On April 6, 2019, Literacy Council of Frederick County representatives participated at the MDTESOL Western MD Mini Conference, The Wonderful World of Writing for ELs (English learners) held at Frederick Community College.
Holly Bohman and Lurlena Burnett attended break-out sessions to learn more techniques for tutoring their students. Marianne Dacey and Nan Crockett staffed a table sharing the work of the Council with interested educators.
Catherine Coundjeris, the Council’s volunteer writing class instructor, led a break-out session at the Conference entitled, “Engaging Adult Learners Through Writing” where she shared the Council’s experiences producing and launching its new literary magazine Reflections: Voices of English Learners which features the work and life experiences of adult learners Jacqueline Badro, Jinjin Cai, and Silvia Muñoz Moreyra — who each read their stories from the first issue of Reflections.
Participants also learned about the Council’s writing program and the philosophy of using literature to model good writing. Lesson planning and ways to study grammar alongside paragraph structure was discussed. Attendees explored the steps to writing a model paragraph and developing a lesson plan, and participants received handouts with resource materials and a digital copy of Reflections.
Participants were especially impressed with the personal attention that the Council’s students receive in small classes and individual tutoring, and excited about using some of the scaffolding during the writing process presented to them during the session. MDTESOL has invited Catherine to submit a proposal for their 39th Annual Fall Conference at Prince George’s Community College!
Key Note Speaker Darcy Scott presented on the topic “Extreme Differentiation for Writing and Grammar”. Following the conference Darcy was invited to conduct a Professional Development Session for Literacy Council tutors. Darcy targeted her session to helping Literacy Council tutors with teaching strategies, involving cloze activities and educational games to help students grapple with grammar structures.
MDTESOL is a professional nonprofit association dedicated to the improvement and advancement of teaching English to speakers of other languages.