S3 E3: Ensuring Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals with Tan Huynh & Beth Skelton

October 02, 2023 Olivia Wahl Season 3 Episode 3
S3 E3: Ensuring Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals with Tan Huynh & Beth Skelton
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S3 E3: Ensuring Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals with Tan Huynh & Beth Skelton
Oct 02, 2023 Season 3 Episode 3
Olivia Wahl

Beth Skelton and Tan Huynh call for us to shift the long-term English learner (LTEL) label and mindset to honor multilinguals’ valuable life experiences and academic potential instead.  Beth and Tan’s book, Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals, offers a brilliant and accessible guide for cross-curricular implementation - designed explicitly for secondary content teachers.  

Thank you to Tan, Beth, and Corwin, who are so generous in offering a 25% off PROMO CODE (C23104) for Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals

#experiencedmultilinguals #assetbasedthinking #heritageculture

Get solutions from Schoolutions!
#solutionsfromschoolutions #schoolutionsinspires #schoolutionspodcast

Show Notes Transcript

Beth Skelton and Tan Huynh call for us to shift the long-term English learner (LTEL) label and mindset to honor multilinguals’ valuable life experiences and academic potential instead.  Beth and Tan’s book, Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals, offers a brilliant and accessible guide for cross-curricular implementation - designed explicitly for secondary content teachers.  

Thank you to Tan, Beth, and Corwin, who are so generous in offering a 25% off PROMO CODE (C23104) for Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals

#experiencedmultilinguals #assetbasedthinking #heritageculture

Get solutions from Schoolutions!
#solutionsfromschoolutions #schoolutionsinspires #schoolutionspodcast

SchoolutionsS3 E3: Ensuring Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals with Tan Huynh & Beth Skelton

[00:00:00] Olivia: Welcome to Schoolutions, where listening will leave you inspired by solutions to issues you or others you know may be struggling with in the public education system today. I am Olivia Wahl, and I am honored to welcome my guest today, co-authors, Tan Huynh and Beth Skelton. Let me tell you a little bit about them.

[00:00:24] Olivia: Tan Huynh is a career international school teacher, consultant, and author specializing in secondary multilinguals and teacher collaboration. Beth Skelton has worked in the educational field for over thirty years, teaching elementary, middle, high school, and adult language learners in urban, suburban, rural, and international settings.

[00:00:47] Olivia: You can learn more about both guests by checking out the show notes within this episode. Our conversation today is going to focus on their new book that they co-wrote. I have it in my hands. I'm very excited. Let me make sure. Here we go. Long-term success for Experienced Multilinguals. They are generously offering a discount code for the book that I will also include in the show notes.

[00:01:13] Olivia: Um, oh my gosh, it is my honor. To welcome both of you, Beth and Tan, to be guests on Schoolutions. Thank you so much for taking the time to connect. 

[00:01:24] Tan: It's our honor. Thank you, Olivia, for having us and marching along this march with us. 

[00:01:30] Beth: Thank you so much, Olivia, for the invitation. We're excited to be here.

[00:01:33] Olivia: Yes, and we were just connecting a bit before the conversations began, and I think we have many inspiring educators from our life or mentors, coaches that we were just connecting around.

[00:01:46] Olivia: Um, but I love for listeners to hear from each of you who an inspiring educator is from your life. Would you share with listeners? Tan, do you want to go first or Beth? 

[00:01:58] Tan: Oh, sure. Um, so I still remember, uh, uh, a science teacher in a science professor in college, and, uh, the way I teach writing is the way that she taught writing one segment at a time.

[00:02:10] Tan: So she would say, okay, we're going to go do the introduction part. Let's look at all the research that we have, then let's write it together. Then we say, okay, let's collect the data together and then let's write about the data. And so, every single section, it wasn't assigned like other college classes. It was assigned and assumed, but this was very explicit instruction of how to write. And so she has inspired me to this day. 

[00:02:33] Olivia: Wonderful. Beth, how about you? 

[00:02:36] Beth: Um, my inspiring teacher is everyone's first teacher, and that's my mom, my dear own mom. Um, my mom was not only my first teacher; she was also a kindergarten first-grade career teacher, and I grew up in her classroom.

[00:02:51] Beth: Um, so whether, you know, I was four and didn't have a place for me to stay. I was in the kindergarten classroom with her. Um, I was “helping” to set up helping in quotation marks. Um, and then when I was doing my own master's degree, I would call my mom, and I'd say, mom, have you heard about this new way of teaching reading?

[00:03:10] Beth: And she would listen with full interest. And then, at the end, her favorite line would be, oh, is that what they're calling it now? 

[00:03:19] Olivia: Oh, I love it! 

[00:03:21] Beth: And, you know, it was one of these where she over thirty years as well. And education was her passion. Um, and so, unfortunately, she is no longer with us, but she is still my inspiring educator.

[00:03:34] Olivia: Yes, that's a wonderful anecdote. Thank you for sharing. Um, I, I've let both of you know that your book touched my heart in a way, um, and I felt compelled to read it twice back-to-back, which I rarely carve time for in life. It's busy these days. And I felt like I needed to recategorize the learning that I experienced the first time through for myself under some bigger umbrellas.

[00:04:05] Olivia: Um, the guise of this podcast is to name issues I'm seeing in public education and then seek out incredible, powerful, uh, changemakers like both of you, um, that lucky enough for us, you co-wrote a book, your brilliance is interwoven. Um, and you offer so many solutions to a myriad of issues. 

[00:04:30] Olivia: Some of the issues I want to name for listeners that your book addresses: creating exclusionary labels for students - we see it way too often in schools; um, adults with deficit-based mindsets - which then completely impacts students’ own perception of themselves as learners. Um, sadly, an assumption that students that are multilingual are less capable intellectually or academically than other children - and this assumption has direct impacts on low graduation rates and, ultimately, social inequity.

[00:05:08] Olivia: It's, it's devastating. And yet, both of you, there you are, shining a light on possibility for change. And that's what I'm so excited to talk about today. Some of the solutions I gleaned from your book that you will speak to today. We can shift our labels to be asset-based.

[00:05:28] Olivia: We can recognize the capital that multilingual children from their rich life experience can bring to our classroom. We can study collaboratively the many, many factors that impact multilinguals’ development of grade-level English proficiency. And we can collaborate, collaborate, collaborate, and you offer amazing school-wide frameworks for us to make sure that happens - key, key term school-wide. This cannot be just a classroom.

[00:06:02] Olivia: So let's jump in. Um, I'm going to tease listeners before I ask Tan to kick it off. Uh, listeners, the graphics are absolutely gorgeous in this book. Spectacular. Uh, there are sections called From the Field that will just give you a lens into the work live.

