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EAL, Learning Support & Classroom Technology Conference
Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, 2022
Hosted at The American School of Milan​

Square Stage

No fee for MAIS Member Schools  · $50 Non-Member schools

Certificate for PD hours for participants

  The purpose of the EAL, Learning Support & Classroom Technology program (K-12) is:

  • To support the learning needs of all students to maximize progress and improve learning, including those with learning differences, special education needs, gifted and talented.

  • To provide standards-based differentiated instructional strategies for students with varying learning needs.

  • To assist teachers in adjusting the curriculum and classroom environment to support learners.

  • To make appropriate referrals for learners with special education needs.


Registration includes all sessions, lunches, coffee breaks, transportation hotel - school, and a cultural tour.


SPeakerS & Sessions


Jon Nordmeyer

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Jon Nordmeyer is the WIDA International Program Director. He guides the research and development of resources to support multilingual learners in over 500 international schools across the WIDA global network. He has been an educator for over 30 years, and has served as a teacher leader in China, Ecuador, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey, and Thailand. He has taught graduate seminars at Harvard Graduate School of Education and Tibet University, presented at international conferences and has published in the Journal of Staff Development, Educational Leadership, International Schools Journal and Global Education Review.


Keynote: Today’s Schools, Tomorrow’s Students: Responding to Change in a Multilingual and Multimodal World
One could argue that schools have changed as much in the past two years as they have in the past two centuries. And at the intersection of innovation and exhaustion, educators worldwide have faced unfamiliar probletunities, teaching themselves not just new skills but entire learning platforms to keep all students engaged online. By necessity, we have unbolted learning from the physical space of the classroom and accelerated the evolution of education: from factory schools of the industrial era to personalized, multimodal and digitized ecosystems of the twenty-first century. However, this shift has also highlighted inequities by excluding some learners. International schools have become increasingly more diverse and more inclusive in the past two decades, and both multilingualism and neurodiversity have contributed additional layers of richness and complexity to the international school experience. Understanding the intersection of language, identity and learning helps us build on the assets of all learners to transform today’s schools to produce tomorrow’s global leaders, international scholars and transnational agents of change. 

EAL for Classroom Teachers: Finding the Language in the Learning

Every teacher in an international school can support multilingual learners by integrating language and content. Students at every proficiency level deserve to engage with challenging academic content. By building on what students can do, teachers can scaffold learning. This session will provide practical tools like the WIDA Can Do Descriptors and the WIDA 2020 English Language Development Standards Framework to help teachers differentiate and meaningfully engage all learners.

Beyond Co-teaching: Building a Culture of Collaboration to Support Diverse Learners

When teachers collaborate, it supports both student learning and teacher growth. When teachers plan, teach and inquire together, we model the 21st century learning skills we need to develop in our students. International schools need to develop an intentional culture and structures to support effective co-planning, co-teaching, co-assessing and co-reflecting. This workshop will explore how school can shift from isolation, fragmentation and segregation – to cohesion, collaboration and integration.  Teachers in all content areas will be introduced to a cycle of collaboration including co-planning, co-teaching, co-assessing and co-reflecting. This session will incorporate the recent publications: Collaboration: Working Together to Serve Multilingual Learners and Teacher Collaboration During a Global Pandemic

Dr. Susan Grant and Dr. Sylvia Linan-Thompson


Dr. Grant holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, having trained at the University of
Maryland, College park and the Graduate School of Medicine at the UMAB campus. She specializes and did research in Neurolinguistics, the study of the relationship between brain and language development. She also has a Master of Science degree and Maryland license in Speech and Language Pathology. Dr. Grant has been in private clinical practice for nearly 30 years, diagnosing and developing treatment plans for children with ASD, speech-language, reading and learning disabilities. She is Chair of the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children and Youth for the State Department Office of Overseas Schools. She also serves on the Board of Trustees and Advisory Boards for several independent schools and Foundations.


Sylvia Linan-Thompson, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Oregon and associate with the Center on Teaching and Learning, develops and examines reading and writing interventions for students who are learning English as an additional language. Currently, she is examining the English writing development of ELs with and without learning disabilities. Further, she has extensive academic and field expertise in first and second language literacy in different contexts around the world. She has been a member of the Office of Overseas Schools Advisory Committee for 18 years. Finally, she has authored articles, chapters, and books on these topics. 


