TESOL Standard 1.a Language as a System: Candidates demonstrate understanding of language as a system, including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse varieties, aspects of social and academic language, rhetorical registers, and writing conventions.

The artifacts I chose for this standard are a mini-lesson from ESC 725 as well as part of a lesson from my EdTPA. Standard 1.a hones in on the knowledge that a teacher brings in to the classroom, and details the connection between content and ELLs language acquisition. I chose to showcase the second segment because I feel it best illustrates how “language is a system, including syntax and morphology”. All of the vocabulary that I select for the week comes from reading(s) that my students will conquer. By reteaching the same vocabulary words every day allows my ELLs experience words in proper rhetorical registers, giving them access to a purposeful language.


For this particular lesson, students were in the midst of reading Dragonwings, a high-level book that was a challenge even for my native speakers, mainly because of the strangeness of the setting and the high level of academic vocabulary. I had taught the same book the previous year, and I was having difficulties pre-teaching the vocabulary, with the intent of having the words stick in students minds as they encountered them in the reading. According to Literacy in Context, “When teachers pre-teach vocabulary, they introduce unfamiliar terms to students before they begin to read the text, and students have a heightened awareness of the vocabulary that they will encounter while reading.” (Miller and Veatch, 2011, p.19) So, in an effort to make my teaching more learner-centered, I worked with my co-teacher on creating exercises that we would be day-specific and connected to 5-8 words that students will encounter not only in the text, but in academic settings in general.


In short, on Mondays, we teach the words. Students will copy down the word and definition in an organizer. By keeping the first day simple, with only teacher modeling, the students feel little-to-no pressure; they only have to write. I find that when my ELLs only have to listen and copy, they are able to increase their focus. Tuesday through Friday, students will increase their participation, from expressing examples and non-examples of the new vocabulary words to comparing them to each other to, finally, partaking in a summative assessment.


Along with the explicit teaching of the new vocabulary words, I also place the words on the wall. By having a visual of the words, students who may be absent for any particular lesson can access the information at their own pace. Beyond its pure pragmatic function, having an active “word wall” is evidence that my classroom is a place of learning and collaboration.


The journey of developing a method to pre-teach students of all levels academic vocabulary helped to cement a true partnership between my co-teacher and myself. I am so focused on content, content, content, that the nuts and bolts of the education process sometimes gets placed to the back burner. Moreover, because I am considered the lead teacher, my co-teacher might feel as if she is not an integral player in the classroom. Creating this exercise proves that we are true partners in the classroom and allows our strengths to shine.



This creation of this paper was one of the highlights of my graduate school career. While the parameters of this assignment were broad, I decided to focus on English language acquisition amongst East Asian ELLs primarily because of my time spent in Korea. The focus of this course was second language teaching and learning and deals with “the psychological principles of second-language learning with their application to teaching, as well as the similarities and differences between first- and second-language learning and teaching.” While many of the issues in this course tended to focus on Spanish-speaking ELLs, I felt it was pertinent to concentrate on an emerging group of ELLs (at least in New York City): the East Asian immigrant. Moreover, this artifact is evidence of my ability to understand and apply theories and research in language acquisition and development to support their ELLs’ English language and literacy learning and content-area achievement.


Having taught in Korea for four years, I had grown fond of the Korean people and when I returned to New York City, I had an arsenal of techniques to use to in my teaching practice. Because Korean is generally considered a “language isolate” and based on an alphabet of symbols, there are unique challenges to working with recent Korean immigrants in an American classroom. This paper provided me with an opportunity to provide both theory and practical application for both myself and other educators.


The first half of the paper discusses how culture directly connects to language acquisition, which links to the “understanding language of language as a system”. Due to a strong hierarchical system based on a centuries-old thinking, Korean students tend to enter school with a well-honed base of respect for both the education process and teachers. While this may be seen as a boon for educators who can deal with a lot of misbehavior and apathy, there is a flip-side to overly focused students. Koreans want to become proficient in English at a very quick pace, and become quite frustrated if they are not immediately successful. An understanding teacher of ELLs must be aware of the challenges that East Asian students face, including battling and sometimes to the model minority myth.

