A summer workshop hosted in part by Lamar University this week provided Southeast Texas secondary school teachers with new strategies for teaching mathematics to students whose first language is not English.

This was the fourth summer for the Mathematics for English Language
Learner (MELL) Initiative professional development sessions at Lamar. This year’s three-day workshop was held in conjunction with the Region 5 Education Service Center and brought in 12 teachers.

The workshop is part of a multi-year project involving a partnership
among The Texas State University System, its component universities and the Texas Education Agency. Since 2004, Lamar University has received almost $1 million in Texas Education Agency grant money to work on best practices for instructing mathematics students whose native languages are not English.

Sandra Richardson, Lamar University assistant professor of Mathematics and mathematics education, said the workshops provide knowledge that teachers can use not just for their English-language learners, but also for all their students.

³The teachers are so engaged. They take back a lot of new teaching
strategies, and we give them a lot of new technology and equipment to assist them in their teaching. Every year the teachers are able to learn so much about how to better help their students,’ said Richardson, a co-principal for Lamar¹s MELL Initiative.

Teachers participating in this week¹s summer workshop were Renate
Sloan, Warren High School; Alison Taylor and Nina Dickerson, Silsbee Middle School; Stephanie Wilson, Warren Junior High School; Susan Letourneau, Lumberton High School; Jeania Craus and Katie Ochoa, Bridge City Middle School; Becky Pickering, Jasper High School; Widad Abedelwahab, Tekoa Academy in Port
Arthur; Judy Bean, West Hardin Middle School; Florence Ferguson, Vidor Junior High School; and Bonnie Peveto, Buna Junior High School.