Touro TESOL Teacher Candidate Elcidana Camacho website review for EDDN 639 – Trends and Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition

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

As a TESOL Professor, I thought about the Blueprint for English Language Learner/ Multilingual Learner Success when designing this assignment. On page 3 in the Blueprint it states that: Districts and schools engage all English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners in instruction that is grade-appropriate, academically rigorous, and aligned with the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core and P-12 Common Core Learning Standards by anchoring instruction by strategically using research-based practices (e.g., multimedia, visuals, graphic organizers, etc.).  The question was: How can technology and its applications be folded into a course sequence with practical application to TESOL teacher practice?

Assignment description: Course participants will find at least 6 websites or applications. The submitted assignment should include 1) links to the websites, 2) a brief description of each site and its weaknesses and strengths,  and 3) how you will implement or apply them in your own professional teaching practice including parent outreach, and ELL advocacy. The writing must be graduate-level and authentic.  12 fonts, double space, minimum 6 pages – 1 page per website.

Website Review


Starfall is a free website appropriate for children from preschool through second grade. It is an outstanding resource for special education students and ELLs to improve their language.  Some benefits of this website are the ample variety of interactive games, activities, songs, and stories for readers in the beginning stage as well as a variety of downloadable materials, educational products, and a kindergarten curriculum for parents and educators. The website is centered around activities that address phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.

Another benefit of this website is that it is easy for students to navigate at their own pace, permit learners to involve in varied activities, games, and materials independently, in pairs, or with the whole class. Teachers can also project the site on an interactive whiteboard to introduce new concepts (letters, letter sounds, phonemes, blending sounds, and more) to the whole class. For teachers who are ready to go all in, the Parent-Teacher Center is a must. It offers an impressive amount of additional ideas, printable worksheets, and pre-K and kindergarten curricula. Beware, however, that a lot of these extras are behind a paywall.

One weakness found it’s that the website only encompasses from Pre-k to third grade. I think older learners will benefit from this amazing website as well.  I am already planning to use this with a newcomer student that I have.  She is now learning the letters the alphabet and I have been introducing some of the sound.  As I was exploring the website I found a game that focuses on each letter using it different words.

 Colorín Colorado:

Colorín Colorado is a website that serves educators and families of ELLs from Grades PreK-12. It is a bilingual website basically in English and Spanish, but it offers basic parent content in thirteen languages, comprising Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and Hmong. The website provides free research-based information, classroom videos, toolkits, multilingual tip sheets, newsletters, featured book, activities, as well as advice to parents, schools, and communities in supporting ELLs in the process of the language acquisition.

The Colorín Colorado website is easy to navigate, the homepage has a bar of choices that includes ELLs Basics, school support, includes teaching ELLs, for families, books and authors, videos, audience, and resource library. The resources are included by grade, state, special education.  It also offers resources and guidance for new ENL teachers, how to create a welcome environment, strategies for teaching ELLs, vocabulary instructions, how to support ELLs successfully meet the common core standards, as well as information about topics such as reading together at home.

As we see, this is not a website for the students, however, it is a great resource for parents and educators getting informed on how they can best support English Language learners.  The only disadvantage that I find is that not all parents are skillful readers, I think the section for parents should include more visuals for them such as videos that includes the information in the articles. This is a website I have used before many times.  I have applied information learned on this website in my classroom such as strategies for differentiated instructions and making content comprehensible for ELLs.

Fun Brain    

Fun Brain is a very colorful, energetic, and interactive website.  There are over 100 interactive activities to support students from preschool to grade eighth developing skills in English literacy. The website offers the following choices: games, reading, videos, playgrounds, and math zones. The website provides an extensive variety of books children can read directly on the website. As I was navigating, I was excited to find books we read in class such as those from Kate DiCamilo.  Having them available online, seems to be a great visual aid for ELLs. Fun Brain’s games allow children an opportunity to practice their reading skills in order to play games effectively. All the games are safe for kids, and they encourage children to manipulate the keyboard and mouse so they can learn to be independent on the computer. However, these educational games allow students to practice but never show them why they get an answer wrong or how to improve it.

One disadvantage I found is that when clicking to read books from first to fourth grade, it shows a book that we read at the end of second grade which I think will be very difficult for a first-grade student. Another disadvantage is the section called playground. This is not an educational activity, it is more like entertainment for kids.

I will use this website in both reading and math.  I will use the math zone during independent math where students can practice skills related with the concept being taught. Similarly, during independent reading, my students can read books online.

English 4 Kids

The English 4 kids is an ESL website mainly for families and teachers that are trying to help children and students learn English. In the section of the parents and teachers, there is a guide to the materials needed.  According to the website, the resources provided have been created by ESL professionals with at least 5 years of teaching experience. The website provides lesson plans, worksheets, fun game, powerpoints for the lessons, flashcards, and more.