[00:06:23] Olivia: The book is steeped with research, tons of just amazing research. There's a glossary of terms. Thank you, thank you for that. Um, and there are appendices that take the pieces from the book and then just categorize it and capture it. Um, so that's, I'm going to stop talking, um, and Tan, I know you came to America at the age of five as a refugee and that this life experience drives your work today. Can you please start off by defining for listeners who are multilingual learners? For us, um, in communities, 

[00:07:01] Tan: Right. Well, Livi, I just want to say thank you first for reading the book. Not once, but twice. Uh, we have read it several times, but to know that a teacher has like to carve out time and then read it again, that is a very telling, um, sign of affirmation. So thank you for that.

[00:07:19] Olivia: Yes. Absolutely. 

[00:07:21] Tan: So who are these multilinguals who are calling them experienced multilinguals? These are students who are “long-term English learners.” They have been classified as an “EL,” as an English learner for the past five years. They might have received services. They might not, but they're still classified, and they can't seem to get unclassified.

[00:07:43] Tan: And when this happens often, sometimes doors close and paths are blocked. Meaning sometimes they get pulled out of classes. Sometimes they are not able to go to certain classes, maybe certain, um, colleges or uh, professional tracks or academic tracks, they're not allowed to because they don't have, they weren't able to go into Lang. & Lit. Or they were still, or the college admissions is like, oh, you're still an English learner? And so, of course, you aren't admitted.   And so we see this as, yes, an instructional book, but more as an equity book. 

[00:08:19] Olivia: Yes, yes, yes, yes. And so, Beth, chapter one, the title is so, uh, strategic in the way it's called An Affirming Shift. Um, can you speak to that? What is the affirming shift that we need to consider?

[00:08:35] Beth: Oh, thanks for picking up on that. That title name changed several times throughout the writing process, but really, the whole chapter one is setting the stage of how do we shift the lens from looking at students who are currently, um, titled this long-term English Learner? How do we shift that perspective to an assets-based shift or assets-based approach?

[00:08:58] Beth: And so we really want to, um, shift away from that term, long-term English learner for several reasons. Um, we are advocating, obviously, in the title for a new term, focusing on those students’ assets. Um, in, in the label that they are currently given, it's inherently deficit-based. So you have this long-term as if there's something wrong with taking a long time to learn something. 

[00:09:26] Olivia: Yeah.

[00:09:26] Beth: You know, wherein, in the majority of things in life when someone takes fifteen years to focus in on a skill and hone, you know, the ability to play piano or they take a lifetime to develop a skill in sports, we think that's fabulous, you know, that they focused in. And yet, when someone takes a long time to learn English, suddenly, there's something wrong with them.

[00:09:47] Beth: Um, it also assumes that there's a problem with taking six or more years when we know the long-term research that's out there - um, the longitudinal studies that have been done the average to reach academic proficiency or grade level proficiency, the average length of time is around six years. So suddenly these students are getting a label, and they're, they're really just like at the expected trajectory.

[00:10:13] Beth: And sure, some students go faster, and some take longer, but they're on the track, right? They're on the trajectory. And suddenly, they get this label. And as Tan mentioned, that label then leads to a lot of, um, deficit-based consequences for them. Um, so let's take two terms that we're putting together: experienced that we see as a generally in our society, when someone has experience that's seen as a positive.

[00:010:41] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:10:42] Beth: And we're saying, look, these students have experience in our schools. They have experience being a student in an English medium school. And that's a term we use because the book is also for international students. And that just really means that it's a school where English is the language of instruction. That doesn't mean you can't use heritage language or that heritage language isn't allowed. It just means that most of the teachers, most of the time, are speaking English, and the student is learning in English. Um, and so they have experience with that. They have at least five years of experience... 

[00:011:13] Olivia: Okay. 

[00:11:13] Beth: …doing that.

[00:011:14] Olivia: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:11:15] Beth: Let's build on that. They have experience with their heritage culture their their communities. They have experience with going to, um, assemblies like they get it. They have friends. They have experiences. And then we also wanted to emphasize the asset, make that shift. That instead of focusing on the fact that they're still acquiring English, let's focus on the fact that they are multilingual, and we keep that term multilingual because they have at least one other language.

[00:11:46] Beth: So, more than one is multi. 

[00:011:14] Olivia: Yes.

[00:11:46] Beth: So, many of them, two-three-four, multiple languages that they are able to navigate at different levels of proficiency. And so we really are like, look, let's take that fact that they're experienced and the fact that they already have more than one language. And I would challenge many of the teachers that are working with them to say, do I have multiple languages that I can work with, you know, and varying levels of proficiency that these students have an asset that let's build on that.

[00:12:17] Beth: So, chapter one really is focused on helping us make that, that shift that assets-based approach to working with students who have been in our schools for five or more years. And rather than seeing as something's wrong with them, let's see all the things that are right with them and how to build on all those things that are right with them and not trying to be Pollyanna and say, no, there isn't anything that we, you know, that they don't need any support anymore. Any of that. It's just. Let's shift the lens so that we can now build on what they have and make sure that they can continue to grow.

[00:12:54] Olivia: And, Beth, you really-hearing that explanation is so clarifying because when I began my teaching journey in California, in San Diego, um, I taught at Marshall Elementary in City Heights, and most of our population was multilingual, but they were also newcomers.

[00:13:14] Olivia: They were refugees, uh, primarily from Somalia, and so it's a very different scenario in that case. I think it's important for listeners to understand that these are not newcomers we're speaking to, and it's even more critical that we shift our mindset and labeling, um, of these children, and so they have possibility.

[00:13:39] Olivia: I love also the piece about expertise. Expertise is looked upon as a good thing, a positive, and we need to think about that. Um, the last piece I keep bouncing around in my mind is the idea of adults utilizing their professional capital in a community. And I kept thinking about that as I was reading that, you know, I don't know whether we're calling it professional capital, but when it comes to children, how about life capital?

[00:14:08] Olivia: How about experience capital, right? Can we coin that term? Maybe? I don't know. Right, but it made me think about that. Um, and then shifting a bit of our conversation to the idea of planning. I have realized, as a coach, these last few years, that everything in the classroom comes down to planning. Planning and priming before we ever see the children. Planning for, you know, what obstacles the children may face by living the work ourselves.

[00:14:42] Olivia: First.

[00:14:43] Tan: Right. 

[00:14:43] Olivia: Um, so, Tan, I'd love for you to speak to what are some nuances of planning that we need to keep in mind, especially, I love the chapter that speaks to planning with the end in mind, 

[00:14:56] Tan: …in mind…yes. 

[00:14:43] Olivia: So, Tan, can you speak to that for listeners? 

