I have something like 60 different sessions highlighted on my TESOL 2014 itinerary printout – there’s plenty of intriguing presentations on the menu in Portland coming up in March. The last two years (in Philly and Dallas) I made quite the marathon of it; I seemed to be among the first to arrive and last to leave each day and only took two or three slots ‘off’ the entire time. Overload? Perhaps, but I feel like the annual convention is marrow to be sucked out of the bone…and I don’t want to miss out on anything that I might benefit from.
This year I was fortunate enough to receive a TESOL professional development scholarship so I’ll need to find a way to fit in some volunteer hours somewhere along the way.
In regards to my ‘CELTA newbie’ process itself, the fact is I’m engaging the TESOL convention this year almost as an element of my CELTA training training program! It takes place right smack dab in the middle of my training program, and my focus will be on presentations and workshops with a teacher training/development focus and/or connections.
Here’s just a handful of the sessions that pique my interest and just might (or rather obviously will in some cases) speak directly into the thought-space of the newbie CELTA trainer in training:
From Teacher to Teacher Educator
Session Summary: Panelists share experiences, research, and reflections on the professional transition from classroom teacher to teacher educator. What are the challenges involved in this transition? What are the skills and knowledge required to be a successful teacher educator? This presentation is important to the interest of current and future teacher educators.
Presenters: Nikki Ashcraft, Lia Kamhi-Stein, Kathleen Bailey, Thomas Farrell, Megan Peercy
Does the Cambridge English CELTA Meet Our Needs?
Session Summary: As this initial teacher training program grows in popularity in North America, the session considers how effectively this short intensive certificate course prepares its trainees for the workplace. The discussion is informed by the presenters’ training experiences as well as by research data collected from ex-trainees and their local employers.
Presenters: Patricia Harries, Jean Pender
Developing ESL Teacher Expertise: Finding Balance
Session Summary: Within the field of TESOL teacher expertise is still a very under-researched topic. This session explores issues related to teacher expertise and attempts to outline specific characteristics of ESL teacher expertise exhibited by three experienced ESL teachers in Canada during regular group discussions and journal writing over a 2-year period.
Presenter: Thomas Farrell
Teacher Career Cycle Trajectories and Ongoing Professional Development
Session Summary: The need for ongoing teacher development has been a recurring theme in language teaching in recent years in TESOL, as embodied in TESOL’s newly published English Language Teacher Development series. This practical interactive discussion first outlines teacher career cycle trajectories and then examines how teachers can plan professional development opportunities.
Presenter: Thomas Farrell
Experienced vs. Novice Supervisors’ Feedback: an Empirical Study
Session Summary: The purpose of this study was to see whether experienced vs. novice supervisors are different in terms of the type of feedback they provide to the teachers under their supervision. Interaction as well as discourse analysis techniques revealed both qualitative and quantitative differences between the two groups.
Presenters: Ramin Akbari, Christine Coombe
From Intuition to Pedagogy: The Essence of Lesson Prep
Session Summary: Participants prepare lessons on a given grammar point and practice going beyond a merely intuitive understanding of the grammar topic into an explicit and then applied perspective on the target grammar. The presenters provide graphic organizers and checklists to practice scripting “teaching talk” for succinct, effective grammatical explanations.
Presenters: Marnie Reed*, Christina Michaud
Exploring TESOL Courses’ Influence on Preservice Teachers’ Emerging Identities
Session Summary: Identity is a construct that evolves as a result of experience. Preservice elementary teachers constantly negotiate their “Pre-Teaching Identity” (Flores & Day, 2006) during teacher education courses and practicum experiences. A longitudinal qualitative case study explores the impact of six TESOL courses on three preservice elementary teachers’ emerging identities.
Presenters: Cynthia Chasteen, Kim Song
Pre-Service Teachers’ Initial Perceptions and Beliefs About English Learners
Session Summary: What will pre-service teachers list as concerns/anxieties and alternately favorable/promising aspects of teaching the EL population? Analysis of more than 800 responses yields the converging elements of beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes towards the EL population and implications for teacher behavior and student achievement suggesting significant implications for credential preparation programs.
Presenter: Todd Morano
*Marnie Reed was my stupendously amazing MA TESOL advisor and mentor and her presentations are always on point. 🙂