Touro University TESOL Masters Degree Candidate Dayna Stechel’s Comprehensible Input Mindmap

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
New York is a state that speaks many languages. We need teachers who can find common ground. The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program helps NYS-certified PreK-12 teachers more effectively teach and communicate with a diverse student population.

This week’s DB is constructing a mindmap of comprehensible input strategies AND connecting those to teaching strategies. Share the mindmap in your DB as a screenshot. You need to include your name in the mindmap, title it, and show the connections of comprehensible input strategies to YOUR teaching IN your CLASSROOM. Make sure you include all sources in your mind map.

Dayna Stechel is from Queens, NY, and is close to completing her Masters in TESOL at Touro University. She attended SUNY New Paltz for her undergraduate degree in early childhood and childhood education. She works as an elementary substitute teacher for NYC public schools.

Touro University TESOL Candidate Alexa Armentano’s Comprehensible Input Mindmap

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
New York is a state that speaks many languages. We need teachers who can find common ground. The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program helps NYS-certified PreK-12 teachers more effectively teach and communicate with a diverse student population.

This week’s DB is constructing a mindmap of comprehensible input strategies AND connecting those to teaching strategies. Share the mindmap in your DB as a screenshot. You need to include your name in the mindmap, title it, and show the connections of comprehensible input strategies to YOUR teaching IN your CLASSROOM. Make sure you include all sources in your mind map

Alexa Armentano is a candidate in the TESOL Graduate program at Touro University. She attended Hofstra University for her undergrad where she earned a dual degree in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Education and a Psychology degree. Fun fact! She coaches the Commack High School dance team. Her mindmap showcases different comprehensible input strategies.

An Overview: Generative AI Programs and ChatGPT Infographic by Dr. Jasmin (Bey) Cowin

One of the earliest examples of generative AI was the “Markov Chain”, a statistical method developed by Russian mathematician Andrey Markov in the early 1900s. Markov chains are a “fairly common, and relatively simple, way to statistically model random processes. They have been used in many different domains, ranging from text generation to financial modeling. A popular example is r/SubredditSimulator, which uses Markov chains to automate the creation of content for an entire subreddit.” Devin Soni

The first successful generative AI algorithm was developed in the 1950s by computer scientist Arthur Samuel, who created the Samuel Checkers-Playing Program an early example of a method now commonly used in artificial intelligence (AI) research, that is, to work in a complex yet understandable domain.

One of the early breakthroughs in generative AI was the development of Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). “It was invented in 1985 by Geoffrey Hinton, then a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and Terry Sejnowski, then a Professor at Johns Hopkins University.” RBMs are a type of neural network that can learn to represent complex data distributions and generate new data based on that distribution. In 2014, a team of researchers from the University of Toronto introduced the Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) framework. Jason Brownlee in A Gentle Introduction to Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). “Generative modeling is an unsupervised learning task in machine learning that involves automatically discovering and learning the regularities or patterns in input data in such a way that the model can be used to generate or output new examples that plausibly could have been drawn from the original dataset.”

Recently, generative AI and ChatGPT have been in the news, discussed at conferences, used by students, and feared by Professors due to the generation of content that can be indistinguishable from that created by humans. Both Google’s BERT and GPT-3, are big language models and have been referred to as “stochastic parrots” because they produce convincing synthetic text devoid of any human-like comprehension. A “stochastic parrot” is, in the words of Bender, Gebru, and colleagues, “a system for randomly stitching together sequences of language forms” that have been seen in the training data “according to probabilistic knowledge about how they join, but without any reference to meaning.”

This infographic is an attempt to visualize the timeline of Generative AI Programs and ChatGPT.

Hyperlinked Resources for Teachers of Multilingual Learners by Dr. Jasmin (Bey) Cowin

I decided to create this hyperlinked resource to better support my teacher candidates in their graduate research at Touro University, TESOL/BLE Department. I wanted to create a visually attractive, clickable one-sheet PDF for a robust, practical resource collection to guide my candidates as they are preparing to write their research papers and case studies.

The resource areas are categorized into Professional Language Organizations and Journals (dark purple), Research Centers and Institutes (light blue), Proficiency and Language Services (green), Teaching Ideas (orange), Resources for Foreign Language Instruction and ESL Education (magnet), and Culturally Responsive Teaching (light purple). There are multitudes of resources and I am sure I missed important ones!

