GATE Equity Webinar: Language Learners 101: Supporting Best Practices

GATE Equity Webinar: Language Learners 101: Supporting Best Practices


Our topic this month is “Language
Learners: Supporting Best Practices.’ We assign this because we want you to be
reflective and understand the population and diversity of language learners that
you’re serving. Here at OSPI, our vision is ‘all students prepared for
post-secondary pathways, careers, and civic engagement,’ and OSPI has developed
an equity statement that we think helps frame our webinars. We believe each
student, family, and community possesses strengths and cultural knowledge that
benefit their peers, educators, and schools. In our leadership role we examine the
ways that current policies and practices result in disparate outcomes for our
students, and work to intentionally consider historical contexts, ways to
partner in decision-making, and ways to dismantle systemic barriers so that
students in our schools can access instruction and support in our schools.
And, this the webinar is brought to you through the Office of System and School
Improvement, and we wanted to make you aware that we do have a really awesome
YouTube channel. We’re trying to get a thousand subscribers by the end of the
school year. We hope that you’ll subscribe and then as we post webinars, you’ll get
alerts that let you know when they are available. Check out our past webinars; we
do have a professional learning themed calendar for the year. Right now we’re
working on Language Learners. Next month, it’s gonna be Students with Disabilities,
and so on through the end of the year; so we hope that you can join us each
month as we explore some of these topics. This afternoon, Veronica’s gonna come
back with us again and we’re super lucky to have her. She’s gonna be talking about
designing research-based programs, and that’s gonna be this afternoon with Bonnie, and myself, so we hope that you can join us for that as well. Next month we are going to be
working with Tania May and her staff looking at implementing and sustaining
inclusionary practices and master scheduling, so if you or a friend might
be interested in those topics, we really want to encourage you to also
participate in those. We have a sister webinar series – if you’re super into
webinars, and cannot get enough, the MTSS PLC webinar series is coming up. They’ve
got Caryn Ward and using the hexagon tool for selecting new practices this
month; super useful tool – so if you’re dipping your toe into MTSS, we really
want to encourage you to participate in those as well. For today, our objectives
are to check out Washington state level
data on language learners, understand some systems level approach for
designing language learner services, and we want to get you some resources so
that you can get started in your own schools. So who are we? I’m Kefi, I am a
graduation equity program supervisor for OSPI, and I brought along with me
Veronica Gallardo, she is the Director of Migrant and Bilingual services for OSPI.
We’re gonna start off with a question just to see who’s in our audience. We
like to be responsive to who we have in front of us. Good morning everyone,
again this is Veronica Gallardo, I am the new director, now 8 months into this
position as Director for Migrant and Bilingual Education. Very happy to be
here. My background is a former teacher, principal, and director for ELL International Schools for Seattle Public Schools for the last 10 years. I was also
most recently the Director for K-12 Education for the City of Seattle; and so
with my diverse background, it’s been a pleasure to be able to bring all those
different experiences, that same service to our student population of language
learners. So I look forward to sharing my expertise with you and also learning
from all of you as well. We are gonna start with the focus on language
learners and the importance of focusing on our students who have language
learning needs. We want to start with the civil rights obligations, as this is
really important to understand what exactly it is, that we mean by civil
rights obligation. Anyone who receives funding from the time transitional
bilingual instructional program really needs to understand that what we are
looking for when we discuss civil rights obligations is, we want to make sure that
folks are identifying English language students and assessing the students
within the appropriate time line. We also want to make sure that there’s
strong language development services in place with qualified staff. I know many
folks have questions about what exactly does qualified staff mean? And what I’m
referring to here and particularly is, it really depends on two things. One, it
depends on your funding source, and two, the available staff that you have in
your buildings, right? So the first funding source is if you are using your
TBIP funding, which is your state funding
for language learning, that requires that you have as of this year, this last year
2019, bilingual endorsed or EL endorsed certificated staff. If you’re going to
fund using TBIP, they must have endorsements. If you are using Title 3, you have much more flexibility around how you’re paying for your
staffing; and the fact that professional development for, can be used for Title 3
for general education teachers as well. But the other piece is important to
know, specifically for rural districts, is that when you are challenged with
limited staffing for certificated staff in your district, what we require is that
you have an EL endorsed teacher who then guides the instruction and supports,
through your instructional assistants, and then provides services to the
students. But it has to be under the guidance of the certificated teacher for
instructional assistants. We also want to make sure you have meaningful access for
content to content without unnecessary segregation. So we don’t want our
