Karen Beeman: Using a Multilingual Perspective to Optimize Language, Literacy and Learning for ELs

A strength-based, multilingual perspective of language ability helps us refine our attitudes and maximize instruction and assessment for English Learners by focusing on what students can do.  Using case studies, videos and examples, this session will present principles that guide ​teachers of ELs in implementing​ a multilingual perspective using active engagement strategies that help develop academic rigor, language proficiency and overall school success.

Karen Beeman
Karen is an education consultant whose specialty is biliteracy and bilingual education. Karen’s professional experience includes working as bilingual teacher, principal of a dual language school in the city of Chicago, and as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at National Louis University. The area that has most captured Karen’s passion and work is biliteracy, how to teach children how to read and write in two languages at the same time. As a professional developer, Karen works at the national level providing training for teachers and principals and she also collaborates with the Illinois Resource Center. A simultaneous bilingual born and raised in Mexico City, Karen is co-author, along with Cheryl Urow, of the book Teaching for Biliteracy: Strengthening Bridges between Languages (Caslon Publishing, 2013) and is co-founder of the Center for Teaching for Biliteracy, an on-line forum for supporting and connecting educators who teach for biliteracy.


Jeff Zwiers: Accelerating Language Learning with Authentic Communication

This keynote highlights the power of authentic communication–rather than pseudo-communication–to foster language development that lasts. The presentation includes authentic activities and classroom videos to both show and motivate educators to make significant changes to curricula, assessment practices, and instruction.

Jeff Zwiers
Jeff is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the director of professional development for Understanding Language/SCALE, a research and professional learning center focused on improving instruction and assessment of English learners and other diverse students. He consults for national and international teacher development projects that promote language, literacy, lesson design, and formative assessment practices. His current research focuses on improving professional learning models and developing classroom instruction that fosters high-quality oral language and constructive conversations across disciplines.