Touro TESOL Candidate Carmen Montoya’s Method Presentation for 201970-EDPN-673-0-WW-OL-11704

Adjusting to COVID19: Flexibility, strength, and resilience at the Touro TESOL and Bilingual Department. I think of resilience as having both strength and flexibility, which allows one to adapt to change without catastrophizing about the unique circumstances. My TESOL and Bilingual teacher candidates rose to the challenge!

by Jasmin Cowin, Assistant Professor and Practicum Coordinator, Touro College, GSE

Adjusting to COVID19: Flexibility, strength, and resilience at the Touro TESOL and Bilingual Department. I think of resilience as having both strength and flexibility, which allows one to adapt to change without catastrophizing about the unique circumstances. My TESOL and Bilingual teacher candidates rose to the challenge!

For the Methods & Materials Teaching English as a 2nd  Language Touro TESOL candidates planed and videotaped themselves instead of delivering and in-class session,  giving a 5 to 10 min mini-lesson in a specifically designed approach to language learning found in the Richards and Rodgers text, i.e. Communicative Language Learning, Total Physical Response, etc.  They also submitted a SIOP lesson plan. Any content area could be selected to demonstrate the lesson and supplemental videos, PowerPoint, materials, and realia were used as needed.

Carmen Montoya is a career changer, who recently earned an Initial Certification in Childhood Education and Special Education, Grades 1-6, from the Touro Graduate School of Education. She is currently pursuing a TESOL Advanced Certificate for grades K-12 at Touro, due to be completed by Fall of 2020. “I hope to ultimately become an effective ESL teacher who can help and encourage students at various grade levels along their unique journeys.”

Carmen M Method PresentationMigration_Obstacles

Video of Carmen Montoya’s Method Presentation

Carmen M Method Presentation


Touro TESOL candidate Paige Herman’s Verb Tense Infographic

For ENL educators, using and creating infographics will not only develop ENL students’ visual literacy skills but also support ENL students by providing comprehensible input, make sense of and evaluate concepts through visual information.

Infographics can be used when you want to get across a big idea or make a point to learners. Concepts that are tricky for ENL learners might lend themselves well to an infographic. Or, if you have facts that are hard to learn, teachers might investigate how they might be turned into an infographic.

Why Infographics?

Educators, as well as students, need to be able to comprehend and evaluate graphical and visual information. According to Matrix and Hodson (2014), “even those students who are part of the Facebook generation, growing up participating in a highly visual online culture do not necessarily have the skills to engage critically and effectively with images and media in an academic environment.”

For ENL educators, using and creating infographics will not only develop ENL students’ visual literacy skills but also support ENL students by providing comprehensible input, make sense of and evaluate concepts through visual information.

Through the activity of designing a visual representation of complex ideas, candidates will engage with the content in a sustained manner, possibly deepening their understanding of it (Matrix & Hodson, 2014).

Paige Herman, a Long Island public school elementary educator, currently pursues her master’s degree in TESOL at Touro College, GSE. The Touro TESOL master’s degree will enable her to better serve diverse linguistic communities and offer an empowering, culturally sensitive education for all her students.

hermanpaige_38231_1994306_Verb Tense InfographicPaige Herman

My infographic discusses verb tenses, which include past, present, and future. Using my infographic students will be able to identify what is meant by an action that happened in the past, present, or future. Students will also be able to figure out how to change the base verb to accurately match the tense the sentence requires. This infographic is meant for students in second grade or older. Based on the common core standards, second-grade students should be able to form and use verbs in the past, present, and future tense, including irregular past tense verbs. This standard is built upon in third and fourth grade and is to be used with complete accuracy by fifth grade, as per the ELA language standards. For ENL students the infographic would be beneficial for those at the early intermediate – intermediate level of proficiency. At this level, students should be able to respond and communicate with others in many social settings and an increasing amount of academic situations. Verb tense is an essential part of building their ability to communicate and understand others.

I would use this to aide all my students in learning and remembering the varying verb tenses. This would be a beneficial tool during any reading, writing, grammar, or language activity. It could be hung in the classroom as a reference or students could keep personal sized ones in their desks with other helpful writing handouts. Students would be able to refer back to them any time they needed to be reminded of which tense to use or how to change the verb. For my ENL students, this would be especially useful because the way to conjugate a verb differs among each language, but verbs are an essential aspect of communicating in English. That is why it is important to teach students about verb tenses. This infographic supports that learning and acts as a colorful guide for reinforcing when to use each verb tense and how to alter the verb to make a sentence grammatically correct.

This infographic represents the three types of verb tenses: past, present, and future. It is broken into three sections that will allow these tenses to be compared to one another. Each section highlights when the tense would be used, how to change the base verb to match the tense and some examples of what the changed verb would look like in a sentence. This provides students with ample information on how and when to use each verb tense. Each of the different tenses is broken into its own section and distinguished by its own color. As you can see the past is shown in the green section, the present is shown in the red section, and the future is shown in the yellow section. The colors are bright and inviting while still allowing students to be able to quickly locate the section they need guidance with. Within each section, the tense is printed largely and clearly at the top. On the left-hand side is when the student would use this verb tense and an arrow that acts as a picture clue for when in time the verb would be used. To the right of this the student can find how to change the verb based on the tense and below that are examples. The information is clearly portrayed in each section in white, large, Helvetica font that makes it easy to read for the students. I chose the font because I felt like it was clear and did not squeeze any of the words in. I chose white font color because I wanted it to greatly contrast the colorful backgrounds so the words were easier to read.

