Vol. 14, Issue 2, December 2013

Clearly Speaking

NYS TESOL Annual Conference: TESOL Student Reactions

The 43rd Annual NYS TESOL Conference saw record-breaking attendance. Among those in attendance were TESOL students, many of whom were attending a professional conference for the first time. Below are some of their reflections on the experience. (For pictures of the conference, visit the Flickr feed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nystesol)

“I'm in my first semester of the Hunter MA inTESOL K-12 program, and I had the honor of attending the NYS TESOL conference as the James E. Weaver Memorial Award winner. I attended so many incredible workshops and lectures that by the end of the weekend, my brain was overflowing with newideas to use in the classroom…”

~Gabrielle Kotkov

“The conference was a great experience where I had the opportunity to see different publishers and the materials they have for use in my future classroom. I also had the opportunity to meet other people from the field.”

~Yung Chun Cheng

“As an ESL teacher at P.S. 380 in Brooklyn, I went to the NYS TESOL annual conference wondering whether the presentations would be meaningful for me. I assumed that there would be impressive offerings on the nature of language and second language teaching, but I’m an elementary school teacher so I spend my days in a place where the demands of language and literacy education are always bumping into each other and struggling to co-exist. Thus I was amazed when I left the conference inspired by three presentations where elementary school ESL teachers demonstrated how they provided their English Language Learners (ELLs) with greater access to both language and literacy skills...For me,it was amazing to see how elementary school teachers, in alignment with Common Core Standards, incorporated language objectives and scaffolds into literacy instruction to benefit ELLs. As these schoolspresented artifacts including student work, videos of students, classroom charts and lesson plans, they were exemplars of NYS TESOL’s theme of Curriculum, Communication and Collaboration.”

~Kathleen Moore

“It was a great experience, very informative with lots of keynote speakers who were excited to share their experiences. There were lots of great opportunities to attend different seminars and see different strategies.”

~Vanessa Garcia

“My first NYS TESOL conference was absolutely inspiring and sobering. It was eye-opening to meet colleagues from around the state and elsewhere. It was useful to meet folks who say “What’s that?” when they hear the term 'ReadyGEN' and other NYC-specific conflicts mentioned. It was confidence-building to meet practicing teachers who demonstrated the ways in which they have responded to, coped with, and ultimately reversed the school-based prejudices and structural violences that prevent ELLs from receivingthe instruction they need. I am hooked; attending the NYS TESOL and TESOL International annual conferences is a professional and personal necessity, and I’m committed to making it happen each year.”

~Kelly Satya

“I was really excited to be in an environment with others who could professionally educate me on TESOLtopics outside of school. I am confident that I will have a learning resource to go to after I graduate.”

~Christina Costa

Back to main page