Job Alike Professional Development: Spanish Language Arts & Reading for Bilingual and Dual Language Teachers

The 2013-2014 school year is about to begin and our offices here at Multilingual Programs are very quiet. It is not unusual for half of our staff to be out of the office and in the field especially during this time of year; that’s because our team is out training! Yes, training Houston ISD’s teachers to become great all over! Among the plethora of resources our department provides, training for our teachers ranks very high. Our team’s priority is to perpetuate a culture of advocacy in the Bilingual teacher community in hopes that they become strategic about the academic and linguistic achievement of our more than 61,000 English Language Learners.

Trainings like the Job Alike Professional Development for Spanish Language Arts and Reading for Bilingual and Dual Language Teachers is a prime example. This two-day event brought together over 800 teachers who were trained in technology integration, best practices, research-based instruction and were provided information about classroom resources as well. It was an outstanding opportunity for Bilingual and Dual Language educators to ask questions, network and become familiar with the district’s programs.

In order to adequately serve the more than 42,000 students who benefit from Bilingual Education services, we have aligned our bilingual program.  It now includes three main strands: a strong Spanish Language Arts component in the primary grades to ensure that students learn to read with a high fluency rate, a rigorous and structured English instruction that gradually increases in quantity from PK to 5th grade, and a focus on strategic language transfer to facilitate the transition from the native language to English.  The Job-Alike training gave us the opportunity to train our bilingual teachers in best instructional strategies in these three areas.  They got a chance to review and explore the state-adopted materials; they received training on teaching the foundations of reading and building on reading skills to increase comprehension; they learned how to use technology to progress monitor English proficiency; they were exposed to interventions that can be used during instruction to accelerate student learning.  Our Dual Language teachers received an overview of the district’s expectations for the program.  They also got an insight into future plans to expand the Dual Language program across the district.  Dual Language teachers received a customized training on bilingualism and biliteracy, along with materials to facilitate this in their classrooms.  This is the first of many trainings that this group of teachers will receive from HISD Multilingual and Teacher Development Departments, in collaboration with Dr. Higinia Rimbau– professor at St. Thomas University.

 The Elementary Multilingual Programs team, led by Evelyn Castro, spearheaded an outstanding marketing effort that resulted in close to 1000 teachers attending the Job-Alike event.  We are very appreciative of the support we received from our vendors who serve as consultants throughout the year to train our teachers in classroom implementation. Multilingual Programs is specially grateful to the administration and staff of Hartman Middle School for graciously hosting the training event. 

HISD News was on site covering the event. Read their story below:

Special Thanks to:

Hartman Middle School and their staff for hosting the Multilingual Programs Department and the Job Alike Professional Development.

Multilingual Programs Team


Viviana Hall, Luz Roth, Pat Eastman, Liz McGrath, Dr. Corrieles-Domanico, Dr. Ric Villasanta, Candy Carro, Marisa Russo, Amy Mengarelli, Cetta Suravicz, Kimberli Kern, Marisa Nava, Lisa Callahan, Eric Lemoine, Lorena Duenas, Noemi Orellana, Mary Brown, Jay Dudley, Kathy Donchak, Myrna Castillo, Dianne Alvarez, Mili Henriquez, Valentina Gomez, Patricia Brand, Maria del R. De Jesus.


A2Z Educational Supplies, Academy awards, American Reading, Brooks Educational aids/ABC The Key, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers, JADE, Kaplan, Pacific Learning, Rosen Classroom, Sunburst Digital Inc., Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE), The Waymire group, Lakeshore, Macmillan/McGraw-HIll, Okapi Educational Publishing, Lerner Classroom, LitCon, AkJ Books, Milo Books, Santillana USA/Forde-Ferrier/El Saber Enterprises, Enabling Learning–Science PIX, ABECE LEE LLC & ELMD, Hannah’s Events


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