English teaching group to meet on South Charleston campus Saturday


English language teachers from West Virginia and surrounding states will gather in South Charleston on Saturday, April 18, when the West Virginia Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (WVTESOL) hosts its 18th Annual Spring Conference.

English language educators from the public school system, adult and literacy education programs, and higher education programs will be hosted by the Graduate ESL program on Marshall University’s South Charleston campus.

“All those who work with English language learners or who are interested in working with learners in programs that serve non-native English speakers are invited to attend,” said Dr. Beth Campbell, assistant professor of elementary and secondary education at Marshall, who is also the WVTESOL vice president and conference chair.

Conference attendees will come away with new ideas to implement in the classroom and will have a special opportunity to learn more about using technology with English language learners from Claire Bradin Siskin, a member of the International Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) Board of Directors, who will give the plenary address and offer an additional workshop for attendees.

Siskin is a practitioner of computer-assisted language learning (CALL). She has given presentations and workshops in 17 countries and recently returned from a 10-month term as a Senior English Language Fellow in India. Before that, she directed the ESL Writing Online Workshop project at Excelsior College in Albany, New York. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of TESOL. She is a past chair of the Executive Board of the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium She has served on the editorial boards of both Computer Assisted Language Learning Journal and CALICO Journal.

“Conference attendees always come away from the annual conference energized by the new ideas and research presented by their colleagues,” said Katie Mehle, WVTESOL president. “The schedule for 2015 should provide a little bit of something for educators in any interest area.”

The theme of the conference is “Exploring Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg: Cross-Cultural Communication, Technology, Public Policy, and Standards,” which focuses on how TESOL professionals must look more deeply into these current issues in the field of English language teaching.

Conference organizers encourage educators and community advocates to register in advance for the event, but walk-ins are welcome as well. Visit www.tesolwv.org for details and to register for the 2015 conference.

WVTESOL is a professional organization for those who teach English as a second language. The group seeks to strengthen ESL teaching, promote research, and provide opportunities to share ideas with other ESL professionals in West Virginia. WVTESOL is an official affiliate of the international organization, TESOL.