Becoming a Better Observer: Supporting Struggling Learners in the Classroom

This one-day workshop is designed to help teachers become better observers of behavior in order to identify and address learning struggles in the classroom.  This workshop will highlight:

  1. Risk markers for dyslexia and reading disorders

  2. The differences between EAL and language challenges

  3. The components of language processing (attention, memory, word knowledge, and syntactic integration)

  4. The overlap in learning disorders (diagnostic labels)

This workshop will include case studies with recommendations for accommodations and instructional supports for elementary, middle school, and high school students.

Jeff Sisk and Genie Yurgaites 

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Genie Yurgaites.jpeg

Jeff Sisk is the Program Manager of Assistive Technology Services (ATS) in Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia, the 12th largest school district in the United States, where he plans, manages, and coordinates programs and personnel responsible for providing assistive technology to students, staff, and families.   He has been working in the assistive technology (AT) field for over 20 years and actively participates in the planning and implementation of district technology initiatives.  Jeff collaborates with regional technology partners and hosts a biennial AT conference for his school district.  Jeff regularly presents at state, national and international conferences and is an Adjunct Instructor at George Mason University.


Genie Yurgaites is an Assistive Technology Resource Teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia and has served in that position for the past six years. Prior to becoming an Assistive Technology Resource Teacher, she taught English to middle school students with learning disabilities. She holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English. Genie enjoys collaborating with teachers to implement a variety of technology classroom strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners. She has a passion for working as an educational coach to students who struggle in the areas of executive function.


Technology Tools to Support Student Executive Functioning

Many students struggle with planning, organizing, and managing tasks, which impacts their academic achievement. This training will focus on strategies and technology tools that can help support students with executive functioning challenges and improve their independence. Learn how to implement technology tools such as low-tech strategies and computer-based tools to facilitate the following executive functioning skills: Self-Management, Information Management, Time Management, and Materials Management.


Technology Tools to Support Struggling Readers

Reading opens doors to other worlds. Explore strategies and resources to facilitate reading in the digital classroom and beyond. Technology applications such as Google Suite for Education, MS Word, electronic screen readers and other web-based tools can be easily implemented to support the continuum of struggling readers.


Technology Tools to Support Struggling Writers

Are you looking for some quick and easy electronic tools and strategies to use with your students who are struggling with writing? This session provides an exploration of some basic tools and strategies for struggling writers that all students can access. Explore word processing, graphic organizers and drawing tools that make student writing fun!

Tangee Pinheiro

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Dr. Tangee Pinheiro is the Instructional Superintendent of Fresno Unified School District for Special Education. Fresno Unified School District is the third largest district in the state of California. She is also a Lecturer for California State University, Fresno’s Kremen School of Education in the field of Special Education  With over 27 years of experience in education, including general education, special education and higher education, she understands the needs of learners at many levels and the needs of educators to deliver quality education that all students can access. Dr. Pinheiro has served as a technical advisor to districts throughout Fresno County and California in providing quality education for students with mild to severe learning differences and in developing quality-learning plans for individual students. She was a 2019 finalist for Administrator of the Year in Fresno County. She continues to develop support teams, administrators and administrative teams so that they too can maximize the abilities of the learner with exceptional needs in their schools and classrooms.


Reaching and Teaching All Students

Creating a learning environment that is flexible enough to meet the needs of every student and yet structured enough to ensure a quality program can be difficult. This session will give you some evidence-based strategies to consider when designing your learning environment and instructional practices.  Understanding and implementing a multi-tiered system of support and understanding data collection and monitoring of improvement will make for easy individualized educational planning.


Implementing a Continuous Improvement model that aligns with Response to Intervention Within the Classroom

Establishing classroom procedures that align with the components of Response to Intervention is only one part of seeing improvement in your students' academic and social emotional levels.  The next step of utilizing the data collected and following a continuous improvement model can focus our efforts and measure the effectiveness of your interventions.

Helder Pinheiro


Digital Learning in Afterschool Programs

The importance of digital resources in afterschool and expanded learning settings can bridge the “digital divide” for our students.  Utilizing technology can create an interest-driven and highly individualized learning environment that can support classroom learning. This session will present several methods of implementing digital badges, highly customizable digital content, year-round learning initiatives and more.  Technology in afterschool and expanded learning opportunities can shrink equity and accessibility gaps to better prepare learners of all ages.

Square Stage

Reservation Deadline 15 April 2022

Book directly by sending an email to

Email subject: ASMilan/MAIS
Available Booking dates Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22

Golf Hotel Milan****

Via Abruzzo snc, 20073 Opera (MI)

Tel. 02 5300561

Single room with breakfast €89.00
Double room with breakfast €109.00

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