Professional Development for ESOL Teachers
There are many reasons to look on your own for PD for ESOL teachers. It can be challenging to stay aware of current research on language acquisition. You might have limited opportunities to collaborate with other ESOL teachers can be. This is especially true if you are one of the only ESOL teachers at your school. Some districts offer great professional development around diversity, ELLs, and academic vocabulary. In other cases some of the PD offer is mandatory but does not apply to what you are doing day to day in the classroom.
Here are a few resources to take your professional development into your own hands. A few of the options can even result in continuing education or graduate credit.
Boosting Achievement ESL Podcast Hosted by a high school ESL teacher and the author of Boosting Achievement. In each episode she interviews teachers and experts about strategies to support ELLs.
Cult of Pedagogy This podcast is about general teaching best practices with tips for supporting ELLs.It also has a number of episodes specific to teaching ELLs.
Classroom Q & A This is a podcast with short (around 10 minutes) session with ideas to support ELLs. It is created by Larry Ferlazzo.
VirtuEL This is an online conference for ESOL teachers. So far there are archives from 2018 & 2017.
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This book reviews current research on best practice for teaching ELLs and gives an overview of easy to implement strategies.
EL Excellence Every Day: The Flip-to Guide for Differentiating Academic Literacy This book has I can statements to use with students, ideas about how to support ELLs if they struggle with academic tasks, and many specific strategies to support ELLs in learning academic literacy.
Unlocking English Learners′ Potential: Strategies for Making Content Accessible The strategies in this book are written for ESOL and content teachers so that they can scaffold instruction and assessments to best meet the needs of ELLs. The book also emphasizes the importance of culture in learning a new language.
The K-3 Guide to Academic Conversations– This book gives practical strategies for using academic conversations with K-3 students. The book gives strategies and lessons to help students engage in high quality conversations about academic topics. It is a great addition to the original Academic Conversations book.
Surprisingly Twitter is a great place to find professional development information as an ESOL teacher. The easiest way is to search hashtags and then follow people that post in them. A few to start with are:
Learners Edge– This site has self paced online courses with the option to earn graduate credits after completing the coursework. . For most of the classes you receive a textbook as part of the price. If it is difficult for you to attend in person classes and your schedule changes week to week this is a great option. I have personally taken classes through this sight and loved how flexible it was to complete the work. They have an option to create your own independent study class if there is a book or topic you want to take a class on that they don’t offer. They also have a book study class where you meet with colleagues and discuss and reflect on a book of your choice also for credit.
English Learner Portal– This site offers classes specifically designed for ESOL teachers and those working with ELLs. The classes are self paced and they have an option to earn graduate credits after completing the coursework.