This yearlong professional development program combines seminars at Rice University with co-teaching at the Rice Oral and Written Language Laboratory to introduce strategies to promote oral language development in DLLs and English-speakers.
It is designed for experienced early childhood classroom teachers whose goal is to become more intentional in developing oral language skills in dual language learners, English language learners or children with limited language.
SLC requires completion of our application and interview process to identify candidates exhibiting potential for success.
A Sampling of Seminar Topics:
Having extended conversations with children
Characteristics of a language-rich classroom
Bringing stories to life through drama
Using real-life dramatic play scenarios as a tool to develop language
Highlighting children’s interests and stories
Theories of second language acquisition
Addressing misconceptions about DLLs
Nurturing relationships with children and families
Associate Director, Early Literacy and Bilingual Programs
Debbie earned her B.A. in spanish and M.Ed. in elementary education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She taught in New York schools for seven years and Houston’s Spring Branch ISD for more than 20 years, mostly at the pre-K and kindergarten levels. Until becoming associate director, Debbie taught a bilingual pre-K class at Spring Branch ISD’s Bear Boulevard School for Early Learning. In 2009, Debbie was named Houston Area Association for the Education of Young Children Teacher of the Year.
Debbie has mentored for School Literacy and Culture for more than five years and co-leads seminars for SLC. She is currently serving as the Project's Ridgemont Early Childhood Center site supervisor. Additionally, she supervises multiple campuses of Creative Writing Camp. Because learning how to take children’s stories transformed her teaching and showed her ways to give children more of a voice in the classroom, Debbie loves bringing the energy and excitement of stories into resident teachers’ classrooms.
Lori Espinoza graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. She has been a classroom teacher since 1996. In 2010, Lori was named ESL teacher of the year at HISD's Gabriela Mistral Center for Early Education where she has taught since 2004. She feels very strongly that all children should feel safe and successful in their classroom environment.
Lori completed her resident year with School Literacy and Culture during the 2004-2005 school year. She is now the lead teacher of the Rice Oral and Written Language Laboratory (Rice OWL Lab). She invites parents into the lab to celebrate their children’s learning. Lori also serves as a site supervisor during Creative Writing Camp.