Some strengths of this website are that it offers complete English Curriculum for ELLs who are at different stages in English proficiency with fully developed thematic units Each lesson features animated ESL videos to learn new vocabulary words and grammar. Furthermore, there are engaging English learning games for children and learner-driven interactive tests for every lesson. When reading the lessons, I noticed they follow the template of the SIOP Model.  Each lesson includes learning objectives, language objectives, vocabulary, sentence structure, visual aids, interactive activities, and more. I personally like that the content is connected with daily life activities.  For instance, there is a whole unit about greetings, another about colors, and so on. This units will help ELLs build and expand their vocabulary because they are exposed to read, listen, speak and write using the vocabulary. Moreover, there apps that parents can download for ELLs to practice phonics. One disadvantage I found it’s that the website doesn’t have an option for languages.  Since the website is designed for teachers and parents to help their children improve their English, I think the instructions for the options in the website should include parent’s native language because not all of them understand English.

I will definitely use this website with my students, not just with the newcomers, but with the whole class as well. There are interactive videos we can do together specially when teaching phonics, vocabulary, even grammar.  I have to say that this is my favorite website so far. I can’t wait to use.

Literacy Center Educational Network

The Literacy Center Education Network is a website created for parents, teachers and younger students. It provides great resources for students, educators and families of English Language Learners. The website includes beneficial pages such as Play and Learn, Print and Practice, Parents and Teachers, and Resources. The Play and Learn page contains activities that help ELLs practice their writing, spelling, uppercase, lowercase, word matching, spelling and more. Lessons are colorful and very interactive which makes teaching and learning more engaging. Furthermore, the different activities promote the development of the four language skills, Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking.

The website is very accessible for parents because it provides an ample variety of language such as Spanish, French, and German. I think this is an advantage.  Moreover, when young learners are navigating, it is easy for them to go from one page to the other because the page does not heavy with too many visuals.  On the top it shows numbers that indicate a different page. Students just have to click and the page will pop out. One disadvantage I found is that there are not many activities.  I wish it had more variety.  Since this is a website for young learners, I will use this with students who do not have a strong foundation in their native language as well as newcomers.

BrainPop ELL

BrainPOP ELL is a web-based English language learning program that encompasses animated videos as well as interactive games and activities.  In the activities, the website includes the four language skills; reading, writing, listening, and speaking. BrainPOP website was mainly created to support  English Language learners acquiring English in all their English proficiency levels (Entering, merging, Transitional, and Expanding.

I believe this website is very beneficial for ELLs since it provides an important visual aid which is movies.  Children love the two main characters in the videos Moby and Ben. All these short movies are directly aligned with the common core standards which support students learning the content, practicing their language skills, and developing not just their English language, but also the academic language. Some of the topics students study present progressive, present simple, pronouns & be and so more.

I always use BrainPOP with my class especially in Science and Social Studies; however, I did not know there was one BrainPOP designed for ELLs. One disadvantage I found is that since the website is not free, students will not have access at home to this resource.  I will use this website for whole and small class discussions.  After showing the video, I will encourage students to have an accountable talk with their partner related to the topic in the vide. As the video is playing, I will stop for students to take notes highlighting the main topic and key details.  They will have to support their answers with details from the video.


Farishta Mohd, Touro TESOL Teacher Candidate’s Literacy Unit on America’s Indian Removal Policies

Imagine you are given 48 hours to pack your things and move to another home. Would you move? Why or why not?
“I fought through the civil war and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands, but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.” ~John Burnett, US Army

Farishta Mohd is in her second semester at Touro College. She graduated from CUNY Queens College with a BA in History and a minor in Secondary Education. She teaches as a pre-kindergarten teacher at a private school in Flushing. As a former ELL student, she as attuned to the difficulties English Language Learners experience.  With her TESOL degree from the Graduate School of Education, Touro College, she hopes to address ELL needs and “pave the way for a brighter future for them just like my teachers and professors continue to do for me.”

Ms. Mohd’s timely unit on America’s Indian Removal Policies focuses on uncovering the concept of the Indian Removal Act and the role of the US government in this pivotal time of US history.

Trail of Tears

 America’s Indian Removal Policies

Content and Skills Summary

In this three-week unit, students will uncover the concept of the Indian Removal Act and the role of the US government in carrying it out. Students will examine America’s Indian removal policies, including events leading up to the passage of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act and the effect it had on NativeAmericans. Students will examine primary source documents from the 1830s, to gain insight on the political strategies, perspectives, culture clashes, and historical consequences of this time period.

