Institute 17: Empowering All Teachers to Reach English Learners in Mainstream Classrooms
Reading Today Online asked all of the institute chairpersons for IRA San Antonio to respond to three questions designed to give our readers and all prospective attendees a better understanding of the insights and benefits they will gain from attending these day-long programs. Below are answers from Institute 17 Chair Mayra Daniel.
What is the professional urgency that this Institute is designed to address?
The number of English learners (ELs) enrolled in schools is growing at an unprecedented rate (Goldenberg, 2011). In the last 15 years, the growth rate increased by 150% nationwide. By 2015 it is projected that about 30% of the entire school-aged population in the United States will be linguistic minorities (Francis, M. Rivera, Lesaux, Kieffer, & R. Rivera, 2006). The time to focus on new revolutionary instructional paradigms that do the job is NOW. All teachers must prepare to be teachers of ELs.
What types of literacy professionals is the Institute designed for?
Empowering mainstream teachers to teach ELs effectively requires systemic teacher support that addresses appropriate strategies for content area instruction, and culturally responsive pedagogies. This institute is aimed at the mainstream teacher who has an interest in exploring and implementing innovative instructional paradigms that address ELs' success at levels K-12.
We can all acknowledge that the effective schoolhouse is replete with individuals who celebrate the knowledge that teachers, learners, and their families bring to the classroom. This institute is for us to celebrate what we do and keep on reaching higher scaffolds! This workshop is for teachers who want to make a difference in the life of their students!
Presentations will address the funds of knowledge of all who contribute to learning and highlight avenues to promote critical thinking and citizenship in ELs. Presenters will describe innovative instructional paradigms that creative teachers can implement to give ELs access to the curriculum at levels K-12. Presentations will offer insightful concrete ideas differentiated to target new and experienced teachers who yearn to know more.
How will attendance at this Institute help those literacy professionals “make a difference” in their work?
This institute will offer classroom teachers appropriate strategies to better instruct ELs in the process of learning English and keep them at grade level in the content areas. In addition, presenters know the reasons strategies are not enough and will therefore arm attendees with the knowledge they need to provide culturally sensitive pedagogies in the real world of schools.
Registration Information: This preconference institute will be held at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19 before the 58th International Reading Association Annual Convention begins on Saturday, April 20. Register online for this or another institute and/or to register for the annual convention. Call 888-294-9167 or 415-979-2278 to find out how to register by phone, fax, or mail.
Mayra Daniel also will present with Kouider Mokhtari at RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE: Meeting the Challenges of the Changing Demographics: Assessment and instruction that makes a positive difference in ELs’ Success on Saturday, April 20. To learn more about convention events in San Antonio, visit the annual convention website and the online itinerary planner (iPlanner), or read more Reading Today annual convention articles.