One of the most difficult aspects of creating this infographic was figuring out what information about the topic I wanted to include. There are more details that I could have presented within each of the verb tenses, but I wanted to make the information clear and comprehensible to students. Overloading the infographic with too many words and information would make it difficult for the students to understand and utilize it. Figuring out what information to include helped me to realize how much information each “little” topic in language and language development encompasses. Prior to this, I thought of verb tense as a straightforward concept. Taking the time to delve into it you see how many variables are really involved. This is important for us to understand as teachers of students who may not have English as their first language. Another challenge I faced with the infographic was simply creating it. Once I planned and figured out the topic and content I wanted to include I had to figure out how to create it. Using the Visme website was a brand new experience for me. Luckily the website came with a quick tutorial that showed me the basics of what I would need. Other than that the majority of my familiarity came from just trying all the different tools as well as changing and moving things until I liked how they look. This took a lot of attempts, time, and effort, but I think the end product is worth it. Now that the infographic is created it is exciting to think about how I can use this in my own classroom and share it with other teachers in my building.


Create Interactive Online Presentations, infographics, animations & banners in HTML5 – Visme by Easy WebContent. (n.d.). Retrieved from

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School             Officers. (2010). Common Core State Standards for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Washington, DC: Authors.

Verb Tenses. (2019, July 19). Retrieved from



Resources from the Webinar: NYS TESOL Resources for Supporting English Learners and their Parents- Prof. Jasmin Bey Cowin, Ed.D.

Dear Participants,

I hope my post finds you well and safe.

Here the promised Zoom recording and slides Resources for Supporting English Learners and their Parents.

Zoom recording of Webinar

 Resources for Supporting English Learners and their Parents by Prof Jasmin Cowin EdD

Join an online presentation by NYS TESOL: Resources for Supporting English Learners and their Parents Thursday, March 26, 2020⋅2:00 – 3:00pm

I am inviting everyone to join a Zoom:
Webinar: NYS TESOL Resources for Supporting English Learners and their Parents
Thursday, March 262:00 – 3:00pm


BILINGUAL PUPIL PERSONNEL SERVICES at Touro College, Graduate School of Education is for school counselors, social workers, and psychologists, who want to work with bilingual students.


Each certificate includes coursework and a practicum which emphasizes the importance of understanding cultural context for child development and learning, and for effective assessment and delivery of services. Depending on your certification focus, you might examine various theories and classroom approaches, review case studies and explore how home life and community impact youth education, or learn about dynamic assessment, how to work with various disabilities, and effectivestrategies for teaching native language literacy. In all our courses our goal is always to increase your multicultural and linguistic fluency so you can provide the best possible service and education to all students.

Touro Candidate Noelia Feliz is a second-generation immigrant of Hispanic descent. As a school psychologist for Yonkers Public Schools, she proudly serves underprivileged communities and families by aiding them in receiving and obtaining the best service possible. Noelia is currently working towards her bilingual extension at Touro College because she wants to be able to work with a broader population and serve as an advocate and voice for families who are often underserved.

Counseling Case – a Practicum Assignment for PSGN 698 Field Experiences in Bilingual Pupil Personnel Services

Referral Question:

  • Pupil Support Team (PST) received a referral for a bilingual student (English & Spanish) with declining grades, appearing very lethargic in class, and was disengaging from social activity. It was later noted, by teacher, that the student’s parent had made contact with the teacher at the instructor’s residence to discuss concerns of aggressive and reclusive behavior.

Background and Context:

Student is a 14-year-old, Hispanic male born in The Bronx, NY and moved to Yonkers at 8 years old. He currently resides with his mother, father, and younger sister. Student and his family moved to a new home in Yonkers this year which the student describes as being “too big” and feels “bigger homes separate families”. Student expresses that he speaks in Spanish with both his parents and family members from El Salvador but feels more comfortable expressing himself in English. Historically, Student has maintained adequate grades in academics. Presently, Student’s science and math grades have declined. Student suddenly stopped attending basketball practice and later on quit the team. Student notes that he only has one good friend, but because of Student’s recent behavior, he feels the relationship is irreparable.  Student reported that, within the past 6 months, there has been a lot of confrontation with his mother. Student shared that he becomes angry when he is given a task by his mother, but then she doesn’t hold up the agreement that was purposed. Additionally, Student reports being romantically involved with a female from another state who he was able to meet over the past summer as agreed upon by both parties’ mothers.

Description of Problem:

Overall, Student shared that he would like to control his aggression, make better choices, improve upon his grades, have a better relationship with parents/peers, and better self-esteem. Student and counselor have set a goal for himself. He shares that he wants to get help because someday he wishes to have a family of his own and make better choices. He shared with this counselor that he really appreciated having someone to talk to because he never had an opportunity like this before.

  • Student mentions that he is always tired in school because he stays up until 3-4 a.m. talking to his significant other. His reason for doing so is, “because if I don’t talk to her, she will get mad and she said she would kill herself…I’m scared she might do it.” He also shares that he loves her but doesn’t feel happy because she treats him very wrong. Furthermore, Student states he can’t leave her because if he does, he will have no one then.
  • Student mentions that mom just wants to make him mad and argue with him. He shares that he feels mom is trying to be a mother now, but she didn’t care in the past. “She doesn’t know how to raise a child.” “Why does she care now?”
  • Student has avoided coming to school because of incomplete work. He doesn’t want to seem dumb. He adds, “if I don’t come in, I can have more time to do the work and won’t penalized for being sick”
  • Teacher says he has potential, but his behavior is affecting his work.
  • Student mentioned having one friend who he thought was a good friend until he noticed he was trying to get him to use drugs. Student admits to smoking marijuana but has stopped since his ex-friend tried to force him to try other kinds of drugs. When student refused, the perpetrator stole $200 dollars and has not been seen since. Student has ceased and refrained from using any and all drug paraphernalia since that occurrence. Student mentioned that he never wants to make a bad decision like that again.
  • Student shares that he is nervous and has no clue how to engage in social activities or maintain a healthy relationship. He feels that people can stab you in the back, but admits it is his negative thinking. He states he wants to interact with people but does not know how to.

