Vol. 12, Issue 2, January 2012

Welcome to Dialogue!

Featured Articles

Dialogue News & Announcements

A Changing of the Guard

New York State TESOL has once again gone through a smooth transition as new leadership begins a new year and a new era to ensure that New York State educators remain at the forefront of the field. Please welcome incoming president, Rebekah Johnson and her team, Susanne Marcus, Robin Finnan-Jones, and 2012 Conference Chair, Olivia Limbu. Visit the “Leadership” page on our website to learn more about your 2012 New York State TESOL team.

The close of the year is always bittersweet as New York State TESOL bids farewell to those

Passing of the gavel; R. Johnson and N.Dougherty, President and Past President of NYS TESOL
leaders whose terms have ended. They now join that distinguished group who also said “yes” to the call to serve NYS TESOL and devoted countless hours to improve the art of teaching and learning.

Highlights of the 2011 year include the popular SIG Salons introduced by New York City Region co-chair Tamara Kirson and embraced by members across the state, and the launch of the new members only website, spearheaded by NYS TESOL’s business manager/treasurer, Jeanie Faulkner, board members Fran Olmos and Patti Juza and the technology committee. Christy Baralis and her team brought members a first-class annual conference in Long Island that drew attendees that represented many regions of NYS TESOL.

Annual Conference Awards Luncheon: Fifty kindergartners from Countrywood Primary School sing for their supper with direction from their teachers Maria Rodriguez and Leslie Travaglia

Applied Linguistics Winter Conference
Pre-Registration Discounts until January 31

Connections: TESOL and Applied Linguistics in a Global Context
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
For more details, please click here.

New Member Profile

Drew S. Fagan
Name: Drew S. Fagan
Member since: 2009
Region: New York City
SIG: Teacher Education and Applied Linguistics
Brief bio: For the past 16 years, I have been in the TESOL field in diverse capacities. This has included working in various K-12, community college, university, and adult-based education programs in New York, California, and Washington, DC, as well as in various settings in Mexico, Spain, China, Japan, and Slovakia as its first TESOL Fulbright Fellow. Currently, I am finishing my doctorate in TESOL at Teachers College, Columbia University, where the focus of my research is on examining how ESOL teacher talk (a) changes over the course of one’s teacher education, and (b) influences opportunities for student language learning in less-commonly researched educational settings such as community program classrooms. I became a member of the NYS TESOL Executive Board in the fall of 2010, and I am currently the Chair of the Membership and Marketing Committee.

How I found out about NYS TESOL:
Having been a large part of the International TESOL Organization and California TESOL Organization (CATESOL) for numerous years, I sought out to learn about NYS TESOL during the first year of my doctoral studies, and I first assisted the organization as a volunteer for the 2007 Applied Linguistics Winter Conference held at Teachers College, Columbia University. From that point on, I took part in the organization’s numerous local and state-wide events.

Why I joined:
As a TESOL professional who has worked at various grade levels both in the U.S. and abroad, it has always been important for me to promote conversation and professional development across these educational settings to help students with their life-long English learning process. I joined NYS TESOL in order to not only see how this conversation occurs in New York, but to also help promote more of these interconnections among New York State ESOL educators. An example of this is the new event that I am assisting in organizing with the Teacher Education SIG and Hunter College – a one-day symposium in May 2012 discussing the future of Teacher Education in New York and around the country for teachers at all levels of ESOL education. It is my hope that events such as this, as well as the very successful Salons that have been occurring in the various SIGs and Regions over the past few years and the numerous successful conferences that NYS TESOL is known for, will continue to help open doors for these interconnections among all ESOL educators. 

Salon #5 - Holiday Spirit in the Classroom with
the Adult Ed SIG

Report from Valentina Portnov

Adult Education SIG Salon Participants: Andy Bell, Bonny Hart, Sandra Jacobs, and Valentina Portnov

The Adult Education SIG Salon on December 8 was the final and fifth Salon in 2011. Salons are small gatherings held in members’ homes to share and learn about new teaching practices. The December Salon met at Valentina Portnov’s, the new chair of the Adult Education SIG. Participants shared materials, lesson plans, and approaches to teaching the holidays. Other topics included:

  • New job prospects at The New York City Office of Adult and Continuing Education (OACE) that offers FREE classes in Adult Basic Education, High School Equivalency (GED), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • Equipped for the Future (EFF) - a framework for adult learning based on content standards and tools in facilitating the EFF approach to teaching, learning, and assessing programs.

Read these responses from participants at Salon #5:

I found the 5th Salon extremely informative in terms of providing ideas for career options and lesson planning. I think the use of technology could be explored in future since it really is a necessary skill for teaching the digital generation. - Sandra Jacobs

The Adult Ed SIG on December 8 was definitely worth the trip from Manhattan. It was good to meet new people and learn about how they use technology in (and out of) the classroom and how they deal with the ups and downs of teaching ESOL - which often means dealing not only with the personalities in the classroom but also with the vagaries of multiple administrations for the many of us who have more than one job. When the talk turned to activities for the season we had an interesting discussion about "What is cultural?" vs. "What is religious?" and learned a lot about Christmas traditions in Trinidad to boot. Thanks to the Salon participants, I have my holiday activities for next week all prepared for me. - Bonny Hart

Announcement - Upcoming Salon #6

"Are Those Your Words?"
The Sensitivity of and Solution to Plagiarism


January 18, 2012
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Upper West Side of Manhattan
Click here for more details.

Teaching English Internationally SIG News

from Chair, Melissa Duquette

Study Language in Egypt and China
The Intensive Summer Language Institutes (ISLI) program provides fellowships for U.S. classroom teachers to spend six weeks overseas studying intermediate and advanced-level Arabic in Alexandria, Egypt, and Chinese in Changchun, China. Current K-12 teachers, community college instructors of Arabic and Mandarin Chinese, and students enrolled in education programs who intend to teach these languages can apply. Participants earn ten hours of graduate credit through Bryn Mawr College, and are provided with peer tutors and roundtrip airfare. All travel and study-related costs are fully covered. For more information, please visit www.americancouncils.org/isli or email isli@americancouncils.org.

Program Application Deadline: March 2, 2012

We hope you will find our recommended websites useful for your teaching.

Pearltrees – organize, discover, and share everything you like on the web: www.pearltrees.com

Glogster - FREE interactive posters online: www.glogster.com

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day – daily evaluation of websites that will help you teach ELL, ESL and EFL: www.larryferlazzo.edublogs.org

Submitted by: Adult Education SIG Salon Participants: Andy Bell, Bonny Hart, Sandra Jacobs, and Valentina Portnov

Dialogue – E-Newsletter of NYS TESOL
Please invite your non-member colleagues to join us (membership@nystesol.org).