students in isolated programs, but we do want them to have access to core content
instruction. Program evaluation is often overlooked. If people do a great job of
looking at their program, trying to design the program; but the importance of
the program evaluation is that it’s frequent, and that it’s not just a
one-time evaluation process that you look at, and that you want to look at
data as well. Language access for parents is critical,
and we want to make sure that you understand that when we talk about
language access, in most cases, it’s your basic ed funds that provide services. Now
when we talk about Title 3, which is your federal funding for English language
learners, we want to make sure you understand the intent and purposes. And
what we mean there is, we really want you to understand the importance of the fact
that the funding is for making sure that our students obtain English language
proficiency at high levels of academic achievement. Right? We want to make sure that you understand the challenges of the state standards and that we make
it accessible for our students and we also want to make sure that effective
language programs are in place, right, so we want to make sure that not only our
teachers have the professional development and
learning and understanding of how to serve language learners, but it includes
your principals, your assistant principals, and other school leaders. And
then capacity. We want to make sure that you have, that your principals and
teachers not only develop their capacity, but that they really make sure that it’s
ongoing and frequent. And then parent and family and community engagement. Many of our districts do great work around this, where they’re promoting their parental
and family engagement and community participation; and so we want to
encourage you to continue to do that. There’s some great work out there that’s
really taking place. Now here’s the beauty of Washington State. We’re
shifting. Our population is changing; and so we know that our graduation rate is
62%. With that 62 %, we also know that there is an achievement gap, because
the statewide graduation rate is 80 %. Right? So while we have increased
our graduation rate over time, we still have some work to do. We have 233 different home languages spoken by our students in the
state of Washington, and our average time in service, our average years of service
for ELL students is 3.5 years, and then 29 % of our ELLs
are long-term English language learners. Again, we understand that this is a
national issue of having a lot of long term ELs, but we also have it at the
state level so we need to focus on that as well. So when you’re digging deep into
your data, and I’ll show you how to do that later on, you really want to focus
on your long-term ELLs and determine what grade levels they’re in and what’s
going on exactly in those areas. Now the systems level support for language
learners. It’s really important to understand that when we go out for CPR
reviews, this is what we’re looking for. We’re looking for all these different
factors; and right now the team is out there across the state doing those
comprehensive program reviews right now. And one of the first things I did was to
really dig deep in the previous two years of comprehensive program reviews;
and what we discovered is that over 60% of the districts are really struggling
with program design. And it has been a challenge for many districts, and so I am
currently having conversations with my team around what exactly is it that we
can do to support you? Really help you design a comprehensive
program that meets the needs of our language learners? I know we all want the
same thing, but I want to make sure that my team and I are supporting you in
doing that; and with program design being one of the number one needs, that’s what
we’re going to be working intently on this year. The other area of challenge is
around student identification. We have districts that are under-enrolling or
not identifying their students as needed as the students come in. As many
of us know, our students don’t come in at the same time in the year. They come
throughout the year, and when I was in Seattle Public Schools for example, we
knew that January would have another surge of students. And so we just want to
make sure that you’re aware of the trends of when your students come into
your district, and make sure that you’re identifying them. And then like the
program evaluation is another area where I really do want you to listen intently
as I go through the presentation today and this afternoon, to really understand
what exactly we’re talking about. Program evaluation really needs to be done
multiple times throughout the year, and really needs to use – you need to apply
your tableau data, and your diversity report card data, to really understand
what shifts and adjustments need to take place. When you focus on those three
areas, you really will make a difference in how you provide services to language
learners. And again, I’ve looked at all of the examples in the last few years of
CPR reviews and that’s how I’ve come to understand that these are your big three
priorities to really look at, and where my team should prioritize services. So
focusing on three big ideas. As I’ve shared, student identification, right?
It’s when are the students coming in, making sure we identify them, the
program design, which is a really intense process when you’re developing your
program design, and it’s not just a one-time thing. It’s multiple times a
year, and this afternoon’s webinar will really speak in detail and provide
examples around what that is. And then the professional development. I know lots
of you have been asking questions around what does professional development look
like for language learners? What can we do beyond GLAD, beyond other things?