In analyzing primary documents students will use close reading to find the origins, context, purpose and the author’s arguments. Students will use modified versions of primary source documents. Students will annotate keyphrases that capture the author’s central idea. When comparing and contrasting opposing points of view students will use explicit language from the text. Students will use the guideline Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal to break down primary source documents. 

To demonstrate their mastery of the content students will take a stand for or against the Indian Removal Act by organizing a skit. Students will role play and bring the words of historical figures to life. Students will use their annotated primary sources to assemble a skit that will display their understanding of differing perspectives on the Indian Removal Act.  

All activities, lessons, in-class tasks and take home assignments will encompass the four basic foundations of language: reading, writing, speaking and listening.  


  • Read primary document
  • Look for the development of ideas and the use of academic language.
  • Find the author’s point of view by evaluating his arguments, claims and ideas.


  • Write answers to guiding questions from the primary source  
  • Show awareness of audience
  • Follow the Conventions of Standard English in capitalization, comma usage, and spelling.
  •  Use descriptive language in conveying your ideas about the author’s point of view
  • Cite quotations from readings
  • Annotate key phrases, words and sentences that support the author’s argument   


  • Orally share  responses to guiding questions  
  • Ask questions and make comments about the text’s structure and features
  • Discuss the author’s point of view about the topic


  • Listen to questions posed about the text’s structures and features
  • listen to peer presentations
  • Listen to peers reading chunks of primary source documents
  • Listen to teacher say each vocabulary word and its definition at the beginning of each lesson

Reading strategies like the one below will be utilized throughout the unit to help students comprehend the texts.

Learning Objectives

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Compare and contrast opposing points of view when reading primary source documents  
  • Identify main ideas and opinions of an assigned reading
  • Identify the details from the text that support the author’s main ideas, opinions and themes
  • Explain orally and in writing an author’s use of academic language
  • Summarize the author’s point of view/purpose from assigned reading
  • Apply conventions of Standard English for capitalization, comma usage, and spelling in written text.
  • Take notes by gathering and categorizing or organizing graphically or outlining and sequencing while reading informational text
  • Create in writing an effective claim or argument against or for the Indian Removal Act
  • Investigate the role of the US government in the removal of Native American tribes in 1830.
  • Define the phrase “Manifest Destiny” and its significance in The Indian Removal Act of 1830.
  • Evaluate and assess the reasons given to remove Native Americans from their ancestral homes. 
  • Identify Cherokee reactions to the removal act


Formative assessment

  • After reading the primary source documents Andrew Jackson’s Second State of the Union Address December 6, 1830,  and Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836
  • Students will first annotate key phrases, words or sentences that show the authors’ main idea. Using textual evidence students will then list the reasons for each authors’ claims. Students will work in small groups using the guide Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal
  • Giving feedback and evaluating peer presentations
  • Close reading annotations
  • Self-questioning and taking a stand
  • Organizing  and presenting skits


  • Use questions to examine the text’s topic, information, and structure
  • Analyze key details and language to increase understanding
  • Compare and contrast two opposing points of view
  • Use context clues to decode the meaning of new and unfamiliar words
  • Use writing strategies to summarize key ideas of primary source documents
  • Close read to get the gist of the text
  • Use text explicit words, phrases and sentences that support the main idea
  • Work in small groups  
  • Close reading to get the gist of the primary source document
  • Use text explicit word/phrase/sentences to explain the impact of the Indian Removal Act on Native Americans.
  • Organize a skit to show the Cherokee Nation’s perspective on their forced removal.
  • Compare and contrasting the message conveyed by each document.
  • Use context clues to figure out word meaning
  • Will work in groups to analyze primary documents  

Instructional Materials

  • Andrew Jackson’s Second State of the Union Address December 6, 1830
  • Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836
  • Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal
  • Examining Primary Sources-Reading Group Roles

Lesson # 1

Common Core State Standards:


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Vocabulary: announce, benevolent, pursued, consummation, propose, savage annihilated and unconstrained.

Motivation: Imagine you are given 48 hours to pack your things and move to another home. Would you move? Why or why not?

Guiding Questions

  • What were the different points of view offered regarding the removal of Native Americans in the 1830s?
  • What role, if any, does the removal of Native Americans play in the theory of the United States’ “Manifest Destiny”?

Learning Objectives SWBAT

  • After completing this lesson, students should be able to:
  • Evaluate and assess the reasons given to remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands.
  • Compare and contrast different primary source documents with differing points of view
  • Make connections between the removal of Native Americans and the theory of “Manifest Destiny.”

