Diane Staehr Fenner

Diane Staehr Fenner, Ph.D., is the president of SupportEd. Diane founded SupportEd (formerly DSF Consulting) in 2011 as a way to serve all stakeholders who work to help ELs realize their full potential. At SupportEd, Diane serves as project lead for all the team’s work and communicates directly with clients. Some recent projects include developing a suite of five blended EL professional development modules for the National Education Association, creating a set of English language proficiency standards for adults and an online training module for the U.S. Department Education in partnership with the American Institutes for Research, revising the P-12 Professional Teaching Standards for TESOL International Association, and providing ESOL program support and technical assistance to the Syracuse City School District (NY).

Diane is an author of four books, a blogger for the Colorín Colorado website, and a frequent keynote presenter on EL education at conferences across North America. Diane was a research associate at George Washington University’s Center for Excellence and Equity in Education, spent a decade as an ESOL teacher, dual language assessment teacher, and ESOL assessment specialist in Fairfax County Public Schools, VA, and taught English in Mexico and Germany. Diane earned her Ph.D. in Multilingual/Multicultural Education with an emphasis in Literacy at George Mason University. She earned her MAT in TESOL at the School for International Training and her Masters in German at Penn State University. She lives in Fairfax, VA with her husband, three elementary age kids who are in a Spanish immersion program in their public school, a dog, a few fish, and an elderly hamster. Diane speaks fluent Spanish and German, grew up on a dairy farm in New York State’s Finger Lakes region, and is a first-generation college graduate.

 

Books by This Author

Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators

English Learners are the fastest-growing segment of the K–12 population and educators of ELLs are often in a unique position to provide a voice for their needs. This book demystifies the techniques of advocacy for ELLs, including creating a shared sense of responsibility for ELL success, guidance for administrators, and tips for advocacy for ELLs' success beyond Grade 12.

Unlocking English Learners' Potential: Strategies for Making Content Accessible

Content teachers and ESOL teachers, take special note: if you’re looking for a single resource to help your English learners meet the same challenging content standards as their English-proficient peers, your search is complete. Just dip into this toolbox of strategies, examples, templates, and activities from EL authorities Diane Staehr Fenner and Sydney Snyder, which includes tips on:

Articles

Blog Entries

This week we'd like to take a break from text-dependent questions to share some resources with you on implementing the Common Core with ELLs that have become available recently.

I want to examine some ideas for using text-dependent questions with ELLs. Since I’m a big fan of writing two-part blog posts, first I’ll outline some big picture issues in terms of what TDQs are and some considerations in writing TDQs for ELLs.

For this post, I wanted to look ahead and share a few of the topics that we anticipate featuring during the next few months. We will also be welcoming some more guest bloggers in coming months who can write on their area of expertise.

In this post, I’ll highlight some information from Tim Shanahan’s article about background knowledge in American Educator. I’ll then share a table and flow chart adapted from the article that will help you decide how much background knowledge to teach to ELLs.

Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for EducatorsThis blog post will focus on an interactive checklist to help educators of ELLs reflect on areas of CCSS preparation and rollout taking place in their setting and prioritize areas for their future action.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) released its Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines last week. In this week’s post, I’ll walk you through the Guidelines’ contents and open up a couple of areas for discussion around how the Guidelines might impact you in the classroom.

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