El Poder de la Oración: The Power of a Sentence to Engage Academic Language Learners
Writing involves the highest level of student engagement with content; yet for many teachers and students it is the most dreaded activity. When the additional language and vocabulary obstacles faced by English Language Learners are considered, the importance of making writing relevant and doable becomes even more apparent. Knowing that oral and written language development are both essential for English Language Learners’ academic success, participants will 1.) learn powerful speaking and listening protocols that cultivate language, 2.) learn engaging writing activities that build vocabulary and sophisticated sentence structure, 3.) shift their focus to strength before length in writing assignments. Through these protocols and strategies, teachers can meet ELL’s where they are and quickly build their writing competence and confidence.
Stemming from her background in special education (deaf and hard of hearing emphasis), Amber Parks has always been fascinated by the importance of making language as concrete as possible for students. Particularly for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, the need for language to be visual is paramount for their comprehension and use of new vocabulary. Along with students with hearing loss, she also taught English as a second language to students in Spain and South Africa and continues to work with many English language learners in classrooms across the country. Throughout her teaching career, students continually challenged her to find ways to visually show thinking processes and language structures. As she worked with teachers and students on three continents, she developed a revolutionary approach to writing, Writing with Design (www.writingwithdesign.com). She’s now on a mission to transform the caliber of language and writing development in classrooms across the country by combining her expertise in language acquisition for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, her experience teaching English as a second language, and her passion for writing.
With over 33 years of teaching experience working with English language learners, bilingual educator, Joy Wenke believes everyone is an academic language learners. She is on a mission to maximize Tier 1 instruction in classrooms for the purpose of nurturing independent and critical readers and writers. For the last 7 years, she has worked as a consultant and professional learning community coach to help teachers improve their Tier 1 instructional practices through providing professional development in close reading of complex text, writing, English language development, best practices for student engagement, and model lessons in classrooms. Woven throughout her work is the fundamental flow of the development of literacy skills from listening and speaking to reading and writing. By using systemic protocols to support accountable talk in classrooms, students demonstrate that the ability to speak well is the fundamental precursor to coherent and vivid writing. Joy has trained teachers across the United States in the best practices that support well-balanced literacy programs. Passionate about equity for all students, she has the skills and ability to help teachers become facilitators of engaging and purposeful learning environments.