Hill Intermediate School’s sixth grade bilingual teachers Neisa Villegas, Aurelia Soto and Melissa Robey attended the Texas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TexTESOL) Conference held Nov. 14-16 at the Westin Oaks in Houston. TexTESOL is an international organization with a mission to develop and maintain professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide.
This year’s theme was “Launching Language Learning.” The three-day conference featured many experts in the field of teaching English language learners (ELLs) including Dr. Randi Reppen, Dr. Sandra Mercuri, Dr. Keith Folse as well as Claudia Kolker, an award-winning journalist and bilingual literature teacher for Writers in the Schools.
Of particular interest for the Hill Intermediate School teachers was the participation of Dr. Jana Echevarría who served as one of the keynote speakers and was a featured speaker. Echevarría is co-developer of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model and co-author of on the SIOP book series. The SIOP Model is a scientifically-validated framework for teaching both academic content and language skills in ways that are more effective for ELLs, and helps teachers plan and deliver lessons with all students’ language needs in mind. Hill Intermediate School is incorporating the SIOP Model this school year.
“The TexTESOL Conference provided us with authentic tools to help our bilingual population grow in all core classes,” Villegas commented. “We are thrilled and excited to use the newly acquired ideas to strengthen our students’ academic and personal achievements.”
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