NYS TESOL 48th Annual Conference

NYS TESOL 48th Annual Conference
Nov 2 & 3, 2018
Albany Marriott, Albany NY
The schedule for the NYS TESOL 48th Annual Conference is now available!

You can register for the conference, check out the hotel, read the speakers’ bios, and see a list of sessions you can attend on practical topics such as ESL tech tools and advocacy for immigrants.

Pre-Register now at https://nystesol.wildapricot.org/event-2941206
Pre-registration will be available through October 26.

Resource Sharing and Networking — Best practices in supporting international students

Join Higher Ed. professionals in sharing best practices in supporting international students.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 (6pm – 8pm)

Adelphi International

Adelphi University,

Post Hall Room 207, 1 South Ave

Garden City, NY

Register now at https://nystesol.wildapricot.org/event-2658481

 For more information, please contact:

Ravneet Parmar at [email protected]

 COST: $5 for NYS TESOL members and $10 for non-members; Free for Adelphi International and Adelphi university staff and students.

 “Educators will leave with practical ideas that can be easily implemented into their lessons to make them more interesting, communicative and motivating to students. The communicative ideas presented will focus on the topics of English skills, using technology, grammar teaching, test preparation and developing leadership skills for ESL professionals. Participants in the mini-conference will also have the opportunity to network.”

*Wine and Cheese will be provided.

ELSS Receives $25,000-Grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Exciting new grant awarded! 

Norwalk, CT (7/27/2017) – English Learner Support Services of Fairfield County is pleased to announce that it has received a $25,000-grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation for the “Academic Support Program to Inspire, Reinforce, and Empower” (ASPIRE). ASPIRE was created by ELSS in collaboration with Norwalk Public Schools’ English Language Learner Education Department. The program will begin this fall for high school English language learners (ELLs) entering the school system with limited or interrupted formal education. These students will receive small-group instruction in English and other subject areas by trained ESL tutors during school hours. For example, in place of attending study hall, a student in the program will participate in a tutoring session run by an ASPIRE staff member. The purpose of ASPIRE is to provide academic support during the school day in order to accelerate fluency of English language skills, making high school graduation and enrollment in a post-secondary program a more likely outcome.

Helene Becker, ELL Instructional Specialist for NPS, stated that “this grant will help support Norwalk ELL students with limited or interrupted school histories over the course of the coming school year. ASPIRE’s tutors will help these students catch up to their peers in our ESL classes.”

ASPIRE will contribute to FCCF’s “All Fairfield County Youth Thrive by Age 25” initiative by helping English language learners graduate within four years. They will have greater proficiency in English and other content area skills, which will be necessary to transition to post-secondary academic programs or certificate training programs.

Since 1992, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has been dedicated to creating lasting change in our region and they have awarded over $212 million in grants in support of 625 local nonprofits. They maximize impact by combining fiscal stewardship with extensive community knowledge. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, FCCF unites philanthropists, nonprofits, and expert resources with the goal of creating a vital and inclusive community – where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org

The mission of ELSS is to provide educational programs to underrepresented populations in Fairfield County, with emphasis on English language learners. ELSS has also received support from Fairfield County Bank, Pro Bono Partnerships, and Connecticut Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

ELSS, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in early 2016 by Norwalk resident Peter Shaker, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. He is also an Adjunct Professor of English at the University of Bridgeport and Manhattanville College. The organization has been working closely with Helene Becker to develop and implement ASPIRE in Norwalk. For more information about ELSS, visit www.elss-fairfieldcounty.org .

To learn about Norwalk’s ELL program, visit www.norwalkps.org/curriculum/k-12_programs/english_language_learner_education .

Peter Shaker, President and Founder

English Learner Support Services of Fairfield County [ELSS]

65 High Ridge Road #221, Stamford, CT 06905

[email protected]


Submissions wanted — The Font – A Literary Journal for Language Teachers

The submissions deadline for the next issue of The Font is August 31st.

Send to: [email protected]
For information on submitting, or signing up for our newsletter, please visit The Font

What’s The Font?

The Font – A Literary Journal for Language Teachers (ISSN: 2203 4412) is a journal about teaching and  learning languages at home and abroad. It looks at the topic from a more creative, literary, and humanistic perspective than the more traditional academic publications.

Who’s behind it?

The Font is run by an independent, voluntary group of writers and readers, based in several countries, who also teach languages. It is not affiliated with any institution or organisation, and is unfunded and not for profit. The Font is a venue for teachers and learners to reflect on their experiences and observations while teaching and learning languages, or while living abroad as a teacher.

What kind of writing?

The Font publishes quality short stories, articles, essays, anecdotes, poems, interviews, cartoons and other forms of creative writing which provide insight, reflection, humour, and inspiration on the theme of teaching and learning languages at home and abroad.


The Font publishes writing by language teachers, learners and translators in all countries. The Font is a venue for language teachers and learners from all walks of life, to come together and share about all aspects of this profession, through the accessible medium of story telling.


New tech ESL writing resource

Posted on behalf of MakeBeliefsComix

I wish to share with you my free new e-book, Plant Your Dream Seeds: A Way to Grow Hope in Your Life, which can be used by students to express in writing their deepest and hopes and dreams. This book of writing prompts is the latest addition to the interactive books section of MakeBeliefsComix.com and can be downloaded at:http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/eBooks/  Just click on the cover.

 On its pages students will find writing prompts to help them think about the important things that they want to see happen in their lives.  By filling in the pages they will be able to express the many hopes and expectations they have for themselves, for those whom they love, and for our world. 

International storyteller Laura Simms also shares stories she has culled from different peoples throughout the world about the power of seeds.

This book is formatted as an interactive digital journal diary.  It allows students to write directly on their computer/tablet screens into the areas with lines on the book’s pages.  When they are done typing, they can simply save the document until the next time they are inspired to make new entries.

All the e-books published at MakeBeliefsComix are geared to help students think and write creatively as well as help students learn and practice the English language.  I welcome your feedback on the books.


Bill Zimmerman

Creator, MakeBeliefsComix.com

Educational Theater of New York Upcoming Presentations

Dear Educators,

Educational Theater of New York opens its Spring 2017 season with its intriguing double bill:  The 1902 classic, “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W.Jacobs, and Truman Capotes’, mysterious short story, “Miriam.”  The plays continue through April 6 with performances at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Designed for English Language Learners, students may ask to have a scene repeated in they wish, and have the chance to interact with the characters in a post-performance conversation.

Tickets, $15.  Reserve tickets by calling 646-733-7685 or email [email protected].  You can find lesson plans at www.etnyarts.org.

Capti — a free text to speech app

Found at the National TESOL convention: Capti, a free app that turns any text into speech.

Previously I’ve used Instapaper to save articles and then the “text to speech” option on my iPhone to have Siri read the article aloud. It works, but it’s a bit unwieldy, and definitely awkward when driving. This week, I’ve given Capti a try. While there are some features I like a bit better with Siri (slightly better word and punctuation recognition), Capti is certainly easier since its features include creating playlists, highlighting text while reading, and easily changing reading speed. Saving documents is super easy; users just choose “save to Capti” from the text on their screen (computer, table, phone…whatever). Capti syncs across devices so you can use it on multiple platforms (home pc, cell phone, tablet, etc.). Users can also easily share articles with friends through email, message, etc.

I’m adding it to our student resource list as a recommendation for speaking / listening self study. Take a look! For students who want more listening practice, but never have time, or for those who like to listen and read at the same time, it could prove very useful.