Professional Development Consulting

If you are interested in learning about and implementing aspects of Internationals’ Approach in your work with English language learners, Internationals Network offers a consultancy practice to support schools outside our network. We have worked in a variety of capacities with schools, educators and coaches in New York City, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, Utah, and Virginia.  We offer the following services:

An Initial Needs Assessment

When beginning a new project with a school, we recommend that senior members of Internationals’ team visit your school to observe classes with school leadership, debrief on what all parties saw and identify key areas of growth that the consultancy will address. During this initial assessment period, Internationals staff and school leadership collaboratively create project goals that serve as the basis for coaching sessions and workshops.

Leadership Consulting/Coaching Sessions

Internationals’ leadership coaches are experienced former principals and/or school leaders who deeply understand the Internationals Approach and have a record of success in their own schools.  These leadership coaches are available to work with a school leadership team to support them in leading faculty to adapt successful practices and create structures that set English language learners up for success. For example, leadership coaches will help a school leader set up a comprehensive professional development plan and program, reorganize the schedule to better facilitate learning, and provide support in how to organize teachers into collaborative teams and set up structures so that those teams can effectively collaborate.

Instructional Coaching

Instructional coaches, most of whom have been teachers in an International High School, play a key role in supporting schools outside the network in adapting aspects of the Internationals Approach.  In consultation with the principal, the coach works closely with a small number of teachers to support them in improving their practice.  The goal of coaching is to build on the strengths of the faculty in the school so they can continue to carry over the learning from the consultancy after the coach is gone.  Coaches often work with the strongest teachers to implement the practices that the principal agrees are a priority for the school.  Their classes can then become “demonstration” classrooms that other faculty can visit and learn from. The coach focuses on supporting teachers in implementing the practices and strategies that are addressed during the workshops that the whole faculty is participating in.  Coaches observe classes and provide feedback to the teacher and also participate in collaborative curriculum planning sessions.

Customized Professional Development Workshops

Professional development workshops customized for each school depending on the needs of that particular faculty and student body are key features of our consultancy program.  The workshops build capacity of participants to implement core effective practices with ELLs and of school leaders to support faculty in implementing those practices.  Once the principal and Internationals staff determine the goals during the needs assessment, they choose a professional development focus that the workshops and coaching address. In the yellow sidebar on this page are examples of workshop modules available for teachers and professional development activities for school leaders that we facilitate and draw upon in creating your customized plan.

Summer Institute

Each August, Internationals organizes and facilitates a two day conference geared towards the professional development of teachers new to the Internationals Approach.  The Institute is open to teachers from International High Schools as well as those outside the network. Workshops focus on the Five Core Principles of the Internationals Approach, with theory and practice merging in hands-on activities designed to demonstrate the effectiveness and implementation of the model.

Workshops for Coaches and Trainers

Internationals hold sessions for coaches and trainers to support them in their work with teachers to implement effective instructional techniques with their students. Coaches attend collaborative, interactive sessions and engage in discussions on ways they can turnkey this information in the schools they work in.

Access to ISHARE online cur­riculum resource sharing website

Clients who develop a contract with Internationals receive access to ISHARE, Internationals’ online curriculum and resource sharing website. ISHARE contains over 850 exemplary curriculum units and resources to provide faculty and school leaders with ideas, examples, and tools to design their own curriculum and professional development activities.

Impact Assessment

At the end of our contract, we use various methods to evaluate our work, including observations based on Internationals’ School Support and Feedback Rubrics, pre and post surveys, and informal focus groups.

To learn more about how Internationals Network can assist you to improve English language learner outcomes, contact Genna Roobins, Manager of Professional Development Services. You can also download our Professional Development Services brochure here.

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Experiencing the Internationals Approach — This workshop begins with a lesson taught entirely in a foreign language. After an initial experience in which the content is delivered in this language with no supports, participants are taught the same content through activities, curriculum, and instruction that models good teaching for English Language Learners. Participants have the opportunity to reflect on the experience of the two different lessons and to look closely at several of the techniques the “teacher” uses that were effective for them. This workshop can be a useful introduction to the Internationals Approach as it puts participants in the shoes of their students and helps them gain first hand experience with the benefits of teaching students with the techniques expanded on in the other workshops.

Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk about — Strategies for Integrating Language and Content supports all teachers in becoming language teachers, regardless of the content they teach. This enables students to develop their academic language in all content areas while deepening their knowledge of content, which is crucial in preparing students for the Common Core State Standards. This series of professional development activities provides faculty with key strategies for incorporating language development into all activities and a framework for planning for both language and content in curriculum development. This workshop includes a model lesson, sample curriculum, an opportunity to work on curriculum using a specific language planning framework, videos of instruction modeling language and content integration, and a resource guide of hands-on, easy to implement strategies.

No More Parallel Play: Encouraging Meaningful Student Collaboration — How do teachers get students to work together to support one another and rely less on the teacher? How do teachers implement structures and design curriculum so that students are the ones doing most of the talking and having the opportunity to use the target language? This workshop engages participants in multiple station activities that model various strategies for designing meaningful collaborative roles and for getting students to work together in a meaningful way and for teachers to get away from the front of the room.

Great Minds Think Differently — Leveraging the Benefits and Addressing the Challenges of a Heterogeneous ELL Classroom provides faculty with core strategies to enable students at different academic and English proficiency levels to access academically rigorous curriculum at a variety of entry points. This workshop provides a book of strategies, each of which is supported by multiple curriculum examples. Participants progress through a series of stations that engage participants with these strategies. The workshop concludes with participants having time to create or revise their own curriculum to better address the needs of a heterogeneous class.

