Michelle Lawrence Biggar

High School ESL Teacher | Buffalo, NY

Michelle Lawrence Biggar is a high school ESL teacher at the International Preparatory School at Grover Cleveland High School in Buffalo, NY and is featured in Colorín Colorado's Watch & Learn series.

In this interview, Michelle discusses her use of classic works of literature with newcomer ELLs, offers advice for content-area teachers, and discusses ways that ELL teachers can advocate for their students. The full transcript of Michelle's interview, her biography, and additional classroom strategies are also available.

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Michelle has also written the following article for Colorín Colorado:


Michelle Lawrence Biggar has been an ESL teacher for the past eleven years. Michelle currently teaches at the International Preparatory School at Grover in Buffalo, NY. Her students are primarily refugee and immigrant adolescents from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. As a chairperson on her school's Redesign Committee, Michelle presented plans to the New York State Board of Regents on how to restructure the ELL program, which included a focus on small learning communities, and she led the design and implementation of the school's ELL program when it opened four years ago. In addition, Michelle teaches at the English Language Institute at the University at Buffalo.