MATSOL Board Applauds LOOK Act

The MATSOL Board of Directors applauds the passage of the LOOK Bill with the Seal of Biliteracy, which will allow school districts to establish English Learner programs that best meet the needs of students, recognize the assets that bilingual students bring to our schools, and encourage increased language learning for all students.

We would like to express our deep appreciation to Governor Charlie Baker, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, the bill sponsors Senator Sal DiDomenico and Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez, and Education Committee Chairs Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Alice Peisch for supporting this legislation. In addition, we are grateful to Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Kay Kahn for championing the Seal of Biliteracy.

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Volunteers Needed - Review Conference Proposals

Volunteer to review conference proposals as part of the proposal jury for the MATSOL 2018 Conference!

This volunteer opportunity is open to current MATSOL members. Readers will be assigned to proposals based on their areas of expertise (K12 Elemantary or Secondary, Higher Ed or Adult Ed ESL, or Teacher Education). Members who have submitted proposals may not volunteer for the jury.

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Watch: Creating a Successful Conference Proposal

 Watch the webinar recorded Oct 30 to learn about submitting a proposal for the MATSOL 2018 Conference. 

Topics: 1.Conference Overview; 2.Identify Topic & Audience; 3.Prepare your proposal; 4.Submit your proposal & 5.Tips for presenting. Be sure to also download and read the Call for Proposals on the MATSOL 2018 Conference webpage!

Watch: Seal of Biliteracy Webinar

This webinar gives an introduction of the national Seal of Biliteracy movement and an overview of the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project, including the updated resources and experience gained from the third year of the pilot. (Recorded by the Language Opportunity Coalition on Oct 10, 2017) 

Updated Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit

The revised Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit is now available for download!

The toolkit was revised and updated with input from schools that participated in the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project during the 2016-17 school year. The revised toolkit includes new resources for use in implementing the Seal of Biliteracy:

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Webinar: Seal of Biliteracy

Please join us for a complimentary Webinar on the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot implementation in Massachusetts (now in its third year). The webinar will discuss the creation of resources and supports for use by school districts, and an update on the legislative status of the state Seal of Biliteracy bill. The webinar is presented by MaFLAMABEMATSOL and the Language Opportunity Coalition.

The Seal of Biliteracy is a national movement to document and reward students for attaining biliteracy in two or more languages. Twenty seven states currently have enacted Seal of Biliteracy legislation and we hope MA will be next!

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Lasell Course Offer to MATSOL Members

Are your students Bilingual/English Learners with Disabilities?  Lasell College offers a 100% online certificate to prepare teachers with strategies to ensure equitable outcomes for English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities.  The Bilingual/English Learners with Disabilities Certificate (ELL/SPED) is comprised of four 6-week online courses.  MATSOL members receive a discount for PDPs. Next class begins October 25. To take advantage of the discount: 1) Sign up at the MATSOL website to verify membership and qualify for the discount; and 2) visit the Lasell website to learn more about the course and register.

2017 Nominations Slate - Board of Directors

The MATSOL Nominations Committee presents the following slate for election to the MATSOL Board of Directors.

The election will take place at the MATSOL Annual Meeting on May 31, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the Framingham Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center. All members are encouraged to attend!

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LOOK Bill Advances with Seal of Biliteracy

The LOOK Bill — H.3705/S.2070 An Act for language opportunity for our kids — was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Education and and referred to the House & Senate Committees on Ways and Means.

The LOOK Bill removes the restrictive mandate requiring Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) as the “one size fits all” default English Language Learner (ELL) program model, and gives school districts the flexibility to establish programs based on the educational needs of their students. It also establishes a state Seal of Biliteracy.

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Advocate for a Dual Language Educator Endorsement

Advocate for the addition of a new Dual Language Educator endorsement in Massachusetts -- Deadline May 1

  • Support creation of a new Dual Language Educator Endorsement for educators in dual language program models
  • Continue the current endorsement for Transitional Bilingual Learning for grades PK-6 and 5-12 in CMR 7:06section (9)(b)

A Dual Language Educator endorsement is necessary to meet the needs of the increasing number of dual language programs in Massachusetts, to establish equitable requirements for highly qualified teachers working in dual language programs, and to promote high standards for dual language education.  (For a detailed discussion, see MABE's position statement on the DL endorsement, which is supported by MATSOL.)

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MATSOL Statement on the Immigration Executive Order

The MATSOL Board of Directors voted unanimously on February 1, 2017 to endorse and adopt TESOL International Association's statement on the recent immigration executive order.

TESOL Statement on Immigration Executive Order 

by David Cutler | 01/31/2017

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2017 Call for Nominations: MATSOL Board of Directors

Show your commitment to the value of the MATSOL and help to shape its future!

The MATSOL Nominations Committee is charged with developing a slate of qualified candidates to fill open positions on the MATSOL Board of Directors. We invite your participation in this important process.  Help us identify competent, energetic, committed members of MATSOL to take a leadership role, work on behalf of the organization, and represent MATSOL members and stakeholders. Members may self-nominate or be nominated by a colleague. Deadline: Wednesday, March 15, 2017.  