Goal: Student will develop enhanced skills designed to help his aggression, develop social skills, and how to better communicate with his family.

Data Collection:

  • Weekly check-in: 2-3 times per week
  • Risk assessment
  • Student/Parent Interview Questions
  • Teacher feedback/Consultation
  • Self-Disclosure affect
  • Academic observations
  • Power School records

Appendix on Information Technology:

  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Power School
  • Yonkers Public Schools- Internal website forms:
    • Power School – Internet-based student information system
    • Guidelines and procedures for Students in Crisis

Counseling Plan:

  • The type of therapy chosen was a Cognitive Behavioral Approach. Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is a form that might have served well, but I chose to take a CBT approach. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach. Its goal is to solve problems regarding behaviors, cognitions, and dysfunctional emotions through a goal-oriented, methodical procedure. There is empirical evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. This is effective especially since time is very important in a school system (Butler, Chapman, & Forman, 2006). CBT can be used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications. It focuses on the “here and now”, and on alleviating symptoms. This can allow evaluation of efficacy and effectiveness, especially for the present trend of evidence-based treatment (Butler, Chapman, & Forman, 2006).
  • CBT is an efficient means of treating mental health conditions with Hispanics, much like this particular student. Studies do propose that usual CBT with no cultural adaptations can harvest some positive outcomes for Hispanics (Benuto & O’Donohue, 2015). Researchers studied the effectiveness of a “culturally modified” treatment with Hispanics either with an alternative treatment or a control group to regulate if the culturally delicate treatment had greater effects. Cultural variations of CBT do not show probable homogeneity concerning cultural tailoring, signifying that the construct of Hispanic culture is inadequately understood. (Benuto & O’Donohue, 2015). There are various methods we can use to improve the cultural sensitivity of common factors of CBT for anxiety. Although a lot of the advocates are particular to CBT, there are others that are correlated to the process elements pertinent to a slew of therapeutic methods. Particularly, clinicians can start to come up with ways to develop a general therapeutic stance that incorporates the understanding and appreciation of the difficulties of clients’ experiences (Graham, Sorenson, & Hayes-Skelton, 2015).
  • Student has agreed to attempt to engage in pro-social activities. Student was to come up with hypothetical situations and would role-play with counselor on how to effectively engage and maintain appropriate conversation. Skills to focus on: eye contact, context of conversation, initiation of conversation, and effective ways of ending conversation (Corey, 2009). Student was encouraged to take chances and even if an attempted failed, it would server to be a learning experience instead of a defeat. Student agreed to join Anime club and participate in the eco-club in order to try and make connections with peers. Student expressed that he really doesn’t feel like he knows anyone well enough in school except for one friend.
  • Student was to give weekly reports of relations within the home environment, significant other, self-worth, and counseling. Student would rate how he feels on a scale (1 very bad – 10 very good) relationships are developing. Student was to develop plans on how to engage in conversations with parents as he felt it was almost imposable to do so. Student would develop what he would think to be an appropriate and effective way of sharing information with parents in order to regain a good level of rapport with parents.
  • A safety plan was constructed with student that addressed relaxation techniques, contacting of individuals when in crisis, appropriate plans of action to take when feeling hopeless, locations to go to in and out of school etc. A copy was made for parents, student, and one to remain in school. Student is to carry this with him at all times in his wallet and refer to it in times of distress.
  • Due to Student’s self-injury behavior (superficial cutting) and information regarding his romantic relationship with an older individual, a call to emergency psychiatric services was made. After the clinician evaluated Student, she agreed that he was safe to return home. An additional Safety plan was drafted and signed by parents and Student. Student and family were provided with home support counseling by the clinician once a week for 12 weeks. The clinician will follow up with this counselor on progress and meet in 6 weeks for up-to-date information and check-in on Student’s progress in school.
  • At-risk counseling took place in the school for 6 weeks once a week for 30 mins a day.

Evaluation of Counseling based on weekly rating scales:

Noelia Feliz

Initial/Intake session

Counselor got to know who the student was even more. Introduced him to what to expect from counseling. Introduced CBT, expectations, and goal setting. Explained confidentially and breaking that in severe or extreme circumstances of hurting self or others.


Student was very guarded. He was very worried others would find out. He mentioned that he would like to keep secrets because he does not want others judging him. Student and counselor worked on continuing to goal setting, and techniques he could use to learn to express his emotions in a more positive way (journaling) (Corey, 2009).


A call to his mother was made to gain more background information. Student mentions he lost 40 lbs over the year from what he believed to be a combination of depression and exercise. He mentions his concerns about his current relationship and social interactions. He shears that he thinks she is bi-polar and needs help. He does not want to leave her because he loves her. Counselor tried to help student understand the thoughts and emotions behind the problem. Counselor and student created a plan on how he could respond differently to his situation with his peers. What are methods he could use to reframe now the way he is currently approaching peers.


