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



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:

Case Study in SLA by Touro TESOL Candidate Elcidana Camacho for EDDN 639 – Trends and Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition 

The value of field case studies for TESOL teacher education lies in their potential to create an authentic and safe forum for reflection that can help both novice or experienced teachers to observe, analyze and reflect on real world TESOL environments and student learning.

The value of field case studies for TESOL teacher education lies in their potential to create an authentic and safe forum for reflection that can help both novice or experienced teachers to observe, analyze and reflect on authentic TESOL environments and student learning.

Ms. Elcidana Camacho is a graduate student at Touro College, GSE, majoring in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).  As an immigrant student herself, she recognizes the value of providing high-quality education to English Language Learners.  Currently, Ms. Camacho teaches Second-grade bilingual education at a New York Public School.

Case Study SLA Touro Course EDDN 639 – Trends and Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition 


Immigrants come to this country in the search of a better future not just for them but for their children.  They arrive at a strange and unknown country facing challenges day after day yet the dream of seeing their children succeed fuels their continuous drive.  Yet, the children also face daily challenges, they have to learn a new language that will be the road to success in their new country.  The learning experiences these ELLs will encounter will depend on many factors, but one crucial factor will be on how TESOL certified educators support them in their Second Language Acquisition.

For this case study, I chose one student named David (pseudonym).  David is a second-grade student who is repeating the grade.  He came to the United States for Honduras three years ago with his whole family.  David is placed in a bilingual second-grade class that encompasses 26 English Language Learners (ELLs). From the twenty-six ELLs, six of them are at the entering stage of language acquisition, one at the emerging stage, four at the transitioning stage, and fifteen at the expanding stage. David is at the entering stage.

The bilingual second-grade class David attends is a very welcoming and colorful classroom.  It is decorated with paw prints all over the classroom, and in every wall, there are anchor charts and students’ work proven the learning students have been exposed to during this school year. The front wall displays a flexible grouping chart with students’ groups for reading, writing, and math.  It also shows the current Units of studies for each subject, vocabulary and success criteria. Furthermore, there is a daily agenda with the flow of the day at which students constantly look at to know what to expect next. In the back of the classroom, it can be appreciated the writers’ gallery with writings students have been done so far, constructive feedback provided by the teacher, and pictures of the talented writers. In addition, the atmosphere of the classroom seems to be very safe and engaging. Ms. R., David’s teacher, utilizes chants to call students’ attention and transition routines.

I chose David for my case study because he is at the entering stage of language acquisition, he has already passed the silent period and started to get more comfortable with the target language. In addition, David has a strong literacy foundation in his native language, and I wanted to observe how this strong foundation influences second language acquisition and analyze how David utilizes the target language and interacts with it in different areas of learning. I am a big fan of Stephen Krashen’s theory of language acquisition. My purpose for this paper is to observe and analyze how the Five Hypothesis of Krashen’s Theory of Second Language Acquisition are presented in David’s English language acquisition: 1-The Acquisition-Learning Distinction 2. The Natural Order Hypothesis 3. The Monitor Hypothesis 4. The Input Hypothesis, and 5. The Affective Filter Hypothesis (Masciantonio, 1988, pg. 2) (Krashen, 1982, pg. 16).


The five observations for this case study were scheduled for five days. The observations were conducted in five different areas which were: 1-Read-Aloud combined with writing about reading, 2- Math, 3-Writing, 4- Social Studies, and 5- Phonics.  Previously to the first observation, a conversation was held with the teacher, Ms. R., about the student to be observed, which days would be the best to come to the classroom, what areas to observe, and how the observation would be conducted while in the classroom. I was also informed by Ms. R. about David’s background, his reading level, English acquisition level, and ways she had supported him in his L2 acquisition. The following paragraph summarizes this information.

According to Ms. R, David is at reading at level J which is at second-grade level for this time of the school year.  He was held back last year in second grade; therefore, this is his second year in this grade. When David started second grade, he was reading at level D, but when the September running records were conducted, he went from level D to level J. The teacher explained that David has good comprehension, but he still needs a lot of support with accuracy and fluency. Furthermore, Ms. R. teaches Math in Spanish, she mentions that David’s Math skills are above second-grade expectations, for this reason, Dave is sent daily to third grade during first period for Math Review and Problem of the Day. During Math Workshop, David’s work is more challenging than his peers’ work.  He also works with peers who need extra support in math. According to Ms. R., David is very social and outgoing.  He does not hesitate when sharing or defending his thinking.

