FWSU is pleased to welcome Erika Merrell to the district! Erika will work with teachers to ensure English Language Learners are able to meaningfully access instruction. She will assist the district in providing support and instruction to students and their families. She will work alongside teachers to create engaging lessons for English Language Learners and provide various types of language support. The goal of ELL services is to increase students’ ability to access academic content while simultaneously providing instruction to develop their language skills.
Ms. Merrell’s educational background includes coursework in Bilingualism and Multicultural Education and she will actively collaborate with teachers and staff to promote the advantages of bilingualism. She will use her knowledge of language acquisition, methods for teaching and assessment, to integrate skills into instruction for ELL students. She will also incorporate WIDA assessments and standards into lessons. WIDA standards framework reflects evolving theoretical insights and offer a principled approach to language teaching and learning.
A Graphical Representation of the WIDA Standards Framework
The figure below is a visual representation of the WIDA standards framework.
Erika has an extensive background in providing ELL services in both traditional and nontraditional educational settings for over a decade. She has worked with ELL students in Burlington and Winooski. Last summer she was a teacher at the New Arrivals summer school program in Burlington. She has also taught English to adults at the Fletcher Free Library at the Burlington School District’s Parent University.
Outside the regular classroom, Erika works with students in outdoor education programs. She collaborates with Outward Bound where she leads youth and adults on sailing expeditions along the coast of Maine. In the past, she run the sailing programs at the Lake Champlain Yacht Club and at Camp Eagle Island.
We are very excited to have Erika join the FWSU team!