This series of free online modules is focused on enhancing academic outcomes for English learners (ELs) by increasing the capacity of school and district professionals to effectively meet the needs of ELs through research-based and effective practices and strategies and adherence to federal and state policies. These online modules were developed by the CT RESC Alliance in collaboration with the CT State Department of Education and consist of a video presentation and access to useful resources for teachers. These professional learning opportunities are funded through Title III statewide activities funds.

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MODULE DESCRIPTIONS


Cultural Competence and English Learners *NEW*

In this module, participants will explore some of the deeper factors of our systems, institutions, and selves that impact the experiences of English learners. Participants will learn about the most essential components of culturally relevant pedagogy, what it looks like, and why it is important for all students and essential for English learners. In addition, participants will become more aware of and knowledgeable about the many factors that comprise identity, and understand that culturally competent teachers are aware of their own beliefs, attitudes, and biases. 

Participants will explore how to create lesson materials and deliver content that affirms, integrates, and allows students to use their own cultural identities, perspectives, experiential referents, and worldviews in learning (Gay, 2010) and ways to empower students and families in their institutions and instruction for social and academic success (Gay, 2010; Ladson-Billings, 1995).

Audience: Classroom teachers PreK-12, TESOL/bilingual teachers, coordinators, coaches, and administrators


English Learners in CT Schools: Guidelines for Administrators *NEW*

In order to create equitable and inclusive learning environments for English learners, it is crucial that leaders in education first build awareness of laws, mandates, and policies that guide the best-practice programming decisions for English learners.  As such, the CT State Department of Education has developed the English Learners in Connecticut’s Public Schools: Guidelines for Administrators, which outlines the responsibilities districts have to appropriately service the English learner population.  In this module, participants will engage in interactive protocols and activities focusing on the critical elements of the guide.

Participants will build awareness of the purpose of the English Learners in Connecticut’s Public Schools: Guidelines for Administrators and engage in interactive protocols and activities to both understand the district responsibilities and build the capacity to create accessible programming for English learners.

Audience: TESOL/bilingual teachers, coordinators, coaches, and administrators


Designing Accessible Learning Experiences for English Learners in Secondary Classrooms

In this module, participants will learn about the impacts of second language acquisition on student performance and instructional strategies aligned to the principles of effective pedagogy to better meet the needs of all learners in secondary classrooms. By examining research-based practices for English learners and the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), participants will understand how effective instruction for English learners is shaped by the students' strengths and abilities, not deficits; engage learners; and provide pathways for accessing course content.

This module will focus on constructing critical points of access for English learners in planning, instruction, and assessment, such as goal-setting and language objectives, accessing texts and tasks using tech tools, while focusing on meeting the expectations of secondary courses. 

Audience: 6-12 secondary classroom teachers, instructional coaches, coordinators, TESOL/bilingual teachers, administrators


Digging to the Core: Respectful Tasks and Texts for English Learners in Secondary Classrooms

In this module, participants will learn how to engage English learners (ELs) at all proficiency levels in learning experiences in secondary classrooms. Participants will learn about the impacts of second language acquisition on student performance and what approaches teachers can use to meet the diverse needs of ELs and course goals, including using the CT English Language Proficiency (CELP) Standards and approaches from Universal Design for Learning (UDL).  Participants will learn how to analyze tasks and texts for complexity and depth of knowledge with a focus on access points for ELs at all ability and proficiency levels.

This learning experience will focus on strategies for determining and designing critical points of access for ELs to complex texts and tasks in secondary courses, and on creating a framework for effective lesson design to meet the diverse needs of ELs.  

Audience: 6-12 secondary classroom teachers, instructional coaches, coordinators, TESOL/bilingual teachers, administrators


Effective Pedagogy for English Learners: Theory vs. Practice

In this module, participants will explore theoretical frameworks for effective instruction for English learners (ELs) to increase the capacity of teachers to meet the diverse needs of ELs in K-12 classrooms.

By examining research-based practices and principles of best practice for ELs, the CELP Standards, and second language acquisition theories, participants will understand how intentional decision-making about ELs can positively impact student performance. This workshop will support teachers of ELs in making instructional decisions about access for English learners, such as goal setting and language objectives, accessing texts and course content using technology tools, and constructing oral and written explanations or arguments, while focusing on meeting the course expectations.

Audience: ESL/bilingual teachers, instructional coaches, K-12 teachers of ELs, coordinators, administrators


English Learners in the Inquiry Process

In this module, participants will engage in a structured inquiry to answer their own compelling and/or driving questions about English learners (ELs) in the inquiry-based learning environments. Participants will use the CT English Language Proficiency (CELP) Standards to help interpret the performance of ELs in their classrooms and determine what supports are best suited for ELs at different levels of English language proficiency. Additionally, participants will gather specific information and methods in order to answer their questions. 

Participants will construct a response to an inquiry question about ELs in their inquiry-based learning environments and build capacity to support ELs--from newcomer to advanced--in the experience of science and social studies. 

Audience: Science and social studies teachers 3-12, TESOL/bilingual teachers, coordinators, coaches, and administrators


Processes and Procedures for Identifying English Learners

In this module, participants will learn about and review programming needs in their district by understanding identification, assessment, and placement regulations for the enrollment of English learners (ELs). The group will discuss and apply state updates to their district and school policies and/or practices. Additionally, participants will gather specific information and methods regarding advocating for and assisting ELs and their families as they adjust to new routines and norms.

By examining federal and state guidelines, participants will understand and determine best practices when faced with difficult scenarios regarding student transfers. Through a review of enrollment procedures and protocols for identifying ELs, participants will apply best practices for placing ELs in the appropriate grade level, course, or programs, in their districts and schools. Finally, this workshop will address the need to establish relationships and positive communication practices with ELs and their families in order to help students feel welcome and supported when they arrive.

Audience: TESOL/bilingual teachers, coordinators, guidance counselors, and administrators


Scaffolding to Support English Language Development

In this module, participants will learn about the benefits of thoughtful, effective scaffolding strategies for English Learners (ELs), as well as discover high-yield scaffolding practices to support their students in processing new learning and achieving learning goals in elementary classrooms. By examining research-based scaffolding techniques for ELs, participants will understand how scaffolds enable all students to experience, rather than avoid, the complexity of texts required by the Common Core State Standards.

Participants will learn how to scaffold literacy instruction and will be given opportunities to best determine what conscientious decisions to make when planning instruction and designing lessons to help students access complex text, to accelerate more ready learners, and to ensure their success in the classroom.

Audience: K-5 elementary classroom teachers, instructional coaches, coordinators, TESOL/bilingual teachers, administrators. Participants are encouraged to come in teams (e.g., elementary classroom teacher, coach/department chair, ESL teacher, administrator)


Teaching Oral Language Development & Foundational Reading Skills for English Learners

In this module, participants will learn about the stages of second language acquisition and language proficiency levels in order to build capacity to make better instructional decisions about English learners (ELs) in their classrooms in oral language development and reading. Through interactive experiences, participants will see the importance of oral language development to build comprehension as reading proficiency and overall English proficiency develops in ELs.

Participants will engage in research-based strategies that incorporate the five components of reading and address the needs of ELs. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to utilize basic strategies and research new resources that will engage EL students in reading and reflect on this new learning in their classrooms/schools.

Audience: PreK-3 elementary classroom teachers, instructional coaches, coordinators, TESOL/bilingual teachers, administrators.  Participants are encouraged to come in teams (e.g., classroom teacher, coach/department chair, ESL teacher, administrator)