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Is there a Language of the Mind?

There is so much political turmoil about immigration these days--and tragedies abound--and are lived every day. And, while cultural, political, and moral, the issue comes home in schools each day and surfaces in the area of language development  and literacy. This past week I was reminded of the short documentary we created about this very charged subject and how young lives are in the balance.  The educators in this documentary are to be celebrated for their efforts and clarity of vision!   

for video and link to Documentary: go to 

“The Language of the Mind” is a powerful tribute to teachers, and shares the remarkable story of how visual tools — Thinking Maps — changed how students are thinking and contributing to the overall classroom discourse, regardless of English proficiency… and, ultimately, “thinking” students in our democracy today. 

 Some years back my colleagues and I were working with Dr. Estee Lopez in the New Rochelle, NY school system—supporting the implementation of Thinking Maps with a focus on English Language Learners. You can read Estee’s thoughtful research in her doctoral study that brings deep background to the film documentary.  

Estee’s study describes how teachers of two urban suburban schools with large numbers of English language learners (ELLs) used Thinking Maps as a cognitive model resulting in students' improved academic language development. Teachers used Thinking Maps that included a common cognitive language that transcended grade levels and disciplines. 

for Dissertation: go to

For information about implementing Thinking Maps in the New York region contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Dellamora

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