NYS TESOL Journal published Dr. Cowin’s “Simulation-Based Learning Environment: A Training Tool for TESOL Teacher Candidates”

simSchool screenshot of virtual classroom

simSchool: screenshot of virtual classroom environment training module.

I am pleased to announce the publication of my Materials Review:

Cowin, J. B. (2020). simSchool’s Simulation-Based Learning Environment: A Training Tool for TESOL Teacher Candidates. NYS TESOL Journal, 7(2), 44-46. Retrieved 2020, from http://journal.nystesol.org/currentissue.html

Many thanks to the helpful direction of the Editor-in-Chief Lubie Grujicic-Alatriste, New York City, College of Technology, City University of New York.

Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice Publication: Access and Equity: Computers for Schools Burundi by Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin

Keywords: Higher Education, Practice, education, information and communication technology (ICT), access, equity, computers for schools Burundi, African

It is my pleasure to announce the publication of my article in the Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice:
Cowin, J. B. (2020). Access and Equity: Computers for Schools Burundi. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice20(3). https://doi.org/10.33423/jhetp.v20i3.2970

Keywords: Higher Education, Practice, education, information and communication technology (ICT), access, equity, computers for schools Burundi, African


Although information and communication technology (ICT) has been used in various parts of the world to improve access to and the quality of education, educational systems in many African nations still face challenges around access to, equity in, and accessibility of ICT. Such issues are widespread in public education throughout Burundi. To resolve these issues, all stakeholders, including nongovernmental organizations, not-for-profit organizations, schools, communities, and employers in the education sector, must recognize and facilitate educational liberation leading to the social transformation of Burundi’s educational system. It is especially important to include previously disadvantaged communities. This paper outlines and contextualizes the quest of Computers for Schools Burundi to improve access to and equity in ICT literacy skills for Burundian youth from kindergarten–Grade 12.

Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin Presents “Tips and Resources on Teaching Math Online to English Learners”, a NYS TESOL Webinar

NYS TESOL Webinars

All are welcome to participate in our webinars! 

  • All webinars are listed in Eastern time (NYC time zone)
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  • Members will be prioritized when the session reaches capacity
  • Only members can apply for CTLE. Follow this link to apply for CTLE.  Join now for these benefits!
  • To register for any upcoming webinars, click here: https://bit.ly/nystesolwebinar.

Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin presents “Tips and Resources on Teaching Math Online to English Learners” on 8/20/2020 at 2 pm

Explore different online tools such as Desmos Activities .

Key Math vocabulary for ELLs in Preproduction, Early Production, Speech Emergence, (Krashen & Terrell, 1983).
• Number words, including cardinal (three) and ordinal (third) form
• Words related to basic mathematical operations:
• Addition, add, sum, plus
• Subtraction, subtract, difference, minus
• Multiplication, multiply, product, times
• Division, divide, quotient
• Equals

The Virtual NYS TESOL 50th Annual Conference Schedule featuring Diane Larsen-Freeman, Ofelia García, Stephen Krashen

The New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages is delighted to announce its speaker schedule for The Virtual NYS TESOL 50th Annual Conference.

The dates: 11/13/2020 – 11/14/2020 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

The Virtual NYS TESOL 50th Annual Conference will be inclusive of all our members across New York State and around the world! 

We have intentionally designed a compassionate virtual conference – a place to connect, learn and above all share how much we care about our multilingual learners, their families, and each other. 

The two days will be filled with rich opportunities to learn, share, and interact with educators of multilingual learners at all levels. Conference activities include three types of concurrent sessions: 45-minute interactive workshops, 25-minute practice or research-focused presentations, quick 15-minute teaching tips as well as fun coffee breaks and lunches with incredible keynote speakers.

Registration & Fees
The conference fee includes the full two days of conference activities, access to recordings of all sessions, and NYS TESOL membership through 2021.
2020 Member $75
Click here to register

If you would like to make a donation to support NYS TESOL in honor of our 50th anniversary, click here!

