BREAKOUT GROUP: Meeting Multilingual Learners Where They Are

  • Lance Schmeidler George Mason University
  • Karyn Kessler George Mason University


Session LOCATION: George's (3rd floor of Johnson Center)

There are several strategies to reach today's multi-lingual learners. This breakout session will discuss class preparation strategies and building accessible rubrics and communication strategies with students; including ways to appropriately acknowledge the different cultural-ethnic backgrounds and perspectives in the class. Learn how to create assessments that are accessible to groups of diverse students, including different cultural backgrounds, levels of language proficiency and academic interests.

Author Biographies

Lance Schmeidler, George Mason University

Professor Schmeidler brings nearly two decades of teaching in the field of Communication and experience as a communication professional to fulfill his role as the Director of Hiring and Scheduling for the Department of Communication at George Mason University. In addition to his daily responsibilities, Professor Schmeidler has served the University in a variety of roles including the continued development of INTO Mason (for academically qualified undergraduate international students who need additional English language proficiency assistance), the Student Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) Program, Mason LIFE (a post-secondary program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities) and is a certified trainer for Creating Community, an experiential training model that explores identity development. Professor Schmeidler also formerly served as the Basic Course Coordinator, earning two of the highest honors from the National Communication Association: the national Textbook of Distinction Award, Basic Courses for The Speakerâs Primer and a Program of Excellence Award presented to George Mason University, one of only eight such awards in the 150 year history of the NCA. He has also been nominated for a Mason Teaching Excellence Award and was a finalist for the George Mason University Spirit of King Award. Mr. Schmeidler is a founding member of and Senior Producer for Spectrum Group Productions, a full-service multimedia design agency that specializes in quality production services for meeting and training communication, event management and entertainment. He is also the Vice President of Marketing for Tax Talk Today®, an online series of programs designed to educate tax practitioners, tax professionals, tax educators, and students on Federal Tax Law and Federal Tax Law Updates. Mr. Schmeidler has received several Telly Awards for his work in media and serves as a judge for The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences National Student Production Emmy Awards. Previous experience includes serving as a Communication Specialist with OMNI Engineering & Technology, Inc., where he helped establish corporate branding through media relations; award-winning work as an Executive Video Producer for the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board; and Producer roles for both the Urban Ministries of Durham and GMView, of George Mason University. Mr. Schmeidler has also volunteered time and resources to several upstart and local organizations and serves as a mentor to youth in foster care who are interested in attending college through the Great Expectations program at the Northern Virginia Community College. Lance holds an M.A. in Communication from George Mason University.

Karyn Kessler, George Mason University

INTO Mason

2:45-4:15pm Special Session: Conversations About Supporting Diverse Students