Language Objective SWBAT

  • Read modified primary source documents proficiently and independently.
  • Annotate key words/phrases/sentences that explain the reasons why Native Americans were removed from their lands
  • List textual evidence that show differing points of view on the removal act

Procedure: Today we are going learn about a group of people who were forcibly removed from their homes. They were a Native American group known as the Cherokees. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act to remove Indians from their lands. Not all Americans were in agreement with this new act and many indicated their disapproval. President Jackson, in addressing his Second State of the Union, gave his reasons for removing Native Americans. We are going to get in groups of five and look at some primary documents. One will be President Jackson’s Second State of the Union. Another will be Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836. A third document will be Native American Voices – Colonel Webb (Choctaw).  Each group member will have an assigned role. Read the handout Examining Primary Source-Reading Group Roles and decide what you will do. You will read the primary source documents.You will use the handout Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal to break down the text.

Exit Ticket: List the differing points of view from the documents you analyzed with your group.  Use specific words from the text. Present your findings as a group.  

Name:                                 Your Role

Title of Your Document:

Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal

1. Group Up: Arrange your group so that you are in a circle so that everyone can see and effectively communicate with everyone else.

2. Skim: First, silently skim the document provided to you. Does anything pop out first? (i.e. do you see any clues as to what the document may be about; is there anything that catches your attention or that you find interesting or confusing?; etc.)

3. Read: Together, carefully read through the document provided to you. The language may be confusing to you, or seem difficult to understand. Take your time and reread as needed. As you read, mark the text:

  • Circle any words that are unfamiliar to you. Underline any parts of the document that you think are most important or that stick out to you.
  •  If you are confused by any part of the document, write a question mark by that line or section. You can also write outquestions on the text.
  • If anything surprises you or evokes a strong emotional response from you, you can write an exclamation mark by the line or section.
  • If a particular thought pops in your head that connects to the reading, write it in the margins.

4. Discuss: The “Facilitator” will lead your group in discussing the following questions. You can also raise your own questions for discussion.  

  • What parts of this text did you underline as most important or interesting and why?
  • What does this document tell us regarding America’s Indian Removal policies in the 1830s?
  • What emotions or feelings are evident in this document? Or, what emotions or feelings would it have aroused in Natives, government officials, and/or European settlers?
  •  What is the purpose of this document? What evidence in the text makes you think this?
  •  Predict what impact you think this document, or the subject matter it addresses, will have on Native Americans and on the European/American settlers.
  • Based on this document, who would be impacted by America’s Indian removal policies and in what ways?  
  • Imagine you are living in the 1830s and you come across this document. How would you feel about it and why?
  • As you read this document, what images came to mind? If you were going to create a painting based on this document or the subject it addresses, what might your painting contain or look like and why?

 5. Prepare to Present: Each group will present.  In order to teach the remainder of class about the document your group read and discussed, assist the Presenter in preparing to summarize the text and your discussion/opinions regarding the text for the remainder of class. In addition, choose at least 3-5 sentences of the text that you think are most important that the Presenter will read to the class during his/her presentation.

6. Extra Time? If your group has time left after completing all of the above steps, each of you should return to the question posed above: If you were going to create a painting based on this document or the subject it addresses, what might your painting contain or look like and why? Reconsider this question, then as individuals, create your own piece of art that in some way represents or symbolizes the document you read. The Task Manager will retrieve the art supplies you need from the teacher.

Examining Primary Sources – Reading Group Roles

  • Facilitator: Your job is to lead the discussion on the reading provided to your group. Pose discussion questions to the group and ensure that every voice is heard (including your own). Make sure the group stays focused on the task assigned. While ensuring everyone else participates in the discussion, you should also provide your thoughts. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Recorder: Your job is to take notes during the discussion your group has regarding the reading assigned to you. Make sure you write down a final answer to each discussion question. You will assist the Presenter in preparing his/her notes for the summary he/she provides to the other groups. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Task Manager: Your job is to monitor the time as your group works and to provide time warnings (i.e. “10 minutes left,” “5 minutes left,” etc.) to your group. Make sure that your group equally divides its time among the questions and tasks, while ensuring all aspects of the assignment are completed before time is up. If any supplies are needed, you are responsible for getting them and ensuring they are returned. Also, assist the Facilitator in ensuring everyone in the group participates and stays on track. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Presenter: Your job is to summarize your group’s discussion for the remainder of class once time is up. Make sure you do this in a way that teaches the other groups about the reading assigned to your group. Be prepared to speak in a clear, concise manner. The Recorder can help you in preparing and writing the summary to be presented. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  •  Q & A-er: Your job is to keep track of any questions that your group members pose throughout the discussion. Whenever possible, assist in finding the answers to these questions. (For example, you may need to look up a word in the dictionary, or consult your text book for further information on a topic.) If the group needs the teacher’s assistance, you are responsible for communicating the group’s questions or needs to the teacher. Also, after the Presenter summarizes your group’s reading and discussion with the remainder of class, you are responsible for answering any clarifying questions other groups may have of your group. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.