Students showed superficial cuts and begs counselor not to tell anyone. After explanation and review of safety, a call is made to Mother and Emergency. A clinician from St. Joseph’s conducted a risk assessment and evaluation. Mother is called to be a part of the planning process. Safety plan was drafted with student and mother. Outsides services were provided; Student with parent agreed to the intervention plan and techniques.


Student’s scars healing well after medical treatment. Student reports things improving all around except for romantic relationship. Academically, grades have improved, and homework is being completed. Student mentions that he still doesn’t feel he is good looking enough or can maintain friendships.


Student talked about his Girlfriend. Student mentions he broke up with her over the weekend. He says that she is “controlling and I’m sick of it!” “She doesn’t do anything for me and all she does is make me feel bad about myself to the point I don’t want to even be who I am” She has called him numerous times and threatened to take her life if he did not say he loves her. Overall, he says “I just want this ‘B.S.’ to stop…I wish she would be a better person, because I do love her”. Counselor and Student went over interfering thoughts and reasonable responses he could use to take its place. For example, “My friends will judge me so I will stay home”, to “If I stay home I have no chance of interacting at the basketball game if I go, who knows what happens?”


Mother called this counselor inquiring if Student had come to school because he had walked out of the house after an argument at home. Student had left saying he would go to school but decided to walk around instead for a few hours. Mother stated that she noticed a change in Student because he did not yell or punch a wall but instead has been using breathing techniques to calm down. Despite progress, student still left the house and gave no indication as to where he was truly going. Student’s father had taken his cell phone that morning and scanned all his text, which appeared to set Student off. Once Student returned to school the next day he told counselor and explained what he did and why. Student and counselor were able to identify his negative thinking towards the situation and reshape it. Despite being in trouble he was still able to rate how he was doing and relations with others.


Student told story of leaving home. Student also mentioned that he did not want to come to school because he wasn’t finished with a project for physics. Lastly, student mentions that he would like to try to keep a relationship since the individual has agreed to change and has done so thus far. Student said he will further use skills learned to apply in daily life.

Description and Critique of Counseling Process Issues:

Overall, I feel the trajectory of the time spent with Student is of a positive one. From the first-time meeting to the present I have noticed a difference. He has more color to his face than when we first met. His demeanor in class has improved and his appearance is better. I have noticed him trying to engage in more social conversations than he used to. There is more of a balance in conversation than there used to be. At first, I was the one to talk more, but now Student can describe feelings and emotions in more detail. Additionally, I’m very excited to see that he now starts to think more positively as well as advocating for himself.

Unfortunately, he is attempting to maintain a relationship with an individual that is not healthy for him. Hopefully, he will continue to make better future decisions. I share that from time to time I will share overall progress with his parents as they are concerned and he is fully understanding of this. I do not feel as if any rapport is lost. I make him aware of all that I do and explain to him why I feel that it is important to do so. For example, he begged me not to tell anyone about his cuts, but I explained to him what a mandated reporter is and why I would have to take appropriate actions to ensure he was safe. I explained what would happen and possible outcomes. Additionally, I asked for his feedback on how he felt about the process and if he had a different perspective on why and what I was about to do. This mutuality was important to our time spent together. He expressed on a few occasions how thankful he was just having someone hear him out without judging him.


Benuto, L. T., & O’Donohue, W. (2015). Is Culturally Sensitive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy an Empirically Supported Treatment?: The Case for Hispanics. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy15(3), 405–421.

Butler AC, Chapman JE, Forman EM, Beck AT (January 2006). “The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: a review of meta-analyses”. Clin Psychol Rev 26 (1): 17–31.

Corey, G. (2009). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.

Graham, J. R., Sorenson, S., & Hayes-Skelton, S. H. (2013). Enhancing the Cultural Sensitivity of Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Anxiety in Diverse Populations. Behav Ther (N Y N Y), 35(5), 101–108.


Touro candidate Noelia Feliz, PSGN 698 Field Experiences in Bilingual Pupil Personnel Services, on bilingual assessments

As part of the Touro practicum experience for Bilingual Pupil Personnel Services candidates research bilingual assessment, which is the evaluation of a bilingual individual, by a bilingual individual in a bilingual manner (Rhodes, Ochoa & Ortiz, 2005).

Noelia Feliz is a second-generation immigrant of Hispanic descent. As a school psychologist for Yonkers Public Schools, she proudly serves underprivileged communities and families by aiding them in receiving and obtaining the best service possible. Noelia is currently working towards her bilingual extension at Touro College because she wants to be able to work with a broader population and be a hand and voice for families who are often underserved.

WISC-IV Spanish – What Does It Measure?

The Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children has been broadly utilized in research and clinical applications to distinguish designs of cognitive performance such as neurodevelopmental disorders like attention-deficit disorders autism as well as to obtained conditions such as traumatic brain damage and helping identify learning disabilities. The WISC-V Spanish is a linguistically and culturally diverse test that is used to measure cognitive ability in Spanish for children ages 6:0 through 16:11. This test was adapted from the English WISC-V, however, test items have been validated to limit cultural bias amongst different origins and regions. Factors such as acculturation, socioeconomic status, educational disadvantage, and bilingualism may affect the child’s performance on cognitive tests (McGill & Canivez, 2017).