 During the observations, I sat at the end of the classroom because I thought was the best way to observe and not be in the middle of the students’ learning.  Also, I did not want the students or David to suspect I was there to observe someone. 

Observation Description:

First Session: I observed a Read-Aloud about sharks and writing about reading combined. Ms. R. read two chapters about sharks one about Sharks’ body parts and another chapter about baby sharks.  During the read aloud, Ms. R. utilized picture vocabulary words, and plenty turn and talk, and sentence starters to discuss the main topic, supporting details, and keywords.  Some of the sentence starters include: “The main topic of this section is…”  One detail is…/Another details is…” “One important word I notice is…” “I think this word means…” I noticed David was engaged during the entire Read-aloud, raising his hand to share, and interrupting his peers when they were talking.  I noticed; Ms. R. encouraged students to use complete sentences when sharing their thinking. I was able to observe many times David looking at the sentence starters when communicating his thinking. After the read aloud, students were sent to their desk and complete writing about reading which includes to find the main topic and supporting details of the chapter about baby sharks.

Second Session: a math lesson.  Ms. R teaches math in Spanish. In the lesson, students were learning how they can subtract by counting on. Ms. R. modeled students how she used a number line to subtract 86-19 by counting on.  The teacher started with 19 and added 1 to get to a benchmark number (20), then she skipped counting by tens (6 times) until she reached 80 and finally added 6 ones to get to 86. After, Ms. R. went back to count the tens and the ones she added to count from 19 to 86.  Then, students were asked to solve 95-27. David was the first student to finish the task.  He even solved it using two other strategies students have learned previously. Ms. R. asked students to turn and talk to their partners to explain the steps they took to solve the problem, then some students were selected to share with the class, David was one of the students.  When communicating his process, David used complete sentences and the academic vocabulary of the unit. After the mini-lesson, students were sent to centers and a small group stay with the teacher.  David was assigned to go to the error analysis center, in which he was to guide the small group discussion analyzing the error and possible solutions.

Third Session: Social Study lesson. The lesson consisted of how citizens can create a change in their community by being responsible and following the rules in their community. Ms. R placed four feelings one in each corner of the classroom (Happy, excited, sad, and mad), then she read some statements, and students moved to a corner that reflected their feeling about the statement the teacher read to them. After, students were given the opportunity to discuss why they experienced those feelings when they heard the statements. After the discussion, Ms. Ruiz introduced the “What Should We Do?” template.  She modeled to the students how to use it. She took the statement “Students fool around during lesson” and wrote it under the section “Instead of”, then she modeled filling out the section about “We Can…” section in the template with possible solutions. Each student was given a paper with a statement to complete in their sits. I observed David discussing with classmates in his table. Then, I sat quietly for a while and then suddenly started writing and drawing the annoying situation and the possible solution.

Fourth Session: Writing.  The lesson was about how writers help their readers create a picture in their minds by including descriptive words. For this lesson, Ms. R. modeled how revising her nonfiction book by adding descriptive words.  For the lesson, she displayed an anchor chart with types of descriptive words students could use such as colors, shapes, texture, size, and appearance. David reread his book and added one descriptive word in a chapter of his book. He then got up and grabbed a new booklet to start a new book.  Ms. R. called to do a small group including David to practice the same elaboration strategy. David was able to find another place in his writing that he would like to add descriptive words, but it made little sense.  Ms.  R. suggested to David to reread his chapter to see if his choice made sense.  She stayed quiet for a moment, and Ms. R. asked him to tell her what he wanted to write in Spanish.  She translated the descriptive words in English and David added his best choice to his writing.

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Fifth Session: The last lesson observed was a Phonic lesson. Students were learning about homophones To-Two-Too.  Ms. R. began the lesson by showing students a video about homophones.  Then, she continued the lesson by reading a sentence that used the tree ways to use the three words, “Two friends went To the candy shop and ate Too many candies.”   Then, students worked with a partner to fix a paragraph where the homophones were used incorrectly.  Finally, students created three sentences using the three homophones.  David took risks sharing sentences with the homophones. He celebrated when got it correct and smiled when it was wrong.  However, getting his contributions wrong, did not seem to stop him from sharing again because he kept trying and even sharing without being called to share.


