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

With the beginning of the new school year, this week I’ll share some recently developed Common Core materials for English language learners that have been updated or that I have recently become aware of.

Since teachers will need to plan their CCSS-based instruction around the CCSS standards as well as the CCSS-based assessments, I thought it would be helpful in part 1 of this post to dissect a sample test task from an ELL point of view in order to take a closer look at what the item might mean for ELLs and those who teach them.

In this week’s post, I’ll share some information related to assessing ELLs that I gathered while attending the Council of Chief State School Officers National Conference on Student Assessment last week.

As some teachers’ school years have already come to a close and others’ school years are quickly winding down, I thought it would be a good time to share a recap of this year’s top themes on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELLs blog.

In this final post on CCSS writing and ELLs, I’ll now turn to some instructional strategies to support ELLs at the middle school level as they work with an element of one of the CCSS writing anchor standards. I’ll conclude with some resources on writing for ELLs.

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