Concurrent Sessions

WITESOL is pleased to announce that we will have 15 concurrent sessions at this year’s conference. Below is an alphabetical list of the presenters and the abstracts of their presentations.

Presenter: Julie Anderson – The College of Lake County, Grayslake, Illinois

Title: Adult Students and Special Learning Needs – 1st Aid for Teachers: the 4 Ps

Abstract: Enable students with possible hidden learning disabilities to achieve success. An overview of learning challenges and possible reasons for special learning disabilities will be presented. The “4 Ps – 1st Aid for Teachers” gives teachers practical tips that will help students form new neural pathways (neuroplasticity at work).

Presenters: Heidi Evans, Angela Alexander, and Andrea Poulos – University of Wisconsin-Madison

Title: How Student Perceptions of Good Teaching Align with TESOL’s 6 Principles

Abstract: Presenters share results from an exploratory survey conducted in a university ESL program on student perceptions of effective teaching and discuss how their views align with TESOL’s 6 Principles, a set of guidelines underpinning excellence in teaching. Participants will explore how the Principles and survey results can inform their teaching.

Presenter: Jeannine Geiger – Chippewa Falls High School and Middle School

Title: Student-Led Discussions

Abstract: Want to get your students involved in directing their own learning? Learn how to use student-led discussions in your classroom. Students choose and research their own topic; then they lead a discussion with their classmates. A planning sheet, rubric for grading, self-reflection, and participation scoring guide will be shared.

Presenter: Dr. Amitha Gone – MPS

Title: Sheltering and Differentiating: Two Key Principles for Outstanding Teaching of English Learners

Abstract: The proposed workshop will explore ways of encapsulating the key principles of ‘sheltered’ and ‘differentiated’ instruction ESL contexts. An examination of the ELD standards for developing Language and Content objectives via required cognitive strategies for different Content areas is demonstrated. Can-Do descriptors are used to design activities for developing LSRW.

Presenters: Lindsey Hill, Jacklyn Ryan, and Nicole Ludmer – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Title: To correct or not to correct? That is an excellent question.

Abstract: In this session we explore how the quality and quantity of teacher and student involvement affects ELL’s grammatical improvement. The argument for or against grammar correction presented here is based on research studies that analyzed EFL students’ abilities to improve writing performance based on various types of corrective feedback.

Presenter: Dr. Heather Linville – University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

Title: Linguistic Ideologies: Developing the Principles for Outstanding Teachers of English Learners

Abstract: What are the connections between language ideologies (“common sense” beliefs held about languages) and the disposition to teach English learners well? This presentation explores that question by sharing the results of research on a course designed to improve future teachers’ attitudes toward linguistic diversity as foundational for advocacy for ELs.

Presenters: Cassandra Pilarski and Marie Simpson – Literacy Network

Title: Teaching Diverse Adult ELL Populations Skills for Workforce Readiness

Abstract: Immigrants starting work in the U.S. not only have to learn procedures specific to their workplace, but also perform in a multicultural environment where the most common language is not their native tongue. This session includes strategies to prepare diverse classrooms for success in the workplace.

Presenter: Jean Richie – Milwaukee Area Technical College

Title: Use Google Apps to Become an Exemplary Digital Literacy Teacher

Abstract: Participants will learn to become exemplary teachers of digital literacy through the use of Google apps. They will learn about Google apps, see sample digital literacy activities that use Google apps to engage beginning adult ELLs students, and explore additional ways to incorporate Google apps into their own teaching context.

Presenter: Dr. Melanie Schneider – University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

Title: (Going Beyond) Translanguaging 101

Abstract: Pedagogical translanguaging supports multilinguals who access content and maintain multilingualism and their multilingual identities while learning English. For many language teachers, pedagogical translanguaging is theoretical. This presentation provides both an accessible theoretical framework for understanding translanguaging and multiple examples of its use for teachers and teacher educators.

Presenter: Mark Sullivan – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Title: Tips, Tricks, & Activities: Teaching Math to English Language Learners

Abstract: The need to teach English for Specific Purposes (ESP), specifically in the STEM field, is increasing among international students pursuing undergraduate and graduate programs. However, many teachers feel under-prepared to teach specialized content, specifically in the STEM field. This workshop presents how one teacher, who was not necessarily an “expert” in math, taught a Math Elective at an Intensive English Program. The presenter will elicit the experiences of workshop participants who have taught Math or ESP, and then guide them through engaging activities to allow students to communicate about math. The presenter will also provide some “tips & tricks” for designing a course and instructing it effectively.

Presenter: Katherine Warncke – North Fond du Lac – Bessie Allen Middle School

Title: Building an Effective ELL Program – Through Staff AND Students

Abstract: An effective ELL program gives all teachers the tools to teach English skills as well as ELLs the empowerment of owning what they are learning. In this workshop, attendees will participate in various best practices activities of language development by understanding what it means to listen, speak, read, and write in English from both a teacher’s perspective as well as an ELL’s. As an educator, attendees will learn how to provide valuable feedback via “on the fly” restating techniques, whiteboard check off lists, a Dinner Time 1-2-3 fingers speaking rubric, and Levels of Language. As a student, attendees will learn to listen for vocabulary, hold themselves accountable to speak and write at a higher level, and strengthen their grammar structure comprehension both actively and passively. In this workshop, Kate Warncke will also discuss how she has advocated for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level classrooms, the curriculum used in those classrooms, the schedule designed for the success of those classes, and getting staff and students on board with it all. She will also share how student WIDA scores have spiked as a result.

Presenter: Michael Ziadat – University of St. Francis

Title: 6 Principles to Navigate Your ESL Career

Abstract: Every job is temporary. This is the new reality. ELT professionals and prospects face challenges in employment and career growth – from low wages, to part-time work, and to lack of opportunity and development. This presentation will engage the audience with symptoms of a “gig economy” and disruptive remedies for it.

Commercial Presentations

Commercial Presenter: Mari Bodensteiner – English Language Program

Title: The World is Your Classroom: Teach Abroad with the English Language Fellow Program

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.

Commercial Presenter: Natalie Cornelison – Cambridge University Press

Title: From insights to results: an introduction to Evolve

Abstract: In this workshop, participants will learn about Evolve: a six-level English course that gets students speaking with confidence. Insights from language teaching experts and real students will be presented together with examples on efficient ways to make progress in English.

Commercial Presenter: Marisa Nathan – Confianza

Title: Creating Rich Classroom Environments through Vocabulary Development

Abstract: In this session, participants will connect, learn, and reflect  in order to walk away with practical ways to support student’s vocabulary growth in the content classroom. Participants will learn about vocabulary strategies and scaffolds through discussion, concrete examples and video examples.