Touro TESOL Candidate Alessia Tartamella on Program Options and Teaching Models for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners

Online Discussion boards ensure that course questions and answers are available to all participants, create a repository of shared information and create a permanent record of all postings. Yet, apart from these points, Online Discussion Boards throughout the semester showcase students in-depth analysis of the assigned materials and their scholarly trajectory. This week I am featuring Touro College, TESOL candidate Alessia Tartamella’s excellent contribution.

Alessia Tartamella, a 3rd Grade NYC Public School teacher in Brooklyn, New York, has taught English Language Learners since 2016. She received her Bachelors Degree of Business Administration at Brooklyn College and her Masters Degree in Teaching Children grades 1-6 at Brooklyn College. Currently, she attends Touro College to pursue an extension in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This will be her last semester at Touro College. “I hope to soon move on to become a certified TESOL teacher in the NYC Public School system.”

  1. In NYS,  what are the  Program Options for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners?

The Program Options for English Language Learners and Multilingual Learners are Transitional Bilingual Education Program (TBE) , Dual Language (DL) , One Way Dual Language Program, Two Way Dual Language Program and English as a New Language (ENL). (Program Options for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners, n.d.)

2. Name the five different models currently in use that integrate language and content instruction – refer to Celce-Murcia Unit III readings.

There are different models that teachers may use when lesson planning. According to Celce-Mucia in Unit III, these models were created by experts with different views and embedded theories. The first model is the Hunter model (Hunter, 2004). This model is also known as five-step, seven-step, or nine-step model. Another model is the presentation-practice-production model (PPP). This is used mainly in beginning-level classes of language learning.  The next model is the engage-study-activate (ESA) model. This is a more versatile model than the PPP model because it allows the instructor to adapt the lesson delivery in different ways. This can be taught in different time frames and with students’ engagement in mind.  Another teaching model is the Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol or SIOP model. This is a model developed with the intention of teaching students learning English from grades K-12th grade.  With this model, the instructor’s intention is to teach language and content at the same time. This model first started as a rubric for teacher’s observations, and evolved into a lesson-planning model.  Finally, the last teaching model is encounter, clarify, remember, internalize, and fluently use (ECRIF). This is a common model used when teachers drill strategies or vocabulary to students. 

3. Name the model that you use most and why.

In my instruction, I mainly use the Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol or SIOP model. It is very important for students to learn content while learning a new language. In my school, teachers are expected to teach a lot of content to students, even if they do not speak English yet. We are considered a content based school.  This method of teaching English could be challenging for a teacher because it incorporates many things into a lesson, however, for a student who is learning English it allows them to use what they know in their lives and apply it to what they are learning.  This model also allows the teacher to focus on language objectives to get students to the goal or goals of the lesson. Students and teachers can activate prior knowledge, teach vocabulary and apply the lesson to real world situations to motivate students.  Then, students go on and participate in language objectives, strategies and interactions. Finally, students will practice and apply.  This model is what I am required to use in my classroom and one that I enjoy using as a third grade TESOL teacher.

In addition to this model, my school uses the ECRIF model when teaching phonics and reading to students learning how to read. We use a program called Orton-Gillingham, where students participate in language drills that they apply to reading a writing.  This strategy works well for many special education students and some ELLs, but not all. Students are taught the rules of English grammar and spelling.  After they are taught the basic rules through drills and repetition, they use them in practice for reading and writing.

4. Gather some information on student assessment from your school district. What kinds of student assessments are regularly administered, and in what language? If the district includes non-native speakers of English, are testing and assessment requirements modified or altered in any way to accommodate them? If so, how?

There are different assessments given to students in different situations.  During a student’s registration process, they are assessed through an interview and questions to determine the child’s ability in English and if the child may need special education services. This interview process is done by a trained teacher, sometimes a TESOL one and the school psychologist, if necessary. 

For learning, my school district uses different forms of assessments, but they are not altered to accommodate non-native speakers of English.  In the beginning of the year, students are given reading, writing, and math assessments. All students take the same assessment and they are all given without the teacher reading the questions to them.  However, my school district uses an online program called iReady that is tailored to all student’s needs. While the student takes the assessment, the online program adapts itself to the child’s ability.  It alters questions in different subject domains and only asks the just-right amount of questions for a child.  When the student continuously does not know answers to questions, the assessment ends. If a student continuously gets questions correct, the assessment continues on, adding difficulty to the assessment. This is a good way to get accurate ability levels in all students and does not allow them to feel discouraged. This assessment also reads to students, includes videos and engaging characters to keep students interested and excited. 

5. What is the purpose of Commissioner’s Regulations – Sections 117 (Links to an external site.)

The purpose of the Commissioners Regulations Sections 117 is that students must be given a screening prior to entering a school to develop a plan for learning for each child.  The students should be given this assessment to ensure they are placed in the correct learning setting. This is to ensure students with special needs are given a fair placement.  Additionally, speakers of other languages should be given a choice of a placement in a Dual language class, or ENL class when registering, if the school has the option. 

6. How do the BLUEPRINT FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER/MULTILINGUAL LEARNER (ELL/MLL) SUCCESS (Links to an external site.) and CR Part 154 Comprehensive ELL Education Plan (CEEP) and ENL staffing requirements connect with each other?   (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

These three resources have many things in common, but the most common theme is the plan for fair instruction for English Language Learners.  These three resources highlight the importance of a structured program for the diverse levels of English Language Learners.  They all enforce inclusivity and structure.  The Blueprint for English Language Learners/MLL success highlights 8 different aspects to teaching English at the highest regard.  The mission of this blueprint is described as “The mission of the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) is to ensure that all New York State (NYS) students, including English Language Learners/ Multilingual Learners (ELLs/MLLs), attain the highest level of academic success and language proficiency. ” (The Blueprint for English Language Learners/MLL success, n.d.).  

The Commissioner’s Regulations 154 states that all English Language Learners must experience learning as described in the education plan for ELLs. Principals and staff must submit a plan of action for these students.  By using the ENL staffing requirements, principals can align staffing and instruction to fit the needs of the students in the school. These three resources go hand in hand because they demonstrate the appropriate planning and instruction required for a school to fairly and legally education ELL students. 

7. List 3 surprising fact you learned about in Celce-Murcia Chapter 32: Approaches to School-Based Bilingual Education Mary McGroarty & Shannon Fitzsimmons-

  • “Bilingual education is not only for recent immigrants; there are also approaches aimed at monolingual students who speak only the majority language and wish to develop strong proficiency in another language” (Celce-Murcia, 503)
  • “In the United States, there is a great deal of interest in two-way immersion model designed to serve both language minority and language majority children who wish to learn through the medium of two languages and develop literacy skills in both languages. ” (Celce-Murcia, 506)
  • Although teachers are vital, they are not the only relevant personnel. The presence of school administrators who understand bilingual instruction, other bilingual instructional personnel such as classroom aides and librarians, and bilingual staff members such as shcool secretary increase the likelihood of consistent and effective bilingual instruction.


Blueprint for English Language Learner/ Multilingual Learner Success THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERS ITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Office of Bilingual Education and World L anguages. (n.d.). (Links to an external site.)

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D., & Snow, M. A. (2014). Teaching English as a second or foreign language. Boston: National Geographic Learning

CR Part 154 Comprehensive ELL Education Plan (CEEP). (n.d.). New York State Education Department. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from

CR Part 154-2 (K-8) English as New Language (ENL) Units of Study and Staffing Requirements. (n.d.). Retrieved September 28, 2020, from

Program Options for ELLs/MLLs. (n.d.). New York State Education Department. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from

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

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).

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)
  • Pre-registration is required, no later than 1 hour prior to the start of the session. 
  • 30 minutes before the session begins, you will receive an email with a join link.  Please do not share this link on any social media platforms to preserve the integrity of the sessions. 
  • 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:

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.”