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Measuring Success: Defining Quality Education for Multilingual Students

Thursday, October 26, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Teacher and student on the computer.

Presented by Dr. José Viana, Senior Education Advisor, Lexia Learning; Breanna Guzman, Senior Language Product Specialist, Lexia Learning; Dr. Linda Cavazos, Executive Director, ELLAS Consulting (English Learner Leadership Advocacy Support); and Martha Hernandez, Executive Director, Californians Together
Moderated by Cassandra Wheeler, Director of Lexia LETRS® State Success, Lexia Learning

Sponsored by Lexia Learning

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Emergent bilingual students need different academic supports and structures than their monolingual peers, and many educators have to rely on instructional models designed for students who already speak English—leading to a disconnect for our ELL students. Ensuring all emergent bilingual and multilingual students have access to a quality education first requires defining what that education looks like.

Lexia Learning’s Cassandra Wheeler (Director of LETRS State Success) and Breanna Guzman (Senior Language Product Specialist) with Dr. Linda Cavazos (Executive Director of ELLAS Consulting) and Martha Hernandez (Executive Director of Californians Together) broke down what a quality education for emergent bilinguals looks like, diving deeper into how second languages are learned, where and how that learning occurs, and how teachers themselves learn and develop as expert professionals.

In this session, viewers gain understanding of the value oral discourse brings to literacy learning, how to implement effective ELD practices across districts, schools, and classrooms, and useful resources for creating language frames on a practical level.

This recorded edLeader Panel is of interest to PreK-12 teachers, ELL and ESOL specialists, librarians, school and district leaders, and education technology leaders.

This edLeader Panel is part of Emergent Bilingual Week: A New Era in Multilingualism.

This five-day event, October 23rd – 27th was designed to inspire educators and leaders in service of our 5 million+ multilingual students across the country. Our expert-led panel discussions brought you the latest research, strategies, and tools to celebrate the assets every student brings to the classroom.

José Viana

About the Presenters

Dr. José Viana joined Lexia Learning in December 2019, bringing 30 years of experience in education. A former English learner himself, his career began in Miami, Florida where he taught English to speakers of other languages. During his time in the classroom, Dr. Viana strategically incorporated technology through blended learning in order for emergent bilingual students to fully participate and thus accelerate their proficiency in English and ability to meet academic goals.

Dr. Viana was most recently the Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director of the Office of English Language Acquisition at the United States Department of Education. In this role, he was responsible for the overall leadership, management, and direction of education for English language learners nationwide. He also oversaw the development and dissemination of discretionary grants, research studies, and resources that guide education practice and policy to meet the needs of our country’s emergent bilingual students.

Dr. Viana holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Florida International University and a master’s degree in Computer Education from Barry University. He completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership at North Carolina State University.

Linda Cavazos

Dr. Linda Cavazos is the Executive Director of ELLAS Consulting (English Learner Leadership Advocacy Support). She is a technical assistance provider and researcher with 30 years of experience in education supporting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners and directing projects in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, literacy, and cultural and linguistic competence, responsiveness, and sustainability. Dr. Cavazos began her professional career as a bilingual English and Spanish teacher before becoming a bilingual reading interventionist. She then wrote curricula in English and Spanish for 10 years in the areas of reading, writing, math, and science for grades K-8. She has provided capacity building and technical assistance support and coaching at the national, state, regional, and local levels through the delivery of high-quality professional development, evaluation, data analysis, and creation of tools and resources. Dr. Cavazos has focused on preparing teachers to effectively provide academic interventions to English learners who struggle to learn and culturally and linguistically diverse students. She has also conducted program audits to ensure programs are equitable and support the needs of English learners. She has worked for various federally funded centers and has obtained competitive state and federal grants to conduct research in the areas of English learner programs, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and special education. Her research focuses on how these topics intersect and on improving the academic outcomes of English learners.

Martha Hernandez

Martha Hernandez is the Executive Director for Californians Together, a coalition of education, civil rights, parent/caregiver, community, and advocacy organizations, that champions the educational success of California’s more than 1.1 million English learners. Her 42 years of California public school experience includes serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the Fillmore Unified School District, as Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Ventura County Office of Education, and as a district administrator, principal, staff developer, and bilingual and special education teacher in various districts. She was also the Director of Bilingual Teacher Training at California Lutheran University and served as past president of California Association for Bilingual Education. Martha was appointed by the Senate Rules Committee to serve on the California Department of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission. In 2014, she was appointed by the California State Board of Education to serve as the Co-Chair of the California ELA/ELD Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee. Her work now focuses on biliteracy with an expansion of the California Seal of Biliteracy, the implementation of new English learner policy, the California English Learner Roadmap, and effective literacy for emergent bilingual and English learner students.

Breanna Guzman

About the Facilitator

Breanna Guzman is a Senior Language Product Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education/Spanish, a Master of Science degree in TESOL, and an Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate in Grades 1–6 and ESOL PreK–12. Her professional experience includes teaching Spanish, third grade, first grade, and ESOL, as well as coaching classroom teachers, organizing professional development, and managing ELL programs. Dedicated to education and advocacy for emergent bilinguals as a dual-language learner herself, Breanna helped to develop a new product to support the English development of emergent bilinguals.

Cassandra Wheeler

About the Moderator

Cassandra Wheeler completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham before returning home to Montgomery Public Schools and beginning her career as an educator at Morningview Elementary School. After earning her master’s degree and administrative certification, Cassandra joined the Alabama Reading Initiative, where she authored Alabama’s Reading First Initiative grant and managed Alabama’s statewide DIBELS® pilot. After serving the children of Alabama for 10 years, Cassandra expanded her outreach to impact students everywhere by joining the (then) Voyager Expanded Learning organization and, finally, Lexia®, where she serves as the first Director of Lexia LETRS® State Success.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Supporting Emergent Bilingual Students community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


Lexia

Lexia®, a Cambium Learning Group company, is the Structured Literacy expert. For nearly 40 years, the company has focused solely on literacy, and today provides science of reading-based solutions for both students and educators. With robust offerings for differentiated instruction, personalized learning, assessment, and professional learning, Lexia helps more learners read, write, and speak with confidence. For more information, visit www.lexialearning.com.


Multilingualism is a superpower.

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