Save the date! The AZTESOL 2018 State Conference will take place on Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13 on the Red Mountain Campus of Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona. Online registration will begin in mid-summer and will be announced on this website. Proposals for presentations are now being accepted. The theme of this year’s conference is Cultivating Community with AZTESOL. Click here to see the criteria and submit a proposal online. The deadline for receipt of proposals is Tuesday, July 31, 2018.
AZTESOL has released a position statement in support of state legislative bills HB 2281 and HB 2435, which would allow English learners to spend two hours of their school day focusing on learning English and enroll in dual language programs. Despite passing nearly unanimously in the House and receiving bipartisan support from the entire Senate Education Committee, the Senate President is single-handedly refusing to let the bills come to the floor of the entire Senate for discussion or a vote. Click here to read our official position statement and sample drafts of e-mails that you can send to your state senators to let them know that you are paying attention to this important issue.
AZTESOL is seeking a new Webmaster to join its volunteer board and manage its website. The Webmaster posts announcements, employment opportunities, and board meeting minutes; updates website pages and software as needed; backs up the site on a regular basis; helps build the registration site for our annual conference; manages the organization’s online repository of photos on our Flickr site; maintains our domain registration; helps manage the Google group that the board uses for its internal communications; and works with our web hosting service when necessary to resolve problems. This position requires little to no coding knowledge, only a willingness to learn the basics of using the WordPress platform. The time investment required varies from as little as one hour a week during slow periods to several hours a week in the autumn leading up to our annual conference. The Webmaster communicates frequently with all board members and must be reliable and timely in his/her responses. If interested, please send a resumé and cover letter outlining your desire and qualifications to Marjaneh Gilpatrick (click on the name to send an e-mail message).
Michael Karas, a PhD student at Western University, is investigating English language teachers’ confidence in their abilities to complete various English teaching tasks (self-efficacy) and invites you to complete an anonymous 20-30 minute online survey. At the end of the survey, you can also volunteer to be interviewed over Skype, but this is completely optional. If you are currently teaching English, or are enrolled in a teacher education program and wish to participate, please access the survey using this link:
If you have any questions, please contact Michael Karas or Dr. Farahnaz Faez (click on the name to open your e-mail client and get their e-mail address).
The complete program of the AZTESOL 2017 State Conference is now available. Click here to see the program and then select File → Download as… → PDF Document (.pdf) to copy the program to your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Then take your device with you to the conference, and you won’t need to carry or flip through the print version. In addition to saving a tree, you can also save time by selecting in advance the sessions you plan to attend instead of scrambling at the last minute on conference day to read through all of the abstracts that interest you. Just remember that the schedule is subject to revision and that all changes, cancellations, and additions will be announced at the conference Welcome on the morning of Saturday, October 21.
AZTESOL is converting photos of its past events to an all-digital format and posting them online. You may remember flipping through our photo albums at a table in the lobby at many of our state conferences. To better preserve these images and make them available to the entire AZTESOL community, we are scanning those old snapshots and adding them to our Flickr page. We don’t have pictures of every conference, and some of the photos are showing their age (you may see parts of sticky labels that won’t come off anymore without damaging the images), but various board members and volunteers have helped us amass an impressive visual record over the years, and we want to share our long history with you. Check out our conferences going back to 1976 by clicking on the links on our Past Conferences page. We’ll be posting more photos over the next several months, so be sure to revisit our site soon.
AZTESOL has released a position statement on the recent Executive Order that restricts immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. You can read the full text of the statement on the Sociopolitical Issues page of our website.
The Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice has compiled a free set of teaching materials called the ESOL Know Your Rights Tool Kit. The resource is composed of four units: Basic Human Rights; Knowing Your Rights in a Car Stop; Protecting Families in Case of Separation; and Understanding the U.S. School System. Each unit is appropriate for intermediate-level classes; the first two units also include versions for beginners. Units feature multiple, independent lessons with corresponding teacher’s guides, student handouts, and frequently-asked legal questions (FAQ) sheets. To explore or download the units, visit this website: https://goo.gl/forms/ItlRMqxBRmxy8uKx1
If you are currently an English language teacher and are at least 18 years old, you are invited to participate in a global survey about how American culture is taught to students. Bryan Meadows, an associate professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, is surveying the content of culture teaching in the English language classroom when American culture is the topic of instruction. To take the 10-minute survey, click here. (You will see and need to agree to a disclaimer statement prior to the actual survey questions.) For more information, click here to contact Prof. Meadows.
Due to a postal service miscommunication, AZTESOL’s post office box in Yuma was not accepting mail during the months of April and May this year. If you sent us any snail mail during that time and it was returned to you, please send it again (or contact us through our website). We are now able to receive mail again normally at our PO box address. We apologize for any inconvenience.