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S2/E1: Meaningful Academic Conversations With Jeff Zwiers

How might we help our English Language Learners engage in quality academic conversations? What supports do teachers of ELLs need to promote these kinds of conversations? How do academic conversations tie into college and career readiness?

We kick off Season 2 of Highest Aspirations with these questions and much more in a conversation with Jeff Zwiers. Jeff is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the Director of Professional Development for Understanding Language, a research and professional learning effort focused on improving instruction and assessment of English learners and other diverse students. He consults for national and international teacher development projects that promote language, literacy, lesson design, and formative assessment practices. Jeff’s research focuses on developing classroom instruction that fosters high-quality oral language and constructive conversations across disciplines.

Many listeners will be familiar with his book Academic Conversations, which provides clear ways to support students in developing authentic, meaningful classroom conversation skills. Zwiers' research and work has impacted tens of thousands of classrooms across the country in providing equitable access to grade-level content for all learners, reflective of college-and-career readiness standards.

During our conversation, we referenced the following books, websites, and resources.

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