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Bilingual Education & English as a New Language

Resources from OBEWL and the ELL Leadership Council

The English Language Learner (ELL) Leadership Council is a group of approximately 70 English as a New Language Directors from around New York State (NYS) who meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices related to ELLs.  This council has met regularly for the past five years to provide a direct line of communication between the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) and ELL administrators from the districts with the highest enrollment of ELLs in NYS.  Within the ELL Leadership Council, five workgroups were created in response to COVID-19 school closures in the spring of 2020 to research and create resources to address the following issues:

  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Compliance Advisory Council
  • Progress Monitoring, Feedback & Engagement Strategies
  • Strengthening ELL Instruction in Response to COVID-19 Closures
  • Adapting ELL Instruction in a post COVID-19 Learning Environment

Below are some resources that have been developed from these workgroups thus far.  More will be added as they are completed.

From the Progress Monitoring, Feedback & Engagement Strategies workgroup:

From the Compliance workgroup:

From Strengthening ELL Instruction in Response to COVID-19 Closures workgroup:

The closure of schools across New York State due to COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with students, the way we communicate with parents and students, the way we assess, the way we grade, the way we teach, and the way we provide targeted instruction to our students across the state. The Strengthening Instruction in Response to COVID-19 Closures Workgroup, from the English Language Learner (ELL) Leadership Council, works to develop resources aligned the Principles of the Blueprint to support all teachers of Multilingual Learners (MLs), which include: current ELLs​, students who were once ELLs but have exited out of ELL status​, students who were never ELLs but are heritage speakers of a language other than English, and world languages students.

Topic 1: Using Translation as a Support Not a Solution

The targeted audience for the Using Translations as a Support Not a Solution resource are all educators from K-12 that work with ELLs & MLs. This resource will help you explore four instructional strategies: Bridging Languages, Using Students’ Home Language (L1), Using Cognates, and Using Translations. It is highly recommended that educators implement the first three strategies, before using translations for instruction.

Topic 2: Communicating and Engaging with Families of Multilingual Learners

This resource focuses on providing high leverage practices for educators across the state on how to maintain and promote an ongoing communication and engagement with the parents of MLs.

The main objectives for Topic 2 include reviewing the importance of engaging families in open communication, identifying useful strategies for maintaining ongoing communication with the families of MLs, and sharing different methods, tips, and tools to engage families and improve the communication between the home, the district, and the school.

Professional Learning Webinars

The Council meets twice a month, with one business meeting and one professional learning opportunity.  Below are links to the recorded professional learning workshops since September 2020.  An additional video will be made available each month on this website as well as on the NYSRBERNOnDemand site for districts to use as internal professional learning.

Virtual Engagement - September 29, 2020 - G. Bailey, M. Soares, S. Strock, R. Wasilewski

Prioritizing Standards to Address Learning Loss - October 27, 2020 - H. Rubin, C. Stevenson

Progress Monitoring / NYS Seal of Biliteracy - November 17, 2020 - K. Lowell, J. Waterhouse / C. Black, D. Mumper, S. Sweet