Peer Presenters

Alphabetized by school name. Subject to further changes.

Alycia Owen & Bill Brooks - American International School of Guangzhou

MS/HS EAL Teacher, Head of Department
American International School of Guangzhou

MS EAL Teacher
American International School of Guangzhou

Full Bio

Alycia Owen is an international eduator, instuctional coach, and EAL specialist who has implemented the co-teaching model in math, science, and language arts. She has provided professional development for schools in the US and abroad and has been a workshop presenter at NESA, AASSA, and EARCOS international teachers' conferences. She currently teaches in China where she is Head of Department for EAL, offers consultation for teachers, and develops professional learning opportunities at the American International School of Guangzhou.

Bill Brooks has taught English and English as an Additional Language in grades 6-12 in the US and abroad. He has worked as a classroom content teacher in addition to working as an EAL teacher in a variety of contexts. As Secondary Humanities Teacher Lead at Awsaj Academy in Doha, Qatar, he helped lead implementation of the WIDA MODEL online test in addition to new language arts and social studies curricula. Currently, he works in the co-teaching model as an EAL teacher at The American International School of Guangzhou.

Presentation Details

Building a Translanguaging Toolkit
Building a translanguaging toolkit is easier than you think. Join us as we share translanguaging strategies that have worked to help our students master academic vocabulary, strengthen their speaking, writing & note-taking skills, and become more aware of how they can leverage their home language to support their language development.

Target Audiences: EAL Teachers classroom teachers with culturally diverse classrooms

Laura McGinty & Sara Malcolm - Canadian International School of Beijing

MYP EAL Coordinator and Language Acquisition Teacher
Canadian International School of Beijing

MYP Science & EAL Teacher, Grade 7 Level Lead
Canadian International School of Beijing

Full Bio

Laura McGinty is a Canadian-born international teacher with 15 years of teaching experience in the UK, Madagascar, Oman, Guyana and China. Laura started her career as a Learning Support teacher but is now concentrating on implementing strategies that help make content more accessible to EAL learners. She is working towards her MEd in International Education through Queen’s University.

Sara Malcolm is a Canadian-born international teacher with 5 years of teaching experience in China. Sara is specialized in teaching mathematics and sciences, but has gained experience in classroom learning support and language integration whilst instructing overseas. This year she has taken on a formal role in EAL support, allowing her to collaboratively create and investigate strategies that aim to help all science learners reach challenging but achievable goals.

Presentation Details

Equity in opportunity: Valuing and utilizing the mother tongue in the classroom
  • Creating language profiles of staff/students and identifying gaps in our language support/translation opportunities.
  • Language ambassadors can be identified from the language profiles and utilized when the support is needed.
  • Using mother tongues to unravel a unit’s statement of inquiry (Key and related concepts, global contexts/understandings) as well as the IB command terms/glossaries.
  • Using the strengths of home languages to scaffold learning in and out of the classroom – practical applications for making understanding, engagement, and communication of knowledge achievable (Science and I&S examples)

Target Audiences: MYP content teachers

Sarah Juta, Heather Tobin & Angela Gu - Dulwich College Shanghai

DUCK Dual Language Coordinator, DUCKS EAL Coordinator, EAL Teacher
Dulwich College Shanghai

Angela Gu
DUCKS Dual Language teacher,
Dual Language Mandarin Coordinator in Early Years
Dulwich College Shanghai

Full Bio

Sarah Juta works in Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong as a DUCKS EAL teacher, Dual Language Coordinator and DUCKS EAL Coordinator. She has taught for 17 years from Toddlers through to Year 6 as a class teacher and EAL teacher in England, Australia and Shanghai. Throughout her career she has never worked in a monolingual teaching environment. She is passionate about language development and holds a Masters of Applied Linguistics.

Sarah and her husband Tim have two children growing up with English, Mandarin and German. Witnessing their language development has been one of the most fascinating and rewarding experiences for her.

Angela Gu works in Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong as a DUCKS Dual Language teacher in Reception as well as being the Dual Language Mandarin Coordinator in Early Years.

She graduated from Normal University and College, with her major in Pedagogy.

Her working experience includes working in a British education system along with her ten years of Mandarin teaching. She has worked at Dulwich College International Shanghai since 2010 and has taught from Toddlers through to year 4. She has supported her colleagues during the implementation of their Dual Language approach by demonstrating best practice during observations and collaborative work.

Angela and her family all live in Shanghai. Her daughter is growing up with Mandarin and English. She hopes to gather more experience to support her students and her daughter as well in the use of these two languages.

