Tech Tesoros for Modern English Language Learners with Martin Cisneros

Image of Professional Development session.

Martin Cisneros leading a PD on using tech to engage English Language Learners.

I was able to attend an EdTech Cadre Saturday Session on March 3, 2018 at our P.D.C. During his presentation, Martin Cisneros asked us to consider the following questions:

  1. What role do you think technology should play in educating English learners?
  2. What types of technology do you currently use with ELs in your school and why?
  3. How does Bloom’s taxonomy for 21st century learners pertain to the ELD/ ESL classroom and the use of technology?
  4. How can technology help to create a more student-centered learning environment?
  5. How can the P21 or ISTE standards guide instruction for ELs?

In this blog, we will explore Questions 2 and 4.

Martin presented the video discussion platform FLIPGRID.  A Stockton Unified School District teacher I know uses FLIPGRID with her long-term English learners in an afterschool program.

Now that the CA English Language Development Test (CELDT) has gone “bye-bye” and has been replaced with the English Language Proficiency Assessment for CA (ELPAC), we find that some test items are similar to the CELDT and some are quite different.

One ELPAC task type that is similar to CELDT is “Support and Give Reasons.”  Students listen to a presentation about two activities, events, materials, or objects and are asked to give an opinion about why one is better than the other.

  •    At grades K-2, the questions are usually about a personal choice.
  •    At grades 3-5, the questions are usually about a school choice.
  •    At grades 6-12, the questions are usually about a community choice.

In a lesson in the afterschool program, students were asked to choose what they would rather get for their birthday:  clothes or toys? After making their choice, students recorded themselves using FLIPGRID, giving their choice and two supporting reasons.  They were able to record and re-record their responses until they felt ready to share.

Classmates then listened to each other’s responses and determined 1) the choice their classmates made:  clothes or toys, and 2) two supporting reasons for their choice. Students then gave feedback to their peers about their supporting reasons (e.g., more detailed, relevant, academic).  Students could also offer peer feedback on grammar, word choice, pronunciation/intonation.

Have you used FLIPGRID or another tech tool with your English learners?  I’d love to know more about it!

(Editors note: Martin was the second of a four-part Saturday Speaker Series held at the P.D.C. The final installment will be featuring Jon Corippo on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Go Sign Me Up #371301.)


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