Dr. Jasmin Cowin joins Inter-National Association FOR Trans-Disciplinary Communication AFTC as a Founding Member and Call for Papers

The International Institute of Informatics and Cybernetics, IIIC through The Inter-National Association FOR Trans-Disciplinary Communication AFTC is planning a Special Issue FOR “Trans-Disciplinary Communication”

The objectives are 1) to support a written dialogue related to the Foundation of the International Association FOR “Trans-Disciplinary Communication”, 2) to potentially support the elaboration of a founding collective document, and/or 3) a special issue of the journal related to the notion “Transdisciplinary Communication”  which have two main meaning implied by the context in which the notion is used: 3a) the “Transdisciplinary Communication”  required for communicating members of a multidisciplinary team working in the context of trans-disciplinarity and/or transdisciplinary research, and 3b) the “Transdisciplinary Communication”  related to communicating authors with readers from different disciplines. speakers for a multidisciplinary audience, or even with the Society in General. The latter is the second sense of the etymological meaning of the prefix ‘trans-”, i.e., across and beyond. Accordingly, based on these two etymological senses, “Trans-Disciplinary Communication” means across disciplines and/or beyond them. The first relates academics from different disciplines and the second relates Academy to Society at Large. The latter requires to use of the natural language being spoken in each country.

Call for papers: The 14th International Conference on Society and Information Technologies: ICSIT 2023© March 28 – 31, 2023 Submissions Articles might be submitted for face-to-face or virtual participation in the conference. For details regarding the types of submission, please click here. Submitted papers will have double-blind and non-blind review. They may also have peer-to-peer participative review. More details regarding the Reviewing Policy can be found by clicking on the link “Multi-Methodological Reviewing Process for Multi-Disciplinary Conferences” under the “Reviewers” tab. The acceptance policy to be applied to the reviewed submissions made to ICSIT 2023 is based on the Majority Rule, applied to the reviews received for each submitted article. Details on this issue can be found by clicking on the link “Acceptance Policy” under the “General Info” tab.

Jake LaNasa, Touro University Candidate, TESOL/Bilingual department, Graduate School of Education on “Transforming the Education of English Language Learners/ Multilingual Learners for Tomorrow’s World.”

In my online courses, starting the semester, I facilitate student discussions using Canvas Discussion Boards. Questions focusing on readings help students with critical analysis of the readings. Course progression starts folding in tech tools such as voicethread, videos, mind maps, infographics, etc. I believe discussion boards create opportunities and set the stage for active learning, developing critical thinking and writing skills relevant to the course subject. To nurture graduate writing skills, my discussion boards are required to use APA style referencing. This gives students an opportunity to engage in graduate writing and peer feedback. Jake LaNasa contributed a well-researched and thoughtful discussion board, which I am proud to showcase.

Jake LaNasa is currently a permanent substitute teacher at California Avenue School in the Uniondale School District. H received his bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education, in December of 2021 and has been subbing ever since.

I became a teacher because my mother and many other family members are teachers. My mother would come home from work every day with a smile on her face and I knew that is what I wanted for my future.

Jake LaNasa, Touro University, candidate in the TESOL/Bilingual department, Graduate School of Education

  • Question: CHAP 1. WHAT Characteristics  INFLUENCE ELLs’ having SUCCESS IN SCHOOL?

          In order for ELLs to have success in schools, the teacher must build background knowledge and vocabulary as well as hands-on experience that enhance their understanding of the content. Teachers should also offer access to websites in the student’s native language in order to facilitate any language barriers. The more prepared the teacher is the higher chance of student success. This is not only the job of the teacher but of the schools, districts, and or universities to take action and implement this framework for all ELLs and students. Educators have to be aware of their students’ diverse backgrounds. The students bring cultural and educational experiences to the classroom that will have implications for assessment, program design, and instruction. Understanding the students’ funds of knowledge is incredibly important in constructing effective techniques. 

  • Question: What are some characteristics of ELLs to consider to implement effective teaching?

          No Ell is the same. The more aware the teacher is of this information, the easier it will be to implement proper teaching techniques. Many Ell’s come from different geographic locations which will present challenges. Many school districts have not served large numbers of ELLs in the past, meaning the school’s academic progress toward ELLs is not well established. This not well-established progress will reflect on some schools not having appropriate curricula and or resources available for Ells. Many teachers are also untrained in how to meet the needs of their Ell students, the teacher must know and understand the students’ backgrounds and abilities in their native language in order for the teacher to incorporate effective materials and techniques in their instructional practices. ELLs enter American schools with a range that varies widely in language proficiency.  Many characteristics of ELLs affect the way they learn and their ability for second language acquisition. These characteristics include the students’ educational background, socioeconomic status, age of arrival, personal experiences while traveling to America, and their parents’ education level. As educators, we must push the need for English language development (ELD) in order for the students to transfer their knowledge in their native language into English as they become more proficient with it.

