Community College ESOL Position Statement

The MATSOL Board of Directors approved a position statement on Massachusetts Community College ESOL Programs. The statements advocates for 1) Academic Credit for ESOL Courses, 2) Equity for Diverse Populations, 3) Inclusion of ESOL Faculty in Program Changes, and 4) Access to ESOL Courses Statewide.

Read the position statement here .

Advocacy Alert: Urgent Action on ELL Bill

Advocacy Alert: An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for all Students in the Commonwealth H479 (Sanchez) / S225 (DiDomenico)

1. Enables English language learners and their parents to choose from multiple language instruction educational programs while maintaining students’ opportunities for academic success,

2. Strengthens and ensures proper qualifications for teachers working in the different models of language instruction educational programs, and 
3. Encourages parent and student involvement to facilitate success on an individual basis.

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MATSOL Rallies to Support ELL Bill

Executive Director Helen Solórzano represented MATSOL at a rally at the Massachusetts Statehouse to deliver petitions in support of Bill H.479/S.225, “An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwealth.” The advocacy coalition there to support the bill included MATSOL, Mass Association for Bilingual Education (MABE), Mass Advocates for Children, META, Parents for a Global Education Association (PANGEA), and chapters of Students for Education Reform (SFER) from various different colleges in the area.


This is the last week for the MA Joint Committee on Education to refer out two important bills for ELL education.  Please voice your support for these bills by Tuesday, March 18!

Bill H.479/S.225, “An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwealth”

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New Issue of MATSOL Currents

The Fall/Winter 2013 issue of MATSOL Currents is now available to members. 

In this issue:

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Nominate a Colleague: The Anne Dow Award for Excellence and Creativity

The 2014 The Anne Dow Award for Excellence and Creativity will be granted for innovative use of technology tools to enrich and improve English language development.

The Anne Dow Award for Excellence and Creativity is given annually to a professional who has made outstanding efforts that reflect enthusiasm and creative, energetic, independent thinking. This professional displays the ability to take risks, solve problems, support colleagues, and model ethical behavior. Specific criteria vary from year to year, to reflect the many facets of Anne's career and interests. 

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Apply for a Linda Schulman Innovation Grant

The Linda Schulman Innovation Awards program supports projects that promote English language learning and embody the spirit of creativity, sensitivity and community. Grants of $500 to $1,000 will fund one or more pedagogical projects to benefit English Language Learners by improving their language skills or increasing their understanding of American culture.  

See the MATSOL Awards page for more information...

Boston Area Adjunct Symposium Nov 1

After a victory for adjuncts at Tufts, who voted to form a union in September, and as campaigns move forward at Bentley and Northeastern universities, adjunct faculty will be coming together Friday, November 1, 2013 to plan the next step as organizing efforts continue across the Boston metro area.

  • What: Adjunct Symposium
  • Where: Boston Central Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston St.
  • When: Friday, November 1, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New Transitional Guidance on Identification, Assessment, Placement, and Reclassification of English Language Learners

From Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: The purpose of this document is to provide comprehensive information and guidance about key processes related to the identification, initial placement, assessment, and reclassification of English Language Learners (ELLs) in Massachusetts. Federal and state law require that such students are provided language services and ensured equitable access to the standards-based instruction provided to all other students. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is committed to closing the proficiency gap that now exists between ELLs and their native-English speaking peers so that all students graduate high school college and career ready and are able to compete in the global economy. View document...

MTA RETELL Advisory Page

Helpful advisories and links related to RETELL from the Mass Teachers Association. Advisories include fact sheets on SEI Course Enrollment Process, the Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Form, and overviews of the SEI Endorsement requirement.

Request for Information To Inform the Title III Evaluation and Research Studies Agenda

The U.S. Department of Education requests information on priorities for future evaluation and research studies needed to inform effective instruction, assessment, and professional development that is responsive to the needs of English learners (ELs). Due Oct 9.

View the RFI

Gateway Cities Education Agenda - English Language Learners Enrichment Academies Grant

This grant program is open to eligible applicants in Gateway Cities that did not receive grant funding in FY 2013. 

Grant applicants will submit proposals to operate Summer English Learning Academies during the summer of 2014 that will provide middle and high school English language learners in their communities with high-intensity and differentiated learning opportunities. These Academies must offer full-day services to students for a minimum of four days per week and four consecutive weeks. These Academies must be designed for middle and high school students who are classified as English language learners and are eligible to receive instruction that is designed to assist them in learning English and in learning subject matter content, and must also accelerate students' acquisition of English language and literacy skills and provide students with varied learning environments. Applicants may provide targeted services to a specific population or populations of English language learners with particular needs, including those with interrupted formal schooling or those at risk of dropping out of school. 

View details about this grant opportunity on the DESE website.

Congratulations MATSOL Award Recipients!

The MATSOL Awards -- The Anne Dow Award for Excellence and Creativity, the MATSOL Teacher of the Year Award, and the Linda Schulman Innovation Award Grants -- were presented at the MATSOL 2013 Conference. MATSOL congratulates all the recipients.

Anne Dow Award for Excellence and Creativity
Cynthia Soo Hoo, Josiah Quincy School, Boston
For leadership in developing collaboration that promotes the academic and linguistic achievement of English language learners.

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AG Warns About For-Profit Schools

Some for-profit schools engage in predatory recruitment practices that mislead and/or coerce prospective students into enrolling in high-tuition programs that cost on average much more than public schools or private, non-profit schools. These for-profit schools frequently target vulnerable populations of prospective students who are typically from lower income families and/or eligible for federal aid programs, such as Pell Grants and GI Bill benefits, as a way to maximize revenue for the school via a federal funding stream.  Students who attend for-profit schools have significantly higher incompletion rates and nearly half of these students end up defaulting on their loans.

Attorney General Martha Coakley has launched a campaign to educate prospective students (and the teachers who advise them) about this issue.  The AG’s web site has information descriptions of the deceptive practices and questions to ask before enrolling in a for-profit school, as well as a list of resources for post-secondary school planning. Teachers are encouraged to share this information with their students.  Multilingual posters are also available.

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Welcome to MATSOL's new blog!