After writing this paper, I began to reevaluate my career; specifically, I wanted to teach students that I had a strong connection with linguistically. Due to strenuous study, I have reached an advanced level of Korean ability, and I feel that would be of best use working with Asian ELLs. I am currently working with a primarily Spanish population, and while they have taught me more about the nuts and bolts of my profession than any graduate school course, I feel my experience in Asia is not being put to good use. However, I still believe that I fully understand the role of personal and affective variables in language learning and establish secure, motivating classrooms in which ELLs are encouraged to take risks and use language productively, extending their conceptual knowledge as well as their language and literacy skills.


CollaborativeLesson    MS Saturday Academy Letter 2018     Jared C Wood Resume 2 (4)

Standard 5.b: Professional Development, Partnerships and Advocacy

Candidates take advantage of professional growth opportunities and demonstrate the ability to build partnerships with colleagues and students’ families, serve as community resources, and advocate for ELLs.

Standard 5.b offers guidelines for teachers to perfect their craft and to strengthen their own teaching philosophy. Importantly, when a teacher has a strong purpose, they are better able to mentor other teachers and share their knowledge. For this standard, my artifacts include a collaborative lesson plan, a letter sent to parents regarding Saturday Academy, and my professional resume. I chose these artifacts because they represent my proficiency at: participating in professional growth activities, knowing and understanding public issues that affect ELLs’ education and support ELLs and their families socially and politically, and collaborating with school staff to provide educational opportunities for ELLs and advocate for appropriate instruction and assessment by sharing their knowledge of ELLs. 

My collaborative lesson plan showcases a true partnership between the ELA/ENL teacher and the Special Education teacher. By meeting and discussing our objectives for the class, my co-teacher and I are able to not reach students at varying levels of English language comprehension, but also create models that can be used by us future lessons. Typically, we decide upon a text that will be of interest to all students. Once we have establish our goals and our delivery mechanisms, I add the differentiations and modifications for the ELLS and she will add the SpEd modifications. In most cases, the majority of our students benefit from both types of differentiation, regardless of their status. his practice of productive cooperation illustrates the idea that I am adept at providing leadership to staff in developing collaborative instructional models for ELLs. One area that I would like to improve in my collaborative teaching model is to offer more enriching activities for my (admittedly few) gifted students. I tend to use the more advanced students as peer tutors or as an instructional support, but that is not always fair to them.

The letter I included as an artifact relates to a program that we offer to bolster students’ academic success. Our Saturday Academy program is mainly seen as a test preparation course, and our ELLs have seen great improvement in both ELA and Math by attending the course regularly. By offering a translation of the letter into Spanish, and confirming attendance with follow-up phone calls, I am able to show how I help create empowering circumstances and environments for ELLs and their families.

Lastly, I attached my professional resume as an artifact. My resume informs the reader of my increased levels of educational attainment, including a Masters in Education-TESOL. Moreover, my career arc contains time spent as an TESOL teacher in Korea, which informed my position today as an ENL educator. My desire to become more knowledgeable in my craft is evident in how I engage in a continuous cycle of ESL professional development that is informed by their instructional reflections and analysis. Part of my professional development, as mentioned in my resume, is attending writing and literacy workshops that provide me with innovative techniques to use in the classroom.


Cultural Assimilation Amongst East Asian Immigrants to the United States, and its Effects on English Language Acquisition

Standard 5.a: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of history, research, educational public policy, and current practice in the field of ESL teaching and apply this knowledge to inform teaching and learning. 

The artifact I chose for this standard is from ESC 759-Foundations of Bilingual Education. This artifact demonstrates my understanding of new instructional techniques, research results, advances in the ESL field, and education policy issues and demonstrate knowledge of the history of ESL teaching. One particular piece of research that I found fascinating is “linguistic distance”, the idea that the closer one’s language is to English, the easier it will be to attain English comprehension. As an educator who teaches students of varying cultural backgrounds, understanding current thinking in the field of ENL teaching enables me to perfect my lessons. For example, my Asian students may require additional time to improve their grammar, thereby dictating what types of scaffolds I create.

