DIESOL Podcast Interview! & the Evolving Role of the EL Teacher

It was a fun time being interviewed by DIESOL hosts Ixy Reyes and Brent Warner on the DIESOL Podcast, which highlights #edtech for ESL. Listen HERE to episode 74!

We talked across the country coordinating three time zones! The message emphasized how accessible it is to integrate coding in EL instruction and why we in the EL community should open up to computer science integration.

I enjoyed particularly talking about why EL teachers. We traditionally come from world language and ELA backgrounds, and computer science seems techy, mathy, and left-brained.

We EL teachers are a unique set, on the forefront in the education community with supporting language development and content knowledge to speakers of other languages. This means we are particularly positioned to forge new pathways of accessibility for our students in areas of study where they would historically have had limited to no access.

Forge New Pathways

Crosscurricular Nature

Important for EL teachers to realize is computer science and coding is crosscurricular. And we teach language through content. Coding itself integrates with and enhances the core subjects ELA, science, social studies, math, and more! (Social & Instructional language, art, and marketing anyone?) The WIDA standards are the language of ELA, the language of science, the language of social studies, the language of math.

Let this grab your attention, EL community!

With such a connection, there is opportunity. Let’s break open opportunity for our students. When you include coding in your instruction, you are not just integrating coding–you are teaching language in the subjects. Our students leave our class with extensive language practice, increased content knowledge, and have explored a new discipline.

Computer Science-Like Language-is Crosscurricular

Advice to Start

Become the student again. Explore. Try. Fail. Succeed. Positioning ourselves in this role is powerful for us and our students. As learners, and can share this learning experience beside our students. We can! EL teachers, let’s go, let’s code!