190 episodes

On the Highest Aspirations Podcast, we engage in important conversations about the most rapidly growing student demographic in the United States - English Language Learners. We speak with educators and students, researchers and policy makers, and parents and community members about how we can help all students reach their highest aspirations.

Join us on this important journey as we bring the vibrant ELL Community together around the topics that matter most to the students we serve.

Highest Aspirations Ellevation Education

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

On the Highest Aspirations Podcast, we engage in important conversations about the most rapidly growing student demographic in the United States - English Language Learners. We speak with educators and students, researchers and policy makers, and parents and community members about how we can help all students reach their highest aspirations.

Join us on this important journey as we bring the vibrant ELL Community together around the topics that matter most to the students we serve.

    S9/E1: Crafting Content, Language, and Culture Learning Targets with Dr. José Medina

    S9/E1: Crafting Content, Language, and Culture Learning Targets with Dr. José Medina

    What are culture learning targets and why are they critical for creating non-oppressive learning environments? How can individual teachers lesson plan in a way that can disrupt the status quo of a monolingual centric approach to learning? How can educators support their multilingual learners in making cross-linguistic connections and fostering a practice of metalinguistic awareness?

    Welcome back to Season 9 of the Highest Aspirations podcast, a show where we explore how we can help make an impact on our nation’s highest growing student demographic multilingual learners. Our first guest of the season is Dr. José Medina.

    Dr. Medina is the founder and Chief Educational Advocate for Dr. José Medina: Educational Solutions. Prior to establishing the boutique consulting firm, Dr. Medina served as Research Scientist and Director of Dual Language and Bilingual Education at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, DC. José provides dual language technical assistance, professional development, and job-embedded support to dual language programs across the United States and globally.

    He is a former dual language school principal and district leader who has also served as an administrator, educator, and advocate at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Dr. Medina is a co-author of the third edition and widely-used Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education and creator of the C6 Biliteracy Instructional framework, which we discuss during this interview. Dr. Medina is also a member of Ellevation's Instructional Advisory Board.

    To download the full episode transcript click here.

    For episode recap and resources, additional multimedia content and exclusive community webinars and toolkits, visit www.ellevationeducation.com/el-community


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    • 50 min
    S8/E13: Creating Intentional Opportunities to Improve Listening Comprehension with Paul Hernandez and Theresa Blanchard

    S8/E13: Creating Intentional Opportunities to Improve Listening Comprehension with Paul Hernandez and Theresa Blanchard

    Why is it necessary to explicitly teach and foster listening skills, specifically for language learners? What tools and activities can be used to practice listening in a culturally responsive and engaging way for all students? What do authentic conversations and listening comprehension activities sound like, and how can educators more effectively encourage these in their students?

    Those topics and much more with Theresa Blanchard and Paul Hernandez from Sanger Unified School District in California - two educators who have designed and implemented successful strategies to help their students succeed in a variety of ways.

    Find the full episode transcript here. Visit our EL Community page for show notes, additional resources, multimedia content and much more.

    As always, thanks for listening to Highest Aspirations. The conversation continues when Season 9 begins in August, but every episode from Season 1-8 is available for you anywhere you get your podcasts. Enjoy the summer!


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    • 51 min
    S8/E12: Providing Equitable Assessments to Identify Gifted English Learners with Dr. Jack Naglieri

    S8/E12: Providing Equitable Assessments to Identify Gifted English Learners with Dr. Jack Naglieri

    What are some of the biggest obstacles for multilingual learners in many widely used intelligence tests? How can assessments be altered to more accurately test thinking rather than language skills or content knowledge? As more students are identified as gifted and talented with more accurate testing, how can teachers begin to better support these students?

    We discuss these questions and much more with Dr. Jack Naglieri. Dr. Naglieri is widely known for his efforts to increase participation of traditionally under-represented students in gifted education. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Devereux Center for Resilient Children and Emeritus Professor of Psychology at George Mason University.

    You’ll find multimedia resources - including a transcript of this episode, accompanying blog posts, videos, collaboration opportunities, and more - on our learning community. For episode resources and additional content visit our EL Community page.

    Find the full episode transcript here.


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    • 48 min
    S8/E11: Helping Newcomers Cross the Finish Line: Graduation and Beyond with Pamela Broussard

    S8/E11: Helping Newcomers Cross the Finish Line: Graduation and Beyond with Pamela Broussard

    What vital roles do social and cultural capital play in determining the opportunities available to new arrivals? How can peers be leveraged to help newcomers cross the we/them divide while growing academically? What does it mean for new arrivals to “cross the finish line” and what are a few key steps educators can take to help them get there?