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Legislative Update

Massachusetts Language Opportunity Coalition Statement on the 2015-16 Legislative Session

We are sorry to report that the Massachusetts legislative session ended on January 4, 2017 with failure to pass either the LOOK Bill (H.498/S.262 An Act relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids) or the Seal of Biliteracy Bill (H.422 An Act to Establish a State Seal of Biliteracy / S.336 An Act to Promote Global Trade and Economic Development through Biliteracy ).

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Bilingual/English Learners with Disabilities (ELL/SPED) Certificate Program

Through a partnership with Lasell College, MATSOL and MABE members can take advantage of a special discount to enroll in Lasell's  Bilingual/English Learners with Disabilities (ELL/SPED) Certificate program.

This new online course starts January 2017. The program offers four, six-week courses:

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Job Opening: PT Administrative Assistant

Provide administrative assistance support to staff and MATSOL volunteers to carry out MATSOL's programs and activities.

REPORTS TO: Executive Director

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2016 Seal of Biliteracy Awards

The first Seal of Biliteracy Awards were presented in Massachusetts in the spring of 2016 by schools and school districts participating in the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project.

300+ Award Recipients

  • 19      Platinum Seal of Biliteracy (Advanced-Low)
  • 55       Gold Seal of Biliteracy (Intermediate-High)
  • 208   Silver Seal of Biliteracy (Intermediate-Mid)
  • 32      Biliteracy Attainment Award (Intermediate-Low)

8 School Districts

  • Andover, Arlington, Boston, Falmouth, Framingham, Melrose, Wilmington, and Winchester, Massachusetts

11 Language Learning Programs

  • Middle and high school World Language programs.
  • Elementary and middle school Two-Way Immersion (TWI) and Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) programs.

Data collected by the Language Opportunity Coalition.

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Updated Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit now available!

The updated Seal of Biliteracy Pathway Awards TOOLKIT is now available! The revisions were made as a result of the feedback from the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project. The Seal of Biliteracy Workgroup will consider revisions of the current draft in February 2017 and at the end of the Year 2 Pilot during Summer 2017.

The TOOLKT can be viewed and downloaded on the Language Opportunity Coalition website

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Dual Language Special Education Network

MATSOL is pleased to announce a new collaboration between MATSOL, Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education (MABE), and Massachusetts Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC). The Dual Language Special Education Network is for educators who support bilingual students who receive special education (or students who are bilingual and receive special education), including special educators, dual language teachers, ESL/ELL teachers and administrators. 

Purpose of Network
  1. Networking and mutual support for educators who support students who are bilingual and receive special education, including Special Education, Dual Language, and ESL/ELL teachers and administrators. 
  2. Supporting the growth of effective practices for dual language learners in the field of Special Education
  3. Providing professional development needs for special education teachers, staff, and administrators working with dual language learners
  4. Sharing research and field related program and instructional information regarding special education and dual language learners

The target audience includes Special Educators, School Psychologist, Speech and Language Pathologist, and other educational leaders interested in Special Education Issues (e.g., Moderate Special Needs, Director of Special Education, Institutes of Higher Education, Literacy and Instructional Coaches, Interventionists)

Meetings and eventsare open to MABE, MATSOL AND CEC members in good standing
  • October 6, 2016 - Creating Inclusive Trauma Sensitive Schools, Dr. Susan F. Cole - Register via MCEC website
  • November 16, 2016  -  Topic in Practice: Writing Assessment Reports of bilingual students to determine eligibility for special education services - Register via MABE website
  • December 1, 2016 - A Voice for Social Identity Formation and Self Expression, Dr. Rupal Patel, Founder & CEO, VocaliD  - Register via MCEC website
  • January 5, 2017 - Senses and Sensabilities: An Inside View on Autistic Sensory Issues, Dr. Stephen Shore, Professor, Adelphi University  - Register via MCEC website
  • January, 25, 2017  -  Topic in Practice: A dialogue with health care professionals on assessments of dual language learners - Register via MABE website

LOOK Bill passes House and Senate

We are writing with an update on the LOOK bill and Seal of Biliteracy bill. The formal session of the Massachusetts state legislature ended at midnight on July 31st, and we are happy to report that both the Senate and House took action on the LOOK Bill!

The Massachusetts state Senate passed the LOOK Bill on July 7th unanimously with bipartisan support.  This bill gives school districts the flexibility to offer bilingual programming without the need for waivers, and establishes a state Seal of Biliteracy. During the debate, both Senate Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr voiced their support of the bill – it is quite notable to have two people in leadership on both the Democratic and Republican side speak in favor of a bill on the floor. Just a few weeks later, on July 31, in the flurry of last minute activity, the House passed their version of the LOOK bill.

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Flexibility needed in educating English language learners

An op-ed in CommonWealth Magazine by Sen Sonia Chang-Diaz and Sen Sal DiDomenico explaining why we need to pass the LOOK bill in Massachusetts.