Schedule at a Glance

Friday, November 13, 2020

9:00-9:10Opening Remarks by NYS TESOL President Laura Baecher
9:15-9:45Plenary 1: Okhee Lee
10:00-10:45 Concurrent Sessions
11:00-11:30 Coffee Klatsch with TESOL Great Diane Larsen-Freeman
11:45-12:15Plenary 2: Ofelia García
12:30-1:15TESOL Expert Brown-Bag Conversation with Luciana de Oliveira
1:30-2:30 Hands-on Workshops

More than Scaffolding Reading: Validating, Affirming, Honoring ELs Valentina Gonzalez
Teaching Immigration Through Film: A Workshop for Secondary Educators Tatyana Kleyn
Culturally Sustaining-Responsive Instructional Reading Approaches for Emergent Adolescent Readers Jody Polleck
Migrant Students and Trauma – Part 1 Michael O’Loughlin and Susanne Marcus
The Altruistic Shield: Moving Past Racial Discomfort and White Fragility Justin Gerald
Standing up for Our Community: an Upstander Workshop for Teachers Sarah Creider
Virtual Study Abroad Collaboration Devin Thornburg and Óscar Ceballos
2:45-3:15Afternoon Tea with TESOL expert Diane Staehr Fenner
3:30-4:00Plenary 3:  Deborah Short
4:15-5:00Award Ceremony Celebrate Students and Educators

Saturday, November 14, 2020

9:00-9:10Opening Remarks by NYS TESOL President Laura Baecher
9:15-9:45Plenary 1: Elisa Alvarez
10:00-10:45 Concurrent Sessions
11:00-11:30Coffee Klatsch with TESOL great Stephen Krashen 
11:45-12:15Plenary 2: Alicja Winnicki and Elsa Nuñes
12:30-1:15TESOL Expert Brown-Bag Conversation with Emily Francis
1:30-2:30 Hands-on Workshops Migrant Students and Trauma – Part 2 Michael O’Loughlin and Susanne Marcus
Advancing the Language & Literacy Needs of Adolescent Newcomers Rebecca Curinga and Ingrid Heidrick
The Synchronous Online Flipped Learning Approach – An 8-Step Cycle Helaine Marshall
Engaging All Students in Learning Science Through Functional Use of Language Emily Kang and Okhee Lee
Creating Breakout Rooms with Google Meet to Encourage Live Collaboration Tan Huynh
Addressing Perceptions and Stereotypes in Interracial Friendships and Teacher-Student Relationships within Diverse School Communities Ming-Hsuan Wu and Sonna Opstad
Determining Language Difference from Disability Jamie Scripps
Taller de Bitmoji Esther Park and Suzy Cáceres

Deepen Learning with PBL Virtual Field Trips Frederic Lim
Culturally-Responsive and Sustaining Practices Odette Clarke and Max Chang
Texts, Topic, Translanguaging: A Framework for Teaching Bilingual/ Multilingual Students Carla España and Luz Yadira Herrera
2:45-3:15NYS TESOL SIGs/ Regions Tea and Conversation
3:30-4:00Plenary 3: Andrea Honigsfeld and Maria Dove
4:15-5:00Toast the 50th!Honor 50 Past Presidents and Installation of New Board

Dr. Cowin’s Merge Cube and Google Expedition Poster for the Virtual Poster Fair at the 2020 NAFSA Conference

When I submitted my poster to the 2020 NAFSA Conference I had no idea how much our country, the world, and education were going to change through COVID-19. Thank you to NAFSA eConnection for creating a virtual poster fair! I’m excited to see that many of the resources, ideas, and recommendations for virtual collaboration and connections are now recognized as fundamental for the future.

