MATSOL E-Bulletin - September 2023

In This Issue (there's a lot!)

  • Important Dates - 2024 MATSOL Conference
  • Share MATSOL Membership with a Friend
  • Help Wanted! PL Facilitators and Developers
  • Attn: ELE Directors & Coordinators
  • Comment on English Learner Documents
  • Member Meeting with MIRA Coalition
  • Support the Cherish Act
  • Special Interest Group (SIG) Spotlight
  • MATSOL Fall Courses
  • Free PLC
  • Community Connections
  • TESOL Connections
  • MATSOL Currents
  • DESE Updates
Save the Date! 2024 MATSOL Conference

Important Dates:

  • Call for Proposal Reviewers: Apply by Nov 1
  • Call for Proposals: Due Dec 1
  • Conference registration: Opens Jan 8, 2024
  • Teaching Tip Proposals: Due Apr 3 
  • Poster Session Proposals: Due May 1
  • In-Person Conference: May 29-31 in Framingham MA
  • Virtual Conference: Jun 5-7 Online

Share MATSOL Membership with a Friend or Colleague

Do you know other amazing educators who would benefit from the support, sharing and professional learning offered to MATSOL members? You can help grow our MATSOL community and share the membership experience with your colleagues by nominating someone for MATSOL membership at a 30% discounted rate. We hope you will take this opportunity to act as a MATSOL ambassador by sharing what MATSOL has to offer with someone who is new to the field or new to MATSOL. Nominations due by September 30, 2023.

Help Wanted! Professional Learning Facilitators and Developers

MATSOL is seeking qualified individuals to facilitate & develop professional learning opportunities for educators of multilingual learners. Submit your qualifications for: Course instructor, Professional Learning Network Facilitator or Course Developer. View the MATSOL RFQ

Thank you to Fitchburg State University 
for hosting the 2023-24 MELLC meetings.

Attn: ELE Directors & Coordinators

MA English Learner Leadership Council (MELLC) is a group for directors and coordinators of English Learner Education Programs in Massachusetts. The goal of the group is to create a professional community to support and guide EL educators in the administration of ELE programs at the district level through collaboration and advocacy.
  • Stay Informed about policy and regulation updates, new ideas/learning and research from professionals.

  • Receive/Give Support through networking/collaboration, problem sharing & solving, best practices and leadership training.

  • Engage in Advocacy related to the ELE Director role, best practices, education policy, and civil and educational rights.
During the 2023-24 School year, MELLC will have four in-person meetings at Fitchburg State University with remote viewing option and four virtual meetings. 

Speak Up: Comment on English Learner Documents

The Department’s Office of Language Acquisition is soliciting public comment on its Guidance for the Use of Benchmarks Toward Attaining English Proficiency (download) and the English Learning Success Template. These documents were initially published in 2018 with the legal requirement to solicit feedback from the field after five years of use. Please provide comments using this survey. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended until Saturday, September 30.  

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2023 4pm Online.

Member Meeting: MIRA Coalition Update

Staff from the MIRA Coalition will provide updates and answer questions about initiatives to support immigrants in Massachusetts including the Tuition Equity Act, which grants in-state tuition for undocumented students. MIRA Coalition is one of MATSOL's advocacy partners. Their vision is a Commonwealth – and a nation – where all can thrive, no matter where they came from or how they got here, and all can fully participate in their community’s social, economic, and civic life. 

Support the Cherish Act

The Cherish Act (S.816/H.1260) calls for debt-free public higher education, increased student supports, increased recruitment and retention of high-quality faculty and staff, and green, healthy and safe campus facilities. MATSOL is part of the Higher Ed Coalition that is supporting these goals. The hearing for the Cherish Act takes place Monday Sep 18 before the Joint Committee on Higher Education at the State House. Visit the Higher Ed for All page for information and resources on how to attend the hearing to give testimony or submit written testimony.

Special Interest Group (SIG) Spotlight

MATSOL Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are member-led groups that are open to MATSOL members. The hold online meetings throughout the year. Volunteer SIG steering committees are meeting now to plan dates and topics for the upcoming year, so please look for a meeting schedule in September!

  • Advocacy
  • Community College ESL Faculty
  • Educators of Color
  • Emerging Scholars Circle
  • ESL Unit Developers
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Low Incidence Programs
  • Teacher Education

If you're interested in helping to organize an existing SIG, or start a new one, contact Jason at [email protected] for more information!

Fall Course Registrations is Open!

15 PDP courses

Earn 15 PDPs in English Learner Education for license recertification.

  • EL-125 Welcoming and Supporting Newcomers
  • EL-113 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners with Special Needs
  • EL-121 Maximizing Language Development for English Learners
  • EL-114 Integrating Social Emotional Learning in English Learner Instruction
  • EL-116 Leading for English Learner Equity and Achievement
  • EL-123 English Language Development Standards in Action

SEI Endorsement Courses

The state-approved pathway to obtain the SEI endorsement.

  • MA SEI Teacher Endorsement Course (RE-600)
  • MA SEI Administrator Endorsement Course (RE-601)

MATSOL courses are also available for in-district delivery. Please contact MATSOL at [email protected] for details.

Free PLC Connecting ELS/ELL & History/Social Studies Teachers

The EL Collaborations Project is recruiting teachers for their 2023-2024 Professional Learning Community (PLC) connecting History/Social Studies teachers with ESL/ELL teachers of English! Each free session will feature cross-disciplinary sharing and techniques in using primary sources in accessible ways to support multilingual learners. Meetings in October, November, December, January, March, and May. Offers PD hour documentation for participating teachers.


To find out more, fill out this interest form. Teachers are encouraged to respond in a timely fashion as participant spaces are limited and discussion materials will be provided in September in preparation for our first meeting in October.

Community Connections

News, links and resources to help inform our work.

  • Massachusetts Advocates for Children has a FREE helpline program that focuses on explicitly removing education access barriers for immigrant, migrant, and multilingual students.
  • New opportunities for higher education: The Tuition Equity Act, which gives in-state tuition rates to undocumented students at public colleges and universities, and the MassReconnect program which allows individuals 25 years and older to attend community college for free. Both were made possible by the Fair Share Amendment.
  • US DOE released a revised Newcomer Toolkit to help U.S. educators and staff who work directly with immigrant students—including asylees and refugees—and their families.

TESOL Connections Newsletter

MATSOL members receive free access to TESOL Connections, TESOL International Association's monthly online newsletter. The latest issue includes Translanguaging in ELT: Starting Points and Strategies; Try, Fail, Succeed, Repeat: Taking Risks in STEM; and Developing Workplace English Programs: 3 Considerations

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

DESE Updates

From the Commissioner’s Weekly Update

  • Comments Sought on English Learner Documents: English Proficiency Benchmarks and English Learner Success Template. Due Sep 30. Link
  • Expanding Spoken Language Interpretation in Schools: New guidance and training opportunities for language ambassadors and interpreters. Link
  • Guidance on supporting homeless students during the state of emergency due to the rapidly rising number of migrant families arriving in Massachusetts in need of shelter and services. Link

MATSOL is a 501(c)3 nonprofit professional association of educators of English learners in Massachusetts. MATSOL's mission is to promote equity and excellence in multilingual learner education. MATSOL an affiliate of TESOL International Association