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How do schools go about identifying and developing EL teacher leaders to help other educators work with culturally and linguistically diverse students? What strategies have been most successful in developing these EL teacher leaders? How do schools create a culture in which EL teachers can lead the way and serve as experts in their field? We discuss these questions as they relate to pre-service programs, professional development, co-teaching models, and more in our conversation with Dr. Felice Russell from Ithaca University and Dr. Kerry Soo Von Esch from Seattle University.
Dr. Russell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Ithaca College. A former middle and high school English Language Arts, Social Studies, and ENL Teacher, she teaches instruction of English learners and teacher preparation. She has expertise in partnering with and studying K-12 teachers and leaders to promote professional learning and collaboration around culturally and linguistically diverse learners and the educators that advocate for and work with them. Dr. Russell’s research interests include teacher learning and collaboration, teacher leadership, and the preparation and support for general educators to work with English learners.
Dr. Von Esch is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Seattle University. She is a former K-12 ESOL teachers and Spanish bilingual classroom teacher. She taught in public schools in Maryland and San Francisco for 8 years before moving to Seattle to pursue her PhD at the University of Washington. Dr. Von Esch’s research and teaching focuses on providing more equitable educational opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse English Language Learners. Much of this work comes in preparing teachers and educational professionals to develop a deep understanding of the roles culture and language play in learning, as well as the sociocultural contexts framing the students’ experiences as culturally and linguistically diverse people.
Dr. Russell and Dr. Von Esch highlight important topics in EL leadership in our first episode with two guests. The conversation lends itself well to gaining different experiences and perspectives on the same topic. Over the course of our interview, they provide strategies, recommendations, and resources for developing and leveraging teacher leaders in the ELL space.
As they stated in the episode, Dr. Russell and Dr. Von Esch would love to hear from listeners - you can contact them using the email addresses below.
Contact Dr. Russell
Contact Dr. VonEsch
They also recommend the following resources:
The work of Jeff Zwiers - Academic Conversations.
The work of Dr. Django Paris - Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy.
The work of Andrea Honigsfeld and Maria Dove - Collaborating and Co-Teaching - Strategies for English Learners
City College of New York’s Initiative on Emergent Bilingual Learners - Teaching Bilinguals (Even if You’re Not One) video series
Teaching Channel resources
Dr. Russell’s researchgate page
You can listen and subscribe to Highest Aspirations on iTunes here.
View the discussion thread.