Robertson, Kristina. Preparing an engaging social studies lesson for english language learners. 

Retrieved from:

Paulina Araya on the ESL Textbook Project EDDN 634, Touro College

A textbook in a classroom is essential for the teacher and students as a guide throughout the school year. A textbook gives a teacher an idea of different ways to teach a certain topic. If the school you are working for has a curriculum, they provide the textbook which makes teaching a lot easier. Unfortunately, not all schools have a curriculum and many teachers must make up their own curricula including choosing using the textbooks best for students.

Paulina Araya has been teaching for four years with two years in Queens (D.O.E).  She is currently in her second year in Suffolk County, Long Island. Ms. Araya taught ELLS during Summer School in Queens for two years in a row and absolutely fell in love with the ENL population so she decided to pursue her career in TESOL. Plus, her husband along with her parents are former ELLS. She is at my second to last semester at Touro, currently taking an online course along with a Monday night class and next semester all that remains is the Practicum. She is excited and can’t wait to graduate in June 2019.

At my school district, the most common textbook used for ELLS is called EDGE Reading, Writing and Language. EDGE consists of 7 Units. Each unit has an Essential Question that follows a Genre Focus, a Focus Strategy and implications for Grammar and Writing.

Unit 1: reflects on What influences How you Act? Genre Focus: Short stories, character, plot and setting. Focus strategy: Plan and Monitor the grammar and vocabulary, sentences, subjects and predicates, Subject-verb agreement and personal narrative for writing. Unit 2: focuses on How do families affect us? Genre focus is Nonfiction: Author’s purpose. Ask Questions for Focus Strategies and for Grammar Subject pronouns, Present tense verbs, and subject-verb agreement. For students writing the focus is news articles.
Unit 3: Do we find or Create Our True Selves? Short stories: Narrator’s Point of view for Genre Focus, for Focus strategy: make inferences Grammar: Present, Past, and future tense, subject and object pronouns and for writing short stories.
Unit 4: How much should people help each other? Genre Focus is Nonfiction: Text structure and features. Focus Strategy is to determine the importance of structure. Grammar: possessive words, prepositions, and pronoun agreement. For their writing students will write a problem solution essay.
Unit 5: Do people get what they deserve? Genre focus, Short stories: Theme for Focus Strategy Make connections, Grammar adjectives, and adverbs. Writing is the description of a process.
Unit 6: What rights and responsibilities should teens have? The Genre Focus is Nonfiction, Structure of Arguments. Focus strategy is synthesizing information. Grammar focuses on indefinite pronouns, word order in sentences and compound sentences. The writing assignment is a Persuasive Essay.
Unit 7: What do you do to Make an Impression? Genre focus is Drama and Poetry, focus strategy is visualizing. Grammar aspect is compound and complex sentences, present perfect tense. The writing assignment is a literary analysis.
All seven units are common core structured and are preparing students to focus on specific strategies for the ELLS to pass the English Regents. There’re multitudes of visuals, graphic organizers, sentences starters, rough draft instructions for essays, key vocabulary review, critical thinking questions, and short stories that relate to ELLS. There is also a website that helps students facilitate their learning while at home or out of the classroom.

EDDN 634 ENL UNIT PLAN Introduction to Argumentative Writing by Touro Teacher Candidate Luis Colón

Luis Colón “Many of my ENL students are on the school soccer team which just won the State Championship or play outside of school on travel teams. They show passion for sports and many have played competitively since they were very young. Their passion for sports caused me to reflect and reconsider which argumentative topic to use with my group this year and I was excited to put it into action.”

In my course EDDN 634 this weeks assignment is a Unit plan with ELA standard alignment. It is always a pleasure to highlight my teacher candidates work. You will find the complete unit with all the hand-outs in this article.

Luis Colón is an 8th and 9th grade English teacher on Long Island as well as a graduate student working on obtaining his MS in TESOL from Touro College. This year marks his second and final year in the program as he anticipates finishing before the end of 2018.

Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

Luis Colón “Many of my ENL students are on the school soccer team which just won the State Championship or play outside of school on travel teams. They show passion for sports and many have played competitively since they were very young. Their passion for sports caused me to reflect and reconsider which argumentative topic to use with my group this year and I was excited to put it into action.”