[00:14:59] Tan: I can. This I, I just wanna add one more thing to Beth's, um, conversation about experiences. One thing that they, because we're working with middle school and high school students, they have cognitive skills that, for example, I don't have to teach the concept of, uh, paragraphing when I say paragraphing, the kids get it, but because they're at middle school, high school. But elementary school, you have to actually stop and teach that a different way.

[00:15:26] Olivia: Yes.

[00:15:26] Tan: And so these kids have the cognitive ability, and one of the best cognitive abilities is the ability to see connections between languages. So that cross-linguistic transfer, that's how language, that's how they can acquire language more quickly. That's why we call them experienced. So, let's talk about planning.

[00:15:45] Tan: And so as a teacher, I think my, the biggest shift that I have when I, first set of teaching was planning activities to planning for a goal at the end. 

[00:15:55] Olivia: Ah, huge. 

[00:15:56] Tan: My first few years was just pearls of disconnected activities. I would do this and then that, and then let's create this, and let's cut this out, and let's create this.

[00:16:06] Tan: But there was, it wasn't a single theme. But when I read, uh, Understanding by Design, I was like, Oh my goodness. This is what it is. Oh, I have to think about; I have nine weeks. By the end of nine weeks, students have to produce this and demonstrate this and that. So then let's plan backwards at the eighth week and then the seventh week and then the sixth and all the way back.

[00:16:27] Tan: So what happens on the first day? 

[00:16:29] Olivia: Yes.

[00:16:29] Tan: Right. And so, when we work with experienced multilinguals, we have to talk about the intentionality of every lesson has to go back to the assessment. What are they learning? What's the content they're learning? What are the skills they have to use to talk about that content?

[00:16:44] Tan: Or to demonstrate their thinking about the content. And so that's our lesson planning template. We start first with, um, so daily lesson, we start first with the assessment, or summative assessment, whatever that is. Then we say, okay, by the end of this period, what do we want students to be able to do? And we say, can you write that in a prompt?

[00:17:05] Tan: For example, mine would be, um, thinking about my ninth graders that just, recently, school ended. They had to; in science class, they had to identify when a, when a, uh, a solution is over-saturated, under-saturated, or soluble, right? And so that's a very clear thing that students have to use those three words at the end of the period to say, okay, I'm going to give you a solution.

[00:17:31] Tan: Tell me if it's super-saturated, under-saturated or saturated. And then so that's that I have to write out the model response. Students have to say when we look at this degree, when we say at seventy milligrams, milliliters, sorry, seventy milliliters, this solution is super-saturated because. And that's the kind of language that I have to use because if not, if I don't teach that as a science teacher, uh, students will say saturated, unsaturated is it becomes a guessing game.

[00:18:06] Olivia: Yes.

[00:18:06] Tan: So now that we have their model response, we then write the integrated objective, which is identify when a solution is super-saturated, under-saturated, or saturated. And then from there we say, okay, how am I going to teach them these three words? Super-saturated, saturated and under-saturated. 

[00:18:25] Olivia: Yes.

[00:18:25] Tan: Well, maybe I, maybe I should use a diagram with three different colors to show them, right? Anything above this line is super-saturated, and we're going to color one color. Anything below that line is under-saturated. And so right away, kids have that image. So they have an image that's attached to a scientific word that they have to use. Everything we just said was comprehensible input. Kids understanding what, uh, super-saturated, saturated, under-saturated is.

[00:18:52] Tan: Now we have to get students to communicate like scientists. 

[00:18:54] Olivia: Yes.

[00:18:55] Tan: So we plan for the output. So what I would say is, um, you start off with the solution amount, then you say, is it saturated, unsaturated, or supersaturated? And then you say the reason because…right? And so that's the formula when we plan this way. And we no longer are assuming kids understand because I taught it. We're now saying we're making sure to the best of our abilities that students can understand the content and have the skills to communicate their understanding. And that's how we plan backwards.

[00:19:29] Olivia: Yes.

[00:19:29] Tan: Every single day.

[00:19:30] Olivia: And I love the idea of, you know, starting with how many weeks do I have to speak to this content, we have to start there. So really, the broad stroke of a year at-a-glance. Chunks of time with content topics that are highly engaging to children. And this goes across every content area, right? It's not just science. It's, it's ELA, social studies, whatever we're speaking to as a topic, but by knowing the amount of weeks we have.

[00:20:00] Olivia: Knowing the end reading, writing, talking problem-solving work we want children to do, then, yes, we can plan daily lessons with circling back to those, and the other layer that I've been working with teachers around is let's also begin with some long-term unit targets that we can speak to out of the gate with, all students, immersion.

[00:20:26] Olivia: This is going to be the end product that you're crafting. These are some long-term, only two or three for a chunk of time - long-term targets. We have some supporting nested targets underneath grounded in standards. And then my favorite thing about this when you are that thoughtfully planned as an educator; in your content expertise for your students, the daily flows, Tan.


[00:20:50] Olivia: Because you can then say, okay, you know, I thought this was what I wanted the children to get yesterday based on their exit ticket. This is what went well. This is what didn't. I can tailor my daily because I have the long-term vision in mind.

[00:21:04] Olivia: Right? 

[00:21:04] Tan: Right. Exactly.

[00:21:05] Olivia: So Beth. Oh, my goodness. The scaffolds, the integrated objectives in the book, the graphic charts. I just ended up making a list of every graphic and the page it's on and what it speaks to because I would love to just take the book and unpack the graphics and decide how we could utilize those as educators.

[00:21:26] Olivia: They're magnificent. So, how are scaffolds? How are integrative objectives critical, or why are they? And I also want, if you're so gracious, to speak to the idea that some adults push back on over-scaffolding. Is there such a thing? Can we over-scaffold in your mind? So will you speak to that? 

[00:21:49] Beth: Yes. Um, I thank you for doing that. Let's talk the scaffolds first and then I'm going to turn it back over to a Tan about over scaffolding. He's been really working with this right now with his educators as well. 

[00:22:00] Olivia: Wonderful. 

[00:22:00] Beth: And the answer is yes. Um, and that we are learning from our students. When do they need a scaffold, and when not? And, um, as one of my colleagues, I think it's Tanya out in California. She says, um. It's harder to know when to lose a scaffold than when to use a scaffold. 

[00:22:00] Olivia: Ha! I like that. 

[00:22:19] Beth: We get really good about, like, here, use a scaffold, use a scaffold. But then, when it's time to lose it, we get uncomfortable. And so sometimes it's just listening in or looking at their writing and saying, oh, clearly they need a scaffold now.

[00:22:33] Beth: And I have that ready. And, um, once you have that integrated objective, then, you know, where are the possible supports, and how can I scaffold that learning? Um, I'm going to use this math example because I've just spent some days working directly with math teachers. And math is another excellent place for building academic language.

