PD Opportunities for EL Teachers During Summer 2020

There is an unprecedented amount of professional development (PD) for teachers of English learners (ELs) available virtually this summer. Much of it is available free and features well-known experts in the field of TESOL. There are full semester courses, Zoom webinars, Twitter chats, Facebook interviews, and virtual conferences.

Take advantage of the many conferences, webinars, and courses, among other formats, to engage in some online professional learning. Following are a few opportunities to consider.


TESOL 2020 Virtual Convention (16–18 July 2020)
The TESOL Virtual Convention is a three-day conference. The Opening Plenary will be given by Andre Ruzo, a National Geographic explorer, whose address will be titled, “Hacking Parallax: A NatGeo Explorer on the Power of Perspective.” Other keynote speakers include Mandy Manning, who is a 2018 U.S. Teacher of the Year, and TESOL President Deborah Healey, who will speak about game-based learning and gamification.  A tentative virtual schedule is available on the TESOL website. (US$99 for TESOL members; US$149 for nonmembers)

2020 SIOP Virtual Conference (7–9 July 2020)
Given the uncertainties of the long-term impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 SIOP National Conference has developed an online format. The session and keynote topics include ideas and information for educators and leaders seeking to navigate distance learning, blended learning, and classroom teaching. SIOP® authors Dr. Jana Echevarría, Dr. MaryEllen Vogt, Dr. Deborah Short, and special guest speaker Dr. Jim Cummins will be featured at the conference, which will be offered virtually on its original dates. (US$275)

TESOL Virtual Advocacy & Policy Summit (22–24 June 2020)
This 3-day summit is a professional development opportunity for educators to learn about U.S. education issues and advocate for policies that support ELs. This is an opportunity to learn from experts about U.S. educational policy and share your views with members of Congress. (US$20.20 for TESOL members; US$49 for nonmembers)


Engaging English Learners and Families Through Distance Learning (24 June 2020, 3–4 pm ET)
Family and community engagement is an essential part of student success. With COVID-19 related school closures and the transition to distance learning, many schools are working to sustain engagement with EL families and communities, and to ensure two-way communication to build school and community capacity. Panelists will share recommendations and examples of EL family engagement activities during remote learning. This webinar is sponsored by OELA and features Shelly Spiegel-Coleman and Gabriela Uro.

Understanding the SCOTUS Decision on DACA & What’s Next (23 June 2020, 8 pm ET)
The Supreme Court upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García; NEA Senior Counsel Emma Leheny; Trudy S. Rebert, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center; and Karen Reyes, a plaintiff in the DACA case, discuss what this decision means and what’s next.

Online Courses

A Content Teacher’s Guide to English Learner Success (22 June 2020)
This a 45-hour course utilizes a private Facebook group for collaboration with fellow teachers and weekly optional live calls with the instructor, Kelly Reider. The course is fully facilitated with assignments, feedback, and cohort interaction over a guided 8-week period. Assignments keep you engaged in the content and making real-life connections. The course begins on 22 June, but you can move through the course at your own pace. (US$350 with additional fees for graduate credit recording.)

Social Media and Other Formats

Angela Pape Demonstrates Scaffolding Academic Vocabulary for Level 1 & Level 2 English Learners
Angela Pape, a fourth-grade ESL teacher from Franklin Township, New Jersey, presented a lesson on YouTube for NJTESOL/NJBE. In this video, Angela teaches a science lesson on fossilization and the vocabulary needed to understand that process. The methodology she demonstrates could be used with any content area vocabulary.

Let’s Talk About Math and #ELs (23 June 2020, 4 pm ET)
This Facebook Live interview with Dr. Jim Ewing, an elementary education professor at Stephen F. Austin State University with a specialization in math and English language learners, will cover XXXX. Dr. Ewing is author of Math for All. The interview takes place on Facebook.

#CarolinaTESOLChat (15 June 2020)
Carolina TESOL (@CarolinaTESOL) is sponsoring a book chat on the book Breaking Down the Wall on Twitter. If you miss the date, it’s easy to catch up because the chat continues until 22 July. Many of the authors of the book will be attending the chat.

#ELLCHAT_Bookclub (12 June 2020)
This summer reading chat begins on 12 June. The first book is a children’s books by Ernesto Cisneros entitled Efren Divided. It’s a great book for introducing the trials of a U.S.-born child whose parents are undocumented. In order to participate, follow the link and and access the questions.

This Twitter chat is moderated by me, Karen Nemeth, and Schaeley Sanitago. There were 10 chats this Spring from 16 March–18 May on topics related to distance learning during the COVID-19 school closings. These Twitter chats can be accessed in the archives. #ELLCHAT is on vacation for July but it will be coming back to Twitter on 3 August with a chat about looking forward to the 2020–2021 school year.

Do you already have your PD mapped out for the summer? Please share your plans in the comments, below!

About Judie Haynes

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes taught elementary ESL for 28 years and is the author and coauthor of eight books for teachers of ELs , the most recent being “Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence and Chronic Stress“ with Debbie Zacarian and Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz. She was a columnist for the TESOL publication "Essential Teacher" and is also cofounder and comoderator of the Twitter Chat for teachers of English learners #ELLCHAT.
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