Next Generation ELA Standards
Reading Standards
9-10R1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly/implicitly and make logical inferences; develop questions for deeper understanding and for further exploration.
● RH1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the time and place of publication, origin, authorship, etc.
● RST1: Cite specific evidence to support analysis of scientific and technical texts, charts, diagrams, etc. attending to the precise details of the source. Understand and follow a detailed set of directions.
9-10R2: Determine one or more themes or central ideas in a text and analyze its development, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; objectively and accurately summarize a text.
● RH2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop within a text.
● RST2: Determine the key ideas or conclusions of a source; trace the source’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the source.
9-10R8: Delineate and evaluate an argument and specific claims in a text, assessing the validity or fallacy of key statements by examining whether the supporting evidence is relevant and sufficient
● RH8: Analyze the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
● RST8: Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a source support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
Writing Standards
9-10W1: Write arguments to support claims that analyze substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
● 9-10W1a: Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from counterclaims, establish and organize clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaim(s), reasons, and evidence.
● 9-10W1b: Develop claim(s) and counterclaims in a balanced manner, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both, anticipating the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
● 9-10W1c: Use precise language and content-specific vocabulary to express the appropriate complexity of the topic.
● 9-10W1d: Use appropriate and varied transitions to make critical connections and distinctions, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
● 9-10W1e: Provide a concluding statement or section that explains the significance of the argument presented.
● 9-10W1f: Maintain a style and tone appropriate to the writing task.
9-10W7: Gather relevant information from multiple sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas;
avoid plagiarism and follow a standard format for citation.
● WHST7: Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and Research

ESL Learning Standards
Standard 1: Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for information and understanding.
Standard 3: Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for critical analysis and evaluation.
Unit Introduction
As high school students in my district, there is a shift in curricular focus from how students are taught English / Language Arts in the lower grades (which follow the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop Curriculum) to one that is designed to prepare students for
the demands of the New York State Regents Exam. I specifically chose these articles and designed these activities for my groups of students since I have classes with many athletes who play competitively and many of which have hopes of playing sports in college. The argumentative question “Should college athletes be paid as professional athletes are?” asks students to consider where and if a line should be drawn between what is considered
professional sports and what is not since a lot of money is made from college sports through admission to games, merchandising and even airtime on television and radio.
Many of my ENL students are on the school soccer team which just won the State Championship or play outside of school on travel teams. They show passion for sports and many have played competitively since they were very young. Their passion for sports caused me to reflect and reconsider which argumentative topic to use with my group this year and I was excited to put it into action.

Essential Questions
● What is an argument?
● What makes a good argument?
● Where do we see arguments in our day to day lives?
● What is the intended audience of argumentative writing?
● What literary techniques do good writers use to convince their audience?
● How do I select effective evidence to support the claims I am making?
● How is argumentative writing similar and/or different to other styles of writing?
● What are the different mediums of argumentative writing in the modern day?
End of Unit Assessment (Performance Task)
Argumentative Essay
Main Objectives
By the end of the unit, students will be able to…
● Define the academic language of argument writing: Claim, Counterclaim, Argument,
● Become familiar with and utilize argumentative conventions in their writing
● Cite textual evidence from multiple texts that supports and refutes the argument that the writer is intending to deliver to their audience
● Analyze how writers use the elements of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos when supporting their claims in their writing
● Analyze how writers explain evidence that they have gathered through research to support their claims
● Revise and edit their written work to create a final draft that includes the
conventions of argumentative writing as well as the structure and organization of a final draft
Critical Thinking Questions (Bloom’s)
● Interpret texts from different authors on the same subject matter by analyzing textual evidence, identifying who the intended audience is, and analyzing how the author uses rhetorical devices to support their claims
● Evaluate how effective an argument is based on source material, the validity of sources, and voice of the author of the text
● Analyze the typical language of argumentative writing and determine what the intended purpose behind the author’s use of specific diction in their writing
● Discuss in either pairs or groups how the evidence found in argumentative articles supports the claims that the author is attempting to make in their writing
● Appraise argumentative evidence based on the credibility of the source material, quality of textual evidence cited, and validity of that textual evidence
● Compile evidence from various sources that reflect both evidence that supports our claim and evidence that refutes our claims.
● Compile and organize evidence for an in-class debate that effectively and strongly supports the claims that student groups are defending.
Central Texts Paired Texts Paired Film
“Students Who Lose Recess are the Ones Who Need It Most”
“School Suspensions Don’t Work. It’s Time for Something Better” 
“The Surprising Truth About Discipline in Schools”
“How One Middle School Cut Discipline Referrals By 98 Percent in Just One Year”
“Should Athletes Be Paid to Play?”
“College Athletes are Being Educated, Not Exploited”
“How the N.C.A.A Cheats College Athletes” 
“It’s time to pay the tab for America’s college athletes”
Texts Film
“21 Reasons Why Student-Athletes Are Employees And Should Be Allowed To Unionize” 
“A Day in the Life of a Student Athlete”
“Why Shouldn’t We Pay Student-Athletes?”
A Day In The Life of NFL Running Back
Latavius Murray

