This is a resource center for teachers who are committed to serving multilinguals students.On this site, you will find articles related to language instruction supported by research and field-tested in my classroom and in those of content teachers with whom I work. If I do not use it in my class, then I do not write about it, unless there is a guest blogger.
What will readers learn?
This website contains articles about language instructional practices that support multilingual learners. Each article has an infographic that synthesizes the essential information from the article. The intention of sharing these resources is to provide strategies to educators who work with multilinguals.
At times, my resources can be used across the various content area, while at other times, are more relevant for just language specialists. I know that many of you are busy and do not have time to sift through the literature, books, articles, and videos and cannot attend conferences. It is my job to curate these resources for you.
Where does the content come from?
I have learned many of my teaching models and theories from books and peer-reviewed articles. As I brought these practices to class, my students’ responses either reinforced, invalidated, or forced me to modify them. In addition, I have attended trade conferences to learn and network with other EAL educators who are striving to improve the learning experiences of multilingual students.
How can readers use the blog?
Read the articles and download the infographics, watch the videos, and leave comments. Try the practices in your classroom. Keep what works, modify what needs to change, discard anything that doesn’t fit your practice.
What I share with you works with my students, but they might need to be modeled to fit your particular context. What needs to remain are the principles that inform the practices.
Why I do this?
As an multilingual person myself, I know personally, the pain of people not understanding what I so desperately wanted to share. I also know the joy of connecting with someone because of the words I say. Language is the center of relationships. I want to share strategies to help students persevere through those challenging moments and experience more language victories.
What’s my experience?
- M.A.Ed from the American College of Education specializing in Language Acquisition Instruction
- B.A. in Sociology and Spanish from Dickinson College
Public school experience
- I began teaching with the Greater New Orleans Corp of Teach For America in 2007 and spent a year working in Philadelphia. My public school experience ranges from middle school to high school English Language Arts.
International school experience
- I have worked at international schools in China, Laos (Vientiane International School – MYP Language Acquisition), Vietnam (Saigon South International School – 5th-grade EAL), and am working at KIS International school teaching IB MYP Individuals and Societies.
Professional Development experience
I regularly facilitate professional learning at conferences and both at school sites and at the district level. Below are some of the trainings I have facilitated.
- Tan has contributed a series of articles on Middle Web, Larry Ferlazzo’s Edweek blog, and WIDA International.
- Tan has been featured in and/or contributed to books such as
- Boosting Achievement
- Breaking Down Walls
- Collaboration and Co-Teaching 2nd Edition
- Two articles in Edutopia
- A forthcoming SIOP book
- The second edition of the ESL / ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide (publication forthcoming)
- Tan is currently working on a project with Carol Salva and Katie Toppel
Tan’s other projects
- In 2016, Katie Toppel and I created #ellchat_bkclub for teachers to read and talk about EL-related books. The intention is to support teachers as they learn about supporting ELs.
- Since 2017, Carol Salva and I created the Multilingual Summit (formerly VirtuEL), a free virtual conference for teachers of ELs. We bring leading researchers and expert teachers in the field to share their research and strategies to support teachers of ELs. It was featured as a school tool by ASCD in the December 2019/January 2020 issue
- Since 2019, Tan has facilitated an online course on scaffolding and will offer a teacher collaboration course in 2020 as well. The intention of these courses is to provide teachers with a cohort of educators who care and want to learn to expand their skillsets working with ELs.
- In 2020, Tan has started a podcast to record an episode for each of his articles. It will be called Empowering LLs (language learners). The intention is to improve teacher’s access to the blog in a more convenient format.
As of June 2020, I no longer will use the term “English learners” as it sets English at the top of a language hierarchy and ignores the other languages that students are bringing with them to school.
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