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
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.
Teacher evaluation can be a valuable tool for evaluators and teachers alike. But it should never be used in a “one-size-fits-all” manner, especially when evaluating all teachers who work with the nation’s growing numbers of English learners (ELs) and students with disabilities.
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:
Part II of the series on informational text will first provide an overview of what close reading is and could mean for ELLs, including some definitions of close reading. Then I’ll present the role of background knowledge, which is a major consideration with teaching ELLs close reading, and share some recommended resources.
This two-part post will focus on some aspects of teaching informational text to ELLs. Part I will share background considerations and strategies regarding informational text, first providing a basic foundation about informational text for all students and then narrowing my focus to include a few specific strategies about teaching informational text to ELLs.
The implementation of the Common Core means that all students, including English language learners, will face new demanding ac
In the recent article titled “Educators Tout IB’s Links to Common Core,” Education Week described the intersection between the standards used in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and the Common Core.
Lesli Maxwell at Education Week has posted an article that outlines how the unit will be piloted in Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; and Denver, CO. In this larger pilot, the Understanding Language team will provide professional development to teachers in these three districts and will also monitor the unit's implementation and collect feedback that will inform the revision of the unit's lessons.
The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) has recently released newly created draft language progressions for ELLs that it has developed via its Bilingual Common Core Initiative.
The Common Core State Standards mean greater rigor, higher expectations and considerably greater language demands. NCELA's webinar will bring together three experts who will share an outline of what needs to be done for this population.
Since top ten lists are popular during this time of year, I thought I’d compile my own with the focus on CCSS resources for ELLs.
Now that school districts are implementing the CCSS to various degrees, a question that is being asked more frequently is how teacher evaluation systems will be aligned to the new demands of the CCSS.
Understanding Language's five-lesson middle school unit, called Persuasion Across Time and Space: Analyzing and Producing Persuasive Texts, was designed for ELLs at the intermediate level of English language development.