In this portion of the paper, I will analyze each one of Krashen’s Hypotheses of L2 acquisition based on what I observed on David.  David is at the Entering stage of SLA.  He has passed the silence period and just started to take risks with the target language. Krashen (1982) states that there are two separate and independent systems of developing competence in a L2, the acquired system and the acquisition system. The first system is very similar to the process children experience when acquiring their first language. They are focused not in the form of their utterances because they are using the language to communicate (pg. 17). David was eager to take part in class using the target language, even when Ms. R. restate what he said or encouraged him to repeat using complete sentences, this did not prevent David to communicate his messages. David is gradually learning the rules of the L2. Ms.  R. encourages him to use complete sentences and provide sentence starters to support David.  This happens when speaking and writing in English.

Krashen’s Natural hypothesis believes that the acquisition of language happens in a predictable order (Masciantonio, 1988, pg. 2). In the acquisition of English, learners tend “to acquire certain grammatical morphemes, or functions words earlier than others such as -ing, and -s to mark the plural…while the third person singular marker /s/ were typically acquired much later” (Krashen 1982, pg. 18). While David was writing his ‘All About Dogs’ book, I noticed in his introduction page he tried to grab his readers’ attention by including a question, introducing the topic, and inviting the readers to continue reading the book. David stated the question using the auxiliary verb Do, he used the suffix -ing correctly; however, he struggled in the middle of the book using descriptive words correctly and in the right order. Krashen believes every person acquires a second language in a predictable order throughout four stages (Escamilla K. & Grassi E., 2000, pg.6), I believe Dave is at the third stage. He is using simple sentences, but according to Ms. R., he has been trying using more complex sentences.  I witnessed how David engaged in longer conversations with peers and utilized different verb forms, even though they were not always right.  His writing still shows many grammatical errors.

The Input Hypothesis proposes that ELLs will move forward in the target language if the input (language) is comprehensible. It is the most important source for L2 acquisition. Ortega (2009) explains that L2 learners acquire comprehensible input through listening to oral messages that speakers communicate to them,ands through reading written texts that surround them; for instance, street signs, personal letters, books, etc. Furthermore, the author mentions that L2 learners make sense of the messages if the content is personally relevant to them (Pg. 59). There are many ways teachers can support their ELLs to make the content comprehensible for them. The only class I observed in David’s native language was Math, the rest were all in English. Something I noticed is the importance of using strategies to support ELLs, but most importantly, to make the content comprehensible for them. Ms. R. used visuals such as videos, picture vocabulary cards, anchor charts, native language, sentence starters, group work, to support not just David, but all her ELLs. I witnessed how all these strategies supported David in understanding the content being taught and provided opportunities for him to output the newly gainedd knowledge. I need to highlight, that there was a moment David seemed not to understand the meaning of a keyword (pups) Ms. R. introduced (in this moment she did not have a picture) in the read-aloud. He raised his hands and asked, “is that like a baby shark? A word to call a baby shark, just like we use cubs to name baby wolves.” David negotiated the meaning of something he was confused with.  Ortega (2009) explains that “noticing can be driven from within the learner, as when she struggles to put a sentence together and express her thoughts and, in the process, discovers something new” (pg. 64). The author adds that noticing can also be encouraged by external means such as through a lesson by a teacher, a question or reaction from an interlocutor.

Krashen’s Affective Hypothesis emphasizes that “all people possess a ‘filter’ which moves into one of two positions, low or high” (Escamilla & Grassi, 2000, pg.10). A Low filter will allow the SLA, this occurs when the ELLs are part of a safe learning environment free of stress, pressure, or judgment. On the other hand, the high filter will prevent language acquisition from happening because of a stressful learning environment (pg. 10). Krashen (1982) mentions that three affective variables can affect language acquisition: Motivation, self-confidence, and anxiety. As I observed David, I could infer that Ms. R. has created a safe learning environment in which David feels safe, motivated and self-confident. He knows that he can take risks with the target language and will not be judged, but challenged and supported to improve in his language acquisition, but also academically.


