ConnTESOL is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 scholarships. Congratulations to all!

Two Year College
Anita Skrzypczak – Meriden Adult Ed. attending Middlesex Community College

Two Year College
Franco Flores- Greenwich High School attending Norwalk Community College

Four Year College
Rabib Khan- Manchester High School attending Iowa State University

CAPELL winner
Pabel Pascual- New London High School attending Eastern CT State University


Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT)

Join us at 45th annual ConnTESOL conference at CoCoKey Water Resort, Hotel, and Convention Center in Waterbury, CT.  We are very excited to have Dr. Laura Sicola as our keynote speaker. http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxLaf-Laura-Sicola-Redefining

Register for the conference here: ConnTESOL 2015 registration

Keynote Address

Raising the Voice of TESOL

Presenter: Dr. Laura Sicola

Today’s EL community – students, families, teachers, schools – are facing increasing competition for funding, services, jobs (for graduating students and teachers alike), and even recognition of what is required to achieve linguistic and academic success. How can we make sure our voices are heard? It is essential to look at the problem holistically: from advocating through the “voice” of the community, to the role of pronunciation in the curriculum and prioritized strategies to empower students to speak for themselves and succeed in school and beyond.

Concurrent Workshops 1

Citizenship Resources for Educators

Presenter: Erika Taylor, United States Customs and Immigration Service

Audience: Adult Education

Room: Connecticut A

This presentation is designed to introduce educators to the USCIS resources to assist in preparation for Naturalization. You will be walked through available web resources you can use with students.

Finding the Glamour in Grammar

Presenter: Sandra Granchelli, Hartford Public Schools

Audience: Elementary

Room: Connecticut B

When grammar is taught, it is often decontextualized with a focus on memorization and identification. Research has shown that practices that emphasize declarative over procedural knowledge are not engaging and have little efficacy. In this workshop, we will examine effective practices that build awareness of English syntactic structures in order to help develop impactful writing and improved reading comprehension in students.

Questioning to Develop Critical Thinking Skills: The Right Question Technique © Applied to ESL

Presenter: Jennie Farnell, University of Bridgeport

Audience: Secondary /Higher Education/ Adult Education

Room: Connecticut C

This workshop will examine how The Right Question Technique (RQT)© can be adapted for ESL and can be used in conjunction with skill instruction without adding materials or demands to a curriculum. RQT steps outside of traditional educational frameworks in ways that help students develop independence, curiosity, and confidence in their thinking.

Facilitating-the-QFT-ConnTESOL Handout

Voices Under Construction: Adult English Learners Use Writing to Build Skills and Identities

Presenter: Robin Danzak, Sacred Heart University

Audience: Adult Ed.

Room: Grand D

This presentation reports the outcomes of a year of ESL-literacy tutoring with four, immigrant women from a writing-to-learn perspective. That is, writing was used as a way to achieve learning outcomes, and also as a process for meaning making (Rijlaarsdam & Braaksma, 2015).

Finding their Voices: Supporting Writing for ELs through Integrated Lessons and Differentiation

Presenter: Dr. Teresita Galarza, Hartford Public Schools

Audience: Elementary/Secondary

Room: Grand E

ELs require explicit and highly scaffolded learning experiences in order to develop proficiency in written expression in English (Williams & Pilonieta, 2012), and be integrated with interactive writing processes that foster social learning and promote students finding their unique voices for writing. Elementary and secondary applications of the model will be demonstrated.

Project Based Learning for Adult English Learners

Presenter: Julia Tsisin, Adjunct Professor, University of Hartford, University of New Haven

Audience: Adult Ed, Higher Ed

Room: Grand F

Many adult immigrants and refugees face obstacles upon their arrival to the United States. Therefore, all adult learners need adult-appropriate content, materials, and activities that speak to their needs and interests, and allow them to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities. In this session, explore how Project-Based Learning can meet the needs of adult ELs.

Beyond The Google Search: 21st Century Plagiarism Detection

Presenter: Mike Lockshier, University of Bridgeport

Audience: Higher Education/ General

Room: Woodbury

For years, teachers have been googling sentences in an attempt to find the source of student information in student writing to determine if the work is indeed their own. Detection of plagiarism has become essential with more teachers taking advantage of flipped and blended learning classroom environments. In this session, you will learn about new digital tools for plagiarism detection.

Concurrent Workshops 2

Empowering their Voices ‐ Literally! Best‐Practice Approaches and Strategies for Teaching Pronunciation

Presenter:  Dr. Laura Sicola

Audience: General

Room: Connecticut A

Target-like grammar and vocabulary is useless if listeners can’t decipher the words that carry those perfect forms. In this session, we’ll take an empowerment approach to pronunciation: Just like they add English vocabulary, we’ll teach them to add English sound contrasts – phonemic and prosodic – to their toolbox. The goal is to empower students with the ability to “turn on or off” an Americanized accent at any time.

Project Based Learning in a Blended Classroom to Improve Student Engagement and Achievement

Presenters: Monica Quinones, Hartford Public Schools & Dr. Aline Germain-Rutherford, Middlebury College

Audience: General

Room: Connecticut B

Representatives from Hartford and Middlebury Interactive Languages will share projects produced through an engaging blended-learning program designed to meet the needs of ELs in elementary and middle schools. Participants will learn how Hartford is implementing a successful instructional model with new teaching strategies that spark student engagement, student growth, teacher collaboration, and parent participation.

What means “Mary”? Research-Based Read-Aloud Intervention for Young ELs

Presenter: Darci Melchor, West Hartford Public Schools

Audience: Elementary

Room: Connecticut C

Participants will learn research-based strategies for utilizing repeated read-alouds to increase language comprehension in young ELs. Results regarding an intervention that accelerated kindergarten ELs’ oral retelling will be shared in this workshop.

