JACKSON, Miss. – A new company focused on the needs of students who do not speak English has launched.
English Learners Engage was founded by English learner consultant Dr. Monique R. Henderson. She and her team will provide a variety of supports to schools who serve students who do not speak English as their native language.
Supports available through EL Engage will include student tutorials, school and district level technical supports, teacher coaching, modeling of appropriate classroom instruction and EL instructional walkthroughs.
“The launching of EL Engage is exciting in part because there is now one company that is focused exclusively on the needs of English learners and the schools and teachers who serve them,” said Henderson, the company’s founder. “That hasn’t happened before in Mississippi.”
All supports are highly customized, taking the unique languages and student demographics, as well as staffing, into consideration.
“A lot of national companies focus on the needs of districts and schools with very high numbers of EL students,” Henderson said. “While we have done work in schools that meet that description, we also have worked in schools that have anywhere from one to 100 English learners. Whatever the need, we have seen it before and we know how to address it.”
The company also will house Dr. Henderson’s book, 31 Things Your English Learners Want You to Know: Lessons from the Classroom. The book has been well received in schools and districts across the U.S., including in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, as well as California, Texas and Kentucky.
In addition to the book, EL Engage also provides “bite sized PD” videos, which lead participants through a series of questions and conversations about the book.
“During a time when it is so hard for districts to find substitutes for professional development, these videos are a great alternative,” she said. “We have districts that are choosing to show these during regular staff meetings throughout the year. This allows districts to provide ongoing professional development while honoring the time and demands placed on teachers. It’s exciting.”
Henderson has more than 20 years of experience in education, including time spent researching and writing about public education in Mississippi, Southern California and Texas. She has worked as a teacher and has served students who are English learners in California, Texas and Mississippi. She previously worked as Director of Special Populations for the Mississippi Department of Education, overseeing the state’s English Learner, migrant, immigrant, neglected and delinquent and homeless initiatives.
She has provided extensive coaching and technical support to teachers, principals, superintendents and others in more than 65 school districts across the Southeast.
When she is not teaching, conducting professional development or writing, she and her husband Matt can be found cheering on their teenagers and trying to stay one step ahead of two rowdy and demanding labradoodles.