Multilingual Learner Summit

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2023 KEYNOTE: Technology and Multilingual Learners: Partnership for Success.

In this keynote, explore how technology can benefit multilingual learners (MLs). Together, we discover the power of partnerships in nurturing and supporting MLs on their language-learning journey. Through collaboration and the strategic integration of educational technology, we can create dynamic experiences that empower MLs to grow their content and language learning, enabling them to participate confidently in a global society.


All Keynote Resources

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Michelle Shory is a veteran language educator with 25 years of experience in five states. She is currently an instructional lead for digital innovation focusing on multilingual learners in Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, KY, and also works for Eastern Kentucky University and Indiana University Southeast teaching ESL endorsement courses. 

Irina McGrath, PhD is an Assistant Principal at Newcomer Academy and an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville, Indiana University Southeast, and Bellarmine University, teaching graduate courses for the ESL/ENL and Literacy Endorsement programs as well as Master of Education in Teacher Leadership. She was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia and has an M.A. in English as a Second Language (ESL), M.A. in Literacy Education, Ed.S. in Educational Administration, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. 

Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilingual Learners


Let's evolve beyond the limits of the long-term English learner (LTEL) label and embrace a new way of honoring secondary multilinguals’ valuable life experiences and academic potential. By focusing on experienced multilinguals’ strengths and what teachers can do, we will create the conditions for long-term success. Beth and Tan will share the conditions where experienced multilinguals can thrive based on their new book Long-Term Success for Experience Multilinguals. While the examples are from secondary schools, these conditions are applicable to elementary school MLs as well. The goal of this session is to affirm what participants are already doing to serve their MLs and to offer additional approaches. 

Beth Skelton is a coach, consultant, and author with over 30 years of experience as a language educator. She has worked with multilingual learners ranging from early years to adults in rural, urban, suburban, and international school settings. Beth is dedicated to equitable education for multilingual learners. 

Tan Huynh (@TanKHuynh) is a secondary school teacher specializing in English language acquisition, an author, podcaster, and consultant. His suggestions are rooted in his experience teaching students from 5th to 10th grade in public, private, charter, and international schools.

SOR and Multilingual Learners:  Integrating Structured Literacy and Language

The science of reading (SOR) is a hot topic, but insufficient attention is given to what it means for multilingual learners who are learning to read and write at the same time they are learning to speak and understand the language of instruction. This presentation is intended to bridge the research-to-practice gap by defining what SOR is and is not, addressing what research says about SOR for multilingual learners, and describing classroom applications. Since oral language proficiency is a significant contributor to proficient reading, listening, and speaking skills must be strengthened. In this presentation, ideas for integrating language and literacy using SIOP are presented that support multilingual learners in oral language development. Participants are provided a clear understanding of literacy development for multilingual learners as well as "use-tomorrow" ideas for their own classroom practice. 

Dr. Katie Toppel is a K-5 Language Development Specialist who supports multilingual learners through co-planning, co-teaching, and small group instruction. Dr. Toppel is the newest member of the SIOP author team, co-author of DIY PD: a Guide to Self-Directed Learning for Educators of Multilingual Learners, and co-founder of #MLLChat_BkClub on Twitter. 

Dr. Jana Echevarria, Professor Emerita, California State University, Long Beach, is a founding researcher and creator of the SIOP Model. Dr. Echevarria has published widely on effective instruction for multilingual learners, including those with learning disabilities.  

Supporting Multilingual Learners with Sentence Level Writing

Writing is an important and challenging domain that may present difficulties to Multilingual learners given their unique linguistic needs. As teachers, we are to consider those needs when building writing lessons. In this session, Valentina and Natalia will share practical techniques to support elementary and secondary students at the sentence level that goes beyond word banks. Participants will use sentence level techniques to enhance students' ability to build and communicate ideas. 

Valentina Gonzalez is an educational consultant and content creator for Seidlitz Education working with educators across the nation to support English learners. She works with schools and districts to provide professional learning experiences that are tailored to meet the needs of the educators. Valentina specializes in creating presentations that are practical, engaging, and interactive. Valentina started her journey as an educator in 1997 as a third grade language arts teacher in Katy, Texas. She has served as an educator in many capacities since then including teaching second, third, and fourth grades. 

Trained in Russia as a translator, Natalia Heckman never thought about becoming a teacher. Natalia has taught English and ESOL classes, assisted teachers as a secondary ELA Instructional Coach, and served as an ESL/Bilingual program specialist. Natalia is an educational consultant with Seidlitz Education and the author of the book Building Better Writers. Read more about Natalia, her experiences, and her strategies on her blog: