Realizing the Potential of All English Learners Is Keynote Topic At First NYSED Conference

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages held its First Annual English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners Literacy Conference in Albany on November 30, 2016.

The conference provided educators and administrators from throughout the state with the opportunity to strengthen their theoretical and practical knowledge for implementing high-quality, academically rigorous teaching for English language learners and multilingual learners.

Aida Walqui, Director of WestEd’s Teacher Professional Development Program (in above photo), gave the keynote presentation, focusing on the different types of English learners, the strengths they bring to school, and their immense potential. She also led two breakout sessions, one in English and one in Spanish.


More than 1,000 professionals registered for the conference.

Walqui described the features of an optimal education for students who are English learners, and the barriers that stand in the way of their deep and accelerated development. Building from recent research and publications, Walqui proposed key shifts that must take place to assist all English learners in realizing their potential to become fully multilingual, intercultural, multiliterate, and socially responsible citizens.

Walqui lives in New York City and is the Director of WestEd’s Teacher Professional Development Program and of the Quality Teaching for English Learners project. She is also author of two best-selling books: English Language Learners and the New Standards: Developing Language, Content Knowledge, and Analytical Practices in the Classroom, and Scaffolding the Academic Success of Adolescent English Language Learners: A Pedagogy of Promise

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