For The Love Of Language Resident blogger: Marisa Gomez

Follow Marisa weekly as she shares research, insight, and strategies for educators working with Second Language Learners.

  • Why Compassion is Crucial to Being an Educator

    Why Compassion is Crucial to Being an Educator

    This week, I experienced something new. Actually, it wasn’t totally new, it’s just that, usually, I’m on the teacher/expert side of the proverbial table, rather than the parent side. And boy, does that make a difference. The experience was a developmental evaluation for my 2-year-old son. The irony of being a linguist mom in a […]

  • Boost student learning with metalinguistic awareness

    Boost student learning with metalinguistic awareness

    One of the areas of linguistics that I find most fascinating is morphology. Morphology looks at how words are put together. It looks at a root word, take the noun beauty, and the small ways it can be modified to be an adjective (beautiful) or verb (beautify) or adverb (beautifully), or a totally different noun […]

  • Identifying Gifted English Learners

    Identifying Gifted English Learners

    What does it mean to be a gifted and talented student? Does your district or state have practices in place for identifying gifted and talented students? How about gifted and talented English learners? Unfortunately, the fact that some students qualify for ELD support is sometimes reason enough for teachers and administrators to unintentionally disqualify them […]

  • Wait, are they speaking English?

    Wait, are they speaking English?

    It’s movie night at home. You browse the International titles on Netflix, and make a selection. You sit through opening credits, then the dialogue begins. Frozen, with your hand hovering over your popcorn, you sit in confusion—Wasn’t this movie supposed to be in English? Why aren’t there subtitles? The confusion passes as you pick out […]

  • Spotlight on Dual Immersion

    Spotlight on Dual Immersion

    This month at Lingual Learning we are focusing on dual immersion education. (Comment on this post if you’d like to receive our newsletter on the topic!) Dual immersion means that classroom instruction occurs in English and a partner language. (Because this partner language is increasingly Spanish in U.S. schools, I’ll use Spanish as an example […]

  • Using Acrostics for Oral Language Development

    Using Acrostics for Oral Language Development

    Acrostics are a staple activity for almost every teacher. Beginning with a feature word (often a first name), students come up with descriptors or related ideas that start with each letter of the feature word. If I were to make an acrostic of my name, it might look like this: Musician Applied Linguist Really likes […]

  • 3 Components of a Successful ELL Program

    3 Components of a Successful ELL Program

    The LA times recently posted a story, How do you teach English to Americans?, about a new program for English learners that had stalled on their path to proficiency. It is common for ELs to plateau around middle proficiency levels on tests of English proficiency, which discourages both the students themselves, and their parents, who […]

  • Using the Native Language to Scaffold Student Writing

    Using the Native Language to Scaffold Student Writing

    Para leer este artículo en español, haz clic aquí. How often do your students write in their home language? If you teach at a dual immersion school, the answer to this question might be “Often,” or “Daily.” But if your students don’t receive any native-language instruction, the answer might be “Rarely,” or “Never.” While it’s […]

  • Keep Your Friends Close, but Your Books Even Closer.

    Keep Your Friends Close, but Your Books Even Closer.

    When I was in college, I took a number of intensive, literary seminar-type courses. We read Dostoevsky, Dante, Homer, Machiavelli, and a mountain of philosophers. We read essays. We read letters. We read recent works. We read analyses of religion and art, of science and logic, from experts and cornerstone writers. The reading load was […]

  • I was inspired. How about you?

    I was inspired. How about you?

    I had the privilege of attending CABE last week for one day, and boy, do I wish I could have attended every day! When I talk about bilingual education, it often feels like I have to sell it to my audience. They sometimes view it as an obscure, designer offshoot, akin to Waldorf or Montessori […]

TESOL Attendees– Download the Lesson Design Template here! Lesson Design Template



Marisa became interested in language education after ten years of gesture and pantomime with her Italian-speaking, live-in grandparents. She has an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She currently works for the Center for Applied Linguistics as a writer-researcher for the ACCESS for ELLs assessment administered by the WIDA consortium. Her classroom experience spans Montessori kindergarten, dual immersion (Spanish) kindergarten, K-6 pull-out ESL, adult ESL and EFL, and elementary EFL in the ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia. Marisa and her husband use both Spanish and English with their two young sons, with some Italian and Georgian thrown in for good measure.