[00:22:56] Beth: And math teachers are really good at making sure students know how to do the problem. But then when it comes to explaining that to getting the language out, it shifts. So, let's take your idea of an exit ticket. You just said, hey, you know, we can look at their exit tickets and plan the daily lessons. So many exit tickets in a math class are simply solving a problem or solving the algorithm.

[00:23:19] Beth: So, my encouragement back to math teachers is to say, let's add that language piece to the exit tickets. 

[00:23:25] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:23:26] Beth: And so instead of just solve this problem or find the area of this trapezoid, which I can do with no language, right? And I can show you that I have the math skill. Let's switch that prompt to explain how to find the area of a trapezoid.

[00:23:44] Beth: Now we are elevating language and content, and we're making everyone in that class, we're providing the skill set that that person could become a math tutor. That person could explain in a boardroom. That person could, we are giving them that gift that later in life, they have the ability to explain what they can do.

[00:24:03] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:24:03] Beth: They can explain their thinking process. So then, just like Tan said, I asked the teacher to say, what would that sound like? What would a really good response sound like? And the teacher started off, well, first, you have to identify the two bases. Then, you have to measure the length of each base. And while the teacher is talking, right, I am making notes because I am looking at not just the vocabulary but the sentence structure and then that whole discourse level of how did that answer glue together, right?

[00:24:34] Beth: What? Oh, my goodness. They used, um, these transition phrases. Um, they had words like base and measurement. And so, then we talk as a team. If we're co-planning and say, hey, how are you going to teach these keywords? That's where your idea of scaffold comes in. 

[00:24:54] Olivia: Yeah.

[00:24:54] Beth: Okay. So, then I'm going to throw it back to the teachers and say, is it over scaffolding if I label my trapezoids with base and sides, right? Is that over-scaffolding or not? Did it? Oh, and they're going to be like, every student needs to know the term base. They always get confused at what a base is on the trapezoid. 

[00:25:10] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:25:11] Beth: So they'll say that's great. So that would be like, um, it comes in a couple of different categories. And we, we break down types of supports into five different, um, supports or scaffolds. And this comes a lot from WIDA, as well as a few extras that we add in there. And like a sensory scaffold, then would be a visual labeled example or a labeled trapezoid, right? So we have a visual of it, and it's labeled. And then, okay, so maybe they understand that's comprehensible input of what those bases are, but at some point, those students are going to have to interact with it.

[00:25:50] Beth: They're going to have to look at that and talk about it so they get a chance to practice with the language in class. So, I might add a linguistic scaffold. And that linguistic scaffold, um, could be where I just give the word bank, and they're going to have to start describing the steps for finding the measurement of any trapezoid.

 [00:26:08] Olivia: Okay. 

[00:26:08] Beth: So, now I've expanded beyond just here; this is this one trapezoid example that I know how to do, but now I have the concept, and I've been practicing with my partner. What's the first step? The first step identify the bases. Okay, point to the bases, right? And we're having them partner. That's an interactive scaffold using the language.

[00:26:28] Beth: The linguistic scaffold is a, um, word bank. Make sure you use the word base, right? And measurement. And so we build all of this, and then possibly we add a graphic scaffold, where the students have manipulatives, another sensory scaffold. Okay.

[00:26:44] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:26:45] Beth: And they're manipulating, and they're charting out like. This is a trapezoid, not a trapezoid, trapezoid, and they're in, and they're sorting. So now they've got all of these things going on to support their comprehension of where I want them to be at the very end, which is explaining the process of finding the area of a trapezoid. And that was just an example that came from my work this week with math teachers specifically. And when we got done looking at all of those categories of scaffolds, um, pretty much all of them said, actually, I think all my students need that.

[00:27:18] Olivia: Yes! 

[00:27:18] Beth: Right? Okay. But if at any point, you feel like it's over scaffolding, pull it back. 

[00:27:23] Olivia: Okay. 

[00:27:23] Beth: Um, and, and so the, the other question that we ask is a scaffold is temporary. And so, if you pull that scaffold, and we have a visual in the book that, you know, that it's like the actual scaffold around the building.

[00:27:37] Olivia: Yes! 

[00:27:37] Beth: The idea is that the scaffold allows me to reach higher levels. It allows me to build up on the building and build up on my experience in a sense, right? 

[00:27:48] Olivia: Yes! 

[00:27:48] Beth: So if I pull that scaffold, and it's so cool that this is recorded because I'm using my hands. But if I pull that scaffold away and the building falls down, well, it wasn't time yet. 

[00:27:59] Olivia: Yes.

[00:27:59] Beth: Or that wasn't scaffolding the essential skill. And so we really have to think of what is it that I'm scaffolding. And am I clear about that? Sometimes we give scaffolds, we give tools, and that's the, that's all the student knows. They haven't learned the skill behind it. So we really have to be careful. And I'm going to share with Tan because he's done a lot of work with his own students and his other and the teachers he works with.

[00:28:27] Beth: Of when is it a supportive scaffold, meaning I'm actually building up with this? 

[00:28:32} Olivia: Yes.

[00:28:32] Beth: And when is it over scaffolding, meaning I just created dependence, and that is an issue. So Tan, if you want to share some of those strategies or those ideas that you're working on. 

[00:28:43] Tan: Right. The short answer is already what Beth have shared, has shared.

[00:28:46] Tan: When we share a strategy, such as, uh, a sentence frame if kids don't have the language to use that. Then use, then, then add the sentence frame. But when they when you notice students are just answering and filling the blanks and not connecting ideas between sentences, that's when there's over-scaffolding.

[00:29:06} Olivia: Oh, okay. 

[00:29:06] Tan: There's no thinking behind it. 

[00:29:07} Olivia: Yeah. 

[00:29:07] Tan: Um, when kids are completing a task, um, just because they're, just because the task helps them do that, that's over scaffolding. When they are able to apply the skills independently to a new context, that's, uh, when they don't, we don't, they don't need the scaffolding.

[00:29:26] Tan: So we have identified, or, I have identified. I'm working with my social studies teacher. I am a closet over-scaffolder. So I joined, I, that's the only thing I'm closeted about. And so I worked with my science teacher, and she's like, I don't like the scaffolding that has happened in the past. And I was like, I over-scaffold.

[00:29:50] Tan: Let's work together to figure out how can we balance this. She looked at a student's example, a science lab report in October, and it was the scaffolding that we inherited years ago. Um, and it was just simple sentence starters, like answer this, answer that. But there's no connection between it. She's like, she showed us, she showed me the work of a student in, in, in October.

