September - October 2020


Table of Contents

  1. MATSOL Calendar
  2. MATSOL News
  3. Community News
  4. Links & Resources
Submission Welcome
Submit an item for publication in the monthly MATSOL E-Bulletin. Details... 

MATSOL Online Open Houses Are Back!

Welcome back! We hope you've all had a wonderful summer and took plenty of time for yourselves - it's as important to do that now as ever before. 

It's also important to have a place to connect with educators from all over the state, whether you teach in K12, community colleges, or teacher education programs. You'll hear updates from MATSOL, the state, and from your peers in other districts or colleges. Come one, come all!

You only have to register once and you can attend any of the open houses for this academic school year. We plan to meet once a month.

We can't wait to see you there!

MATSOL Calendar


  • 21: Teacher Educators SIG Meeting
  • 24: MATSOL Online Open House
  • 30: ESL Unit Developers SIG Webinar #1
  • All other SIG meetings are TBA


  • 7: ESL Unit Developers SIG Meeting
  • 16: MELLC Meeting #1
  • 19: Teacher Educators SIG Meeting
  • 22: MATSOL Online Open House
  • 26: Low Incidence SIG Meeting #1

View the MATSOL Calendar for information and registration.


MATSOL Courses
MATSOL is offering the following 15 PDP courses:

  • EL-109 Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)
  • EL-113 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students with Special Needs
  • EL-114 Social Emotional Learning for English Learners 
  • EL-117 Flexible ESL Lesson Design for In-person and Remote Instruction
  • Also MA Sheltered English Instruction Teacher & Administrator Endorsement Courses
MATSOL is also offering SEI endorsement courses for PK-12 and vocational education teachers as well as administrators-- check www.matsol.org/courses for schedules and registration.

MATSOL Webinar
The Why & the How of Curriculum Development: Foundations & Resources We Need
Presenters: ESL Unit Developers’ SIG Steering Committee

Are you new, or relatively new to unit development? Would you like to learn about the foundations of the Next Generation ESL curriculum project and the useful resources that are available to us? Join the MATSOL ESL Unit Developers SIG Wednesday Webinar, Session 1 where we will:

  • Explain the background of the Next Generation ESL project and its impact on ESL curriculum and instruction.
  • Explore key unit development resources, including the Collaboration Tool and the Model Curriculum Units (MCUs).

This webinar will be held in lieu of our September SIG meeting. Our next regularly scheduled SIG meeting will be on October 7. Thank you for your continued collaboration and partnership in our mission of developing, reviewing, implementing, and sharing quality ESL units in order to promote effective EL learning and teaching state-wide!

Register here for this free webinar! It will be held on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 4:00-5:00PM.

SIG Spotlight: Instructional Coaches 
Through a five week stretch in the summer, the Instructional Coaches SIG Steering Committee led a book study on Everyday Anti-Racism: Getting Real About Race in Schools edited by Mica Pollock. Members who participated learned about issues they knew of and new ones that opened their eyes more. The group plans to continue this work throughout the school year in addition to their regular SIG meetings.

**All group members are coaches in their districts and belong to this SIG. If you would like to be a part of an anti-racism study and group, please contact [email protected] with your interest.

Instructional Coaches SIG

MATSOL Currents Spring/Summer 2020
Read the latest issue of Currents and find out what's been happening at MATSOL, detailed reports on conferences and exhibitions, eye-opening personal experience essays, thought-provoking articles from our members, in-depth reviews of literature, and more!

Submit to MATSOL Currents!
There’s a lot going on in the world of TESOL and EL education, and we’d like all of it to be reflected in Currents! We welcome reviews of books and materials, reports on meetings and events, personal experience accounts, and articles on everything of interest to MATSOL members: adult education, PreK-12 education, bilingual and dual-language programs, ESL in higher education, educator-preparation programs,  Intensive English Programs, and private language schools. 

Submission deadlines:

  • May 15 -- Spring/Summer Issue
  • October 15 -- Fall/Winter Issue

Learn more about submitting your work for MATSOL Currents

Community News 

Mashpee Student Qualifies for State Seal of Biliteracy Test for Wampanoag Biliteracy
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Member Alyssa Harris, a 2020 graduate of Mashpee High School, made history by becoming the first student in the history of the Commonwealth to pursue the state Seal of Bi-Literacy in an indigenous language. Read more and celebrate here...

