MATSOLnews Blog

In an effort to ensure that all students have access to a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers, the U.S. Department of Education released a resource guide today to help educators, school leaders and community organizations better support undocumented youth, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

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Enjoy this montage of photos from the MATSOL 2015 Conference. Photographs by Christie C. White.

We are saddened to share the news of the death of Mary-Margaret Almonte on May 12, 2015. Mary-Margaret worked in the Malden public schools, and was a long-time and active MATSOL member. In 2011, she received a Linda Schulman Innovation Grant for the project "Children Reading the World," which promoted literacy by having students take photographs of family and community and work in cooperative groups to develop literacy projects. In 2012, she was recognized for her work with ELLs by receiving the MATSOL Teacher of the Year award. She was a valued colleague and friend, and contributed to MATSOL and our field in many ways. MATSOL extends our deepest condolences to Mary-Margaret's family, friends, students, and colleagues.

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A Boston Globe editorial endorses the LOOK Bill filed by Rep. Sánchez and Sen. DiDomenico:

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We had a great turnout for the MATSOL get together at TESOL 2015 in Toronto. It was great to see everyone! 

The MATSOL community is saddened to learn of the death of Robert Saitz, a MATSOL founder, our first President, and an influential leader in our field. We extend our condolences to his family and colleagues.

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Nominations & Proposals for the MATSOL 2014 Awards are due March 2, 2015. 

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This report from The Rennie Center identifies and measures state-level indicators linked to outcomes to inform decision-making among Massachusetts education leaders. These indicators focus on critical stages in learning and development from school readiness and early learning to the emergence of a strong and productive workforce. It identifies three areas in which statewide action can build on existing, effective practice to generate significant improvements in student outcomes. 

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MATSOL is proud to join the Language Opportunity Coalition in announcing that through our efforts assisting our state legislators, two exciting bills have been filed for the 2015-2016 Massachusetts legislative session. One bill establishes a State Seal of Biliteracy.  The second bill, the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) bill, addresses language acquisition programs, and also includes the (identical) text as the Seal of Biliteracy bill, giving us two opportunities to seek the seal’s passage. We are asking for your help today to secure co-sponsors for both bills.

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Show your commitment to the value of the MATSOL and help to shape its future! The MATSOL Nominations Committee is charged with developing a slate of qualified candidates to fill open positions on the MATSOL Board of Directors. We invite your participation in this important process.  Help us identify competent, energetic, committed members of MATSOL to take a leadership role, work on behalf of the organization, and represent MATSOL members and stakeholders. Nominees will be elected by the membership at the MATSOL Annual Meeting on May 7, 2015 at the MATSOL Conference.  Nominations are due April 1, 2015.  More information...

From the US Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition: English Learner Tool Kit – Chapter 1: “Tools and Resources for Identifying All English Learners”

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The US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has released new guidance on the civil rights of ELLs and the rights of LEP parents. The resource page includes fact sheets for parents and students in multiple languages, as well as resources for schools and administrators.

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WIDA and CAL are currently in the process of developing ACCESS 2.0 (Series 401, 2016-17) writing folders and would like to recruit educators for an online Bias, Sensitivity, and Content Review. We would like your assistance with identifying educators for this opportunity. Nominated educators should have experience teaching ELLs. It would be great if they also had Language Arts or Social Studies content background. Due to the format of the meetings being online, it would also be helpful for educators to have participated in Bias, Sensitivity, and Content reviews in the past.

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November 2014 is Massachusetts Family Literacy Month! Across the state, many schools, libraries, adult learning centers, parent support programs, social service agencies, and local businesses provide organized activities for families during Family Literacy Month. Many of these events involve hands-on literacy activities for parents and children that demonstrate how parents can engage with their children at home. Storytelling, family math nights, readings by authors and community leaders, interactive sing-a-longs, and creating books and bookmarks are examples of family learning activities. 

Parents can help their children develop literacy -- and a love of reading -- by reading to them in their native language. Research shows that teaching children to read in their first language also promotes higher levels of reading achievement in English (Goldenberg 2008). In honor of Family Literacy Month, MATSOL has created a list of Multilingual Literacy Resources for Parents, with links to resources in over 50 languages, including:
    • Reading tips sheets, guides and videos
    • Online digital children's books
See the DESE's Family Literacy Consortium web page for more events and information.

In this TESOL Quarterly article, Jasone Cenoz and Durk Gorter present a critique of the policy of language isolation in TESOL and propose an innovative plurilingual approach to the teaching of English that softens the boundaries between languages. (This article is free to non-members)

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MATSOL Members got together on September 21 at a MATSOL Meet-Up at the Fitchburg Art Museum to celebrate opening of the exhibits ONE LANGUAGE IS NEVER ENOUGH: Latino Artists in Southern New England / UN IDIOMA NUNCA ES SUFICIENTE: Artistas Latinos en el Sur de Nueva Inglaterra and MARIO QUIROZ: Mis Vecinos, Portraits of Fitchburg’s Latino Communities. Both exhibits will be on display until January (and Mis Vecinos until September 2015). The museum welcomes school groups, so if you are interested it seeing the exhibit with your class, please contact them: www.fitchburgartmuseum.org/

A new report analyses the economic benefit brought by our region's foreign students, with an estimated $1.8 billion spent on tuition and $933 million spent on cost of living over the past four years. Boston has the third largest number of foreign students in the country, with largest numbers at Northeastern, Boston University, and Harvard University. 

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A new website for Massachusetts that chronicles the intersection between immigrant integration and early education.  It is primarily a resource for educators, providers and stakeholders - with the emphasis on empowering families and young children. Includes links to training opportunities, data, and an extensive video archive.

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Boston College announcement: The Lynch School of Education will launch a program in September to certify bilingual education teachers who work in schools offering dual-language immersion classes where English- and Spanish-speaking students develop fluency in both languages across their academic subjects.

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