[00:30:10] Tan: She's like, that's not the kind of scientific thinking we want. She's just answering questions and moving on. It's just task completion, but not skill development. So we said, well, what can we do? We then sat down, and we wrote the guiding questions and prompts for each section. So we took away this, this, the sentence starters, except for a few sections, like a hypothesis, you have to formulate a hypothesis in a very specific way, but everything else is just prompts.

[00:30:37] Tan: It is, for example, it might be identify something that, um, you, you did well in the experiment, like how you designed it and what impact did it have? Identify something that was, that you designed in the experiment that, uh, was a flaw and explain why it was a flaw. So all those prompts, instead of saying one flaw that I experienced was, and so we're getting kids to be able to really be creative with the way they write, and they can structure writing in any way they want.

[00:31:08] Tan: Because experienced multilinguists have experience using social language. They just need now the structure of thinking and then structuring their language in a more academic way. Writing those prompts in a very synchronous way. We looked at the student's example in May and she's like, I just want to show you the paragraph that the student wrote.

[00:31:26] Tan: And look at the sentences. The sentences are bridging each other or connecting with each other. And that's because instead of saying, fill out this, complete this lab report with these sentence starters. Use these prompt now to think about the questions you, you, the answers you might produce. That was the difference, 

[00:31:44] Olivia: It feels very student-centered. It feels very reflective and I, and I love that, you know, it's, it's, I touched my chest because close to my heart, I think that it's important for us to think about, you know, that reflective and individualized voice of each student. Beth, what did you want to jump in with?

[00:32:04] Beth: Yeah, the same concept of this over scaffolding and when do we know? So I was working with an 8th grade English language arts teacher, and we haven't mentioned that content area yet on the podcast, so another tricky place because many of our experienced multilinguals are in English Language Arts classes, and it is still one of the most difficult areas for them to be in.

[00:32:25] Beth: And this 8th grade English language arts teacher pushed back on me, and she said, I'm not going to provide sentence frames. That is, they have to know how to do that. And I said, that's fine. Are you going to teach them how to take your prompt and create their own sentence frames? And she said, I am willing to give a class period for that.

[00:32:42] Beth: So I got to co-teach it with her and we taught how to deconstruct this really complex prompt. About identifying character traits and justifying which trait led the character to X, Y, or Z. It was one of those classic English Language Arts prompts. And so we just did a mini-lesson. And first, the kids had to chunk that prompt themselves.

[00:33:06] Beth: And there were three parts. And they had to learn where to break it down. So they personally, on their own paper, broke it down.

[00:33:12] Olivia: Lovely.

[00:33:12] Beth: The second thing that she had them do is take each of the chunks and create their own starters for how, how are you going to say, identify, say the character traits, you know, blah, blah, blah are, and then list them.

[00:33:24] Beth: Right. The one that, you know, caused the character, the most important one or whatever was, and then what's the justification? So they, she took the time in her class to teach the skill. And Tan and I are big fans of teaching-learning strategies, and that in itself is a learning strategy that students can use later in life if they are filling out a job application,

[00:33:47] Beth: You can take the question and turn it into the starter for how you're going to answer that question on your own job application. So, this is not just like, for getting by in Language Arts. It's not just to fill in the way it is a life skill. Yes. We're really big on that.

[00:34:00] Beth: That is what Zaretta Hammond calls turbo charging - teaching them how to learn is the turbo charger. And so I'm quoting her. I just heard that, and I'm like, yes, that is exactly what's going on here. Right? 

[00:34:13] Olivia: Yes. Yes. 

[00:34:14] Beth: So we want to do the same thing. And I am totally fine. If you are willing to take the time in your class to not provide the sentence starter, but teach the skill to create your own awesome.

[00:34:26] Beth: However, I also totally recognize that the math teacher is like, there's no way I'm taking a math lesson to teach how to, you know, start it and put it in. So you have these options. We have the tools to either scaffold or teach the learning strategy along the way. It's…I'm fine either way. It, 

[00:34:46] Olivia: It's, I, I love the idea of choice as well, and so it offers the educator autonomy, and we cannot forget to ask students what do they need!

[00:34:56] Olivia: You know, I, I, I think so often, um, when adult, an adult speaks to me about learned helplessness or, you know, over scaffolding, I'll, often the first question I ask is, have you talked to the student as to whether that person thinks they need the scaffold anymore? And often, the response is no. And it's mind-boggling to me.

[00:35:17] Olivia: Why, why is that child or that learner, not the first place we're going to? They often know if they need it or not. And if they're just being compliant and filling in worksheets or tasks, right? 

[00:35:30] Olivia: And so I know you offer instructional frameworks in the book for school-wide commitment. I do want to speak to that. But page 42, there was a quote because I want to linger for a moment in our conversation around content area teachers also being academic language professionals, right?

[00:35:49] Olivia: So the quote on page 42, “We believe the most equitable place for experienced multilinguals is in content classes because they provide the fertile soil for both content and academic language to grow.”

[00:36:03] Olivia: So, I, I take that quote, and I circle back to the child that said it was freedom. We have to offer those opportunities. So, Tan, I would love for you to explain the benefits of, because you, you lived this being a content or content area teacher, seeing themselves as academic language teachers. 

[00:36:24] Tan: The benefit is that for just going back to our lesson plan, comprehensible input, comprehensible output. The benefit is when we plan this way, when all teachers become teachers of their content, they think about how can I make this concept more understandable.

[00:36:40] Tan: How can I make uh, trophic cascades, something understandable to students? And then of academic languages, how can I have students communicate, talk about trophic cascades as if they're a biologist in the field? 

[00:36:55] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:36:56] Tan: Because we can say, oh, the animals, there are less animals. Wait, what? We want to say when we took away the tertiary predator, such as the Yellowstone wolves, this caused…; we want students to sound like professionals because we know that they'll do research in the future, and they need to be respected and seen as credible researchers. But if they don't have that language, that academic language that other people who are reading their, uh, report, they're going to like, well, I'm not, I'm not reading this.

[00:37:28] Olivia: Right.

[00:37:28] Tan: Um, this is not valid because it's not structured in a way that we as scientists are looking for. And so that's our job to give students that freedom of the future to be whatever they want to be and do whatever they want to do because now they have the language when we as content teachers teach for comprehensible input, comprehensible output, we structure, we create the conditions for students to be successful with a long term. 

[00:37:52] Olivia: Yes. Yes. Uh, page 182, this quote got to my heartstrings because it is a conundrum. I, I just learned the term from another guest, uh, Christy Lynn Anana - Kobayashi Maru of, uh, from Star Trek, and it speaks to, a puzzle or a problem that may never be solved.

