BAP106 Voices of Newcomers ft Dr. Denise Furlong

I had the pleasure of interviewing author and educator, Dr. Denise Furlong.  What a treat to talk with such a passionate advocate.  Scroll down to see the resources she is sharing to help you serve Newcomer students.

You can listen to the show in your favorite podcast app or right here:

Listen to “BAP106 Voices of Newcomers ft. Dr. Denise Furlong” on Spreaker.

I have been following Denise for years and I appreciate her passion for supporting newcomers.  She is a teacher educator currently serving in what she calls her dream job at Georgian Court University in New Jersey.  In addition to her work at the university, Denise offers professional development and consulting through Furlong Educational Consulting.  She is very active on Twitter where I have been following her for years.  Denise came on to share some tips for serving Newcomers and also to share about her new book, Voices of Newcomers; Experiences of Multilingual Learners. 

I had many takeaways from this conversation.  Denise is one of the people you want in your PLN to remind you that our newcomers and #SLIFE students can do SO much if we create the right conditions.  As you can tell if you listen to this episode, Dr. Furlong and I are very like-minded. We talk about keeping an asset lens for all students and we also offer ideas for inclusion in language arts classrooms.  She talks about how the students don’t need to read word-for-word to be engaged meaningfully in text (thank you!).  When we spoke about writing, you can hear the passion in Dr. Furlong’s tone.  A favorite quote is “…they may be at the word level, it might be at the paragraph or the drawing level… but whatever they are producing, it is VALUABLE.”  This is so true!  She says that anything they are producing is a representation of their voice.  That is the lens we need as we include students WHILE they are gaining literacy and language.

The following was sent to me by Dr. Furlong for readers/listeners to be able to use immediately.  You can also access the following graphics and information in a Google folder right here.

Here are a few words Denise sent over to me to include in the notes:

If you would like further professional learning on MLs, my book is Voices of Newcomers: Experiences of Multilingual Learners:

Link to Dr. Winokur’s book:

If you prefer a signed copy, you can email me at Mention that you listened to Dr. Salva’s podcast and I will give you a 20% discount.

If you would like to start a book club in your district, there are bulk discounts on books available through EduMatch Publishing:  I can set up a Zoom meeting with your book club at the end to discuss your findings and questions if you are interested.

Link to Georgian Court University, Lakewood, NJ: We have many graduate programs that are entirely online with access to caring, knowledgeable professors who work in the field. If you and your colleagues are interested in setting up a cohort of ten or more adding ESL or Reading Specialist endorsements to your current teaching certs, we can talk!

Thank you for all you do to meet the diverse needs of all your learners! We all need you to elevate your voices and your advocacies for our students. 

-Dr. Denise Furlong

In this show, I also mentioned Pam Broussard and her Leading ELLs Facebook group.  Pam is a fierce advocate for moving students into positions of leadership.  I hope to have Pam on the show soon!  Check out her website.

I want to say another big thanks to Dr. Denise Furlong.  How fabulous that she is offering a discount to readers and listeners of this show!?  Dr. Furlong gives so much to the field.  I am so happy to know her and so happy she decided to write a book to amplify the voices of newcomers, their teachers, and their families.

I closed this show by mentioning a few places we can connect IRL.  Here are links to those events:

FREE EVENT on April 21:  I will be sharing some of my findings from my dissertation at this zoom event sponsored by CALD and Seidlitz Education.

I am the keynote speaker for Colorado TESOL’s Spring Conference on April 23 in Colorado Springs.  This is a very affordable, in-person event:

Also, mark your calendar for November 4 & 5th.  The TEXTESOL conference will be in Houston, Texas and I will be the keynote speaker for that one.  Follow TEXTESOL IV for updates that will be coming soon. Come to TEXAS!  It’s going to be amazing!

Thank you again to Dr. Furlong and as always, thank YOU for listening or reading or both.  You’re going above and beyond here.  And you are really helping my learning.

Take care,



BAP105 Ambassadors and Leadership ft. Margaret Rutaquio

If you want to make a difference for all the newcomers enrolling in your schools, I have a great show for you with lots of free resources.  Our guest is Margaret Gisala Rutaquio, a Multilingual Programs Newcomer Facilitator from Garland ISD.

You can listen to the show in your favorite podcast app or you can play it right here:
Listen to “BAP105 Ambassadors and Newcomer Leadership ft Margaret Rutaquio” on Spreaker.

Margaret Rutaquio is a national speaker with classroom and district-level experience supporting newcomers and their teachers.  Earlier this year, she presented at our Seidlitz Education What’s Working conference and was also an invited speaker at the Inlier learning SLIFE conference.

She shares some great insight about how she was supported by Deb Tietjen and the Multilingual Department in Garland ISD.  She also talks about ideas from her classroom and also about how she was supported work with her district to improve programs for newcomers.

A powerful part of this interview was when Rutaquio shares her own journey as a newcomer to the United States and how she felt that she was a “cultural survivor.” Her reflections offer us so much to think about.

The second half of the show includes details about the Ambassador program Margaret and her colleagues implemented across the Garland ISD school district.  It is such an impressive program!  She explains how they name an individual at each campus to be the official ambassador for new students.  She also shares ideas for programming and templates for implementation that support Newcomers to ensure that they feel a sense of belonging and have someone to support them in their first experiences.

Margaret mentions Dr. Michelle Yzquierdo who is an amazing educational consultant.  I have learned so much from Dr. Yzquierdo.  Margaret adapted some of her intake materials from Michelle’s book, Pathways to Greatness. 

Rutaquio generously shares these two documents for districts to use in their own intake processes.

Newcomer Achievement Plan Interview Document

Margaret spoke about her students’ blogging and how this was featured in Dr. Lora Beth Escalante’s book: Motivating ELLs
She also mentioned a project of sending books to impoverished schools and has offered this video that shows the “Journey of the Box” of books.

The Journey of the Box – EL Leadership Students of South Garland HS sent boxes of books to schools needing support in poor areas in the Philippines (This video was put together with Margaret by her student Mauricio Rosales, a former Newcomer student.

How can you mean these four essential messages, if you don’t get to know the students?  That is a great point offered by Rutaquio.
I often mention Dr. Ilene Winoker when I think about “belonging.”  I have learned a great deal from her about the power of creating a sense of belonging.
Thank you, Margaret Rutaquio for all you are doing in the field!

I appreciate Margaret so much.  I also appreciate YOU.  Thank you for checking out this show.  Please reach out with feedback or if I can help you.