And we want to be able to respond and support; we just need a little bit of
time do that. But what we do know is there’s
some great work out there going on, and I will share that at the end of this
presentation. So advice. What advice would I give to schools starting this work?
Please, please, I think it’s critical that you start with the data. Really
understanding what your student population looks like. So when I refer to
EL typology, that is really looking at not only the type of language learner
you have, and the proficiency levels, but how many students are EL and special
education? Are you over identifying ELL students in special education? It also
means the length and time of program. How long have your ELL students been in the ELL program? There’s a variety of data pieces that you can look at using the
tableau data, which is a real, real critical starting point; and also it’s
important to understand that ELL students are general education students
first. This is a concept that really can be foreign to some folks, but your ELL
students are general education students first! And that is a critical
understanding to have and to make sure that they’re accessing Common
Core State Standards. Right? And then when we talk about ELL students being your
general education students first. It’s really important to talk about the
national shift that took place for ELs back in 2014 with the Common Core State
Standards expectations. We shifted from your technical basic vocabulary and
syntax to focus on academic and evidence-based language and core content
instruction. So that’s a critical piece that I’m really asking you to dig deep
into and understand, that it’s not just about vocabulary and syntax anymore, not
with the Common Core State Standards. Now with that, you really have to look at
evidence-based language instruction and core content instruction together – so
Common Core State Standards and your English language proficiency standards.
And then program evaluation, as I shared earlier, you really need to reflect on
the current model that’s in place. Does it need adjustments? Are you serving all
your students? Are you using your data to really determine what exactly, how well
and how effective your program is in service to English language learners?
These are all the categories from consolidated program review, so where are you most confident? And where do you want some support, thinking
about what kind of things you would like? If you could tell us in the chat the
kinds of supports you might like. So it looks like student identification, people
are pretty confident in. (Looks) like the next runners up are kind of in
assessment and staff qualification, and it looks like program design is
actually really high for what people would like support in. So that actually
matches up really well with what we’re doing today! So let’s talk a little bit about supporting best practices. Supporting best practices is a critical piece of, obviously for language learners; and what I really wanted to do is, is really lay
it out for non-EL folks to really understand, one, what best practices look
like, and what the look fors are when you’re in a classroom setting. For the
next part of this presentation I want to introduce my team to you. I want to give
you opportunities to really understand what tableau data you can tap into and
access, and then language learner considerations and look fors and
combining research-based evidence models, and giving you an example of a district
who’s done that very well. So here’s the team. So for our bilingual education team,
we now have two new additional members – Amy started in August.
Amy Ingram is our ELL Program Supervisor in Eastern Washington. She is housed in
Eastern Washington and is, for anyone who is listening and online or from Eastern
Washington, Amy is your person and a contact information it is there. Shannon
Martin is a recent hire, just a few weeks in; and she is also our Program
Supervisor that is focusing on Western Washington. And Patti, as you all know, has been a great Program Supervisor for us here in the bilingual education team and
is doing great work, and we’re very pleased to continue to have her and
particularly the important work of dual language across the state. We also have
our migrant team, and as many of you know, they’re a critical team and 40%
of our migrant students are also English language learners, so we do work closely
with our migrant team to make sure that our teams work in partnership with each
other. Lupa Ledesma is a Program Supervisor,
Silvia Reyna as well, Carlos Gonzalez oversees all of our program IDNR,
identification and recruitment. He’s a Program Supervisor as well, and Armando Isais Garcia is a Health Program Supervisor and doing some incredible
work with regards to our health programs in higher ed. So what exactly do I mean
when I’m talking about what I oversee, Title 3 and Title 1c, and our transitional
bilingual instructional program? I definitely identify them as our federal
and state program. Important to know which ones we’re talking about:
so our TBIP, which is a transitional bilingual instructional program, is our
state program that provides over 200 million dollars of funding. There are
quite a few districts as you can see that have applied for TBIP funding in
previous years, and continue to do so. The majority of supplemental funding
goes to the districts. The primary funding is around staffing, and again we
have to have certificated EL or bilingual staff, also goes for materials
and professional learning. So this is what we mean by our state funding. We
also have federal program funding through Title 3 and Title 1c. And the
funding is there, as you can see, and we have 155 districts that have applied for
Title 3 funding. And then there’s, I’d suggest about 60 districts that applied
for Title 1c state funding. As a former director in Seattle Public Schools, I
really enjoyed the Title 3 funding because as you all know, Title 3 funding
has a lot of flexibility around professional development dollars, and
while we know that our, we have EL teachers who serve EL students, you can
also use Title 3 funding for professional development for your
general education teachers; because as we know, our EL students are in the
classrooms with general education teachers 90% of the time, if not more. So
