Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators

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9781452257693: Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators
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Embrace the future by ensuring English Learners have a voice in school.

English Learners (ELs) are the fastest-growing segment of the K–12 population. Therefore, educators must provide a voice for their needs. This book demystifies the techniques of advocacy for ELs, including:
 

  • A shared sense of responsibility for EL success–Providing tools that every educator can use to ensure that ELs are effectively served
  • An overview for administrators–Influencing policy and fostering a culture that meets EL needs
  • Advocacy for ELs’ success beyond Grade 12–Equipping ELs for life after graduation, from higher education to career decisions 

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About the Author:

Diane Staehr Fenner is the president of SupportEd, LLC (formerly DSF Consulting), a woman owned small business that provides educators in English learners’ education the skills and resources they need to champion ELs’ success within and beyond their classrooms. At SupportEd, Diane serves as project lead for all the team’s work providing professional development, programmatic support, and research to school districts, states, organizations, and the U.S. Department of Education. 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 Veracruz, Mexico and Berlin, 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. You can connect with her via email at Diane@GetSupportEd.net or on Twitter at @DStaehrFenner.

 
Watch Diane′s Webinar: Advocating for English Learners: Sharing the Responsiblity and the Joy

Review:

"In many ways, the history of American Education is the history of a quest for equality.  With this must-read book, Dr. Staehr Fenner empowers educators to continue this quest on behalf of students who have too often been relegated to the basement of school buildings, literally and figuratively.   She lends a human face to the experience of English Learners and encourages us to think in terms of what attributes ELs bring to their learning experience and how others can benefit from their presence in the classroom. This book is a promising, uplifting, and much-needed call for action!" (Rosa Aronson, Executive Director 2013-04-09)

"This book is a major contribution to the field in that it offers concrete actions administrators, teachers and parents can take to ensure best practices in schools for ELs.  Diane Staehr Fenner demonstrates her extensive school-based experience by providing a highly practical handbook filled with useful models, tools, and professional development activities, all of which are well grounded in an assets-based and shared responsibility theoretical framework.  This volume will meaningfully advance program quality, assessment and instructional practices, and family engagement through well-formulated advocacy initiatives as demanded by current EL teacher education standards. A welcome addition to all who care about the education of ELs PreK-12 and beyond!" (Nancy Cloud, Director, M.Ed. in TESL Program 2013-04-15)

"This book makes a very important contribution to the field by highlighting the importance of advocacy and, through its numerous examples of advocacy in action, showing how to achieve equitable and excellent education for ELs." (Diane August, Principal 2013-04-22)

"Staehr Fenner delves into the many facets of school-centered advocacy that promote the educational advancement of English language learners. Her thorough treatment of the roles of many stakeholders―including teachers, school leaders, district administrators, and family members―in viewing linguistic and cultural diversity from a strength-based perspective is motivation to read this valuable resource."

(Margo Gottlieb, Director 2013-04-15)

"Diane Staehr Fenner coaches her readers on how to develop a much needed, decisive voice of advocacy. She makes a most compelling case for educators to share the responsibility for teaching English learners within and outside the school. A must read for all teachers, administrators, teacher educators, and policy makers!" (Andrea Honigsfeld, Professor 2013-05-06)

"This book will equip educators with the research and the courage needed to make sure their EL students succeed. A true treasure trove of answers―whether the reader is a veteran educator of ELs, or someone who is new to the profession and the field, this book will improve practice, no doubt about it!" (Giselle Lundy-Ponce, Associate Director 2013-05-01)

"Just when you thought no one could hear you above the din of everyday life as an educator, Diane Staehr Fenner has written a book that demonstrates a broad understanding of the challenges we face. Advocating for English Learners is a great opportunity to engage colleagues in the reflective and collaborative discussions critical to needs assessment and proactive program development to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens and newly arrived immigrant students. This book should be part of every pre-service and in-serivce program for teachers and administrators who serve English learners. The challenge is not what we can do for our students. Our challenge is to create learning environments that recognize and energize the potential of each child and each family to contribute to our communities."
(Anne Marie Foerster Luu, TESOL, International Teacher of the Year, 2013 2013-05-31)

"This is a state-of-the-art, practical, comprehensive resource that will be extremely useful and valuable to practitioners as they advocate to make a positive difference in the lives of English learners and their families." (Teddi Predaris, Director, Office of Language Acquisition and Title I 2013-05-01)

"Diane Staehr Fenner’s practical tips on how to effectively advocate for ELLs will be a valuable resource for schools nationwide. Highly recommended for professional development discussions, district-level planning teams, and pre-service settings." (Lydia Breiseth, Manager 2013-05-01)

"There are a plethora of books that tell teachers and instructional leaders how to best teach ELLs, but the field is in dire need of Advocating for English Learners. Finally, a book that tells us what we need to know before we can get to the work of actual instruction. This book provides educators with a firm understanding of the social and emotional supports that we must provide in order for our ELLs to maximize their academic potential. Advocating for English Learners goes beyond the classroom--linking our students′ realities to the school. It shows us how to use our sphere of influence to provide what might be the missing ingredients for helping our ELLs to learn. This book is a must read for any teacher or administrator who is interested in improving his or her practice and changing the culture of the school to one that embraces all learners." (Esta Montano, Director, English Language Education Special Programs 2013-04-09)

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