Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent Session 1. 11:00 – 11:45 a.m.

Lift Your Voice and Be the Change for You and Your Students

John Segota, TESOL; Lori Menning, CESA 6

Abstract: All teachers play a critical role in improving the lives of their students, however this is especially true for TESOL educators. What is the best way to be an effective advocate? This presentation will identify ways that educators can shape the policies that impact their programs, their jobs, and their students’ lives.

Commercial Presentation: English in Action Prepares Students for Success in the 21st Century

Elizabeth Neblett, National Geographic Learning

Abstract: How can you prepare adult ESL students for work and academic readiness while keeping them engaged and motivated? English in Action is a standards-based, integrated language learning program featuring authentic National Geographic content. Learners will improve their English proficiency while learning 21st century skills for further education or career pathway.

Academic Literacy for All: Using BadgerLink Resources to Enhance Instruction

Prof. Susan Huss-Lederman, UW-Whitewater; Ellen Latorraca, UW-Whitewater

Abstract: BadgerLink is Wisconsin’s Online Library. It includes access to magazine and news articles, literature reviews, teaching supplements, sound collections, Spanish-language encyclopedias and more. In this practice-oriented session, a librarian and an ESL specialist introduce Badgerlink through the lens of TESOL, sharing how select resources can be used to customize instruction.

Advocating for the Needs of ELLs on U.S. University Campuses

Gitte Frandsen, UW-Milwaukee; Brooke Haley, UW-Milwaukee

Abstract: The needs and behaviors of English Language Learners are often misunderstood at U.S. educational institutions. This workshop presents how two UW-Milwaukee instructors identified a need to better serve and stand up for ELLs on their campus. The presenters will solicit their peers’ related experiences advocating for ELLs at their institutions.

Strategies for Teaching Adult ELLs Soft Skills for Workforce Readiness

Cassandra Pilarski, Literacy Network; Ilana Seidman, Literacy Network

Abstract: Adults across the nation preparing to enter the workplace or even academia must know how to navigate the professional world, which requires more than just technical competency. This workshop will provide strategies to design effective soft skills training materials for adult ELLs.

Concurrent Session 2. 1:15 – 2:00 p.m.

Unpacking the Role of Advocate in Contentious Times

Dr. Tim Boals, WIDA

Abstract: In this workshop we will explore in greater detail some of the themes in the upcoming plenary Teaching “English” in Contentious Times. Specifically, we will unpack the idea of advocacy in varying environments and talk about strategic ways to take on that role without, hopefully, losing our job (remember, what’s said at WITESOL stays at WITESOL!). How do we respond to the expectation that we serve as the resident coach, the translator, the provider of direct services, the family liaison, the fixer, etcetera? What is the role for mainstream teachers, school administrators, paraprofessionals and how does the ESL or bilingual teacher avoid becoming a de facto paraprofessional? What are the challenges you face in your school? We will talk about local realities many of us share and brainstorm effective approaches for dealing with them. Remember we are “in Vegas in this session” but without the slot machines.

The Path to Better Learning with Prism Reading

Natalie Cornelison, Cambridge University Press

Language doesn’t stand still and neither does the way students learn. Cambridge University Press listens and responds to your teaching needs, and to the needs of your students. Better Learning is our promise to you to provide support, resources, and technology that you can trust, so you can focus on doing what you do best – teach. So what is the path to Better Learning, and what does it look like in your classroom? This session will show how lessons in Prism Reading take your students on a path to Better Learning through clear objectives, rich content, scaffolded instruction, collaborative tasks, critical thinking, and extended learning opportunities. Participants will also receive information about additional Better Learning resources and can request a sample copy of Prism Reading.

Standing with Our Students through a Community Based Project

Dr. Rossitza Ivanova, UW-Whitewater; Anjie Kokan, UW-Whitewater; Brianna Deering, UW-Whitewater; Mohammed Al Khathlan, UW-Whitewater; Natalija Krsteva, UW-Whitewater

Abstract: Participants will learn about a Community Based Learning (CBL) project between UW-Whitewater international students and 4th grade elementary students at a local school which enrolls a high percentage of ELLs. The project involved culture sharing activities and “Where I’m from” poems and posters. The workshop shares research that supports the activity, methodologies used, samples of students’ work, and inspiration and ideas for similar CBL projects.

Teach Abroad with the English Language Fellow Program

Allegra Troiano, The U.S. Department of State English Language Programs

Abstract: Learn how you can enhance English language teaching capacity abroad through 10-month paid teaching fellowships designed by U.S. Embassies for experienced U.S. TESOL professionals. As an English Language Fellow, you can provide English language instruction, conduct teacher training, and develop resources. Join us to hear from program staff and alumni.

Critical Thinking, Math, and Digital Literacy for Beginning Adult ELLs

Carolyn Nason, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Abstract: Supporting our beginning adult ELLs’ path to college, career or civic readiness means developing more than just their English proficiency. Learners need to develop critical thinking, math, and digital literacy skills, too. Participants explore various tasks, activities, and strategies that move beginning learners closer to their short and long-term goals.

Concurrent Session 3. 2:15 – 3:00 p.m.

Stand up and Say Cheese: Project-Based Learning through a Cheese Tasting

Anjie Kokan, UW-Whitewater; Brianna Deering, UW-Whitewater, Mohammed Al Khathlan, UW-Whitewater

Abstract: Review the advantages of project-based learning and find out how a student-hosted cheese tasting event gave a group of ELLs a chance to practice authentic language skills while sharing about cultures. Participants will interact with facilitators and an international student. There will be time for idea sharing, discussion, and questions.

Commercial Presentation: Let’s Talk! English Curriculum: Get your students extra speaking opportunities with exciting new technology!

Lindsey Klein, Robotel

Abstract: Curriculum meets technology. We can offer you a complete multi-media solution to get your students speaking English more often, in less time and with more accuracy. The Let’s Talk! English system could be what you have been searching for as a one-stop resource for all of your teaching needs.

Helping Adult Learners Speak out (with Evidence)!

Kristi Weisenburger, Milwaukee Area Technical College; Joy Lehman, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Abstract: Supporting information and arguments with evidence is a key skill in the updated WTCS curriculum. Citation is not just an advanced skill, but one that can be developed over time, through informal classroom practice. Participants explore teaching strategies for finding evidence in texts and citing sources at various levels.

Meeting Wisconsin’s English Learner Needs through School District and University Partnerships

Panel Discussion: Dr. Melanie Schneider, UW-Whitewater; Audrey Lesondak, Department of Public Instruction; Rosamaría Laursen, Delavan-Darien School District; Dr. Douglas Margolis, UW-River Falls

Abstract: Wisconsin faces teacher shortages in bilingual, dual language, and ESL education, leaving many English Learners with inadequate resources to support their academic and English skills development. This presentation explores collaborations between institutions of higher education and school districts to address this issue. Panelists hope to inspire collaborations with attendees.