Back-to-School Blueprint
Our Back-to-School Blueprint is an interactive series of research-based, online action guides to help schools prepare to support students this school year. The Blueprint aims to help schools implement practices that will not only address the pressing issues facing our students right now, but also become building blocks for a more supportive, equitable, and high-performing system in general. Each guide includes a series of priority practices for educators to keep in mind as they plan for the future along with a list of action steps to implement the practice. They also include research, videos, and other key resources educators can use. (From Rennie Center) Find the blueprint here...

MABE Virtual Conference
9th Annual Southern New England Conference for Dual Language Programs
The purpose of this conference is to create the opportunity for dual language educators to network and collaborate, increase our professional development, share instructional methods that promote bilingualism and multiculturalism, disseminate current research, and learn new ways to reach out to families and communities. September 25 and 26, 2020. Read more and register...

Using the Practice Guide to Improve Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4-8
This webinar will explore how Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8: A Practice Guide supports the professional development of mathematics teachers in grades 4–8. Dr. Herb Turner will present an overview of the practice guide approach, including how this approach produces credible, evidence-based, and useful recommendations that can be applied in practice. Dr. Pam Buffington will discuss how the practice guide can be used to guide the professional development of mathematics teachers using examples from her current work. Finally, a mathematics teacher and coach will share their experiences and discuss how educators in leadership positions can support teachers as they use these practices. Wed Oct 7, 2020 3:30-4:30 PM (From REL) Register here...

Road to Recovery: How to Safely Reopen Early Education in Massachusetts
Maintaining a system of quality early education and care where all young kids can safely learn and grow in an enriching environment is vital to our children and to the recovery of our economy from the COVID-19 outbreak. MassBudget finds that to bring the early education and care system out of closure and maintain enhanced operations for all families, would take investment of an estimated $690 million over the next 5 months. (From MassBudget) Read the PDF...

Links & Resources

TESOL Connections 
MATSOL members receive free access to TESOL Connections, TESOL International Association's monthly online newsletter. The latest issue includes Digital Tools for Online Assessment in ELT; Creative Writing Activities for the ESL Classroom; and 4 Factors to Develop Language Proficiency FASTView the latest issue...

Bridging the Gap: How Wentworth provides a personalized & local approach to college and career readiness 
The transition from high school to college is challenging under normal circumstances. But this year—with students ending high school remotely and potentially starting college virtually—this transition may seem nearly impossible for too many students. Young people will need to navigate complex systems of registration, enrollment, and financial aid with limited or no access to on-campus resources. Their transition from the structure of high school to the independence of college will be even more complicated than usual as they confront the potential for remote classes and social distancing. (From Rennie Center) View this report...

WEBINAR Recording
Using Data to Promote Culturally Responsive Teaching
This two-part webinar series was designed to support educator preparation program faculty and staff, as well as mentoring and cooperating teachers, to prepare culturally responsive, data-literate teachers. Participants learned to use data to identify and leverage their students’ assets to better address and meet their learning needs. (From REL) View the recording...

3 Innovative Ways to Use Breakout Rooms in ELT
In the age of remote and online teaching, it is more important than ever that we find ways to encourage group work in our lessons. While we can no longer rearrange desks in a circle or send groups of students into different classroom spaces, we need to find ways to create these similar collaborative and horizontal learning experiences for our English learners (ELs). View the blog...

15 Tips for Improving Identification of Gifted EL Students
EL students often are underrepresented in gifted and talented programs. The National Center for Research on Gifted Education (NCRGE) developed these 15 tips for identifying gifted EL students. The tips are based on NCRGE research findings from visiting schools that have a record of successfully identifying EL students for their gifted programs. In addition to providing a one-page tip sheet that can easily be reproduced for distribution, the NCRGE also offers an attractive tri-fold as well as the full report detailing the research supporting the identification tips. Links for these are at the bottom of this page. All NCRGE material can be reproduced and freely distributed. This research was funded by the OELA through a grant administered by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. (From NCRGE) View the research...

EdWeek Blog
Spanish-Speaking Students Need Support. A New Podcast May Help
As schools shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus, the sudden shift to distance learning left parents frazzled and frustrated. It quickly became apparent that, without in-person instruction, families of children who were not fluent in English faced additional barriers and schools would struggle to support them. View the blog...

Benefits of Multilingualism
There are multiple benefits to being multilingual, multiliterate, and multicultural in today’s global society. Knowing more than one language from birth, acquiring a new language through school, or learning languages later in life, can provide tangible advantages in many areas. From delaying cognitive signs of aging, to earning college credits, and getting a better job offer, multilingualism is an asset that can benefit English learners as well as native English speakers in a variety of ways. (From Office of English Language Acquisition) Read the infographic...


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