I feel it is important to explain to the students that making mistakes is natural and teachers should not scrutinize students for grammatical correctness early on.

Jake LaNasa, Touro University, candidate in the TESOL/Bilingual department, Graduate School of Education


Educators must assure that the ELLs and SIFE students are getting the best educational opportunities possible. Districts should be integrating technology and revisiting their models of teaching ELLs to make sure their best practices are up to date with the growing and changing Ell population. The most important aspect is ensuring the Ell students are receiving equitable representation in their schools. Introducing TESOL techniques will transform the education of Ells by increasing students’ linguistic knowledge across multilingual contexts through research, standards, professional development/learning, and advocacy. To reach the students and transform their learning we must value their home language and culture to draw them into learning a new language altogether. The student’s home language will facilitate and bridge the gap between learning a completely new language. I feel it is important to explain to the students that making mistakes is natural and teachers should not scrutinize students for grammatical correctness early on. The students must receive feedback strategically in order for the students to not feel as though they cannot successfully acclimate to the new language and give up. Educators should be involving families in their student’s education path. If the families are involved and participate in their children’s education, this may lead to a greater chance of success as students will feel empowered. Students have to feel comfortable in the classroom during lessons, teachers can add more visuals, translate essential vocabulary, and allow students to collaborate in their native language during discussions. The classroom must be a safe environment. If the children do not feel safe, their ability to learn is fragmented and much more difficult. Implementing the SIOP model will also transform the education of Ells. The SIOP model consists of eight instructional strategies that will help educators in their lesson design and delivery. The SIOP model involves building background, lesson preparation, interaction, practice and application, lesson delivery, strategies, comprehensible input, and review and assessment. This model has a strong research base that has been tested across grade levels and subject areas. Implementing this model has proven to improve academic literacy for ELL students. With more teachers using this model, the future of Ell students is very bright.

  • Question: What is one takeaway from this week’s readings and how might it impact your teaching?

          Something that stood out to me is the fact that ELLs are either over or under-represented in special education. Many districts and schools struggle to distinguish between a learning disability and a delay in developing second language acquisition. Even if students are correctly identified, districts may have trouble providing services to bilingual special education educators. After reading this it changes my perspective of Ells in special education. This motivates me to meet with special education teachers in my building and discuss how they identify ELLs in special education and what services or scaffolds they have in place for them. I never want to misidentify a student and I believe that many students are. Some students have delays in language acquisition, but it does not mean they should be in a special education classroom. 

  • Question: Share a fun fact or photo of yourself.

          A fun fact about me is I work in the Uniondale school district where there is an overwhelming and continually growing amount of Ell students. I am taking these courses in order to further my knowledge of Ells and TESOL which in turn will make me a more qualified and proficient teacher in this school district. I am excited to obtain new knowledge and apply it to my Ell students every week.


Schembari, J. (2023, January 11). What advocates say we must do to support the needs of these children. Work It Daily. Retrieved January 25, 2023, from

Echevarria, J. (2007). Making content comprehensible for English language learners: The Siop model. Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Dr. Jasmin Cowin and “The Mitzvah of Mezzuzah and Metaverses” featured in the Israel Herald

Back yard, Court 15, Inge Street, Birmingham (10) by Brian Robert Marshall is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

I am pleased that my thoughts on “The Mitzvah of Mezzuzah and Metaverses” were featured in the Israel Herald. I believe it is time to engage in transdisciplinary discussions and explore the potential implications of dynamic simulation environments for Jewish educators, instructional designers, metaverse curators, and users to ensure Jewish principles are honored.

Read the article: The Mitzvah of Mezzuzah and Metaverses

Call for Proposals for The Third VirtuaTELL Conference due March 1st, 2023

As a conference co-chair for the Third VirtuaTELL Conference, I am pleased to announce:

Conference Theme: Technology Enhanced Language Learning: Investigate, Identify, and Innovate

There will also be an Innovative Technology Use Teacher Competition

The Third VirtuaTELL Conference will be on May 6th, 2023.