The Merge Cube lets you hold virtual 3D objects, enabling an entirely new way to learn and interact with the digital world. Google Expeditions lets a teacher take student explorers through collections of 360° and 3D images. Merge cube features a free Miniverse App incorporating Google expeditions such as the animals of the Galapagos or the Grand Canyons. The Merge Explorer features interactive experiences for elementary through middle school, where students can investigate a smoking volcano, examine a great white shark, and hold the earth in the palm of their hands. Using innovative virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) technology, and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), students can learn about topics such as earth science, life cycles and traits, ocean animals, space systems, structure and properties of matter, energy, waves, light, sound and more.

In this poster, you will find a QR code with a printable merge cube which has limited functionality for you to try it out. Download and launch a free Cube app on your smartphone or tablet. – I included 3 free Merge apps with their QR codes on the poster. Point your device at the Cube. Watch the Cube transform into a virtual object!


Multisensory Learning
The Merge Cube enables a multisensory learning experience since students can engage with digital content naturally and intuitively using visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses, for more memorable and impactful learning.
Developing Spatial Abilities
With the Merge Cube, students practice and develop spatial intelligence through manipulating and inspecting digital 3D objects. Students with strong spatial abilities excel in STEM fields, allowing them to go further.

Google Expedition
Google Expedition can be accessed either in an immersive VR view or a 360 mobile view, by clicking on the non-VR view icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. This non-VR view means that students do not have to use any additional technology, their mobile device is enough. Students are probably familiar with using their device in this manner, due to Facebook 360. There are more than 900 virtual field trips available in the Google spreadsheet included through a QR code for you. You can take your students anywhere in the world from the Grand Canyons to the Louvre.


Process Chart for Computers for Schools Burundi

This poster presents an analysis of the SOFAIR method, a Six Sigma Approach to continual improvement for social responsibility that was used to analyze the collaborative project Computers for Schools Burundi. This project, together with several stakeholders both in Burundi and globally, supports thousands of students from disadvantaged regions throughout Burundi.

Computers for Schools Burundi-3-01

Accepted Conference Proposal: Simulation-Based Learning Environments for the Twenty-seventh International Conference on Learning July 13 – 15, 2020

Accepted Conference Proposal: Simulation-Based Learning Environments for the Twenty-seventh International Conference on Learning July 13 – 15, 2020. A virtual poster presentation with a focus on epistic game theory.

A virtual poster presentation with a focus on epistic game theory


Online, web-based virtual classroom environments, populated with student avatars, use simulation-based learning to increase teacher candidates’ understanding of the educational needs of diverse learners. The student avatars in simulations are controlled by artificial emotional intelligence software. As intensive web applications, these environments can provide a safe, risk-free virtual space to explore a range of teaching strategies, while offering immediate feedback as a training tool for teacher candidates during interrupted practicum experiences, fully online pedagogy courses and virtual fieldwork experiences.

Keywords: Simulation-Based Learning, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Epistic Game Theory, Virtual Teacher Practicum

For whom: Twenty-Seventh International Conference on Learning July 13 – 15, 2020 Universitat de València – Facultat de Magisteri, Av. dels Tarongers, 4, València, Spain


Touro TESOL Practicum Teacher Candidate Felicia Giaccone’s Website

Growth mindsetTouro TESOL Practicum Teacher Candidate Felicia Giaccone is “looking for a permeant school community that stands together, respects one another, and is fully invested in all of its students. I believe you will find me to be a dedicated individual who strives to instill motivation and confidence in my students. What I believe I will bring to a school community is passion, heart, enthusiasm, and organization. Despite all the challenges teachers face, it will always be my biggest passion. I strive to show colleagues and students my enthusiasm to continue to learn and further our knowledge together. I venture out to develop new innovative ways to teach the New York State curriculum. I would feel privileged to be a part of your school. I appreciate and thank you for your consideration.”


