Working together toward a common goal of improving services for ELLs

Dr. Brenda K. Gorman, Contributing Author

There is so much to look forward to in 2014! For one, Alejandro Brice (University of Florida at St. Petersburg), Caitlin Panke (Madison Metropolitan School District), and I are collaborating to create a new website titled Training to Enhance Services for ELLs (TESELL). This project is supported by a grant from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The purpose of our project is to help our fellow SLPs transfer knowledge and train other professionals in best service practices for ELLs. We are developing and will be posting a series of training modules that SLPs and presenters may use (at no cost) when training other professionals who work with ELLs. In a nutshell, we want to create a site where we can pool and share our training resources to make it easier for SLPs who present on the topic of ELLs, thereby reducing their need to reinvent the wheel.

Current training modules under development include:

  • Normal stages of stages of second language development and how bilingualism influences language, literacy, and cognitive development
  • Promoting high quality teacher-child interaction and language facilitation strategies appropriate at each second language stage to promote achievement of Common Core State Standards
  • Strategies to facilitate and enhance peer-interactions in the classroom
  • Monitoring and evaluating children’s progress and achievement
  • Providing inclusive classroom interventions/differentiated instruction to meet the needs of struggling learners

As we share the common goal of enhancing services for ELLs, we encourage and welcome you to share additional presentations and resources on the topic of ELLs on this website that would be of benefit other SLPs. Stay tuned!

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About Brenda K. Gorman

Dr. Gorman is an Associate Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois. She completed her Master’s and Doctorate with a multicultural/bilingual specialization in Communication Sciences and Disorders at The University of Texas at Austin. Brenda worked for many years as a bilingual (Spanish-English) speech-language pathologist serving diverse caseloads for public school districts, early intervention agencies, and a company which she co-founded in 2001. She has an extensive background in working with ELLs and providing professional development to teachers who work with ELLs, and she serves as a clinical advisor to Lingua Health and Grupo Lingua. Brenda has conducted research, published, and presented on topics related to speech and language assessment and intervention in bilingual populations and language and literacy development and disorders. She has taught courses in numerous topic areas ranging from assessment and intervention in bilingual populations, child language and literacy disorders, speech sound disorders, fluency, to adult language disorders and AAC. She co-directed the Reading Acquisition for Spanish Speakers Program (RASPA) and an Early Reading First (ERF) project funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education while at Marquette University, where she earned tenure in 2013. Brenda is now at Elmhurst College, where she is investigating language and literacy assessment and intervention in bilinguals and co-developing a dual-language (Spanish-English) language and literacy curriculum for preschoolers.

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