it’s one of the critical pieces about that Title 3 funding is using that
funding to make sure your general education teachers have background and
experience in language acquisition and development. A few great facts about
Washington State, and again as I mentioned, we’re changing pretty rapidly in our population. We are now the second largest migrant student population in
the nation, which is very exciting. This year we have surpassed Texas, with the
migrant student population. You’re wondering why? We do believe a lot of the
impact is around year h-2a workers and the fact that they are no longer allowed
to bring their families into the United States with them, so that is impacting a
lot of the border states such as Texas. The question is can I access TBIP
funding for native students who speak only English? The answer is no. When
legislation took place for TBIP funding, that was not one of the language pieces
in there that allowed for that. It is something that’s being discussed so that
we can consider it in the future, but as I’m new to this, I will quickly
learn what that process is, to see if we can do that. It is a conversation that’s
taking place right now. For now the answer is “No.” So numbers again, so last
year’s average, it was 134,693 English language learners, seventh largest ELL population in the
nation as well for ELs. So as you can see, our numbers are healthy and
doing very well. Now program models and look-for’s in language learning. This is
where we talk about your foundation. And again as I’m presenting this, this is
what the understanding that many of you do not have the EL background. This
afternoon’s presentation will be more around EL practitioners and what that
looks like; but this is more of a high level, if you don’t have any ELL background, what you should be designing for a model, and what you should be
looking for. So when we talk about program models, we are talking about two
specific categories. We’re talking about your bilingual programs which are your
dual language and your alternative programs, with the understanding that
both are serving English language proficiency. And when we go across the
state for those CPR reviews, we are looking at what exactly do we have in
place, not only with your model, which students are you serving?
What’s your language of instruction? Is it English and primary language? Is it
strictly English? What’s your model look like? Is it a 50/50, a 90/10? We’re
looking for your teacher qualifications, we’re looking for the ultimate goal of
your model, and the typical length of time for your program that you’re
providing services for your Language Learners. So this is a beautiful
snapshot that really gives you an example of when we say, what program
model are you providing services in? This is an example of that. Are we expecting
you to do all of them? Absolutely not. We understand and particularly for rural
districts, we understand you can’t do that all, but we certainly want to know
which one you are providing. So if you have a CPR review coming up, please take
a look at this program model and use this as a reference. Factors of language
acquisition, I really wanted to take the opportunity to talk about student
centered factors, right? Not only are we talking academic, but there are other
factors that we need to consider particularly when we’re talking about
acquisition. So we need to consider aptitude, age of language acquisition,
first language, prior education, the effective filter, instruction, motivation
and attitude, family support, personality, hearing and vision. So when you are
looking at the academic parts, you also need to consider all these other areas
as well for factors of language acquisition. The six stages of language
acquisition. I really want to emphasize that these are not your proficiency
levels. This is the research around six stages of acquisition, where research
shows you have a pre-production, an early production, all the way to the advanced
fluency area. What I really want to stress here, is that along that path of
one through six, right, of the six stages of acquisition, our students come in with
different varying abilities of speaking. We know that the pre-production for
example, it’s a very, it’sh what we call “the silent phase.” So as a student comes
into your school setting, we really want you to have an understanding that there
are six stages of language acquisition; and then our language learners do not
come in a one-size-fits-all. There’s a beautiful diversity of language
acquisition our students bring with them. Now this is important. I really
appreciate the support from Dr. Joan Johnston Neilson, she’s just been great
in allowing me to share this three pages of documents here, because it
really, what we would call them are look-fors. So for a student who is emerging, which
is your proficiency levels of 1 & 2, here is what you would expect to see in a
classroom setting and looking for teachers to focus on during the
instruction time. We’re looking for established predictable routines, you’re
looking for providing to provide opportunities to interact with peers, and
I want to emphasize that when we talk about interacting with peers – at the
middle school and high school level, you really need to be intentional around
that, because often that is something that’s not considered, right? We need our
students to have opportunities to interact and engage. I also want to
emphasize visual supports. Those are great and very helpful for students. You
need to provide concrete language experiences relevant to students’
abilities and interests. We expect progress in English language; we need to
make sure our students are making progress, which means that you need to do
informal and formal assessments throughout the quarter or semester that you’re
providing services to students. And then while we say, “Don’t worry about being on grade
level,” we do want you to understand that they need to be working in grade level
material. The role of the English language learner and our teacher and the
general education teacher is to make sure that they are providing bridges so
that students can access the grade level or content. So if our student who is
progressing at a level 3, the teacher really should be providing opportunities
for shared guided reading. So this is different from the previous page, right?