● Graphic organizer for organizing evidence and in-class debate
● Sentence frames on chart paper to assist with writing
● Verbal as well as visual modeling on the SMART Board
● Incorporation of various media including diverse articles, video clips, etc.
● Seating in a manner where students have a speaker of their native language in the area
● Explain directions at a slower pace and simplify them for all students

Nicole Pappas’ Contribution for GSE Touro College, TESOL Program, EDDN 634 Reading and Writing for ELL’s

GSE LogoEvery week my aspiring teacher candidates matriculated in the GSE, Touro College contribute to their online course in discussion forums.  I am struck by the depth and breadth of their analysis, thought processes and connections to their professional teaching practice.  Here Nicole Pappas, one of my students and her contribution to session 5.

Nicole Pappas graduated from SUNY Old Westbury in May of 2018 with a bachelors degree in general and special education grades 1-6. She is certified to teach both special and general education grades 1-6. Currently, she serves as a permanent substitute teacher in the Levittown Public School District.  She started the TESOL graduate program at Touro College as a teacher candidate for the TESOL Masters Degree.

The Common Core State Standards include initiatives for shifts regarding the teaching of literacy to ELLs. Discuss these shifts.

There Common Core State Standards are grounded by three shifts in ELA. According to Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELL’s the first shift is building knowledge through content-rich notification. To address this shift, teachers of ELL must assess and build ELLs prior knowledge about the content and structure of the nonfiction text. The teacher then must integrate the students’ background knowledge into the instruction. The teacher has to teach the ELLs the differences between the structure of informational and literacy text. The teacher must also design appropriate assessments in order for the students to demonstrate what they know and can do. The second shift is reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from both literary and informational text. Teachers of ELLs must be able to build on the students’ background knowledge while using evidence from different types of texts. The teacher must also create appropriate text-dependent questions for students at different levels of the English language. By teaching the ELLs the academic language necessary so that they can use evidence from the text in reading, speaking, listening, and writing. This is important because the students need to gather information from the text to answer or understand the text. The last shift is regular practice with complex text and its academic language. Teachers must analyze complex texts and make ELLs aware of the academic language found in the complex tests. Also, the teachers must be able to teach ELLs strategies to guess words that are unknown to them. Examples of these words are cognates, prefixes, roots, and suffixes. The teacher also has to teach the meanings of words that have multiple definitions. This can be difficult for some students because one word can mean many different things. The student has to use context clues in order to figure out the correct meaning of the word (p.5). 

2.   2.  How can we, as educators, incorporate these standards into our lessons for our ELL students?

We can incorporate these standards into our lessons for our ELL students by differentiating and scaffolding instruction. One way to scaffold instruction is to use visuals, synonyms, and examples to clarify the meaning of words. The teacher can also use sentence starters and guided questions. Also, the teacher can have the student preview the text in their home language. These techniques help the ELL student understand the Common Core State Standards. By pre-teaching the meanings of key vocabulary words, the ELL student already has a knowledge on what the topic is that the Common Core State Standard is addressing.

3. Discuss several instructional strategies that would be beneficial in teaching writing to ELL students.

One strategy that would be beneficial in teaching writing to ELL students’ is by providing feedback to the students. According to the article, “Second Language Writing and Research: The Writing Process and Error Analysis in Student Texts” by Johanne Myles, if the teacher doesn’t provide proper feedback on errors, the improvement of the students writing will not happen. The teacher needs to teach the students self-corrections and regulation. The students also need to be motivated to want to write. If a student is not motivated or interested in writing, the student is not going to want to try and write. The teacher should also have the students talk out loud with one another more. By having students verbally discuss the answers, and then writing it down, it can help the students process the information and then correctly write it down on paper. The ELL students should first brainstorm ideas by using an outline. The student then writes these ideas out and has the teacher revise them and look over them. The writer translates their plans into a representation of their goals. Teaching writing to ELL students can be beneficial and help students write to the best of their ability.

4.     How can we encourage our students at all levels to become proficient in writing arguments?

We can encourage our students at all levels to become proficient in writing arguments by reminding students that argument skills are used in their everyday life. According to the article “Teaching Argument Writing to ELLs” by Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull-Sypnieski, teachers can create a word chart and include words like problem, cause, effect, and solution. Students would then translate these words into their home language, and develop a list of common English synonyms. The teacher should also give the student’s sentence starters to help them start a sentence. For example, when given the question: what is the problem? The sentence starter would be, the problem is ___. The students first verbally address the problem, and then they write down the answer on paper. If the students are writing a persuasive essay, it is essential to pre-teach the vocabulary that the students might need in their writing. The students will need to research the material that is necessary for the persuasive essay. The teacher should put examples on the board with correct grammar and spelling in a sentence and also the incorrect way to write a sentence in English. For example, under the yes column, the teacher could write: The boy is tall. Under the no column, the teacher could write: The boy are all. This is teaching the students the correct and incorrect form of are and is. The teacher should help the student connect their prior knowledge to make inferences to the material they are learning. 

