Diane Staehr Fenner, Ph.D., is the president of SupportEd. Diane founded SupportEd (formerly DSF Consulting) in 2011 as a way to serve all stakeholders who work to help ELs realize their full potential. At SupportEd, Diane serves as project lead for all the team’s work and communicates directly with clients. Some recent projects include developing a suite of five blended EL professional development modules for the National Education Association, creating a set of English language proficiency standards for adults and an online training module for the U.S. Department Education in partnership with the American Institutes for Research, revising the P-12 Professional Teaching Standards for TESOL International Association, and providing ESOL program support and technical assistance to the Syracuse City School District (NY).
Diane is an author of four books, a blogger for the Colorín Colorado website, and a frequent keynote presenter on EL education at conferences across North America. Diane was a research associate at George Washington University’s Center for Excellence and Equity in Education, spent a decade as an ESOL teacher, dual language assessment teacher, and ESOL assessment specialist in Fairfax County Public Schools, VA, and taught English in Mexico and Germany. Diane earned her Ph.D. in Multilingual/Multicultural Education with an emphasis in Literacy at George Mason University. She earned her MAT in TESOL at the School for International Training and her Masters in German at Penn State University. She lives in Fairfax, VA with her husband, three elementary age kids who are in a Spanish immersion program in their public school, a dog, a few fish, and an elderly hamster. Diane speaks fluent Spanish and German, grew up on a dairy farm in New York State’s Finger Lakes region, and is a first-generation college graduate.
Books by This Author
English Learners are the fastest-growing segment of the K–12 population and educators of ELLs are often in a unique position to provide a voice for their needs. This book demystifies the techniques of advocacy for ELLs, including creating a shared sense of responsibility for ELL success, guidance for administrators, and tips for advocacy for ELLs' success beyond Grade 12.
Teacher evaluation can be a valuable tool for evaluators and teachers alike. But it should never be used in a “one-size-fits-all” manner, especially when evaluating all teachers who work with the nation’s growing numbers of English learners (ELs) and students with disabilities.
Content teachers and ESOL teachers, take special note: if you’re looking for a single resource to help your English learners meet the same challenging content standards as their English-proficient peers, your search is complete. Just dip into this toolbox of strategies, examples, templates, and activities from EL authorities Diane Staehr Fenner and Sydney Snyder, which includes tips on:
This blog post is the second in a three-part series about the steps one elementary school took to increase collaboration between ESOL teachers and content teachers in order to better meet the language needs of ELLs in their school during the imple
This three-part series looks at the steps one diverse elementary school took to increase collaboration between ESOL teachers and grade level teachers in order to meet ELLs' academic language needs.
This blog post focuses on ELL considerations that are important for schools and districts to address in planning their assessments, including accommodations on CCSS content assessments and aspects of computer-based assessment might prove to be especially challenging for ELLs. It also recommends some resources to support ELLs’ success in computer-based testing.
We’d like to start off the new year by sharing an example for developing text dependent questions for ELLs in the middle grades. We have selected a 6th-8th grade exemplar text in the category of Informational Texts: Science, Mathematics and Technology titled “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag” by Henry Petroski.
As 2014 winds down, I thought I would take some time to reflect on our blog posts that had the most impact duri
In our last post, we shared information about the new Teaching Channel ELL video series based on Academic Conversations (2011) by Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford. This week we’d like to delve deeper into these resources and provide strategies for building the oral language skills of ELLs across content areas that are framed around four practices.
In the first two posts in our series about using Socratic Circles (or Socratic Seminars) with English language learners (ELLs), we provided an overview of the activity and offered some ideas for how to do a close read of Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Now that you’ve prepared your ELLs, it’s time to implement the Socratic circle.
This week, in Part II & Part III of our series, we’d like to provide you with a concrete example of how to scaffold Socratic circles for ELLs based on a specific text and walk you through the activity step by step.
In part one of this three-part series, Diane shares some strategies for fostering English language learners’ (ELLs) oral language as part of Common Core-based instruction. Her focus is be on practical strategies for including ELLs in Socratic circles (also known as Socratic seminars).
More new resources that will support ELLs with instruction aligned to the Common Core State Standards. This time, the new resources come in the form of Resource Guides for scaffolding the instruction of ELLs. I’ll tell you what the Resource Guides are, how they were developed, and I'll highlight some features of each.