Touro TESOL Candidate Yevette Jensen’s Morphological Intervention Case Study

EDDN 636 – Linguistic Structure of the English Language- Sociolinguistic Perspective provides an understanding of basic linguistic concepts and their applications for TESOL instruction. Specific concepts include phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, discourse analysis, and the nature of regional and social variations in American English. Students will explore the origins, diversity, and functions of human languages, in addition to the relationship between language and society. Includes 10 hours of fieldwork.

Yevette Jensen is a first-year teacher in the Central Islip School District. She teaches a 15:1 special education class, “with 12 wonderful students! I am currently getting my master’s in TESOL at Touro and this is a case study I did on one of my students to address her lack of morphological awareness.”

Case Study:

The student that I conducted this case study on is Elizabeth. She is a fifth grade ENL student in a 15:1 special education classroom. One of Elizabeth’s classifications is a Speech and Language Impairment so I felt she would be the perfect student to focus on for the case study. Elizabeth’s biggest struggle out of all the academic areas is reading and writing. According to Courter, “As with receptive and expressive language development, the same components of language- phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics- play a vital role in reading and writing” (p. 7). Throughout observing Elizabeth, it is clear that she lacks morphological awareness. Which is why I feel that she lacks skills in reading and writing.

George Yule (2020) defines morphology as “the study of word forms” (p. 67). More specifically, morphology is the study of morphemes; the smallest unit of meaning in language. Morphological awareness is an important aspect to being successful in reading and writing for all students. However, it is especially important for English Language Learners because it breaks down language and creates patterns of meaning for speakers.

The platform that I was working with to conduct this study was Zoom. While I think Zoom is a great way to connect with students, I did run into some difficulties. The biggest challenge was scheduling a time when the student was able to meet with me. A few times we had scheduled to meet and she was unable to due to complications with the internet and or someone else in her family needed to use the computer for their own work. Another issue was her distractibility. This student is high energy and finds it difficult to stay focused in a classroom setting. Having to do this through a Zoom meeting rather than being one on one and being able to use the strategies I have all year to redirect her was a little frustrating. This new “classroom setting” heightened her distractibility and she had to be redirected several times throughout our sessions just by verbal commands rather than the ticket system she was used to from the classroom. With that being said she did put forth great effort to try and focus on what was being taught to her.

Activity storyThroughout the school year, I have taught prefixes and suffixes to my students. This is something that Elizabeth has struggled with all year and it continues to be a challenge for her. Not only is she an ENL student, but she also has a learning disability as well as a Speech and Language Impairment. All of these factors together make it more difficult for her to grasp new concepts such as this one. When reading Elizabeth will skip over words that contain prefixes because she does not understand what the word means. She will also omit a prefix or suffix herself and just say the words that are familiar to her. For example, instead of saying “Sarah was unable to tie her shoes” she would take off the prefix “un” and the suffix “s” and just say “Sarah was able to tie her shoe”. This poses as a problem for her because by doing that she is changing the meaning of the words in the sentence entirely. This is one reason why she struggles with reading comprehension because when she skips over or omits prefixes and suffixes, she is changing the meaning of the word from what it was intended to be. Elizabeth does not have the skills to break down words into different parts in order to gain meaning. My goal in doing this specific activity and others that will follow is to improve Elizabeth’s morphological awareness in hopes that her reading comprehension and overall reading skills improve.

The specific activity I am going to talk about is just the beginning of what I am going to be doing with Elizabeth over the next few weeks. This specific activity focused just on prefixes. I picked 3 prefixes that I felt wouldn’t be too challenging for Elizabeth. The prefixes I chose were: non, dis, and un, all three of these prefixes share the same meaning of “not”. I felt it would be better to teach prefixes that have the same meaning in groups to try any eliminate confusion.