Presentation Details

Adopting a Coordinated Translanguaging Approach in an Early Years Dual Language Setting
As an Early Years setting, we have been exploring translanguaging theory and pedagogy. Our Action Research focuses specifically on how Expat Teachers and Learning Assistants in our Early Years environments work together, adopting coordinated translanguaging pedagogy to support our young bilingual children’s language development.

Our focus is on coordinated practice during whole class Dual Language carpet sessions, looking at the different practices that teachers can implement to model translanguaging and to create a ‘safe’ space for children to use all their linguistics resources to make meaning and express their thoughts.

In our context, with our emerging bilingual children, it is crucial that we are always deepening our understanding of how we can best support them. Through this Action Research, we have been able to observe and analyse language use by practitioners in our settings and consider how the adults’ language use has impacted on the linguistic choices of the children as they interact in authentic communicative contexts.

Target Audiences: Teachers, Heads of School in Early Years Dual Language/Bilingual settings

Our Early Years setting is from age 2 to 7, though much of our research focused on 2 to 5 years. Children are mixed Mandarin home language speakers, English home language speakers and other home language speakers. Mandarin home language speakers are most predominant. Some children have exposure to both English and Mandarin in the home environment but for most children, school is their first and only exposure to English or to Mandarin.

Blessy Monica & Hannah Fernweh - International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

G2 Homeroom Teacher
International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

Director of Student Support and PYP Literacy Coordinator
International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

Full Bio

Blessy Monica is from Chennai, South India and is a Grade 2 Homeroom Teacher at ISNS. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in education K- 2 from the New Zealand Tertiary college and international teaching certification K-12 from the University of Cambridge. Her favorite subject is Science hence she pursued her Bachelors’ and Masters’ in Plant Biotechnology, among other qualifications. She has worked in International schools in India, The Republic of Georgia, Japan and now China for over 11 years. She is also a certified independent Concept based curriculum presenter and trainer. Blessy loves to share her knowledge on conceptual understanding and inquiry-based teaching and learning.

Hannah Fernweh is a life-long learner from Western New York State in the U.S. with degrees in elementary, special, bilingual, and TESOL education. She originally worked in Rochester, NY for 7 years as a bilingual homeroom, special education, and EAL teacher. In 2017, she and her husband decided to embrace a new culture together in Shenzhen, China. Hannah loves to share her passion for learning and diversity with all of the children and adults she works with as the literacy coordinator and director of Student Support Services at ISNS.

Presentation Details

Translanguaging in the Classroom
New teaching initiatives can feel like a bunch of buzz words but you may struggle to see the connection to your classroom. In this session, Ms. Monica and Ms. Fernweh will outline ways they have incorporated translanguaging throughout the school day in a meaningful way—without adding a bunch of time to planning. They will also incorporate a workshop time for educators to apply translanguaging strategies to their own future lessons.

Target Audiences: Homeroom teachers, EAL/ELL/ESOL teachers, Bilingual teachers

Addie Loy - International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

IB Director (Teaching and Learning)
International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

Full Bio

Addie is from Detroit, Michigan and received her undergraduate degree in teaching with an emphasis in social sciences from Eastern Kentucky University. She developed a passion for teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL), while working in adult education and literacy. Addie holds a master’s degree in Teaching, with a focus English as a Second Language (TESOL) from Western Governor’s University in Utah. She has taught English Language courses, was a Director of an ESL/EAL program and she is now the IB Director that oversees teaching and learning at the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen.

Presentation Details

Code Switching or Translanguaging: What’s the difference and how do they work together?
This workshop will explore monolinguist assumptions and review current research in translingualism to offer a solid rationale and strategies for effective use of a learners’ first language in EFL/ESL teaching, with particular attention to code-switching,

Target Audiences: All language teachers

Specifically, English teachers that speak more than one language because they will be able to relate to the topic based on their own experiences.

Michael Hagen - Keystone Academy

6th and 8th Grade Language Acquisition
Keystone Academy

Full Bio

Michael Hagen has been a classroom teacher for 15 years, serving as a primary grade classroom teacher in the United States, and a secondary social studies teacher in Thailand. While completing an M.A. in Second Language Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa from 2016-2018, Michael became interested in finding ways for classroom teachers to involve themselves more in research projects connected with language acquisition. He believes that our overall understanding of how language learners function in classroom settings would be greatly expanded by having teachers contribute their own understandings of what is occurring within classrooms around the world and would extend our overall data pool beyond the university arena.

