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2019 WIDA
National Conference

Pre-conference Institute

October 15, 2019

Rhode Island Convention Center

Providence, RI

Event Description

Optimizing Instruction for Multilingual Learners: Focus on Special Educational Needs


In this full-day, pre-conference session, presenters will provide an overview of key components in classroom-based research on instruction and intervention for multilingual learners with special educational needs. Peer interaction, oral communication, and comprehension will be explored. Presenters will share accumulating research that illustrates how learners with special educational needs benefit from bilingualism. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with evidence-based strategies and multilingual resources for younger and adolescent learners. The session will be base on the book: Sánchez-López, C. and Young, T. (2018). Focus On Special Education Needs. Oxford Key Concepts for the Language Classroom Series. Oxford University Press


John Hilliard, President of Paridad

Cristina Sanchez-Lopez

Associate, Paridad Education Consulting

Cristina is an education specialist in the areas of multilingual, multicultural education. She collaborates with educators in the US and Canada on ELL and Special Education; developing culturally and linguistically responsive multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) for ELLs; middle school mathematics; literacy across the content areas; parent engagement and supporting Pre-K educators who serve young Dual Language Learners (DLLs). Cristina has taught at the elementary, middle school and university levels in the US and Mexico. She presently teaches graduate courses in Reading, Assessment and Foundations for ELLs. She is co-author on the book: Special Education Considerations for English Language Learners: Delivering a continuum of services (Caslon Publishing, 2013) as well as various articles and chapters on supporting ELLs. Cristina and her husband have raised their daughter bilingually.

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John Hilliard, President of Paridad

Theresa Young

Speech-Language Pathologist

Theresa began her career on the Pacific island of Saipan, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands where she worked with multilingual students and families in home, school, and medical settings. She coordinated a team of speech-language pathologists to develop culturally and linguistically responsive assessment and intervention practices for Pacific Islanders. Upon returning to Canada, Theresa worked in schools in the highly diverse Toronto area, while providing professional development and writing collaboratively on multicultural, multilingual topics in education. She had the opportunity to bring diversity theory into practice during four years in a co-instructional role in a multicultural Kindergarten Early Language Intervention classroom in the Toronto District School Board.  Theresa has taught English as a Second Language to both children and adults in Saipan, Canada and Israel.  She currently resides in her home town of Parry Sound where she provides clinical services to pediatric and adult populations. She has been working with local First Nations to design and implement programs and services for children in preschools and schools in home communities.  



Upcoming Events

Cristina & Theresa's Work Together

Cristina's and Theresa's collaborative work melds the fields of English language learning and speech-language pathology into a framework for qualitative assessment and evidence based instruction and intervention for English Language Learners. They present together at conferences and multiple day workshops in United States and Canada. Their approach is featured in chapters 2-4 of Special Education Considerations for English Language Learners: Delivering a Continuum of Services (2013), and in a forthcoming book in the Oxford University Press Focus Series, Focus on Special Educational Needs (2018).

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