The Spanish WISC-V is composed of Four indexes that make up the Full-Scale Index Quotient (FSIQ). These four include Verbal Comprehension (similarities, Vocabulary, Comprehension, & Information), Perceptional Reasoning (Block Design, Picture concepts, Matrix reasoning Picture completion), Working Memory (Digit Span, Letter-Number Sequencing, & Arithmetic), and Processing Speed (Coding, Symbol, Search, and Cancellation). In supplement to cognitive abilities measured in these areas, the WISC-V Spanish offers language-environment amended scores for the verbal subtests and indexes. The FSIQ is derived from 7 subtests and is considered what is most typical of universal intellectual functioning (Maccow & Henke, 2016).

Subtest Item Content:

The quantity of adjustment necessary was different across subtests. For the Processing Speed and Visual-Spatial subtests, and all Fluid Reasoning subtests with the exception of Arithmetic, only instruction translation to the child was needed; and all items, stimuli, and art, stayed mirroring that of the English WISC–V. On the Arithmetic, Verbal Comprehension subtests and Letter–Number Sequencing, changes throughout languages needed some modification of item content (Maccow & Henke, 2016).

Subjectivity can be viewed in terms of the Verbal subtests in which the child wither gives you a definition of a word, or compare two things together. The subjectivity comes when depending on the cultural background (dialects) of administrator vs that of the child, the definition of words might vary, thus affecting scoring.

Who should be the users of the WISC-V- Spanish?

Someone who is able to comprehend and communicate in both English and Spanish. Also, someone who is experienced and trained in the assessment linguistically diverse children, in this case, Spanish, who are comparable in linguistic background, cultural, age, clinical, and educational history to the children examiners will be evaluating with the WISC-V Spanish (Maccow & Henke, 2016).

Norming Sample


Restructured normative sample standardized on 2,200 children aged 6:0–16:1. The primary language of the children in the sample is Spanish and have gone to schools across the United States for as little as 5 consecutive years. It is compared to the English normative sample using Item Response Theory (IRT) approach (Maccow & Henke, 2016). Normative sample stratified to correlate with the recent US census data based on race/ethnicity, parent education level, sex, and geographic region for the groups. This entails the added validity evidence based on Spanish-speaking clinical and validity samples. The accumulative weight of reliability and validity evidence proposes that psychologists should focus their efforts interpretively at the general level and have a lot of caution when using group factor scores to make decisions (Maccow & Henke, 2016).

Optional Language-Environment Verbal Score Adjustments

Psychologists who assess children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds have to face unique trials and complexities. Specifically, practical approaches are needed to weed out the impression of non-cognitive factors (socioeconomic status, educational disadvantage, acculturation, bilingualism) that may affect cognitive test performance (Maccow & Henke, 2016). The adjusted scores give us an approximation (not a precise) of the level to which personal (preferences and language use) and environmental (school, home, neighborhood) variables may have impacted the performance of the child. These adjusted scores have not been validated for determining eligibility for special education. This is why the standard age-adjusted norms are advocated to make such decisions about eligibility (Maccow & Henke, 2016).

Overall Impressions/appropriateness

Overall, The WISC-V Spanish is available, for online/manual administration. It is an easy tool to use both ways. The full kits run for $1,300. The kit includes the manual, the technical interpretive manual, record forms, three stimulus books, 25 response booklets, symbol search and coding scoring keys, and the block design block set ( I really do enjoy the assessment, in terms of the time it takes to complete it beats it’s opposite, The Woodcock Munoz which is another cognitive measure and the Spanish version of the Woodcock Johnson. The WISC-V Spanish is typically between 45-65 minutes to complete. The updated norms have updated tremendously from the WISC-IV Spanish and it makes the test that much more reliable to use. They went from having a norm sample of sole Puerto Rican students for the WISC-IV, to expanding on that sample to ELL students across the US. This update makes the test more reliable. The English WISC-V is a personal favorite of mine, and I have seen collogues use the WISC-V Spanish and it looks like something I would enjoy just as much.

The Leiter-III (cognitive)

What does it measure?

The Leiter-III is an assessment tool that is used to evaluate neuropsychological, attentional, and nonverbal abilities in typical and atypical children, adolescents and adults. The test is administered completely in pantomime, and it is not verbally charged like a WISC-V or WJ would be. Administration age is 3–75+ years and takes about 20-25 minutes to administer. This non-verbal assessment is perfect for population of those with Speech/Language disorders, autism, and the English Language Learners (ELLs). With the Leiter-3 postulates an IQ score, and it also gives the percentile and age-equivalent scores for each subtest. The test kit runs for $1,185, and it is only administered manually. ((Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition).

Leiter-3 Subtests

Cognitive Scales (Fluid Intelligence)

Unlike other cognitive testing, the Leiter-3 highlights fluid intelligence, the firmest measure of an individual’s distinctive cognitive abilities.

· Sequential Order (SO)

· Form Completion (FC)

· Classification and Analogies (CA)

· Figure Ground (FG)

· Matching/Repeated Patterns (M/RP)- optional. ((Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition).


The Leiter-3 gives individual subtest, and various composite scores, that measure intelligence, and discrete abilities. These scores recognize the weaknesses and strengths of individual aptitudes, as well as skills. Percentile and age-equivalent scores are provided. Growth Scores are given for all domains, empowering experts to measure little, but imperative, cognitive shifts inside their skill set, especially vital for children with cognitive inabilities. Following these shifts permits experts, teachers and guardians to see the change (development) over time, independent of age-based standard scores. With the Leiter there is little room for subjectivity. Everything is done completely non-verbal. The pantomime signs are all standardized ((Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition).

· Appropriateness/Limitations

When a student is linguistically diverse, it is important to, along with a verbally charged cognitive test, to include a non-verbal to see the difference in the person’s IQ. See if there is a discrepancy in scores based on the child’s language or ability and use those scores and results appropriately. This is something we do in our district. However, the fact that we do not have a verbal aspect to this tests limits our overall picture of the diverse child, which is why it is essential, if the student is able to speak, to include another measure with the Leiter-III.