I decided to start the lesson/activity with a short YouTube video called Learn about Prefixes. I wanted to play this in order to build a little background knowledge and to refresh her memory of what we did previously in class. After that, I showed her a brief PowerPoint that I created through the screen share feature on zoom. This PowerPoint went over what a prefix is and what a root word is. As well as explaining how a prefix can change the meaning of a word that we already know. After I went over the PowerPoint, I displayed on the screen a short story. This short story contained one example of each prefix we were focused on for this activity (un, dis, non). As I read the story out loud Elizabeth was following along. When we came across a word with a prefix, she highlighted it with the annotation feature on zoom. I read the article twice, this is something I do all the time with my students due to their lack of comprehension skills. After I read the story twice, I asked Elizabeth to recall what words she saw that contained prefixes. For each word, I had a picture card to show her. I showed her the picture card and asked her what she thinks each word means. After we did this, I pulled up a chart on Zoom under share screen. This chart had 3 columns. One for the prefixes, one for the root word, and one for the meaning of the word. Elizabeth had to break down each word, she did this by writing it down on the chart, I was able to send it to her mom and she printed it out for Elizabeth. I also had her talk me through her thought process. For example, she said things such as “The base word is fair, which means……” or “The prefix in this word is un which means not”.

Activity Chart

After we finished that activity, to close the lesson I had Elizabeth try to come up with words that used the prefixes un, dis, and non on her own. In addition, I assigned her a short homework assignment on Google Classroom. For the homework assignment she had to look up 5 words that I gave her which used the prefixes un, dis, or non and fill out a chart like the one she did for the activity. She then had to use each word in a sentence.

While doing this activity with Elizabeth, she seemed to pick up the concept quickly. She enjoyed the article and the activity that was paired with it. Elizabeth did run into some challenges when she was asked to come up with words on her own using the prefixes. She needed some prompting such has “when someone is not happy, what word can we use to say that?” or “What is the word we use when we do not agree with someone?”. My concern is that she has a hard time retaining information and if not practiced weekly she will never fully understand this topic. I have zoomed with her four times and each meeting was centered around this topic. I definitely have seen some improvement since day one and I feel it is due to the repetition of the concept and review of what we did in the previous meeting each time to refresh her memory. I do plan to continue doing various lesson involving morphological awareness to help Elizabeth improve her skills. A modification I would like to do is have this lesson/activity be more interactive and hands-on. For example, making a sorting game with prefixes and root words or doing a smartboard activity. With our current online teaching situation, there was not much room to implement the typical strategies I use in the classroom to engage her. With all of that beginning said I think Elizabeth did pretty well and did make some progress. I look forward to continuing this with her and hopefully seeing more growth in her morphological awareness.

I think doing this project was a great learning experience. I think a part that was a little challenging for me was having to pinpoint what specific aspect of linguistics I felt Elizabeth struggled with. I was able to do this through the help of my school’s ENL and Speech teacher as well as, reading the many resources that were provided to me. Another part that was a process for me was coming up with the actual activity. As I mentioned above when describing the student, I did this study on, she is not only an ENL student but is also learning disabled and has a Speech and Language Impairment. While creating the activity I had to target the ENL aspect in addition to making sure that the activity was appropriate for where she is academically which is a first-grade level. Something I learned in doing this project is that we as educators have to recognize the needs of our students. Not all of the same strategies or approaches will work for every student. For ENL students specifically it also depends on their proficiency level and not teaching them material on a level that we want them to be at or expect them to be at, but teaching them material on the level they are at and building up from there. In doing that is how we will ensure that our ENL students are being as successful as they can be in the classroom on a daily basis.


Common Content Area Roots and Affixes – ReadWriteThink. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/printouts/common-content-area-roots-30842.html

Courter, M. K. (n.d.). 101 Therapy Strategies to Increase Your Effectiveness as a Speech-   Language Pathologist. Bellevue, WA: Bureau of Education & Research.

Rooting Out Meaning: Morpheme Match-Ups in the Primary Grades – ReadWriteThink. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/rooting-meaning-morpheme-match-880.html

VocabularySpellingCity. (2012, September 14). Learn about Prefixes. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l170VTskxKA

Yule, G. (2020). The study of language (4th ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.