCM BOCES Instructional Support. For more info, contact Tanya Rosado-Barringer

Get the OCM BOCES Instructional Support App free here