· Validity / Reliability

The norm of the Leiter-III is based on a sample of 1,600+ typical individuals reflecting the general population in terms of ethnicity/race, gender, and age, and cultural background. The technical appropriateness of the instrument, including standardization and reliability, is strong. However, the data for this measure suggests flexibility in performance over the course of time. validity was supported for both language groups. ((Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition).

Overall Impressions

Overall, I am not a fan of this assessment it is a personal choice. There is nothing wrong with this test, it is just out of my personal comfort zone. My times administering this test have not been the most fun. It was difficult for me initially to get a hang of it as it is different than anything I have ever done before. Sometimes I find students get easily distracted with all the manipulatives that this test does entail, and it is time-consuming. One limitation I find is that since one does not speak on this test, for bilinguals especially, the different pantomime signs might be confusing. Culturally non-verbal signs might vary from culture to culture and that could serve as a downfall if the student is pretty new to the American culture.


“(Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition.” WPS,

Maccow, Gloria, and James Henke. “Introducing WISC-V Spanish.” Pearson Clinical, 2017.

Touro College TESOL Candidate Michael Kollmer on Program Options for English Language Learners

I believe that online discussion forums for fully online courses enable our candidates to participate in flexible and independent learning, construct peer-to-peer learning networks, create deeper knowledge construction and help develop critical thinking skills.  Touro TESOL candidate Michael Kollmer’s contribution shows the depth of his engagement with the module materials. 

I believe that online discussion forums for fully online courses enable our candidates to participate in flexible and independent learning, construct peer-to-peer learning networks, create deeper knowledge construction and help develop critical thinking skills.  Touro TESOL candidate Michael Kollmer’s contribution shows the depth of his engagement with the module materials.

Michael Kollmer received his bachelor’s degree at SUNY Cortland in Physical Education. Currently, he is enrolled as a graduate student to pursue his Masters in TESOL at Touro College. “This is my first year working as a physical education teacher in an elementary school and I plan on taking what I learn at Touro and applying my knowledge into my lessons to ensure all my students have the greatest opportunity to learn.”

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

Within NYS there are a few different program options that are out there for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners. The first option that NYS offers is the Bilingual Educational. Bilingual Education is broken down into four different categories that consist of Transitional Bilingual Education, Dual Language, One-Way Dual Language, and Two-Way Dual Language Program. The Transitional Bilingual Education program offers students of the same home language the opportunity to learn to speak, understand, read, and write in English while continuing to learn academic content in their home language. The goal of TBE is to provide students with the opportunity to transition to a monolingual English classroom setting without additional support once they reach proficiency (Department, 2019). The second program that is offered is the Dual Language Program. Dual Language programs seek to offer students the opportunity to become bilingual, bi-literate, and bicultural while improving their academic ability. Students learn to speak, read, and write in two languages, and also learn about other cultures while developing strong self-esteem and diverse language skills (Department, 2019). The next program is One-Way Dual Language. In the One-Way Dual Language program model, students who come from the same primary or home language and or background have the opportunity to be bilingual or multilingual (Department, 2019). Lastly, the Two-Way Dual Language program includes both native English speakers and ELLs. The teacher provides instruction in both English and the home or primary language. The goal is for the students to develop literacy and proficiency in English and in the home language (Department, 2019). The other program option is English as a New Language. Within the ENL program, language arts and content-area instruction are taught in English using specific instructional strategies (Department, 2019).

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

The five different models currently in use that integrate language and content instruction are the Total Immersion Model, Partial Immersion Model, Sheltered Model, Adjunct Model, and the Theme-Based Model. For the Total Immersion Model, English speaking students receive the majority of their schooling through the usage of their second language. This model is one of the most carefully researched language programs and by the end of elementary school students become functioning bilinguals (Celce-Murcia, 2001). In the Partial Immersion Model, students usually spend half of their time speaking in English and the other half of the time speaking in

the target language to teach academic content (Celce-Murcia, 2001). The Sheltered Model separates the second/foreign language speakers from the native speakers of the target language (Celce-Murcia, 2001). The Adjunct Model is a content-based approach in which the students are simultaneously in a language class and a content class (Celce-Murcia, 2001). In Theme-Based Model, the teacher selects themes or topics, provides content from which teachers extract language learning activities (Celce-Murcia, 2001).

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

Personally, being a physical education teacher, I do not use any of these models when I am teaching in the gym. However, the district that I work for uses the Sheltered Model. Within the elementary building for the ELL students, they are separated and placed in their own classrooms. They do this to allow the ELLs to have the extra time for classwork, giving them more time to practice and progress their English language.

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?

Within my school district assessments are given as the day goes on whether it is in the form of formal assessments consisting of quizzes, tests, or writing assignments or informal assessments such as checking over classwork to make sure that the student understands the lesson that is being taught. These assessments are made many times throughout the day to make sure that the students are keeping up with the pace of the class and to help students if you realize they are not understanding a lesson or are falling behind. These assessments tend to be given in English, however for the students whose native language is not English, the assessment is given to them in their native language. Such as tests printed in a language that they are comfortable working with alongside of an English copy.

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

The purpose of Commissioner’s Regulations is to establish standards for the screening of every new applicant to the schools to determine which students could possibly be gifted, have or are suspected of having a disability, or are limited in the English language (NYSED, 2010). These regulations allow for the students to get the services that they need in order for them to have an equal education as their peers.