So this is, we’ve upped it a notch here where we’re saying yes, provide the
opportunities, but now you want to also provide shared guided reading
opportunities. You want to encourage active participation in small groups
where there is some safety in the students engaging and interacting with
each other. You want guided writing activities as
well, and you want to provide again the concrete language experiences, as well as
we want to still make sure that you’re doing those informal assessments on a
frequent basis. And then making sure you’re providing access to core content
instruction. Level 4, which is your early advanced, for our students, we want our
teachers to make sure that they’re providing instruction on text features
to encourage independent learning. We’re shifting from guided to independent. We
want to encourage leadership in small group activities, and we say the small
group because again, we want it to be safe and we want to encourage the
students to participate as well as lead. We want to focus on academic discourse.
We’ve got a lot of research from Jeffrey Zwiers, Guadalupe Valdez, and quite a few folks that talk about the importance and need around
academic discourse. There’s great resources out there that can provide
that. You want to provide a variety of multi-level and multimedia resources in
content areas as well. You want to be able to make sure our students can
access the materials through multi-level and multimedia resources. So now I’m
going to get into the tableau data. This is where we really dig deep into what’s
available in tableau, specific to your EL students. Now here is specific
instructions on how you access the public tableau. So there’s two things
here – so there’s the public tableau, but if you want to go into EDS and get the
student level of tableau data, you would have to do that through EDS. So the
arrows and those square boxes below will explain that. Your first step is to visit
the Migrant Bilingual page, to get to the link. Then you go into TBIP for
student groups, and that’s where you go in to get into the public tableau. If you
want to go deeper, again, you log into EDS, and that gives you the per-student data.
Public is more of your high level summative information, and the EDS is
your per-student data that can break it down by student within a school setting
or even at the district level, higher level. When you get into the tableau and
this is the public one, the important part to focus on here is that very
narrow column at the top, just below the blue line, and it starts with ELPA 21
pass rate. Those tabs are all the different data points that you can tap
into that’s specific to your EL student population. The beauty of this is that
you can look at your ELPA21 pass rates. You can look at how many different home
languages your students speak. You can look at the primary languages, the
program length and program models; there’s a variety of resources here that
are available. The other piece that I think is critical is this page, where it
also helps you identify if you are over-identifying
your EL student population. So if you go to tableau by student group, and you
click on this page, it will show you your high cap – as you can see in the fourth
column over – it’ll show you your low income. It’ll show your migrant students,
your 504 students, it’ll also show your EL students who are special education
students. That has been really telling when I go across the state and meet with
districts, because it can tell you by grade level, the over-identification of
EL students in special education. Really rich page here of data that’s
that can support each school district. Here’s an example of the public tableau
in program length. What you see here is the third column over at the grade level,
then you have your average enrollment length and time, and what we focus on at
the state level is your median enrollment length in time. So if you look,
it just seems like there’s a kind of a protrusion by the time you get to fourth
grade, which is at five years; and in fifth grade at six years, and in sixth
grade at seven, and so on. If you remember in the earlier pages, we know that the
average length of time for an EL student in a program is four, so if we
have students that are six, seven years in program, then it’s just an opportunity
for us to have a question, a conversation with you all to say, “Hey what’s going on
here? Let’s unpack this, let’s really look at this data deeply to figure out why we
have students in the program for so long.” And I know this feels like a lot, but
this is really great and easy data to access. It’s just opportunities for
conversation. Here is something I have found ESDs very interested in, and so
when I go across the state and have conversations, it’s around percentage of
long term ELs. And what I do is I put an ESD with all the districts that they
serve in that district name column, then I give them the per student count of EL
students, and then the number of long-term ELL students and the
percentage of long-term ELs. That percentage of long-term ELs shows
districts that have, in particular as you get to the lower
end of the document, the ones that really have some work to
do with the length of time the students are in there their programs. Right? And