In addition to analyzing new concepts in ENL education, my artifact also provides evidence of my knowledge of history, research, educational public policy, and current practice in the field of ESL teaching and apply this knowledge to inform teaching and learning.  An aspect of my paper that connects with this substandard is my discussion of the burgeoning research on the connection between culture and academic success. One point I mention is the theory of the “model minority” and how Asian American academic achievement is directly related to their cultural beliefs on education. By extracting some of the customs in Asian American households, such as Saturday School and intense family involvement can have a positive impact on ELLs academic proficiency.

Since writing this paper,  I have made it a point to increase my knowledge of not only ESL research but also the history of education as a whole. With the continued inconsistency of ESL standards and practices, it has become difficulty to state with certainty which procedures are proven effective for the increasing number of ELLs in NYC schools. However, by having a number of techniques in my teaching arsenal, as well as attaining a historical understanding of ESL pedagogy, I am more able to be an effective educator.



Rubric – Argumentative Writing.doc

Self Assess Rubric 

Standard 4.c.:  Classroom-Based Assessment for ESL

Candidates know and use a variety of performance-based assessment tools and techniques to inform classroom instruction.

The artifact I chose for this standard are various rubrics that assess student learning, on the individual, group, and class level. My use of these assessments illustrate my understanding of the interdependent relationship between teaching and assessment and can develop instructional tasks and assessment tools that promote and measure student learning. 

One simple self-assessment tool I use is the Fist to Five protocol. This physical assessment allows students to show the teacher at which stage of comprehension they feel they belong. If a student raises all five fingers, they understand the content fully, while a fist shows a complete lack of comprehension. Even though this assessment is used for all students, and is most beneficial for immediate feedback, I find to be most applicable for my Entering/Emerging ELLs. This use of the Fist to Five protocol is evidence of how I develop and adapt a variety of techniques and instruments when appropriate to assess ELLs’ content learning at all levels of language proficiency and literacy. 

For more intensive, longer projects, I rely on my classroom and peer assessments. One recent assignment involved creating an editorial on the issue of cultural assimilation. While the final writing piece was a solo effort, there were stages when students had to work in groups. The peer assessment rubric I developed allowed students and myself to better comprehend where they were in the writing process. This rubric allows for assessing both speaking and listening proficiencies for my ELLs in that in order to receive a good score, they had to demonstrate a high level of participation and feedback. By allowing students to evaluate each other, I am proving that self-assessment and peer-assessment techniques can be used regularly to encourage students to monitor and take control of their own learning.

At the end of the project, I use a classroom assessment that is whole-class, ELLs and native speakers alike. One change I would like to make in the future is to make the category details more simple for my beginner ELLs; they sometimes find it difficult to understand exactly what I am looking for, even with translations. However, even with a more streamlined rubric, I do not want to lose the rigor and focus of my original assessment.


WoodJared – ChildStudy.docx

Standard 4.b:  Candidates know and use a variety of standards-based language proficiency instruments to show language growth and to inform their instruction.  They demonstrate understanding of their uses for identification, placement, and reclassification of ELLs.  

For this standard, I chose as an artifact a child study I prepared for my ESC 727 course.  This particular study showcases my skill at designing assessments that measure students’ discrete and integrated language skills and their ability to use social and academic language in a range of contexts. I worked with my sample student in a number of different contexts, including science and math. While those subjects may fall under the umbrella of STEM, they do indeed require specific types of language scaffolds. One scaffold I prepared for my student was question scaffolding. This technique involves increasing the level of rigor, in terms of comprehension, one step at at time. After some analysis, I discovered that by building up the levels of questioning, my student gained confidence and tapped into his background knowledge with greater ease. Since utilizing this strategy in my everyday teaching, I have noticed a greater level of depth in my student’s responses, even from Entering/Emerging ELLs.

Another example of my proficiency in Standard 4.b is my ability to assess ESOL learners’ language skills and communicative competence using multiple sources of information. My child study provides an example of how I use my student’s strengths to develop, in conjunction with the content teacher, appropriate assessments. For example, my sample ELL is a very talented artist who was quite weak at writing in English. By understanding his limitations, I was able to develop a rubric that gave space for a more visual product (comic strip, illustration) as opposed to only using an essay as an assessment.  By giving this student a voice and providing a way to increase their score while maintaining the same level of rigor boosted their confidence.