Presentation Details

The Role of Resilient Beliefs and L2 User Willingness to Appropriate Corrective Feedback
Recent research into corrective feedback has shown that students with a growth mindset are more willing to accept and apply feedback provided to them than peers without a growth mindset. I recently completed a qualitative study in which two students who displayed a strong sense of resiliency displayed preference towards copious amounts of feedback provided to them in English (their L2). I argue that this may indicate that students with a less resilient learner profile may be in need of less feedback overall than more resilient learners that is provided in their L1 as opposed to their L2. I believe that this connects to the overall workshop theme of translanguaging by furthering the discussion of ways in which translanguaging may be extended to both writing and written corrective feedback overall. I believe that making the assumption that all students are capable of applying feedback given to them in their L2, as is typically the case, may not only create confusion for learners still acquiring a new language, but also give students a negative sense of their overall writing ability. It should be noted that this study took place in a multicultural environment in which a large amount of linguistic diversity was present. I do not want to suggest that this type of feedback would only work with bilingual teachers in a predominantly Chinese setting.

I wish to make the case that translanguaging strategies may be effectively applied to current written corrective feedback models in order to facilitate greater application of overall feedback taken in by language learners, which in turn, will spur increased accuracy in written output by L2 writers.

Target Audiences:
Teachers who assess through writing.

Teachers interested in applying translanguaging strategies beyond speaking and vocabulary instruction to encompass writing instruction and feedback as well.

Keisha A. La Beach - Nanshan Chinese International College - Immersion

EAL Coordinator
Nanshan Chinese International College - Immersion

Full Bio

Challenged by a class of pre-schoolers, we had more languages spoken than there were students, I decided to become certified in teaching as a second language and that led to being reassigned to the ELL department (of one) at my first international school. Seven years and three schools later, I am currently the EAL Coordinator at the Nanshan Chinese International College - Immersion School. I enjoy collaborating with other educators and learn as much from them and the experience as I do whenever I facilitate teacher and parent workshops and have opportunities to co-facilitate with Dr. Gini Rojas.

Presentation Details

Translaguaging Raised to the Power of Two
This interactive workshop will explore how the combination of co-teaching models and translanguaging strategies promotes conceptual understanding and language competence in content areas. Feedback from actual lessons taught and samples as well as opportunities to co-create plans for future lessons.

Target Audiences: K-12 EAL specialists and content area teachers can adapt what is shared to meet the specific needs of their grade level. The presentation will be mostly focused on Middle School making it easier to consider Elementary and High School implications.

Ceci Gomez-Galvez - Shekou International School

HS EAL Teacher
Shekou International School

Full Bio

Ceci Gomez-Galvez is a collaborator, co-teacher and coach who empowers educators to create learning opportunities to suit all language learners' needs. She has been the leader of an ELL support program based on support practices within a sheltered immersion philosophy and the use of differentiation strategies. She is an innovator and COETAIL graduate who effectively integrates eLearning tools and contemporary practice to enhance learning across all divisions for ELLs and all students.

Presentation Details

Empowering Student Voice: Using Podcasts, Flipgrid & Social Media to Showcase Young Voices
In this session, we will be going over the importance of amplifying and empowering student voice for all students, including English language learners who must identify in all aspects with a language that is not their first. We will explore diverse tools which create platforms for students to reflect, showcase and share their learning journeys, as well as express their true selves to various audiences.

Target Audiences: All educators seeking to empower student voices by incorporating first language and translanguaging skills.

Primary & Secondary teachers, co-teachers, support teachers, EAL/ESL class teachers.

Robyn Gibson & Shekou International School Primary EAL Team

The Primary EAL team (Teachers and Teacher Assistants) Grades 1-5
Shekou International School

Full Bio

Educators in the Primary School of Shekou International School, this team shares a collaborative vision for ELL support. Each with over 15+ years experience with multilingual students, they serve the language needs of the students and community. The team follows the Sheltered Immersion model and work closely with homeroom teachers, specialists, administrators, and families. These teachers and teaching assistants use approaches like translanguaging and co-teaching in conjunction with their grade level expertise to help create the best access to learning.

Presentation Details

Building Translanguaging Capacity
We intend to share a number of strategies that have been successful for our practice. These include:

  • Using our bilingual teacher assistants *Co-teaching
  • Ways to connect home and school *Parent and Staff education
  • World Café
  • Interactive word walls
  • Subject specific vocabulary
  • Graphic Organizers (Frayer Model)
  • Quizlet for new academic vocabulary (in class and home use).
  • Mindmaps
  • Sharing work via digital portfolio with stakeholders

Using multiple scaffolds, supports, and tools, this team will share tips, tools, and strategies that assist multi-lingual students to maximize their communication potential. Attendees will leave with a variety of specific strategies that can be immediately implemented in the classroom.