[00:38:13] Olivia: And she elaborated and said, Kirk, uh, always cheats. And so he, he solves it. It's a win-win, but I feel like the idea of collaboration and scheduling in schools is a Kobayashi Maru in a way I'm using that term now. 

[00:38:37] Olivia: So the quote on page 182, uh, “The master schedule is the key that unlocks the potential for teachers to collaborate.” If that master schedule is not orchestrated by the building administrator to allow for as much collaboration as possible across teams, across content areas, um, in just a myriad of ways, we are in big trouble because that is not going to serve students, right? So, Beth, could you speak to how collaboration amongst the staff, um, directly impacts the oral and written output that we see in classrooms?

[00:39:07] Beth: Oh, thank you for, um, going to this last chapter because this is where the magic can really happen. And it takes the whole book from one individual teacher who, as Tan often said, yay, I won the teacher lottery. I got so and so or I got in that section of science or that section of math versus another section.

[00:39:30] Beth: And so. We want to kind of get rid of that teacher lottery idea. And it's like, everyone's a winner on the teacher end and the student and like, we're all winners because we're working together, but it really does hinge on a master schedule that allows for it. Let me give you an example of some work I did in a school that totally got this.

[00:39:50] Beth: Now, experienced multilinguals by definition wouldn't be identified until, like, 5th grade, but we know that in 4th and 5th grade, this is the turning point. Our students can exit the program if they started with us in kindergarten or 1st grade - us meeting in in the system in the school. 

[00:40:17] Beth: If they started in kindergarten/1st grade, and they're ready to exit if they don't leave by 4th or 5th grade, like, if they're not reclassified as, um, fully English proficient as the term is, um, then they are now long-term English learners or experienced multilinguals, and that deficit often happens in middle school. That lens. So this elementary school realized that, and they had a very high percentage of multilingual learners; majority experienced multilinguals, not newcomers.

[00:40:39] Beth: So we sat down and they said. In elementary school, as you know, the only time that teachers have a chance to collaborate is during electives or specials, 

[00:40:49] Olivia: Right? 

[00:40:50] Beth: When students go to library, when they go to gym, when they go, that's when teachers can have time to get together. But that's also the teacher planning time. 

[00:40:56 ] Olivia: Yeah.

[00:40:57] Beth: They listen to teachers. How can we make this work? Kids have one special a day. How can we create more time in the day? And super creative brainstorming session as a team, we created a second specials in an elementary school. 

[00:41:16] Olivia: Awesome. 

[00:41:21] Beth: And they said, we're going to take teachers. And this is another brilliant thing they did. They said, social studies and science do not get the same weight as math and language arts at an elementary school. 

[00:41:29] Olivia: Right.

[00:41:29] Beth: What if we create that as a specials that the kids go and we have one teacher who is the specialist for science and they get all the tools and the equipment just like art, just like P.E. And so now the students get two specials a day. So outside of the teacher's classroom, the teachers have two planning sessions a day so that we can build in that collaboration across the curriculum. So this is super exciting because it's going to happen in the fall, but the rest of the schools in the district, the elementary is like, what are you doing?

[00:42:02] Beth: How are you doing this? How did you reconfigure? Right? We want that too. 

[00:42:05] Olivia: Yes.

[00:42:05] Beth: Um, and it was about equity for teachers as well because secondary teachers in middle school and high school have two planning periods. They have two hours that they can do that collaboration generally.

[00:42:15] Olivia: Yes.

[00:42:15] Beth: In that district. So that was one idea of creative solutions that the principal was on board with. And he said, let's make this happen. Let's think outside of the box and the whiteboards in the planning room were completely filled. We and then we took it back to the teachers, and we said, here's plan A, here's plan B. Here's plan C. What do you think? This is the ramifications. This is what it means for you.

[00:42:38] Beth: What do you think? And they were so on board. But now, one of those periods every single day is available for collaborative planning. And that key is when we started talking about, well, if the teacher doesn't have time to teach how to do sentence frames, for example, like how to create your own well, then, then in one class, they get sentence stems and another that goes away because we know we are teaching it.

[00:43:05] Beth: And that's the expectation across the board. So there's no student that, like, oh, in this class, I can answer with one word and get away with it. 

[00:43:11] Olivia: Right?

[00:43:12] Beth: It's across the board; we all have high expectations. We all know what students can do. We are looking at work every time we get together to collaborate and co-plan.

[00:43:23] Beth: We're looking at: What's that student's work in your class during math? What's the work look like in English Language Arts? What's the work look like…? We can do vertical alignment. What's the work look like in 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade are that are the expectations increasing, or is it an 8th grade – really - in sixth grade, you have them write a five-paragraph paper, but in 8th grade, I'm only expecting a paragraph?

[00:43:44] Olivia: Huge, yeah. 

[00:43:45] Beth: That just goes away because we have created the structures for teachers to truly get together during the school day, not asking them to stay after not asking them to come at 6 a.m. Not asking them to give up their lunch in order to collaborate. 

[00:43:58] Olivia: Yeah. 

[00:43:59] Beth: And so now students know that that expectation is across the board. 

[00:44:04] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:44:04] Beth: And one of the things, and not to get too far into it, but in chapter seven, one of the things that we really encourage is some kind of Academic English plan for our experienced multilinguals.

[00:44:14] Olivia: Yeah. 

[00:44:15] Beth: That all teachers know, and the student has co-created it. The student is part of it saying, this is what I need, like you said, about supports. We ask them. What supports help you to get there in this class? Let's put that in the plan that all teachers know this is a scaffold that works for you.

[00:44:33] Beth: So that's part of the conversation when you were talking about ask the student. 

[00:44:36] Olivia: Yes

[00:44:36] Beth: That's that academic English plan. That happens with the students, and then the students know every one of my teachers knows that this is a support that helps me, and this is my language goal, and we're all working on it.

[00:44:50] Olivia: Beth, something you're just reminding me of is the importance of having students involved in their goals from the start and this actually just came up with another school district I'm supporting. I asked at the elementary level how many students sit in on their 504 on their IEP meetings, and the director of special education said, well, it's an option, but we rarely have children do it.

[00:45:15] Olivia: And they said, well, how clear are we that it is an option? Because I think, as a caregiver, I would love for my child to be there. Um, some districts rock student-led conferences in a beautiful way. And so that could be another layer. Um, and I have a question. I have a wondering of something I'm struggling with that I'd love to hear your perspective on, and Tan, maybe you could help, um, illuminate this for me.

[00:36:24] Tan: Okay, sure.

[00:45:36] Olivia: What we, we sit here right now with, I think, a very common core belief system between the three of us. We believe from our head to our toes in children and that children can. Sometimes, I meet teachers that are resistant to committing to the work.