This year’s conference theme reflects on current trends and approaches in technology-enhanced language learning and teaching to investigate, identify and innovate within a broad consideration of related issues, including (but not limited to) the following: millennials and language acquisition; 21st Century pedagogies embedded in and using technology for language teaching and acquisition; assistive technologies, technology in special education; culturally relevant and asset-based pedagogy, gamification, e-assessment; and immersive realities for diverse linguistic learners.

The Third VirtuaTELL Conference website

Third Annual VirtuaTeLL Conference Call for Proposals deadline will be March 1st, 2023.

EdUp host Holly Owens features Dr. Jasmin (Bey) Cowin on “Preparing Educators for the Complexities of 21st Century Classrooms”

This podcast is a go-to resource to stay updated with the latest and greatest Ed Tech tools that are disturbing (in a good way) education. EdUp EdTech is hosted by Holly Owens, whose ability to break down the complex components of edtech makes us believe we can do anything when it comes to education! Join Holly each week as she hosts insightful guests from the world of educational technology.

Holly Owens, “In this episode, I got to chat with my friend, Dr. Jasmin Cowin from Touro University! Jasmin is an Assistant Professor of TESOL, Ed Tech guru, and lover of all things education. In this episode, you get to hear about Jasmine’s journey into education, her thoughts on jobs of the future, and what we should be doing to prepare our educators for 21st-century classrooms.”

English vs Ukrainian: A Morphology Comparison for US Educators of Displaced Ukrainian Students

by Dr. Jasmin (Bey) Cowin

To support teachers working with Ukrainian students, I prepared this grammar resource for teachers and students alike to showcase a morphology comparison between Ukrainian and English parts of speech. Morphological awareness has been related to literacy development including vocabulary development and reading comprehension (Ke & Xiao, 2015). 

I believe that developing morphological awareness across both languages, enables both teachers and Ukrainian students to use their linguistic repertoire across languages and benefit from their multilingual resources.

Dr. Jasmin (Bey) Cowin

In addition,  Translate Google is a useful tool for basic translations. Feel free to share my resource!

As displaced Ukrainian families are dispersing out across the country they are finding refuge with family, friends, and volunteers and enroll their children in school. In New York, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Manuel Castro launched New York City’s Ukrainian Response Initiative in June 2022, to help currently residing and newly arrived Ukrainian New Yorkers access immigration legal assistance, translation services, social services, and other resources. Information on how to access services provided through this initiative can be found on or by calling NYC’s immigration hotline at 800-354-0365.  

New York State officials estimate New York will need more than 180,000 new teachers in the next decade, however, the teacher shortage is already hitting selected subject specialties and geographic areas. According to NYSUT, New York reports persistent shortages in teachers for special education, bilingual education, English as a Second Language, science, mathematics, English Language Arts, social studies, world languages, career and technical education, health education, literacy and library science.

Touro University’s TESOL and bilingual certificate programs prepare NYS-certified teachers to provide responsive, comprehensive education to students of every background.

What You’ll Learn

The 15-credit program includes five courses—each with carefully designed fieldwork experiences—that emphasize both academic content learning and English fluency for English Language Learners.

We explore contemporary theory and research-based instructional strategies for multicultural education, methods and materials for second language acquisition, and best practices for teaching ELLs in specific subjects. We give you the tools to ensure that your students meet the latest performance standards of PreK-12 curricula in both private and public schools.

Courses are offered evenings and Sundays, and online to accommodate our students’ diverse scheduling needs, and you’ll receive personalized guidance based on your current work and career goals from highly qualified and experience professors.   

Upon completion of the program, you’ll be eligible for the New York State Advanced Certificate in ESOL. All courses are transferable to the master’s degree program in TESOL at Touro College.

Admissions Requirements

In addition to general requirements, applicants must provide proof of initial or professional teaching certificate, as well as 12 credits of foreign language study or a passing score on a  CLEP examination. Students who have not satisfied the foreign language studies requirement may be admitted to the program, but with the understanding that they must satisfy this requirement as soon as possible and prior to graduation.

Contact us to learn more about our advanced certificate and master’s programs.


Ke, S., & Xiao, F. (2015). Cross-linguistic transfer of morphological awareness between Chinese and English. Language Awareness24(4), 355–380. doi:10.1080/09658416.2015.1114624 [Taylor & Francis Online][Web of Science ®][Google Scholar]