Target Audiences: Teachers of grades 1-5 with students that are speakers of additional languages, Teachers with teacher assistants

Lena Thomson, Tuula Webb, Lyn O'Connell & Melissa Ma - Shen Wai International School

Primary EAL Department
Shen Wai International School

Full Bio

Lena Thomson: I am from the US and have an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in Multilingual/Multicultural Contexts. I have taught for many years as a primary classroom and EAL teacher with a passion for inclusion and making content accessible to all learners. I am currently Team Lead for our primary EAL department and support grades 4 and 5 through sheltered instruction and targeted intervention. As a mother of two third-culture-kids, I am fascinated by the neurological and psychological impacts of living and learning in multilingual/multicultural environments.

Tuula Webb: I am from Finland and have an M.A. in English Language and Linguistics. I have taught Finnish as a foreign language and English as an additional language using a variety of models. I currently support emerging bilinguals in grade 3. As a bilingual myself, I have a particular interest in the psycholinguistics of bilingualism and how the brain utilizes translanguaging to access content.

Lyn O'Connell: I am from South Africa, which is a multilingual/multicultural country with 11 official languages. I have taught in the classroom and as an EAL teacher with a particular interest in the youngest students. I am currently supporting English language development in grade 1. As a bilingual parent with two multilingual third-culture-kids, I believe a strong foundation in mother tongue helps support learning not just an additional language but learning in all subject areas.

Melissa Ma: I am from Australia and have a dual B.A. in Chinese and Linguistics and am pursuing my M.A. in Applied Linguistics. I currently differentiate for language within all grade 2 classrooms. Translanguaging is very relevant to my personal and professional life as I speak Chinese as an additional language and am raising three children in a simultaneous bilingual/bicultural environment.

Presentation Details

Using Translanguaging to Enhance Students’ Academic Language and Conceptual Understanding
As a team, we will lead attendees through a mini-inquiry into translanguaging. We will follow a specific sequence of translanguaging strategies throughout the mini-inquiry, which follow the same strategies used within our own grade levels’ units of inquiry. As a team, we will have employed the same sequence across the primary school (grades 1 to 5) with appropriate adjustments for grade and language proficiency levels. As we facilitate each new strategy with attendees, we will also stop and show evidence of what it looked like in different primary contexts. The multi-modal strategies will take into account opportunities for both receptive and productive translanguaging. We plan to employ translanguaging to introduce academic vocabulary, process a video, and make meaning orally. Through baseline and final reflections written in English, we hope to demonstrate the power of translanguaging to enhance English vocabulary and conceptual understanding.

Target Audiences: Our target audience is primary EAL and classroom teachers who instruct students at a range of English proficiency levels and speak a variety of home languages.

Mariana Olivares & Parker Watson - Western International School Shanghai

Early Childhood Grade Level Leader
Western International School Shanghai

PE Teacher
Western International School Shanghai

Full Bio

I am Mariana Olivares from Caracas, Venezuela. I gained my Early Childhood Education degree in 2007 and have spent the last eight years living abroad in both the USA and China. I have worked in the education field for more than eight years. I enjoy being around kids very much and am very passionate about making the world a better place. I love my dogs and enjoy going for long walks. I am passionate about Play based learning in a multicultural setting.

I am Parker Watson from Kansas in the United States. I studied at the University of Kansas and obtained my degree in Physical and Health Education. I left Kuwait after three years to come to Shanghai and join the WISS community. I have many hobbies most of which involve being outdoors or doing something sporty. I enjoy traveling to new countries and exploring everything I can offer both culturally and geographically. I love teaching physical education, watching the students self-discover and achieve things they never thought they could is one of my biggest teaching thrills.

Presentation Details

Integrated Language and Play
Sharing our day to day multilingual classroom environment addressing inquiry through mother tongue and play. We will offer powerful ideas and resources, sharing our vast experience of working with multilingual and multicultural children and both of us coming from a bilingual and multicultural background. We will highlight integration through language, single subjects and homeroom teaching.

Target Audiences: Early Years International teachers who are in a similar situation here in China with a multilingual student base. Early Years audience, teachers who are in practice with children from 3-6 years of age