In the future, I would like to utilize the strategy of expanding my rubrics. While I did alter some of my assessments for the ELL in my child study, I have not continued this behavior in subsequent classes. It can be a time-consuming process creating rubrics for every student, but perhaps I can have different rubrics for different learning styles.


Nyseslat analysis

TESOL Standard 4.a: Candidates demonstrate understanding of assessment issues as they affect ELLs, such as accountability, bias, special education testing, language proficiency, and accommodations in formal testing situations.

The article I chose for Standard 4.a was my NYSESLAT Analysis, developed for my ESC 761 course. The NYSESLAT is given to English Language Learners in order to determine their placement in terms of English Language comprehension. The NYSESLAT, while laudable in its goal of proper classification, is considered to be controversial, mainly because of the amount of testing hours ELLs are subjected to. My NYESLAT analysis investigates the reasoning and skepticism behind this test (as well as other ELL assessments), along with how I utilize the evaluation in my own classroom.

By delving into the common issues with ELL testing through this artifact, I am demonstrating understanding of assessment issues as they affect ELLs. One issue I discovered by conducting my research was that English language learners are being tested after only a few years of residence in the United States. Moreover, in New York, there is a small window in which student are taking a multitude of tests; this pressure leads to a sense of helplessness amongst are ELLs.

Because I understand the particular issues and biases regarding ELLs that stem from high-stakes testing, I strenuously advocate for my students, ensuring that they receive every modification available for them.  New York State testing is so intense that preparing ELLs for the various assessments is almost impossible. There is little connection between the ELA state tests and the NYSESLAT, and while the Math state tests allow for translated texts, there is little regard for cultural specificities in regards to the word problems.

While writing my NYSESLAT analysis, I gained incredible insight into the troubled history of assessing language attainment, and I have used this information to instruct my teaching practice. I try to lower the stress level of my students, and I try to let them know that I value their progress and that their assessment scoring will have no effect on how I honor their language learning success.

TESOL Standard 2

Artifact: Cultural Assimilation

Artifact: Teaching Philosophy

The artifacts I selected for Standard 2 (culture as it affects student learning) were a cultural study on East Asian immigrants (ESC 759) and my philosophy of teaching diverse students (ESC 769).  The cultural study illustrates my understanding of how cultural identity influences self-esteem, language learning, and school achievement. My philosophy artifact provides evidence of how I infuse my students culture until my curriculum, material selection, and teaching.

In delving into my project archives throughout my graduate school career, there seems to be a common thread of interest: East Asian ELLs. While this idea of a specific type of ELL ties my studies together, I did discover enough information to align my interests to the particular class focus.  ESC 759 Foundations of Bilingual/Bicultural Education provided and overarching idea of how bicultural education came into place, along with the legal and linguistic scaffolds that keep it relevant in modern education. In this class, I wrote a paper that discussed the cultural expectations faced by East Asian ELLs, the model minority myth(s), and the impact of said expectations had on second language acquisition.

In the process of researching this paper, I learned how…firm a grip old-world thinking has on the immigrant experience, even after generations of separation. Having taught in Korea, I knew first-hand the pressures that Korean students face as they try to conquer a multitude of assessments. In America, this pressure does not abate, and may even increase due to the necessity to learn English quickly and properly. Understanding these challenges, I try to offer frequent encouragement to my Asian ELLs and ensure that parents know how well their children are performing. Behavior issues are not common in East Asian ELLs, so as a teacher, I focus on providing extra help—after school and some Saturdays, as this is seen as standard practice for students in Asia.

Tied in with my keen understanding of East Asian cultural differences, my ESC 769 (Latinos in U.S. Schools) offered a starker idea of the immigrant experience. Reflecting back on my philsophy of teaching diverse students, I see that I have maintained my high standards quite well. Many, if not most, of my ELLs are of Dominican heritage, so I try to respect and indeed honor their culture within my classroom. One of the key concepts in my philosophy included aiding students in developing respect for their language and culture. As a teacher, I believe that when I student feels accepted as who they are, they are able to be taught with greater ease. One method I provide students is a safe space to speak their native language, usually by creating strategic partnering or creating think-pair-share opportunities. I also try to present materials that contain characters and moments that my students can connect to their own lives, whether it be a story with a Latino character or an article on Dominican food.