often I’d say over 90 percent of the time we’re talking about
high school student populations. Now what I want to share here is, I’ve given you
the federal and state information. I’ve introduced my team to
you, and I’ve given you look-fors, but I also wanted to share that there is great
work out there across the state and I really appreciate all of you who are
working very hard to do this. But I wanted to give you an example of a tool
within a district that is really closing their gap, and they’re doing it by
incorporating research into their MTSS program school-wide. So as you can see,
their research approach is act, plan, study, do. Many of you know that through
the Carnegie Foundation as a research approach. They’ve applied this research
approach in their MTSS model throughout the entire building, and as a result, in
Kent, we have the Martin Sortun Elementary School, who received the MTSS
award for high diversity and one of the lowest rates of ELs special education
students. They’ve reduced the achievement gap by 3% and the
over-identification of the EL students in special education. And one, it’s
because they have a research-based approach, right? They’re applying it to
MTSS and everyone in their building has received professional development to run
exactly what they’re doing. Really important examples here of success, and I
know there’s many more out there so kudos to you all again for doing that
important work. And I want to close with why do we do what we do? Because we have amazing children that we are trying to support. And I know we are all doing this
on behalf of the students, and I thank you. So the over-identification of
students is in EL and special education. It’s not over identifying ELL students
in general because you’re right, we have the language assessment that language
learners take in the state, but when I’m talking about over-identification its
ELL students in special education. So for example, I
went to a district in eastern Washington, and in that district we used that
tableau data. And in that tableau data we saw that there was I’d say an 11% eighth
grade population that were identified as special education students, but when you
looked at your EL students in special education,
it was 21% of the student population in that grade level that were EL and special
education. So that gap is what we mean by the over identification of EL students
in special education. So we do want to share with you a couple of resources and
Veronica, do you want to talk a little bit about what these are? These were the
ones that you put forward for us. Looking into our district, our state
websites, and the school apportionment funding, is really some amazing
information around what is it exactly that your district gets regarding
funding of all your program, your alternative programs, and not just EL funding. So if you’re curious about how much money you get from Title 1c,
Title 3, your TBIP, you go to the school apportionment page on our
website. The other great tools are the report card, which is the diversity
report card. That is a beautiful set of data that’s specific to program design,
so if you want to look for EL students and have summative information by your
district or by your school, diversity report card is where you want to go. And
I explain the TBIP, the other piece is the Federal EL Toolkit. The federal
program, the Office of English Language Acquisition at the Federal Department in
DC, created amazing tool kits that have really great resources and references
that you can constantly refer to if you have specific questions around federal
requirements. We also have the English Language Arts Menu of Best Practices and
then of course on our website, you have your program guidelines for, from us, very specific details as to what we do and why we do it. So we are currently
under conversation with the State Superintendent, actually I am along with
my assistant superintendent, an announcement regarding WIDA and ELPA21 should be coming sometime at the end of March. Still having deep
conversations and looking into it right now. We understand there is a high
interest in that. Another resource is of course to contact me or Veronica, and we can hook you up with the right people. Thank you for joining us today. We love to get in contact. You can follow us on OSPI youtube channel, and all of
our images come from Creative Commons or from The Noun Project. We have a couple
of discussion questions for you, and as you kind of close your ideas and
reflect on the webinar today, what were some big ideas you got? What are your
next leadership moves? What did you value in the presentation, and what questions do
you still have? Tell us about them. Thanks again for joining us, and we’ll see you
this afternoon. So we actually don’t have an alternative assessment for students
who are in EL and special education. We use the WIDA alt alternative assessment
that is, that we find to be far more reflective of a student needs, so with
that, it’s a great assessment. We’ve had great feedback as to the use
of it and how it applies to students. We also know that the over identification
of EL students and special education students is a national issue as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *