We are pleased to present four new Meet the Expert interviews on Colorín Colorado! Our experts include Dr. Thelma Melendéz, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education (and a former ELL); secondary school principal Kevin Eberle; educator Bobbi Houtchens; and ELL specialist Kristina Robertson, who is also the author of our Bright Ideas articles.
We wish you all the best for the summer and hope that you find some time to relax and rejuvenate. We'll see you back here in August!
All the best,
The Colorín Colorado Team
If you are looking for a new ESL or bilingual teaching position this summer, there are a number of things you can do to help prepare for the interview. This article on ESL/bilingual job interview tips outlines general information that will get you started, as well as areas of your own experience that may be helpful to highlight in the interview.
New on Colorín Colorado
Meet the Expert Series: Video Interviews
Dr. Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana is the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. In this interview, Dr. Meléndez remembers her experiences as an English language learner growing up in California and discusses how that perspective has shaped her career as an educator and administrator.
Kevin J. Eberle is the Principal of International Preparatory School at Grover in Buffalo, New York. In this interview, Kevin discusses his commitment to creating a welcoming environment for students hailing from more than 25 countries, as well as some of his most memorable moments as building principal.
Bobbi Houtchens is an ELL educator with more than 40 years of experience teaching secondary ESL and English. Bobbi also served as a teaching ambassador fellow at the U.S. Department of Education. In this interview, she discusses ideas for engaging reluctant readers and writers, strategies for setting high expectations for adolescent ELLs, and the importance of teacher participation in policymaking.
Kristina Robertson is an ELL specialist with extensive experience as a classroom teacher and professional development leader. Kristina is the current Titles Coordinator for the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District in Minnesota. In this interview, Kristina discusses best practices for ELL professional development and suggestions for school leaders when evaluating ELL programs and staffing.
Research & Reports
Summer Professional Development
The summer is a great time to take a look at some of the resources that are easy to miss during the busy school year! For more research-based ideas and strategies, take a look at the following sections from Colorín Colorado:
The 2011 NCLR Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo will be returning to Washington, DC on July 23-26! Attendees have the opportunity to register for workshops, town halls, events marked by nationally renowned speakers, and networking receptions. In addition, the National Latino Family Expo is a free fun-filled event for the entire family. There will be Zumba classes, cooking demonstrations, health screenings, arts and crafts, giveaways and much more! For more information, visit the NCLR website.
Whether your summer plans call for heading off on an adventure or reading a good book, you'll find resource-packed ideas in Edutopia'sSummer Rejuvenation Guide: 10 Tips to Help You Relax, Reflect, and Recharge for the Coming School Year. The guide also offers a number of ways to connect with other educators throughout the summer through networking - in person and online! The guide is available as a free download; user e-mail address is requested.
In the Classroom
If you are planning on teaching ELLs in summer school this year, take a look at these strategies from veteran teacher Sharon Eghigian! Based in Utica, NY, Sharon draws on more than 15 years of experience to share ideas for building background knowledge, vocabulary, and academic skills. For other summer resources, take a look at the following:
Books & Authors
To kick off summer reading time, we're featuring two books by Margarita Engle!
Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian
When the weather turns warm and the air fills with butterflies and other insects, the people around Maria Sibylla Merian believe that evil is at work. However, Maria knows better as she studies and sketches these fascinating winged creatures — which she must do in secret so she is not accused of witchcraft! Margarita Engle introduces us to a forgotten heroine of 17th-century scientific inquiry, brought to life by Julie Paschkis' stunning illustrations of Maria and her natural world.
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck
Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call him el quebrado —half islander, half outsider, a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother's Taíno Indian language and his father's Spanish. But when a hurricane sinks the ship and most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety. He learns how to live on land again, among people who treat him well. And it is he who must decide the fate of his former captors.
There's nothing like reading a favorite story with Dad or Grandpa! TheReading with Dads booklist celebrates fathers and grandfathers and the many reasons they are so special. It includes a number of beloved books from different cultures and ethnic traditions that families are sure to enjoy together. Also available in Spanish.