[00:46:04] Olivia: And Tan, the words Beth spoke to, I've heard you say that we don't want to hit the teacher lottery or that that shouldn't exist. Um, and what do we do when there is an adult that is reluctant or resistant to change-most likely out of fear? Right? But, but is it an admin that steps in? It's certainly not a coach.

[00:46:27] Olivia: How do we move that needle for that adult? Because that's fair for children. 

[00:46:33] Tan: Well, we have to first ask, are they willing to learn? If they're not, then I'm going to be going to a different fertile uh, plot to continue growing there. So when you're ready, it's almost like, uh, what I see is when I co-plan with teachers I see red, yellow, and green.

[00:46:48] Tan: When someone says no, that means probably not, not now. 

[00:46:54] Olivia: Yeah. 

[00:46:54] Tan: Right. So I'm like, okay, you're, you're not probably ready. Let me go work with someone else. Right. Until you're ready. And I will, and then I, what I will, if someone says no to my scaffolds that I co-created with somebody or it's an invitation to scaffold, then I'm going to work with kids in that class regardless.

[00:47:09] Tan: Right. It won't be collaborative. 

[00:47:10] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:47:11] Tan: Right. When someone says, maybe, I hear that as a show me how. Right. And so I will co-create that. So this is what I have in mind. Can you, what are your thoughts about this, this table that I co-created, based upon what you said? No, let's change this part. Let's merge these two.

[00:47:27] Tan: So that gets closer to a yes. When someone says yes, then I say, let's do it together. Right? So I don't push um, when someone pushes back, I wait, I plant a seed and said, okay, you're not, um, this is something that you're not interested in doing. What are you interested in? What would it be? What would you like to do?

[00:47:48] Tan: Because though we want to use our cognitive capacities to co-create, not to convince. 

[00:47:55] Olivia: Oh, I love that. 

[00:47:57] Tan: Right? And so if someone is saying, I don't want to do that, I'm not going to spend 90% of my cognitive abilities to try to convince them otherwise. Right? I would simply say, okay, you don't want to use this template.

[00:48:08] Tan: What would you like to do to get kids to this goal? 

[00:48:11] Olivia: Yeah, yeah. 

[00:48:11] Tan: And then now I put it back on them. I say, well, I could do this. Great. Let's use that. How would you like to use it? And so I'm just, I'm hearing very sensitively and I honor their no, and I find out where their yeses are. 

[00:48:24] Olivia: Tan, you know what it makes me think of with the colors, um, in years past, I believe so strongly in zones of development and Vygotsky's work.

[00:48:32] Olivia: And I often saw the red when I was coaching adults as a zone of frustrational development. So the no is because it's so far beyond, um, what is feasible for them. And then the yellow for me was proximal of this is a stretch, but if you give me some ways to get there, I can do it. And then with a right together, always together.

[00:48:54] Olivia: And then the yes was, I think this is a strength of mine, and I am still a learner, and I want to get even better at what I'm doing, and that, to me, is what it is about being a learner. Like we're never done. We're always getting smarter and growing and the key word is together, right? This is collaborative.

[00:49:15] Olivia: It's a, it's a “co” in service of children and how lovely for kids to see the co-teaching the co-planning, all of this that goes into it, because it says we love you. It's tending to children. It's tending to our students, right? 

[00:49:29] Tan: We're modeling. 

[00:49:30] Olivia: Yeah, we are. So, I know you have an explicit sequence of actions when it comes to implementing an instructional framework school-wide. Um, I'd love for you to speak to that. Tan, something I love that you and Beth include in the book is an explicit sequence of actions to implement this work school-wide as a framework. Could you take us through those actions? 

[00:49:55] Tan: Yeah, we take it as like something small, then medium, then big. So the first systematic approach is starting small with the individual student. This is looking at students’ work. This is possibly looking at co-creating an individual lesson plan or, like an individual learning plan, Academic English Learning plan for them. So it's very individualized because instead of saying like, if you're overwhelmed and all doing all of this, let's just focus on one kid.

[00:50:21] Tan: Because all we need is that confidence. 

[00:50:23] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:50:23] Tan: That confidence is the first seed that grows the forest. Then we move to saying, okay, let's move to the classroom. Once we are comfortable with individual in supporting a kid, let's look at what do all the other kids need? So we can maybe co-plan an assessment or co-plan a lesson together, right?

[00:50:45] Tan: And then, so that's the, that's the first individual, individual student, then bigger to a classroom, not looking at an entire grade, right? Just one classroom. Which of your five classrooms do you have? Let's focus on just one, more manageable, small wins. And then the next part is when they're comfortable with the classroom level, um, uh, scaffolding and creating instruction for that, we move to something bigger, which is the department.

[00:51:10] Tan: We say, now we look at, okay, maybe we look at all the eighth graders instead of just 8.1. Now let's think about all the eighth graders here, or let's think about all of your classes together. And we'll, the way we do that is through lesson study. We say, okay, I'm going to teach this lesson about Industrial Revolution in particular, the steam engine,

[00:51:31] Tan: I, I will create the, I will co-create the lesson together. I would deliver it. Everyone else in my department, they take off for that period. They come observe; they get subs, everyone else in the department watches how I attempt to deliver the instruction that is scaffolded for the comprehensive input and comprehensible output.

[00:51:52] Tan: We then come back, and we sit together and say, what did you notice about that lesson that we co-created together that we agreed - okay, you're going to start with this and move to that and end with this. You're going to use this graphic. You're going to use, we're going to, we're going to use this um, series of prompts to get students to write.

[00:52:08] Tan: We're going to use this word bank, we're going to use this diagrammed image, and then we're going to analyze, did it work? 

[00:52:14] Olivia: Okay. 

[00:52:14] Tan: And then when this happens, this is so systematic that now the whole department will start planning this way.

[00:52:20] Olivia: Yes. 

[00:52:21] Tan: And so we move from little-individual, most possible - to classroom, to whole department. So there's not just a student saying, yes, I want the teacher lottery by going, by being with Ms. Wahl. I get to be with everybody.

[00:52:35] Olivia: I love it. I love it. I love it. And I love that it begins with the individual student. 

[00:52:40] Tan: Yes. 

[00:52:41] Olivia: Uh, because that's where all of our conversations should begin with the kids, right? Beth – yeah?

[00:52:48] Beth: And in addition to that and the lesson study, when the teachers are in that classroom observing that co-planned lesson. We all have responsibility in this. So it's not like just on Mr. Tan and what he's doing. It's about we; we co-planned this. And when I'm in watching, I'm actually watching those individual students.

[00:53:07] Beth: And I know what their Individual Academic English plan is. So, like, I'm watching, are they using the language? Are they responding to the scaffold? Is it over-scaffolded? Did they need that scaffold? So, I can, as an observer, actually gather that student-centered data. It's super hard to do when you're teaching a whole class.