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.) site.) 

The Blueprint for English Language Learners (ELL/MLL), CR Part 154 Comprehensive ELL Education Plan (CEEP) and ENL staffing requirements connect with each other because each of these plans are broken down into multiple different sections where the Local Education Agencies (LEA’s) have to outline and assess the needs of their ELLs/MLLs. They also describe their strategic plans for providing grade-appropriate, linguistically, and academically-rigorous instructions that will allow ELLs/MLLs to meet the Next Generation Learning Standards (NYSED, n.d.). This entails giving the ELLs/MLLs a safe and inclusive learning environment, high-quality supports, feedback, and human resources to ensure that the instructional plan is being correctly implemented. This also makes sure that teachers create specific content and language objectives, integrate explicit and implicit research-based vocabulary, and allow for the students to discuss content and problem-solve with peers (NYSED, 2019). Lastly, the Units of Study and Staffing Requirements also have a very detailed plan for ELLs depending on if they are stand-alone or integrated. This allows for the students to progress in a positive motion from beginning all the way to being proficient (NYSED, 2015).


Celce-Murcia, M. (2001). Teaching English as a Second of Foreign Language. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Department, N. Y. (2019). Program Options for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners. Retrieved from Bilingual Education & English as a New Language:

NYSED. (2010, March 31). Commissioner’s Regulations. Retrieved from Student Support Services:

NYSED. (2015, May 6). CR Part 154-2 (K-8) English as a New Language (ENL) Units of Study and Staffing Requirements. Retrieved from NYSED.

NYSED. (2019). CR Part 154 Comprehensive ELL Education Plan (CEEP). Retrieved from Bilingual Education & English as a New Language:

NYSED. (n.d.). Blueprint for English Language Learner/Multilingual Learner Success. Retrieved from NYSED:

TOURO TESOL Candidate Carmen Montoya’s contribution to EDPN 673: Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language

EDPN 673: Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language is a fully online course. Every week my TESOL candidates participate in a discussion forum answering questions on their readings and responding to their peers. This week’s DB assignment: After reading: Academic Language and ELLs: What Teachers Need to Know

Please answer the following questions:

1. Have you had any students who were proficient in social language but struggled with academic language?

If so, how did their social and academic language use differ?
Did anything in their language abilities surprise you?
What are some examples that could be used to compare social and academic language in your classroom?
2. Based on what you now know about academic language, what kinds of support do you think Carlos needs in his chemistry class? Do you have any ideas on how Mrs. Wilson can support his written academic language?

3. What are cognates?

List 10 cognates that YOU might use in YOUR classroom with YOUR student population.

Carmen Montoya is a career changer who decided to pursue a career in special education and TESOL to help better position students with special needs and language needs for academic success. As a child of first-generation New Yorkers, she started off as an English language learner herself.  Due to her background,  Ms.Montoya is familiar with the impact of special needs and linguistic limitations among others in her academic and social circles. Ms. Montoya states; “In light of these experiences, I hope to comprehensively help students overcome deficits academically as well as socially and emotionally by offering appropriate and creative supports to uniquely empower students during my teaching career.”

I am delighted to share Ms. Montoya’s contribution!

What is Language?

1. Have you had any students who were proficient in social language but struggled with academic language?
If so, how did their social and academic language use differ?

Yes, I have observed many instances where students are socially fluent and outwardly confident in their everyday English but seem at a loss when asked to apply content concepts to their written and oral assignments, such as applying the prefix sub- to root words to create and identify several other words. In this instance, students recognized some components of the exercises through their inventory of social language but remained limited and unable to complete the exercises if time and care had not been taken to expand upon this knowledge to create and implement academic language. An explanation that seemed helpful in connecting students’ social language to academic language in this instance was presented in the following manner: “How many know what a submarine or submarino is? And how about the subway?. [students answer ] Well just like we recognize that a submarine operates under water, and a subway is also located underground, we can deduce that the prefix sub, which both words share and is placed at the “beginning” of the root words marine and way, means “under”. In this example, some also recognized the word submarino, meaning a submarine in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. This is an example of a cognate, a word that is similar in spelling and meaning in other languages as in English.” As one can see, students were able to review words they understood one way, to then use them in several other ways to ultimately expand their knowledge of content vocabulary, that can be applied to any number of subjects.
By initially guiding students through words used socially, such as submarine and subway- building “existing background knowledge,” students were better able to start appreciating how their social and academic languages are tied in together (Breiseth, 2019). Students can also begin to recognize how their everyday language and experiences can be used to many times, help decipher their academic objectives. They can extend their knowledge of a submarine and subway from “a ship” and “the train” to two words with the sub- prefix that can now help one figure out the meaning and use of other words such as submerge, submission, subvert etc. in their reading, writing and more developed dialogues.
Did anything in their language abilities surprise you?
Honestly, I approach students as vessels of untapped potential and experiences. Many English language learners may remain close to their family cultures and languages, as well as observant of the marked differences and nuances within the US culture and English language, in comparison to their native language. I am never really surprised that students tend to know and understand more than many realize. They just need help putting that ever-growing knowledge to work in the classroom. Many times, students are very knowledgeable and proficient in their first language, even able to read and write in it, so they will carry over those writing styles, or pace themselves in practicing English as they pace their speech in their first language. This observation reinforces my need to pace my own speech and to be intentional in my enunciation among students. In hindsight, I would have to say that what may most surprise me, if nothing else, is how much learners make it a point of imitating teachers in their mannerisms, pronunciation, and expressions at times. As I am very expressive in my exchanges, I have caught some of the students I have worked with, spontaneously imitating my gestures, expressions, and intonations. Although flattering and silly at times, my ultimate hope in these situations is that students learn to effectively use such elements to express themselves more effectively in English.
What are some examples that could be used to compare social and academic language in your classroom?
Recently, I facilitated a lesson with a group of fifth-graders where we had to read, discuss and interpret a poem by an author Kwame Alexander, titled “Here’s What I Remember,” to then develop a general response about what the poem was about, using the kernel writing strategy. The strategy sought to expand a simple response about this poem being about “childhood memories” (the kernel) to a more thought out, expanded response using the writing prompts: who, what, where, when, why and how (the means to create popcorn so to speak that would result from the processed kernel). When asking the prompts at first, the learners were quick to associate the purpose of the poem as being about holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, childhood memories and good times (social language). It was clear that an illustration of the poem showing happy family reunions, road trips, treats and games etc. would automatically elicit from students daily associations of what they assumed was the most obvious and most important purpose of the poem, to remember good times as one is growing up. After a guided discussion that looked more closely at the poem, however, students began to develop a more critical eye and understanding of what other elements the poem was trying to transmit about the “good times,” such as the family memorabilia, amusement park thrills, as well as the less than pleasant moments of paternal discipline and bittersweet memories of loved ones at their best and after their passing etc. In this process, the parameters of students’ social language expanded into more descriptive and insightful concepts that required academic language such as childhood memories and experiences, senses such as sights, sounds and smells, reminiscing, the lessons learned in the happy and sad times etc. In this case, the final response transitioned from This poem is about childhood memories and good times into a more clear and complete response of the poem’s meaning: This poem is about the author Kwame Alexander’s (who) childhood experiences (what) on the road and at families’ homes (where) as he was growing up (when) to share his happy and sad memories (why) by describing sights, sounds and smells (how). As one can see, in the final result, learners expanded their thinking and considered a broader selection of academic vocabulary, which they were then able to use in a complete sentence which was not too long or limited in scope- they ultimately began “sounding smart” (Breiseth, 2019).

