When I first began using Twitter as a platform for sharing thoughts and ideas related to teaching, I never imagined the magnitude of the impact it would have on my professional growth. The more I shared about lesson ideas and professional books I was reading, the more I connected with other educators from around the globe who have a similar passion for teaching multilingual learners. I discovered a dynamic professional learning network (PLN) of educators and professionals in the field who engage with one another continuously. This virtual community intentionally strives to learn and improve instructional practices, often because professional learning and collaboration opportunities specifically geared toward supporting multilingual learners can be limited in individual contexts.
Tan Huynh and I launched #ELLChat_BkClub (now #MLLChat_BkClub) in 2016 when we both wanted to learn more about co-teaching, and over the course of 5 years we have learned and reflected with many amazing educators, authors, and experts in the field. One of the most exciting benefits of participating in book studies has been engagement from the book authors themselves! Some of the most influential authors I have had the chance to connect with are the SIOP® authors Dr. Jana Echevarría, Dr. MaryEllen Vogt, and Dr. Deborah Short.
Recently, I got a chance to chat with them about essential considerations for supporting multilingual learners in the classroom. We had a wonderful conversation that offers a lot to learn from! Our conversation grew into a series of podcasts, and I’m happy to share part 1 below: