This conference, held in San Antonio, TX, on July 22, 2014, explored evidence-based strategies and recommendations for improving English language academic instruction.

Conference Agenda Back to event page

Time Session Archived Resources
8:00–9:00 a.m. Sign-In  
9:00–9:15 a.m.

Welcome, Introductions, and Overview

  • Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, Chief Deputy Commissioner, Texas Education Agency, Austin, TX
  • Vicki Dimock, PhD, REL Southwest Director, SEDL, Austin, TX

This opening session provides an overview of the Regional Educational Laboratory Program and the conference.

9:15–10:15 a.m.

WWC English Learners Practice Guide: Overview and Recommendations 1–3

  • Nonie K. Lesaux, PhD, Practice Guide Panel Member, Professor, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

This session introduces the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) English Learners practice guide, with a focus on Recommendations 1–3.

10:15–10:30 a.m.

WWC English Learners Practice Guide: Recommendation 4 and Summary of Evidence

  • Russell Gersten, PhD, Practice Guide Research Staff, Executive Director, Instructional Research Group, Los Alamitos, CA

This session presents an overview of Recommendation 4 and summarizes the level of evidence behind the practice guide’s recommendations.

10:30–10:45 a.m.

Break

 
10:45 a.m.–Noon

Breakout Sessions I

 
 

Implementing the Practice Guide’s Recommendations in the Classroom: Academic Vocabulary, Content-Area Instruction, and Writing

  • Joseph Dimino, PhD, Practice Guide Research Staff, Deputy Executive Director, Instructional Research Group, Los Alamitos, CA
  • Joan Morris, Practice Guide Panel Member, Teacher Specialist, Retired, Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena, CA

In this interactive session, participants learn and practice evidence-based strategies addressed in Recommendations 1, 2, and 3 of the practice guide. These strategies include selecting vocabulary to teach, developing effective vocabulary lessons, and using graphic organizers to anchor instruction and as a springboard for writing activities.

 

Implementing the Practice Guide’s Recommendations: Policy Implications

  • Susie Coultress, State Director, Bilingual/ESL/Title III/Migrant, Texas Education Agency, Austin, TX
  • Icela Pelayo, PhD, State Director, Bilingual Multicultural Education Bureau, New Mexico Public Education Department, Santa Fe, NM
  • Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, Chief Deputy Commissioner, Texas Education Agency, Austin, TX

Leaders from the state departments of education of New Mexico and Texas provide an update on programs for English learners in their respective states and share how the new practice guide recommendations will affect their states.

 

Implementing the Practice Guide’s Recommendations in the Classroom: Quality English and Science Teaching

  • Diane August, PhD, Managing Researcher, Education Program, American Institutes for Research (AIR), Washington, DC

Project QuEST is a successful intervention that builds science knowledge and literacy skills in middle school English learners and their English-proficient peers in the same classroom. This session explains how the QuEST intervention aligns with the practice guide's recommendations and the attributes that make the intervention effective for English learners.

Noon–1:00 p.m.

Working Lunch

Findings from Intervention Studies with English Learners

  • Sharon Vaughn, PhD, Executive Director, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Participants learn about two separate academic interventions for English learners, along with research findings and implications. The first intervention targeted English learners with low reading skills and was found to be effective in four different randomized controlled trials (RCTs): two assessing English literacy skills and two assessing Spanish literacy skills. The second intervention included English-as-a-second-language enhancements with social studies instruction.

1:00–1:15 p.m.

Transition Break

 
1:15–2:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions II

 
 

Implementing the Practice Guide’s Recommendations in the Classroom: Academic Vocabulary, Content-Area Instruction, and Writing

  • Joseph Dimino, PhD, Practice Guide Research Staff, Deputy Executive Director, Instructional Research Group, Los Alamitos, CA
  • Joan Morris, Practice Guide Panel Member, Teacher Specialist, Retired, Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena, CA

Repeated from Breakout Session I.

See Breakout Session I for materials.
 

Developing Teachers of English Learners: Preservice to Inservice

  • Philip Capin, District Literacy Liaison, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
  • Altagracia “Gracie” Guerrero, EdD, Assistant Superintendent, Multilingual Programs Department, Houston Independent School District, Houston, TX
  • Louise Ramone, Navajo Language Teacher, Farmington Municipal Schools, Farmington, NM

In this panel discussion, three educators from the Southwest discuss how they prepare and support teachers of English learners. The panel offers the perspectives of a teacher and two professional development leaders, one with a statewide project and one with a district.

 

Implementing the Practice Guide’s Recommendations in the Classroom: Quality English and Science Teaching

  • Diane August, PhD, Managing Researcher, Education Program, American Institutes for Research (AIR), Washington, DC

Repeated from Breakout Session I.

See Breakout Session I for materials.
2:30–2:40 p.m.

Transition Break

 
2:40–3:00 p.m.

Where Do We Go From Here?

  • Vicki Dimock, PhD, REL Southwest Director, SEDL, Austin, TX
  • Russell Gersten, PhD, Practice Guide Research Staff, Executive Director, Instructional Research Group, Los Alamitos, CA