National Writing Project

Congressional Briefing: Discussion on Second Language Learners and Immigrant Students

Date: April 29, 2011

Summary: A panel of nationally recognized teachers will share their teaching experiences of second language learners and immigrant students at this Capitol Hill briefing on May 11, 2011 in Washington, D.C.


At this Capitol Hill briefing, panelists will provide insights on why second language learners and immigrant students are critical to our national success, the challenges faced by both students and teachers in an academic environment, and the role that education plays in these students' lives. In addition to the teachers, the panel will include a student who will share her experiences as a first-generation, English language learner student, and the value of writing.

Panelists will offer recommendations to policymakers and educators on how we must improve our schools to better serve these students.

This is the fifth in the series of Teachers Are the Center of Education/Teacher Voices reports, sponsored by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, that give teachers a forum to discuss critical issues in education.

When: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Where: Longworth House Office Building Room 1539, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street, Washington, DC, 20003

Who: Briefing will include teachers featured in Teacher Voices: Immigration, Language and Culture, a report to be released by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, National Writing Project, and Phi Delta Kappa International.

The session will be moderated by Delia Pompa, vice president for education, National Council of La Raza. Panelists will include:

  • Brandy De Alba, teacher, Roosevelt Elementary School, Stockton, CA
  • Grace Raffaele, Teacher-Consultant, New York City Writing Project, Flushing International High School, Queens, N.Y.
  • Sharon Ornelas, teacher, Thomas Edison High School, Minneapolis, MN
  • Kenya Hernandez, student, Roosevelt Elementary School, Stockton, CA

Related webinar: Join the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center and the National Writing Project in a free webinar on Wednesday, May 11 from 4 to 5 p.m. EST, and discuss The College Board's policy recommendations with practicing classroom teachers who work with English language learners and immigrant students.

Watch Videos of the Panelists

Brandy De Alba, Teacher, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School


Anthony Finney, Teacher, The Flushing International High School


Sharon Ornelas, Teacher, Thomas Edison High School


Yumi Matsui, Teacher, Life Academy of Health & Bioscience, Oakland, Calif.


Wilma Ortiz, Teacher, Amherst Regional Middle School, Amherst, Mass.


Dolores Perez, Teacher, Cromack Elementary, Brownsville, Texas

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