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 Paz earned her B.A. in Spanish and M.Ed. in elementary education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. After working as a bilingual educator for nearly 30 years in both New York and Texas, she was named Houston Area Association for the Education of Young Children Teacher of the Year in 2009. Debbie joined School Literacy and Culture in 2011 as the associate director of early literacy and bilingual programs. Her responsibilities include co-teaching and curriculum development for the Rice Oral and Written Language Laboratory (OWL Lab )at the Gabriela Mistral Center for Early Childhood in Houston ISD, as well as supporting replication labs around the city. Debbie is also involved in designing and implementing parent engagement programs that build upon the families’ strengths through activities that help parents learn to value the many ways they can impact their children’s success at school in their everyday lives. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking and spending time with her five grown children and four grandchildren.
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 (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. Outside of school, Lori enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters.