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Language, Culture and Identity

Events main page | Rock Around-the-World | Language, Culture and Identity

Language, Culture and Identity ConferenceLanguage, Culture and Identity Conference

Thursday, April 17, 8:30-3:30
Abromson Community Education Center
University of Southern Maine, Portland

A regional conference for educators, administrators, service providers and other personnel interested in language acquisition, academic achievement and social-emotional well-being of New Americans.

Register Now!

Conference Schedule

Okhee LeeKEYNOTE SPEAKER:
Okhee Lee is a professor in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. Her research areas include science education, language and culture, and teacher education. Her current research involves the scale-up of a model of a curricular and teacher professional development intervention to promote science learning and language development of English language learners. She served as the leader for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Diversity and Equity Team through Achieve Inc. and the Steering Committee for the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University.

 

A Sampling of Conference Workshops:

Vocabulary Instruction Across Content areas
Vocabulary is one of the greatest predictors of reading comprehension. Not comprehending just 5% of words in a text can make a text incomprehensible.  This workshop will demonstrate intentional teaching suggestions to increase academic vocabulary instruction in classrooms.   Using the book Learning Words Inside & Out by Nancy Frey & Douglas Fisher as a foundation, proven effective practices that engage students in vocabulary learning will be shared. 
 
Presenter: Brenda Gushee 
Brenda Gushee, has worked for Portland Public Schools since 1990 as a Title I teacher, Literacy Specialist and, currently, as an ELL teacher. Previously she was a Special Education teacher.  Brenda has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master's Degree in Literacy Education, and has completed USM's Leadership for Tomorrow's Schools program.

Creating Language Objectives without Tears
Providing ELLs with feedback on their academic language development is an effective way for general education teachers to support students’ academic success. Language objectives help shape opportunities for ELLs to be explicitly exposed to, practice with, and receive feedback on academic language skills. Using models and applied practice, participants will learn to create effective l anguage objectives from content learning objectives.

Presenter: Margot Downs, WIDA Certified Trainer
Margot’s main passion is building collaborative relationships between educators of all disciplines in order to leverage the assets of English language learners. She has 20 years of experience in the field of education, which includes ESL/EFL K-12 teaching, curriculum development, and teacher training.

Discover Your World
ELL teacher and author and diversity educator and illustrator will share strategies for global literacy that align with the Common Core Standards for informational text: Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas and Range of Reading/Level of Text Complexity.

Presenters: Margy Burns Knight and Anne Sibley O'Brien
Margy Burns Knight, a children’s book writer and career educator, has received the National Educa- tion Association’s Author-Illustrator Human & Civil Rights Award for her work with Anne Sibley O’Brien (Talking Walls and other books) and the Children’s Africana Book Award for Africa Is Not a Country (also illustrated by O’Brien). A Peace Corps veteran, she is a Service Learning Coordinator and English teacher.

Anne Sibley O’Brien has illustrated thirty-one books, including five titles by Margy Burns Knight. She is also the author of fourteen of those books, including The Legend of Hong Kil Dong: The Robin Hood
of Korea and A Path of Stars.

Promoting Science Among English Language Learners
(P-SELL) Scale-Up

P-SELL Scale-Up is a curricular and professional development project aimed at enhancing teachers’ science knowledge and teaching practices to improve science achievement of all students, especially ELLs, in the context of high-stakes testing and accountability in science. In this workshop, participants will learn about P-SELL implementation and year-one results, as well as engage in a hands-on activity from the curriculum.

Presenters: Okhee Lee and Alison Haas

Okhee Lee is a professor in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. Her research areas include science education, language and culture, and teacher education. Her current research involves the scale-up of a model of a curricular and teacher professional development intervention to promote science learning and language development of English language learners. She served as the leader for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Diversity and Equity Team through Achieve Inc. and the Steering Committee for the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University.

Alison Haas is a Research Associate at New York University working for the Promoting Science Among English Language Learners (P-SELL) grant. Prior to P-SELL, she taught 5th grade in New York City.

Multicultural Perspectives on Special Education
This workshop will explore the perceptions of culturally and linguistically diverse families on Special Education. What are their views on disabilities and how do these views influence their decisions on testing, evaluation, and the program of support? How can special educators bridge the language and cultural divide to affect successful outcomes for students? What are some strategies that could be used in working with multilingual families of students with identified disabilities? A panel from various multicultural communities will provide critical perspectives for discussion.

Presenter: Maureen Fox
Maureen Fox has been working in the field of education for the past 25 years. She holds a M.A in Environmental Education, a M.S. in Special Education and a C.A.S. in Literacy & ESL. Maureen has taught students ranging from grades K-Adult in the area of English language arts and environmental education, supported student with special needs across all grades and content areas, has taught English as an additional language and is currently a Language Acquisition Specialist at the Multilingual & Multicultural Center for Portland Public Schools.  She is an adjunct instructor at USM and regularly contributes to professional development in Portland Public Schools addressing the instructional needs of English language learners.  At the core of her pursuits in the field of education is the goal for all students to be successful learners.

Mirrors and Lenses: Using Children's Books to Talk About Race
How children learn about difference, including racial identity development and the neuroscience of bias, and how to use multicultural literature to spark conversations on race, culture and other differences, including recommended book lists.

Presenter: Anne Sibley O’Brien
Anne Sibley O’Brien has illustrated thirty-one books, including five titles by Margy Burns Knight. She is also the author of fourteen of those books, including The Legend of Hong Kil Dong: The Robin Hood of Korea and A Path of Stars.

Make it Happen: an Academic Support Program for English Learners
Make It Happen is a language acquisition, academic support, and college readiness program for English learners.   Students engage in seven components of the program including academic coaching, academic progress/profile consultations, standardized test preparation, course selection advocacy, college application support (high school only), leadership opportunities, and service learning opportunities.

Presenter: Tim Cronin
Tim Cronin has been teaching in the PPS for 18 years and in Japan for three years. He has been a program coordinator for the Make It Happen! Program for the last 4 years.  He also ran an outdoor adventure summer camp for underprivledged children for 8 summers.  He has lived in California, Japan, Hawaii, and New England.

Register Now!

Conference Schedule

7:45-8:30 Registration/continental breakfast

8:30-8:45 Intros

8:45-10:00 Keynote/Q and A

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-11:30 Concurrent Strands A

11:30-12:30 Lunch

12:30-1:45 Concurrent Strands B

1:45-3:00 Concurrent Strands C

3:00-3:30 Closing/raffle books

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Portland Public Schools Multilingual and Multicultural Center