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The Language Lens: Deconstructing Linguistic Blind Spots to Support English Learners

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT

Support English Learners in the Classroom

Presented by Dr. Amy Heineke, Associate Professor and Co-chair, Teacher Education, School of Education at Loyola University Chicago

Sponsored by VIPKid

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Language is central to all we do in schools, including teaching, learning, understanding, and communicating. But often we don’t stop and critically consider our use of language in the classroom and how it might deter or promote student learning and achievement. While teachers may be experts in pedagogy and particular content areas, there is a need to build awareness of linguistic blind spots. In other words, teachers interested in helping their students learn the content deeply will need to carefully consider the language used to teach and assess it.

The need for sensitivity to language has never been greater as schools now serve a large and growing number of students who speak a language other than English at home. In this edWebinar, Dr. Amy Heineke shares how Understanding by Design® (UbD) provides an ideal framework to support language simultaneous to content learning. A purposefully designed UbD unit, drafted with an explicit lens on language, paves the way for classroom implementation where students actively and interactively use disciplinary language while developing and deepening content understandings. The first step is analyzing the pertinent and prevalent language that students need to achieve the overarching learning goals, which will be the focus of the presentation.

Dr. Heineke also shares insights from her co-authored book, Using Understanding by Design in the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classroom. This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to K-12 teachers and school and district leaders.

About the Presenter

Dr. Amy Heineke is an associate professor and co-chair of teacher education in the School of Education at Loyola University Chicago, where she prepares educators for work with students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, specifically those labeled as English learners. Amy has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters to inform and improve the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students, as well as three books, including her most recent with Jay McTighe entitled Using Understanding by Design in the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classroom. Amy’s current efforts in educational research, reform, and advocacy stem from her time as a classroom teacher in Phoenix, Arizona, where she worked with primarily Mexican immigrant and Mexican-American students and families.


Join the Helping ELL/ESL Students Succeed community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

VIPKID Logo VIPKid is a global education technology company that connects children with the world’s best teachers for real-time online English immersion learning. VIPKid’s mission is to inspire and empower every child for the future. VIPKid believes that education is not one-size-fits-all, rather all students are unique and the world is within their reach when connected with great teachers capable of personalizing learning and sparking curiosity.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT
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