Reflecting back on my artifacts, I would like to try to engage parents more within the classroom. I feel that parental engagement aids in the language acquisition process not only for my students, but for the parents themselves. I may start to invite parents into the classroom so they can see my teaching in action and maybe take some aspects of my teaching and use it in the home, thereby allowing them to be both observers and participants.

TESOL Standard 3.A

Artifact: EdTPA Lesson Sequence

Standard 3.a. Planning for Standards-Based ESL and Content Instruction. 

Candidates know, understand, and apply concepts, research, and best practices to plan classroom instruction in a supportive learning environment for ELLs. They plan for multilevel classrooms with learners from diverse backgrounds using standards-based ESL and content curriculum.

The artifact I chose for Standard 3.a is my lesson sequence from my EdTPA submission. My lesson sequence illustrates my deep knowledge of the best practices to plan classroom instruction in a supportive learning environment for ELLs. One of the modes of assessment I presented in my lesson sequence was Fist to Five, a simple yet effective technique that allowed me to assess quickly the comprehension levels of my students. By having a visual of the Fist to Five process on the wall, my ELLs are able to properly utilize this tool.  This particular poster, along with other basic visual assessments, is an example of how I design my classroom as [a] supportive, positive learning environment. 

By strategically curating my lesson sequence, I learned the importance of assessment placement, making sure my assessments are effective and reflective of my entire student base. In order to allow me ELLs to access the content, I learned that even though a supportive environment is paramount, rigor cannot be sacrificed. As such, another component of my planning for content instruction is the use of graphic organizers. Along with Fist to Five and other kinesthetic, fast assessments, a graphic organizer is a mode of assessment…that addresses students’ diverse backgrounds, developmental needs, and English proficiency.

In order to fully comply with this standard, I scaffolded my graphic organizers, with the same goal in mind. For my higher-level ELLS, my planning involved providing sentence starters even within the organizer, while my lower-level ELLs (include SIFE) might have an entire block pre-filled. By differentiating my graphic organizers, I am exhibiting best practices to plan classroom instruction; graphic organizers are an effective method to raise ELLs comprehension through visual illustrations or vocabulary and key terms.

Both the Fist to Five and graphic organizer were both smart additions to my lesson sequence. However, next time, I will try to vary my assessments in order to have a more active classroom and allow students more self- and peer-assessment.

TESOL Standard 3.B

Artifact: EdTPA Instructional Commentary

Standard 3.b. Implementing and Managing Standards-Based ESL and Content Instruction
Candidates know, manage, and implement a variety of standards-based teaching strategies and techniques for developing and integrating English listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Candidates support ELLs’ access to the core curriculum by teaching language through academic content.

For Standard 3.b, I chose my EdTPA instructional commentary as my artifact. My instructional commentary provides evidence of a rigorous instruction, specifically in using meaning instruction to build relevant academic vocabulary. As an educator, I have always felt a strong knowledge of both academic and basic vocabulary is a linchpin in connecting language to content. According to influential website colorincolorado, “academic vocabulary must be introduced, and then reinforced”. Therefore, in my lesson, I build up vocabulary comprehension through the week, with the scaffolds slowly being removed as the week continues.

In addition to providing academic vocabulary in my lessons, my instructional commentary also illustrates how I provide activities and materials that integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing. One of the formative assessments I use often in the classroom is THINK-PAIR-SHARE and TURN AND TALK. With this assessment, I find that by giving ELLs think time, they are more likely to provide a substantial response. Moreover, by speaking on a regular basis, my ELLs are able to increase their comprehension and content level. If I were to implement this particular strategy for this particular lesson again, I would try to pair my students more strategically. I tend to pair my ELLs with other ELLs, regardless of level, but I find that conversations are not as…fruitful as when students are paired heterogeneously.

One area of Standard 3.b that I would like to improve on is providing standards-based reading instruction adapted to ELLs. I tend to use the same text for all of my students, with only slight modifications for my ELLs (usually a whole-text translation). However, I feel that I am doing my ELLs a disservice when I don’t honor all of the varying proficiency levels of my students. Even though I do provide texts in a variety of genres related to students’ studies in content-area classes, I need to begin to prepare annotated and abridged versions of texts to my ELLs.

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