    We discuss these questions and much more with Pamela Broussard. Pamela Broussard is a passionate keynote speaker, presenter, and high school New Arrival Center teacher from Houston, Texas. She has more than  30 years of teaching experience ranging from elementary to master's degree prep courses. She has taught Regular Ed., Special Ed.,  ESL/EL/ML, SLIFE, and New Arrivals.  She has taught in the USA and abroad.  In addition to teaching, she is Rotary International Peace Fellow. She has traveled to more than 35 countries including working in Afghanistan for seven years. She has spent time in: refugee camps, war zones, orphanages, trash heaps, and human trafficking zones.  These experiences and trainings have given her a wealth of experience with Social Emotional Learning, Cultural Responsive Teaching, and Trauma-Informed Teaching. When she's not teaching, you can find her with hands covered in paint, glue stuck to her fingers, and collage supplies across her desk doing art.

    You’ll find multimedia resources - including a transcript of this episode, accompanying blog posts, videos, collaboration opportunities, and more - on our learning community. For episode resources and additional content visit our EL Community page.

    Find the full episode transcript here.


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    • 52 min
    S8/E10: The Role of Teacher Identity in Culturally Responsive Instruction with Tanji Reed Marshall

    S8/E10: The Role of Teacher Identity in Culturally Responsive Instruction with Tanji Reed Marshall

    How can concepts like “teacher identity” and “learning leader” transform how educators show up in the classroom? What is the difference between directive and generative scaffolding, and how can one be significantly more constructive for ELs? What roles can deep culture, identity, and instructional power play in crafting more equitable teaching styles?

    We discuss these questions and much more with Tanji Reed Marshall, who was highly recommended by our friend Jeff Zwiers form Stanford Graduate School of Education. Tanji Reed Marshall, Ph.D., is the director of p-12 practice, leading Ed Trust’s Equity in Motion assignment analysis work. Prior to joining Ed Trust, Tanji worked in the Office of Academic Programs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to prepare the school of education’s accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Before that, she supported prospective secondary English teachers who were working to obtain licensure through the school of education.

    You’ll find multimedia resources - including a transcript of this episode, accompanying blog posts, videos, collaboration opportunities, and more - on our learning community. For episode resources and additional content visit our EL Community page.

    Download the full episode transcript here.


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    • 53 min
    S8/E9: An Inside Look into the 7 Steps to a Language Rich Classroom with Author John Seidlitz

    S8/E9: An Inside Look into the 7 Steps to a Language Rich Classroom with Author John Seidlitz

    How does the teaching outlined in his book 7 Steps to a Language Rich classroom help bridge the gap between research and practice? What outcomes or impact has John and his team seen on student performance in classrooms where the 7 steps methodology has been implemented? What would John say to educators who may be interested in trying the 7 Steps but may have lingering questions about the potential loss of agency or the level of fidelity needed to effectively implement?

    On this episode, we bring back our friend John Seidlitz to catch up on the work he has been doing for the newest version of his well known 7 Steps to a Language Rich Classroom book. It is always great to connect with John but the interview you’re about to hear is just one part of our exploration of this topic. You’ll find multimedia resources - including a transcript of this episode, accompanying blog posts, videos, collaboration opportunities, and more - on our learning community. For episode resources and additional content visit our EL Community page. 

    Find the full episode transcript here.

    John Seidlitz is an independent educational consultant and the author of Sheltered Instruction Plus: A Guide for Texas Teachers of English Learners; Navigating the ELPS: Using the New Standards to Improve Instruction for English Learners; and a contributing author for The SIOP® Model for Teaching History-Social Studies for English Learners. He is the co-author of numerous publications including the 7 Steps to Developing a Language-Rich Interactive Classroom®. Mr. Seidlitz has been a member of the SIOP® National faculty and guest lecturer for many regional and national language development conferences. He taught social studies and ESL, served as a secondary ESL program coordinator, and held the position of education specialist at ESC Region 20 in San Antonio, Texas. In 2005, Mr. Seidlitz founded Seidlitz Education which is dedicated to the mission of Giving Kids the Gift of Academic Language™.


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    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Learner07 ,

Highest Aspirations

Great podcast! The subjects/topics discussed are relevant, and the host has a passion for ELs and it reflects over the sound waves. Always a pleasure to listen to them and learn new things!

Kbiz12425784 ,

In Depth Look at EL Education

This podcast takes a thoughtful look at K-12 issues in EL education. I appreciate how well this podcast frames issues from an evidence-based, equity-focused lens.

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