Webster University Faculty and Staff Present at TESOL in Atlanta

Mar. 26, 2019

Webster University Faculty and Staff Present at TESOL in Atlanta

Webster University was well represented at the TESOL Convention and English Language Expo in Atlanta, Georgia this March.

The organization Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is more than fifty years old and has a global membership of approximately 10,000 English language teachers and specialists in more than 100 countries that serve the needs of English learners.  The five-day convention saw representation from Webster University every day.

On Monday DJ Kaiser, associate dean for the School of Education, gave a full-day Pre-Conference Institute on "Practical Approaches to Teaching Pronunciation." During this six-hour workshop he included references to two lessons that were recently published in TESOL Press’s "New Ways in Teaching Speaking," which made its debut at the TESOL Convention.

On Tuesday, Kaiser led the Standards Professional Council annual business meeting. This is Kaiser’s fifth year serving on this professional council and this year he is the chair of this council. During his council service, he and other members started an audit of TESOL’s current catalog of standards.

The council also provided input on short-term Teaching English as a Second Language/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL) program standards and updated TESOL to be used for national recognition through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Webster’s TESL program is the first and only program in the state of Missouri to receive national recognition using these standards.

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Photo: Dr. Soheil Mansour, Shane Kennedy, Dr. DJ Kaiser, and Dr. Yin Lam Lee-Johnson

On Wednesday Yin Lam Lee-Johnson, associate professor in the Graduate Department of Education; Soheil Mansouri, visiting assistant professor in the Graduate Department of Education; Shane Kennedy, grant coordinator for the National Professional Development grant for Teaching English as a Second Language; and DJ Kaiser presented in the Hot Topics series in the Electronic Village.

This presentation on "Blogging as an Interdiscursive Tool for Building the Communities of Practice (CoP) among K-12 English Language Learner (ELL) Teacher Candidates" presented some preliminary research from the School of Education’s $2.7 million National Professional Development grant. Data analysis focused on the interdiscursivity of in-service teachers as they reflect on their identities and their roles as teachers during extended professional development to serve English language learners.

On both Wednesday and Thursday, Kaiser led a group from the TESOL Standards Professional Council in a poster session on "An Overview of TESOL Standards." The material Kaiser covered came from a year-long project he headed while serving as the incoming-chair for this council. Council members had the opportunity to discuss standards for conference participants in order to recommend which standards may meet their instructional, evaluation, or curriculum development needs.

On Friday, Carolyn Brown, assistant director of the Academic Resource Center, and Carolyn Trachtova, director of English as a Second Language, presented in the Teaching Tips series in the Expo Hall. Their presentation, "Culture Chat: Using Facilitated Discussions to Unite Students on Campus," shared techniques that Webster uses to help international students and domestic students meet, connect, and share culture.

Their talk represents the strong collaboration across offices at Webster University to meet the academic and social needs of international students. That same morning, Lee-Johnson co-presented a research study about using critical multimodal analysis for educational apps with her research collaborator from Northeastern Illinois.

Friday afternoon, Trachtova along with Adelia Mazzella Chace and Amy Roither (current and former instructors in Webster’s ESL program) presented "One Size Does Not Fit All: Strategies for Microclasses," in which they address ways instructors can continue to provide quality classroom instruction even as ESL program enrollments decrease.

With approximately 6000 in attendance at TESOL 2019 in Atlanta, Webster University was well represented including graduates of the TESL program and a current TESL student from the new Tashkent location in Uzbekistan.

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