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Summer Webinar Series

May 24 - August 16, 2017



Join our series of interesting webinars for ESL/bilingual educators ranging from topics about online instructional tools, inclusive education, teaching English, assessment adaptations, and closing the achievement gap for culturally diverse students, our webinars offer ideas to make everyday life in a classroom more engaging for educators and learners.


Date:     Friday, August 4, 2017
Time:     10:00 - 11:00 am CDT

Title: Using Readings and Video Clips to Increase Students' Vocabulary
Presenter: Matthew Huseby

Helping students increase their vocabulary is essential for their language development. Engaging students with stories can provide an excellent opportunity to work on increasing their vocabulary. Examples of reading passages and video clips that can help boost their vocabulary will be shared. Audience participation in this webinar will be encouraged.

Matthew Huseby, M.A., has taught ESL in the Chicago area since 1990.


Date:     Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Time:     10:00 - 11:00 am CDT

Title: Big Bird Lied to You: The truth about nouns and noun phrases
Presenter: William Stone


One of the challenges faced by TESOL instructors today, whether they work with kindergarteners or adults, is the sad fact that much of the instructional material available to us seems to be completely unaffected by any research in the fields of Linguistics or TESOL in the past sixty years. A large part of what we find seems to have been written by people who received their grammar instruction from Sesame Street. Most online and printed sources, describe a noun as “the name of a person, place or thing”. A few of the more rigorous sites and texts will add “idea”. I’ve also seen “concept” and “institution” added to the list. In this presentation, I will demonstrate why this definition is both erroneous and futile. While coming up with a grammar based definition of this grammatical entity (rather than a semantic one), I will also discuss better ways of teaching nouns and noun phrases to ELLs. In addition, I will cover issues that teachers often experience with pronouns, possessives and the highly dubious gerund and look at ways we can bring the truth to our ELLs without overwhelming them.

William Stone, Ph.D. taught EFL for six years in Tunisia at l’Université de Tunis, for four years in Qatar where he taught at the British Council, elementary and high school and for three years in the Sultanate of Oman where he taught for the Royal Guard. He taught ESL in Chicagoland for ten years at various universities and seminaries and at community college. He earned his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Northwestern University. He has worked in teacher training on the TESOL faculty of Northeastern Illinois University since 1999. His main interests are the natural pairing of grammar and humor.


Date:    Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Time:     11:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT

Title: Assessment Adaptations in the Dual Language Classroom
Presenters: José Medina and Tatyana Vdovina

Dual language program implementation requires that equity is ensured for all students.  This includes teacher-created classroom assessments that provide data and drive targeted instruction in both program languages. Specifically, strand one of the Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education addresses the importance of assessment and accountability in the success of dual language and bilingual education programming.  Because most classroom assessments are embedded in language, content assessments almost always become language assessments with students’ language proficiency acting as a confounding variable that may prevent them from fully demonstrating their content knowledge (Lacelle-Peterson, 2000; Geisinger Geisinger 2003).  The purpose of this webinar is to provide teachers with tools that will help adapt the language of teacher-created content assessments in the dual language classroom. Examples of adapted assessments in both English and Spanish, at various grade levels, will be shared as a means to ensure that each student in a dual language classroom is able to demonstrate their content knowledge regardless of language proficiency.

Dr. José Medina presently serves as the CAL Solutions Director for Dual Language and Bilingual Education.  He guides CAL’s work with professional development, specifically targeting the needs of emergent bilingual students and the educators that serve them. Bilingual in English and Spanish, José was the Director of Bilingual and ESL Education in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District prior to coming to CAL.  In that role, José provided guidance, professional development, and implemented systems to ensure that all elementary, middle, and high school teachers were well equipped to effectively meet English learners’ needs.  Prior to accepting the CFBISD district leadership position, José was the founding campus Principal at Ruth Barron Elementary School, dual one-way and two-way campus, in the Pflugerville Independent School District (PISD). In over twenty years of service in the field of education, José has worked as an educator and school administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. 


Bilingual in Russian and English, Tatyana Vdovina is a Pre-K–12 Professional Development Specialist at the Center for Applied Linguistics. Prior to moving to the PreK-12 ELL Professional Development division she was the Training Materials coordinator for the WIDA Access for ELLs K-12 English language proficiency assessment. Tatyana is also currently an instructor at the Montgomery County Community College in the Teacher Education program where she teaches courses focused on assessment of English learners. Prior to coming to CAL Tatyana taught ESL/EFL and Russian language in Maryland.?