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Engage Your ENL Students Using the 4 Domains and Cool Tech Tools!

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 2

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Educational Content Manager
The Source for Learning
ISTE Certified Educator
Melissa Henning is a dedicated leader in the field of educational technology. She serves as the Educational Content Manager for TeachersFirst, a free teacher resource offered by The Source for Learning, a non-profit organization. Melissa is an ISTE Certified Educator and Microsoft Innovative Trainer. Melissa has been an educator for over 25 years. Her passion is finding and sharing free tech tools to engage students in learning. She also enjoys introducing teachers to new strategies and tech tools to use in their lessons.

Session description

Are you looking for ways to supplement your instruction with technology tools that engage English language learners? Learn about tools you can use with language learners at all levels to incorporate reading, writing, speaking and listening in your lessons. Learn to enhance creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication skills.

Purpose & objective

In the states of Texas and California, ENLs make up over 20% of the student population. As educators, our obligations to our ENLs are robust under the current federal law. The tools presented during this session will get you started engaging this vital population of students and propelling them toward more excellent academic and social achievement. Participants will have an opportunity to try out some of the tools and collaborate with others about strategies to help ENL students find success. We will also discuss strategies to plan for using these tech tools in your lessons.

Participants will understand the needs of language learners within the classroom.
Participants will explore online tools to engage language learners.
Participants will plan for the use of these tools in the instructional setting.

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Intro (10 minutes)
During the introduction, participants will complete a poll and participate in a session Padlet. If time permits, we may do a group game to see what participants already know about the ENL population of students.

Statistics and ENL definitions (10 minutes)
The presenter will share information, and participants can ask questions on the session Padlet. Polling tools will be used to engage the audience in questions.

Intro to 3+ excellent tools for Language Learners (30 minutes)
The presenter will share 3+ FREE tools in-depth. The specific tools are subject to change. However, at the time of this proposal, the tools will be Lyrics Training, LingoHut, and Newsela. Lyrics Training falls into the domains of listening, reading, and writing. LingoHut falls into the fields of listening, reading, and speaking. Newselta falls into the domains of reading, listening, and writing.

Explore and collaborate with one of the shared tools (15 minutes)
Participants will have 15 minutes to collaborate, explore the three tools shared, and create projects and lesson implementation plans using these tools. The presenter will be available for questions. Participants will be encouraged to share projects and lesson ideas on the Padlet.

Intro to several other tools (as time permits)
Participants will be introduced (briefly) to several additional FREE tools that will be useful for ENL students.

Closing (5 minutes)
A final poll will be provided. The presenter will also address any remaining questions and provide her Twitter handle.

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Supporting research

‌“13 ESL Classroom Tips You Must Know before You Teach 2022.” Teach Away, 6 Nov. 2020,

Berwick, Carly. “Teaching English Language Learners: A Complex Endeavor.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 9 Mar. 2018,

‌lbreiseth. “Ten New ELL Resources for 2022.” Colorín Colorado, 3 Jan. 2022, Accessed 21 Sept. 2022.

‌Mitchell, Corey. “The Nation’s English-Learner Population Has Surged: 3 Things to Know.” Education Week, 18 Feb. 2020,

Whitmarsh, Brett. “How Can Teachers Address the Needs of English Language Learners.”, Accessed 21 Sept. 2022.

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Session specifications

Online tools, apps & resources
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Library media specialists, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Subject area:
ELL, Language arts
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate competency and reflect on their learning using technology.