As a Touro TESOL graduate student, I learned many theories and strategies about teaching and supporting ELLs. I try to apply many of them, but many times I just don’t have the time to reflect on them and how they are supporting my ELLs on the spot.  While teaching, I’m looking for understanding, trying to make the content comprehensible and expecting an output that demonstrates the acquisition of the new knowledge. However, while observing David, I put together all these language acquisition hypotheses and how they related to David’s language acquisition. Most of them were present in David’s SLA stage, and in fact, they explained why David master some areas and some haven’t yet. I even spoke with his teacher about Krashen’s hypotheses and we spent a long time analyzing the Natural and Input Hypotheses and connecting with David.  Together, we decided some ways to better support David in his language acquisition. As teachers, we get so much on our plate, but we cannot forget why we became educators of ELLs, we need to always make them our priority and provide them the best support in the acquisition and learning of the new language.















Escamilla K. & Grassi E. (2000) Brief Description of Second Language Acquisition.

Professional Development Resource Series, “Second Language Acquisition”, BUENO

Center, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Krashen, S. (1982) Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition.  Retrieved from

Masciantonio, Rudolph (1988) Stephen Krashen and the Classical Languages. The Classical Journal, Vol. 84, No. 1 (Oct. – Nov., 1988), pp. 53-56.  Retrieved from

Ortega, L. (2009). Understanding Language Acquisition. New York, NY: Hodder Education.




Multicultural Book Evaluation by Touro TESOL Candidate Luz Alina Rivas

In this assignment, I asked Touro teacher candidates to select and evaluate multicultural books. Here a parsed version of the assignment: With thousands of books on the market, and dozens of publishers vying for your business, the selection of appropriate classroom materials is far from a simple process. High-quality multicultural literature shares five major characteristics: accuracy, expertise, respect, purpose, and quality. These five characteristics serve as excellent evaluation criteria. Each is discussed below, and sample questions for assessing these characteristics are offered. Your textbook evaluation should answer to all these points.


BibblioburoThis contribution is by Luz Alina Rivas, a TESOL teacher candidate at the graduate school of education, Touro College.

Multicultural Book Share 1 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys anthologies Dual Language Classroom books: Biblioburro; A True Story from Colombia/Biblioburro; Una Historia Real de Colombia – Grades 2-3

In an effort to find high-quality multicultural literature and evaluate my textbook materials, I probed through 3rd Grade – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journey anthologies. I search for five major characteristics: accuracy, expertise, respect, purpose, and quality in the anthologies stories: Roberto Clemente & Trail of tears. They were outstanding. However, I also found one of the best selection of multicultural and social justice books for children, YA, and educators. It is a dual language book added to these for a 3rd Grade reading curriculum titled Biblioburro; A True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter.

Accuracy is shown in the colorful illustrations of this multicultural social justice children’s book. Cultural aspects such as basic illustrations of animals, food, dress, flora and fauna from Colombia’s landscapes are evident and appear to be painted in a folk art tradition style. Diversity exists among the members of each cultural group portrayed in the story.  Each member of an ethnic group has slightly different facial features although not detailed and realistic in appearance. Groups of people do not appear to have identical faces in illustrations; they merely appear allegorical due to the style. Non-English words are spelled and used correctly. The historical information embraced by the author/illustrator included is striking.

Jeanette Winter has shown sufficient background knowledge to create accurate portrayals of the cultural group, as the author/illustrator has been a renowned picture book creator that conducted related research in her career on various cultures. She is an acclaimed author/illustrator of many highly regarded picture books, including The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq; Mama: A True Story in Which a Baby Hippo Loses His Mama During a Tsunami, but Finds a New Home, and a New Mama; Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa; Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan; Henri’s Scissors, Mr. Cornell’s Dream Boxes, and most recently, Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan. In Biblioburro, Winter lightly touches on the internal conflict between the paramilitaries and the guerrilla groups that escalates and recedes constantly within the country of Colombia. The disruption in political stability and the problematic drug trade further worsen the state of the country as well, increasing the threat of violence and repression throughout the country, including rural areas. The protagonist, Luis Humberto Soriano Bohórquez, a former schoolteacher, decided to confront the threat of a degrading education and literacy caused by the state of the country through his donkeys (or burros in Spanish), who bear a mobile library, where people may borrow books from him as long as they could be reached via burro.