5.   Analyze (not describe) briefly Vygotsky Scaffolding and the Zone of Proximal Development with an eye to implications to YOUR professional teaching practice.

According to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development: Instructional Implications and Teachers’ Professional Development by Karim Shabani, Mohamad Khaib, and Saman Ebadi (2010), Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development was used to describe the current level of development of the learner and the next level that is attainable through the use of environmental tools and adult or peer facilitation. Individuals learn best when working together with others during collaboration. I use this implication in my professional teaching practices because I ask my students to do turn-and-talks often. This helps students bounce ideas off of each other and students may feel comfortable to share and express their ideas with one another. Vygotsky perspective is to provide students with meaningful learning and problem-solving tasks that are slightly more difficult than what they do alone. I incorporated this into my teaching practice by creating STEM projects that are difficult for a student to solve alone, but easier when with a partner. One of the STEM activities I had my students do was to create a car using a water bottle, balloon, CD’s, string, and tape. The students had to draw their design of the car and had to think of ways to make it go as fast as it could. The students were able to bounce ideas off of each other and think of ways to make the car go as fast as it could. The students then raced the cars to see which car went the fastest. All of the students were familiar with what the purpose of a car is, they just had to use the recourses and tools to create the fastest car. 


  1. What fun activities do you do with your students that incorporate the CCSS into your lessons?
  2. How do you help your students organize their writing? What types of graphic organizers do you use? 

Ferlazzo, L., & Hull-Sypnieski, K. (2014, April). Teaching Argument Writing to ELLs. Retrieved October 12, 2018

Myles, J. (2002, September). Second Language Writing and Research: The Writing Process and Error Analysis in Student Texts. Retrieved October 12, 2018.

Shabani, K., Khatib, M., & Ebadi, S. (2010). Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development: Instructional Implications and Teachers’ Professional Development. English Language Teaching.


TESOL International Association. (2013). Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELLs. 1-13. Retrieved October 12, 2018.

EDDN 638 Teaching English as a Second Language through Modern English Approaches to Grammar – Teacher Candidates Final Projects

This fully online course reviewed the structure of American English. Teacher Candidates learned about diverse theories, approaches, methods, and practical techniques of grammar instruction for English language learners. Special emphasis was placed on developing instructional strategies to assist English language learners in meeting the current English Language Arts standards. The course included 5 hours of fieldwork.

Touro students at the Graduate School of Education enjoy flexible options in completing their degree. Many GSE students work part- or full-time, and have commutes or family obligations that limit their schedules. To accommodate our students’ needs, we offer afternoon, evening, Sunday, and online courses, and our campuses are conveniently located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island.

Whether you’re an experienced educator seeking professional or advanced certification or an aspiring teacher looking for a rigorous—and affordable—program, Touro will help you learn how to make a difference in the lives of children.

Here some of the teacher candidates work with educational technology this semester in EDDN 638 – creating a blog, a website, an infographic. Consolidation of their semester work into one place for professional showcasing.

Beatriz Martine created an informative Weebly site as a final e-project.

Rebecca Gulino created a multitiered blog.

Marisa Simoncic created this fantastic infographic.


Admissions Requirements

We welcome applications from NYS-certified teachers who would like to pursue TESOL certification. This program is designed to strengthen teachers’ capacities to effectively serve children for whom English is a second language.  Courses are scheduled to accommodate working students. Applicants should be aware that they are required to complete 100 hours of Student Teaching Experience in grades PreK-12.

Academic Requirements

All applicants to the MS program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages must have:

  • Completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited academic institution (official transcript must be submitted).
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4-point scale).
  • Provisional or initial NYS Certification in Education.
  • All applicants who plan to enroll in our teacher education, leadership, and counseling programs after July 1, 2016, must submit their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) official test scores, or a nationally-normed equivalent. Applicants who present MAT scores will be asked to complete a writing sample administered by Touro. It will be another criterion within a candidate’s application that each program weighs appropriately. Touro’s GRE test code is 2902 and MAT test code is 3346.

Ready to Apply?


Visit admissions to find out how to apply and start your application.


212-463-0400 ext. 5288

Leticia Castillo
Assistant to Chair

Dr. Lucia Buttaro