Differentiated Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classes

Presenter: Deniz Hinds, Danbury High School

Audience: General

Room: Grand D

The key concepts related to mixed-ability classes, namely multiple intelligences, motivation, and differentiated instruction will be discussed in this workshop. Participants will brainstorm strategies on how to differentiate instruction and how to teach multi-level classes more effectively.

Advancing the Language Acquisition and Fostering Independent Learners Through Unique Mix of Interventions and Blended Learning

Presenter: Iva Rousseva-Stoev, Henry Abbott Technical High School, Danbury, CT

Audience: Secondary/ Adult Education/ General

Room: Grand E

A few case studies of ELs in the CTHSS will be discussed to demonstrate the variety of ELs and their individual needs. The workshop will include an outline and demonstration of specific program interventions, blended learning tools and technology resources that are currently used in the CTHSS and by ELs.

Vocabulary Strategies in Context: A workshop on how to build academic repertoires in adult learners

Presenters: Dr. Matthew Ciscel, Central Connecticut State University & Alina Ciscel, Manchester Community College

Audience: Higher Education/ Adult Education

Room: Grand F

This workshop will explore ways to bolster academic vocabulary through learner strategies in adult and college level ESL.  A short presentation will focus on strategies that combine traditional tools like mnemonic devices, common roots, and semantic maps with contextualized and communicative practice.  Participants will be guided through small group discussions of strategies and lesson ideas specific to their current teaching positions.

What’s Next for the EL?

Presenter: Stephen M. Rashba, University of Bridgeport

Audience: Secondary/Higher Ed

Room: Woodbury

This workshop focuses on the question of how the ESL instructor can guide students and help them avoid the pitfalls of academic research, (i.e. plagiarism, accessing research articles.)   This session will share two ideas for incorporating research into English Language Proficiency and measuring student preparedness for the demands of further undergraduate and graduate study.

Concurrent Workshops 3

Develop High-Level Vocabulary through Discussions about Fine Art Images

Presenter: Margaret Welch, New Bedford Public Schools

Audience: Elementary/Secondary

Room: Connecticut A

Develop high-level academic vocabulary through the discussion of fine art images and real-world photos. Research-proven strategies will be demonstrated for increasing academic vocabulary, promoting evidence-based discussions, and developing speaking and listening skills. Participants will receive lessons and a CD with fine art images and real-world photographs. They will also receive handouts with practical strategies for engaging students in academically productive discussions.

Encouraging ELLs to Find Their Voice Through Project-Based Learning

Presenters: Jennifer Baillargeon, Hartford Public Schools & Susan Miller, Hartford Public Schools

Audience: Secondary

Room: Connecticut B

Discover strategies to motivate ELs to communicate with confidence. Presenters will use samples of student work to show participants effective techniques in implementing project-based learning with ELs at various levels of proficiency. They will share assessments that incorporate cultural identity and projects that can relate to content area curriculum. Presenters will share the successes they have had using these assessments to measure the growth of ELs.

CONNTESOL Encouraging ELLs to Find Their Voice Through Project-Based Learning 2015 Conference

Co-Teaching Strategies

Presenters: Alfredo Torres, A. I. Prince Technical High School, Deirdre Shaw, A. I. Prince Technical High School, & Corey Gonzales, A. I. Prince Technical High School

Audience: Elementary/ Secondary

Room: Connecticut C

A team of teachers will share advice and strategies concerning co-teaching ELs in a mainstream classroom. Types of co-teaching, components of co-teaching, the importance of co-planning, and anecdotes from the classroom will be shared to demonstrate and explain what successful co-teaching can look like in the content areas.

Hopes and Dreams: Low-Level Readers

Presenter: Andy Burrows, Prolingua Associates

Audience: Elementary/Secondary/Adult Education

Room: Grand D

Participants will be introduced to a series of readers for launched beginners. Each book tells a story based on real American historical events. Participants will discuss how the unique format (lines as thought groups) fosters reading skills and will brainstorm ways of discussing with students the story and historical background. They will also share ideas for the use of the supplementary materials which are available free online.

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

Presenter: Arlinda Fair, U.S. Department of State English Language Programs

Audience: Adult Education/Higher Education

Room: Grand E

Learn how you can promote English language teaching and learning around the world on paid 10-month projects supported by U.S. Embassies. This presentation will include an overview of the program and highlights from past Fellows’ experiences living and teaching abroad. There will be time to answer questions about program eligibility, participant benefits, and the application process.

CT English Language Proficiency (CELP) Standards Information Session

Presenter: Megan Alubicki Flick, Bilingual/ESL Consultant CSDE

Audience: General

Room: Grand F

Connecticut is in the process of adopting English language proficiency standards to replace the CT ELL Framework.  This workshop will give an overview and discuss the guiding principles of the CELP Standards.  Participants will learn how navigate the document.  There will also be a discussion of linguistic supports for various levels and content areas that are aligned with the standards and are included in the CELP document.

Updates CELP Info sesssion 10.21.15

Workplace ESL: Expectations, Demands, Realities

Presenter: Randy A. Johnson, ESL teacher

Audience: Secondary/ Adult Education/ Higher Education

Room: Woodbury

Learning to negotiate the world of American manners, behavior, and cultural assumptions in the workplace and getting along with American co-workers & management are crucial factors in job acquisition and ongoing success at work. Participants will find out how the workplace ESL educator serves as the intermediary in promoting worker success and well-being for the EL while concurrently satisfying the expectations of employers.