[00:53:25] Beth: I just can't monitor, I can't circulate enough to get all of that data as an individual teacher. So, it is a gift. It is a gift to the students. It's a gift to the teachers. To get that student-centered data, because there might be four or five or six adults in the room that are sitting with different, um, collaborative groups of students, and I can be like, um, scribing what they, you know, transcribing what they're saying.

[00:53:48] Beth: And then later, I bring that data, and we can all discuss it like, wow, Jose didn't need that scaffold at all. Listen to what he said, or wow, they really use the word bank or whatever it is. And so that we can see, did it “work.”

[00:54:03] Beth: We determine what work is, like, did it serve its purpose that the scaffold work. We've determined that before I ever went in to observe, that leads us right back to that Individual Academic English plan. And we can revise. We can think about; we can talk to the student about different goals because of what we saw in that lesson study.

[00:54:22] Beth: So it is really a cycle of implementation. 

[00:54:25] Olivia: Beth, what I absolutely adore doing, and it's taken some practice, I'll just put it out there, but when we are running learning labs in a district I'm working with, um, I've been coached around - let's all jump into the same Google doc. So as we're watching the facilitator, we have a three-column, um, table that we're using. The first column is what are the teachers saying and doing?

[00:54:50] Olivia: What, what are the students saying and doing? And then I, I really appreciate the idea of, of knowing whom we're seeking or looking at is, as children. So we can have plans in mind. The middle column is why does this matter to student engagement? Why is this important? And the last column is, you know, what are wonderings I'm having now about my own practice about implications for children moving forward.

[00:55:16] Olivia: The research I am obsessed with as of late in my own planning for when I'm teaching in classrooms is Allison Zmuda's research around classroom roles of a teacher. And when I am looking at a chunk of time that I have with any group of children, I'm asking myself - uh, she has six roles that she outlines - I'll put a link to her research in the show notes.

[00:55:39] Olivia: Um, but I'm asking myself, you know, is my curriculum planner role really in the classroom, or does that happen before I am in? What roles am I using when I'm teaching as a coach and facilitator? Absolutely. Is it an assessor? Absolutely. So you go through those roles and I like to have someone watching me when I'm teaching just for the roles and how I'm balancing them at the same time.

[00:56:05] Olivia: Um, so that's another lens we can look through as well. Awesome. 

[00:56:08] Tan: Right. Nice. 

[00:56:09] Olivia: Yeah. Um, so, you know, let's wrap our conversation, although I think we could chat all day. Um, what do you see as a call to action to propel this work and ensure that long-term, um, success for our experienced multilinguals? 

[00:56:26] Tan: My call to action with teachers is to sit with someone else to maybe read this book to say, what can we do for our students?

[00:56:34] Tan: Yeah. Right. And so it's less of like. I'm saying there's, there's a system, there's a structure, there's a, there is a framework. How can we implement this framework in our own experience? And then the reason why they do it with a partner is because they cannot sustain this by themselves. It's great that they do, but what they need is that, that extra boost is that collaborative learning together, saying, I tried it this way.

[00:56:57] Tan: What did you think? Well, I might try it this way. Oh, let's do that in the future. And so they, it's embedded, and it's sustained, and it’s community-based. Because then, um, it, we won't fall to the whims of this initiative, that initiative, when we do it together, we stay together. And then, um, it's kind of like that African proverb says, if you want to go faster, go alone. If you want to go farther, go together.

[00:57:22] Olivia: Yeah. So Beth, what would you say our call to action is?

[00:57:26] Beth: Oh, I thought about this while Tan was talking. And so he has given a really great one about supporting each other and collaborating. I'm going to go back to the individual student, And as a call to action is to say, let's stop giving students all the fish and teach them to fish.

[00:57:45] Beth: So, as if Tan is giving a proverb, here's another proverb, and what that means to me is teaching them how to learn. And get that; here's the learning strategy, and this shifts and gives a lot of independence. Students become more motivated because they know how to comprehend text. They know how they can learn that skill in math.

[00:58:11] Beth: They have, they have developed the strategies that will serve them throughout their lives. And I think this is a shift for all teachers as well. So we're, we're getting pretty good at providing the scaffolds and giving them, but then thinking through, how do I actually learn something new? What are those skills that I've developed?

[00:58:31] Beth: Let me teach my students that skill. And I'll just go back to the quote from Zaretta Hammond because I think it is so powerful is that learning how to learn, that's the turbo charger turbo charger for our students. And I absolutely believe that for our experienced multilinguals as well.

[00:58:46] Olivia: I do as well. And I have learned so much from both of you before we ever met from your book, from your research, um, you both have websites that are beautiful, um, and offer a lot of lovely resources.

[00:59:01] Olivia: I will include those in the show notes. How do you prefer to be reached? Are your websites the best bet for listeners? Awesome.

[00:59:08] Tan: Yeah, you can contact me on, uh, or I'm, uh, I'm on Twitter a lot, uh, so I'm responsive on Twitter. Uh, so it's, it's the same thing, @TanKHuynh.

[00:59:23] Tan: So I'd love to hear from everybody. 

[00:59:25] Olivia: Beautiful. 

[00:59:26] Beth: Beth, how about you? Same thing,, my name, or I'm also responsive on Twitter, and that's @easkeleton. Um, so either way sounds great. 

[00:59:38] Olivia: Wonderful. And again, I'll include links to all of your details and information in the show notes. I want to end our conversation, um, just with a quote that touched my heart. And I think it speaks to so much around our conversation today. It's on page 178. Um, “Magic happens when every teacher in a school believes that through their collective effort, every student can be successful.” And that is exactly what I believe. I, and I am so glad you captured that in the book.

[01:00:12] Olivia: Thank you so much for taking the time to connect and be in conversation today. Both of you are doing incredibly important work. Thank you. 

[01:00:22] Tan: Thank you for having us on the podcast, affirming our work, and being part of it as well, through this podcast, Olivia. 

[01:00:30] Beth: Olivia, it's been an honor. Thank you so very much for having us on.

[01:00:33] Olivia: Yes. Please take care of both of you. Schoolutions is a podcast created, produced, and edited by me, Olivia Wahl. Special thanks to my guests, Beth Skelton and Tan Huynh. Also, a big thank you to my older son, Benjamin, who created the music that's playing in the background. I would love for you to share the podcast far and wide. Leave a review, subscribe on YouTube, and follow us on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and Facebook @schoolutionspodcast. If you'd like to become a Schoolutions sponsor or share episode ideas, leave me a SpeakPipe voice memo at my website,, or connect via email at Please keep listening. Let's continue finding inspiration together.