Academic language is a key determinant of success in mathematics. It is also a key factor in COVID unfinished learning as well as learning recovery. Embedding academic language in the math classroom not only strengthens teaching practices, but it also reduces the achievement gap by supporting marginalized learners with learning scaffolds and by making connections to real-world knowledge. It accelerates math concept learning and improves reasoning & communication. This session shares a strategic framework for taking action at a district-wide level. It examines how to build durable cross-departmental partnerships; ways to braid funding across Title I, Title III, ESSER, and C&I; and how to deliver consistent fidelity of implementation. It explores real examples of how research-based academic language strategies were embedded into middle school classrooms across PGCPS. Participants will exit the session with a blueprint for implementing a math+language strategy in their own districts.
Dr. Melissa Kanney is the ESOL Supervisor for Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), the 15th largest ESOL program in the nation with over 27,000 Multilingual Learners. Dr. Kanney has served in various roles within the ESOL office and Prince George's County including, classroom and ESOL teacher, ESOL Coach, and ESOL Instructional Specialist. Dr. Kanney earned both her Master's in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Development from the University of Maryland.
Ben Grimley is CEO of Speak Agent and Principal Investigator for academic STEM language research sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the National Institutes of Health. He is a former ESOL teacher and award-winning PBS KIDS app designer with a track record of producing measurable educational impacts in STEM for millions of learners. He created Speak Agent to address the achievement gap for marginalized learners by applying the latest Learning Sciences research to integrate language and content.