As far as Respect, Winter exhibits respect for the cultures she portrays by avoiding the representation of stereotypes in the character’s speech, appearance, and behaviors. She also avoids using a condescending or negative tone in relation to the cultural characteristics of the characters and setting. Minority characters are portrayed as equal in societal worth to majority characters and are not represented in subordinate social positions.

The book Biblioburro contains a universal theme of “Love and Sacrifice,” and “Heroism – Real and Perceived”. He, like a great educator, also helped children with homework and read books to the several villages he passed by during his 10 years of traveling away from his wife. Although the book “Biblioburro,” paints the journey as relatively calm, Luis Bohórquez has been robbed, threatened with violence, had been injured through an accident, and usually had to travel 5-8 hours to get to each village.  However, there should be a purpose for using a particular setting or for representing characters of a particular cultural background. In order to assess the purpose of the usage of this culture, I considered if the cultural setting adds to the work and if it seemed superfluous. I concluded that Luis Bohórquez’s is relatable for many countries around the world. The work would succeed equally well if is used in a different cultural setting or with characters from a different culture.

In terms of Quality: Multicultural literature must meet the general quality standards applied to all other literature, such as well-developed plots, settings, and characters for texts, and the distinctive use of composition, color, and perspective for illustrations. To assess quality, I consider that the work is valid and supported by true life events and the dialogue sounds natural; nothing forced. Biblioburro; A True Story from Colombia is an item of high quality overall, independent of its multicultural characteristics.

In this discussion, I have spotlighted yet more high-quality multicultural literature in the textbook Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys Anthologies and a dual language multicultural book assessed by five major characteristics: accuracy, expertise, respect, purpose, and quality.

Multicultural Book 2  – Lee & Low Multicultural Children’s Book Publisher – Bippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley Illustrated by E.B. Lewis

In an effort to find high quality multicultural literature and evaluate my textbook materials, I used Lee & Low Multicultural Children’s Book Publisher which we use in addition to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journey anthologies. I searched for five major characteristics: accuracy, expertise, respect, purpose, and quality. These five characteristics serve as excellent evaluation criteria for the multicultural book Bippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley Illustrated by E.B. Lewis.

Throughout the book, accuracy can be found in all cultural aspects such as a detailed depiction of a barbershop environment and the use of shears and clippers, large mirrors and the look of actual furniture, etc. They are portrayed vividly. Realistically illustrated, E.B. Lewis captures African American life in an honorable way. Inside the barbershop, two men are playing checkers and a group of men are watching a basketball game. Sounds of clippers and scissors are heard. Furthermore, diversity exists among the members of the culturally portrayed. For example, slightly different facial features of each member is evident. Groups of people have distinct individual types of hair to the applause of the illustrator. For example dreadlocks, curly afro, and baldness are also shown. In terms of historic content, everything depicted is correct, true and realistic with sprinkles of other cultures of people as well.

As far as expertise, creators of multicultural literature have more than sufficient background knowledge to create accurate portrayals of a cultural group. According to any author/illustrator notes or biographical information, the author and/or illustrator are more than qualified to write or illustrate material relating to the culture(s) portrayed.  The author, Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and E.B. Lewis who are of African American descent have collaborated on several books regarding African-American children realizing their self-worth and their life’s experience. “I Love My Hair”, a best seller, as well as other acclaimed titles: Girl in the Mirror, Destiny’s Gift, Joe Joe’s First Flight, The Prince and the Frog; Princess Tiana and the Royal Ball. She is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. E.B. Lewis is the illustrator of two Corretta Scott King Honor Books, including The Bat Boy and His Violin by Gavin Curtis and Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes. The author and/or illustrator conducted related research. They not only lived among the groups of people represented in the work but are African America as well.