Experiential Learning: Teaching Language and Content through Projects — How do we develop curriculum around rigorous projects that engage students by having them experience real world application of concepts while they learn the content and language necessary to meet the Common Core state standards? This workshop helps participants define what project-based learning is, develop their own driving questions, distinguish between higher order thinking and lower level thinking tasks, and walks participants through common pitfalls of project-based learning and how to address them. In this workshop series, participants are also given a template for backwards planning the development of a project, particularly for ELLs. Participants look in depth at model projects in their own discipline and walk through the planning steps the facilitator took to create the final project. Participants then have the opportunity to collaboratively plan a project using the project-planning framework presented. Included in the workshop is a comprehensive resource guide to project-based learning with English language learners.

Two for the Price of One: Developing Students’ Bilingualism and Bi-literacy — This workshop helps participants to leverage the home languages of their students to not only help improve their home language skills, but also to help them access more rigorous content and further develop their English. Using videos, sample curriculum, strategies, and examples of different structures that can be implemented across disciplines, the workshop supports participants in understanding why, how and when to effectively have students work in their home languages. Each workshop module contains multiple days’ worth of material. During the needs assessment, the specific contents of the workshop modules are reviewed to determine the relevance and sequencing over the course of the consultancy.

Scaffolding Workshop — Scaffolding is the underpinning of all effective curriculum for ELLs. If students are not supported through scaffolds in the classroom, they will not be able to acquire new content knowledge, language, or academic skills, regardless of how innovative or engaging the curricula may be. This new Internationals workshop introduces participants to a wide array of scaffolds, as well as to the Scaffolding Cycle, a framework for organizing activities and entire units adapted from Pauline Gibbons’ Scaffolding Cycle for writing. Participants also investigate strategies for lowering the cognitive burden on their students when introducing new material. After engaging in a demonstration lesson that models aspects of the Scaffolding Cycle, participants will apply their new knowledge by collaboratively designing activities for a discipline-specific sample unit according to the stages of the Scaffolding Cycle. Participants will be given a Scaffolding Resource Guide full of reading, writing, and speaking scaffolds and curricular samples that will support them in future curriculum planning.

Deeper Learning for Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) — This day-and-a-half-long workshop explores issues connected to serving Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) within the context of the Internationals Approach. We begin by examining the concept of cultural dissonance, the mismatch between SLIFE learning paradigms and those of the US educational system, which creates challenges for these students in the school setting. Participants will then be introduced to MALP – the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm – a tool for designing and implementing instruction that was created as a result of a more nuanced understanding of the specific kinds of cultural dissonance that many SLIFE face. Participants will also sample a wide array of SLIFE activity structures through engagement in both a simulation and a stations activity. Finally, before being asked to apply all of their new knowledge, participants will also investigate various strategies for adapting text in order to make it more accessible to SLIFE.

Now I Get It: Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension in the Content Areas — How do we get our students to access more difficult text in order to meet the Common Core State Standards? In this workshop participants will review, analyze and discuss how the reading demands of their discipline differ from those of others. Participants will also experience effective pre-, during- and post-reading activities that help struggling readers develop the strategies that good readers use. Finally, discipline peers will collaborate to design their own reading activities for a specific content area text. Participants will leave with a resource guide to help them implement a variety of effective reading strategies in their own classrooms. Note: this workshop is focused on reading comprehension and not phonics, fluency, or vocabulary.

Convince Me: Teaching ELLs the Art of Persuasive and Argumentative Writing in the Content Areas — Being able to advocate for a position and persuade others of its validity is a skill fundamental to success in high school, college, the world of work, and life in general. Learn how to empower your ELLs to convince others through this interactive workshop in which participants will explore the varied dimensions of persuasion and argumentative writing. We begin with an inquiry into what persuasion looks like in each discipline and proceed with an analysis of what makes for a strong writing prompt as well as a survey of scaffolded, pre-writing activities that introduce students to the tenets of argumentative writing. Participants will engage in oral persuasion activities that can be used with students to rehearse putting forth an argument and supporting it with evidence. Finally, after studying the ways in which mentor texts can be used throughout this process, participants begin designing a persuasive writing unit of their own.

The Art of Questioning — As with any core academic skill, the art of questioning in a school context is not necessarily an intuitive skill, and students need to be explicitly taught how to generate and hone questions that will frame their pursuit of knowledge. As a result, The Internationals Network for Public Schools has developed The Art of Questioning Workshop Module to address this need. This series, however, serves a two-fold purpose: it provides teachers with tools and strategies for supporting students in being able to generate their own thought-provoking questions as well as providing teachers themselves with guidelines for developing the kind of higher-order thinking (HOT) questions that, when posed to students during the graduation portfolio presentations, make these exchanges more dynamic and rigorous. The driving question of the workshop series is: “How do we develop within our students the ability to ask engaging, higher-order thinking questions?”

The Art of Oral Presentations — The Internationals Network for Public Schools Workshop Module The Art of Oral Presentations supports teachers in implementing structures and designing curriculum so that student oral presentations – whether of a classroom project or of their senior graduation portfolio – are dynamic, effective, and reflective of the higher-order thinking skills in which the presenters have engaged. Orally presenting one’s work is a fundamental aspect of the Internationals model and provides a crucial opportunity for our ELL students to develop and exercise their language skills. When structured in specific ways, such presentations can also afford students the chance to defend their work in the way that actual practitioners in their fields (historians, scientists, etc.) do, and thus prepare them for the rigors of college and the professional world beyond. The driving question of the workshop series is: “How do we improve the quality of student oral presentations in our classrooms?”

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