2. Based on what you now know about academic language, what kinds of support do you think Carlos needs in his chemistry class? Do you have any ideas on how Mrs. Wilson can support his written academic language?
To better equip Carlos in understanding and applying the content successfully, I would ensure that Carlos is able to preview the main concepts of the lesson by providing him definitions with visuals and cognate equivalents, as well as their use in the proper context. I would go over the terms and concepts orally so that he would be able to not just visually recognize them, but also grasp how the concepts sound and are spoken. Cognates would be incredibly instrumental in this case as the learner may speak Spanish and many terms in the sciences are derived from Latin. I would also allow the student to respond orally and give him credit for those responses if I observed he was really struggling with writing out his responses. I would also provide graphic organizers and sentence starters to help Carlos frame his thoughts with the proper terms and syntax, as well as pair him up with more proficient readers and writers for shared in-class assignments to allow students to scaffold each other in comprehension and language. These are examples of steps that would ensure that all four language domains would be included in Carlos’ instruction: “reading, writing, speaking and listening” (which would build upon Carlos’ strong academic speaking and listening skills) and further his academic language development. (Breiseth, 2019). Finally, I would reach out to his homeroom teacher to discuss additional ESOL supports and placement.

3. What are cognates?
Cognates are words from different languages that are pronounced similarly and written in ways that resemble each other, with close meanings. Cognates are usually derived from a similar origin, such as Greek and Latin, and at times, one cognate is derived from another-day modern language, when the word is adopted by a second language. Garden in English, for example, is derived from Garten in German, both meaning a garden.

List 10 cognates that YOU might use in YOUR classroom with YOUR student population.

I would generally use English and Spanish cognates because on a practical level, it would benefit the large Spanish speaking English language learner student population as well as easily translates for speakers who share Latin-derived vocabulary in their first language such as Italian, French, Portuguese and Romanian speakers. This, of course, is not always the case, but can be many times.
Ten cognates I would consider, as they can be applied more broadly to clarify meaning in academic language are:

English Spanish
1. communication comunicación
2. family familia
3. explore explorar
4. analyze analizar
5. element elementos
6. geography geografía
7. equivalent equivalente
8. astronomy astronomia
9. economy economia
10. multiply multiplicar

Source:. Breiseth, L. (2019). Academic Language and ELLs: What Teachers Need To Know. Colorin Colorado. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ludwig van Beethoven: Radiant Stars of Love and Brotherhood

Hearing Beethoven’s ode to joy theme, intended as a musical representation of universal brotherhood, built an emotional bridge to MLK’s clarion call to embrace “radiant stars of love and brotherhood.”

The article Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ludwig van Beethoven for the Washington Post was born on my birthday, January 1st, 2020. While rereading Martin Luther King, Jr.’s letter from Birmingham jail, I wondered how to connect  MLK’s clarion call to embrace the “radiant stars of love and brotherhood” to my own life.  It was at this precise time that  Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 started playing on the radio. Beethoven’s only vocal symphony is a statement of yearning for freedom in the repressive political environment of Europe after the Congress of Vienna and celebrates ”All people become brothers, Where thy gentle wing abides.“  Hearing Beethoven’s ode to joy theme, intended as a musical representation of universal brotherhood, build an emotional bridge to MLK’s clarion call to embrace “radiant stars of love and brotherhood.”

Conductor Yutaka Sado directs a 10,000-person chorus singing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” in Osaka, Japan.