By way of respect, these creators of multicultural literature exhibit respect for the cultures they portray. As I assessed respect, I considered questions such as: Do the author and/or illustrator avoid the representation of stereotypes in the characters’ speech, appearance, and behaviors? They do. The characters’ speech, appearance and behaviors are not exaggerated nor disrespectful. They illustrate various life-styles and hairstyles of African American men. So that, this shows that the author and/or illustrator avoid using a condescending or negative tone in relation to cultural characteristics of the characters and setting. Yes; in no way is there any demeaning descriptions or stereotypes. Furthermore, the tone is not at all condescending but reflect the loving relationship between father and son and his budding relationship with his barber. Like most little boys, he is afraid of the sharp scissors, the buzzing razor, and the prospect of picking a new hairstyle. But with the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut. In this companion book to the bestselling I Love My Hair, a young boy, Miles, has made his first trip to the barbershop with his father.  Written in a reassuring tone with a jazzy beat and illustrated with graceful, realistic watercolors, this book captures an important rite of passage for boys and celebrates African-American identity. It is very happy and optimistic as well as realistic. The minority characters are portrayed as equal in societal worth to majority characters and are not represented in subordinate social positions. There is no representation nor does it reflect a legitimate reason for this representation, or is it due to cultural biases of the author/illustrator.  

In terms of the quality of purpose: Although good literature contains universal themes, there is a purpose for using a particular setting or for representing characters of a particular cultural background. To assess purpose, I considered questions such as: Does the cultural setting add to the work, or does it seem superfluous? This particular setting for representing characters of a particular cultural background is helpful in describing African American culture and it invites other readers to see universal life experiences in a different light. In fact, the work would succeed equally well if it used a different cultural setting (or characters from a different culture). This multicultural literature share meets the general quality standards applied to all other literature, such as well-developed plots, settings, and characters for texts, and the distinctive use of composition, color, and perspective for illustrations. As I assess the quality, I considered whether or not the work rings true to me as well as whether or not dialogue sounded natural and not forced.  Overall, this is a high-quality item independent of its multicultural characteristics. Its depiction of ordinary life events to portray a little boys’ experience on his first trip to the barbershop is done beautifully by way of prose as well as paint. The artwork, in my opinion, is in some ways similar to Norman Rockwell’s style and thematic paintings of everyday life.

In this discussion, I have found another high-quality multicultural literature resource in Lee and Low publishers and have assessed five major characteristics: accuracy, expertise, respect, purpose, and quality in one of their many multicultural books.

The Cognitive Dimension: Lee & Low Multicultural Children’s Book Publisher – Bippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley Illustrated by E.B. Lewis via Music Education.

The Knowledge Dimension Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create
Facts Describe

Your first haircut
Describe: Jazz music

Repeat: steady beat pattern with Ta (SLOW).

Identify quarter rest, Ti and Ta rhythm patterns

Recognize sounds for p and b

Distinguish: differences between Ta’s and Ti’s
Distinguish between sounds for p and b.
Key vocabulary:


Bippity Bop

Jazz Chants with p and b.
Interpret the book:

Bippity Bop Barber Shop


Rhythm patterns

Rank Jazz Chant for Bippity Bop Barbershop Categorize

Different genres by listening

Concepts Music Concepts:







Kindergarten MU:Cr1.1.K

a. With guidance, explore and experience music concepts (such as beat and melodic contour).


  • Phonology
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics

Standard 1a-2 Language as a System

Explain how plosives “p” and “b” are produced with the mouth. Show Jazz Chant:

“Bippity Bop Barbershop!” (2x)
“Where do you go when your hair is long?”
“Cut your hair!”


“P” and “b” sounds


Whether or not they are on a steady beat

Modify by adding Orff instrument support
Processes Outline a sentence containing p and b sounds Estimate Produce Sounds Produce

Jazz Chant

Defend Design
Procedures Reproduce the sentence containing p and b sounds on a steady beat Give an example of a jazz chant and ask how to write it. Relate Identify

P and B


Critique Plan to Perform in Black History Month
Principles State the sentence Solve by writing Converts in to chant Solve

Combination of jazz chant and rhythm


Which is best for Bippity Bop Barber Shop


if necessary

Metacognitive Appraise their skills on rhythm and production of sounds. Interpret it with music Interpret the chant Discover

Your composition

Predict your performance Actualize

And perform your jazz chant