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Free Virtual Workshop: Wednesday, February 21st, 4:00 pm-5:00 pm (Arizona MST)

Title: Using VR as a Tool to Teach ESL

Date: Wednesday, February 21st, 4:00 pm-5:00 pm (Arizona MST)
Presenter: Senior Global Launch Educator at ASU and AZTESOL Secretary, Emilia Gracia

Session description: PhD Candidate in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics and TESOL professional Emilia Gracia will discuss her research in using Virtual Reality to teach second language pragmatics in an intensive ESL program at Arizona State University. She will share her experience using VR as a tech tool, the results from her study, and pedagogical implications for teachers who are interested in using VR in their classrooms.

Register here!


Free Virtual Workshop: Tuesday, November 28, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm (Arizona MST)

Title: They Don’t Speak English?! An Introduction to Working with Newcomers

Date: November 28, 5:00 pm- 6:00 pm MST (Arizona Time).
Presenter: Tyler Ramey, M.Ed, Education Consultant

Session description: This webinar will provide participants with practical instructional strategies and differentiation techniques to include newcomers in all lessons. Participants will explore steps to take from the first day a newcomer walks through the classroom door to differentiated questioning techniques to use during whole-group and small-group instruction.

Register here!

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Statement from the AZTESOL President to the Arizona Department of Education 9/25/23

On Monday, September 25th, AZTESOL president Dr. Francheska Figueroa spoke up at the Arizona State Board of Education meeting. She spoke against Superintendent Tom Horne’s actions and his budget request that would penalize dual-language teachers across the state. Read her full statement here, and in our upcoming Fall newsletter.

Accessible version of the statement available here.


Free Virtual Workshop: Friday, September 29, 3:00 pm-4:00 pm (Arizona MST)

9/29 Webinar:

Academic Writing Anxiety: A Deep Dive into Experience, Research, and Praxis


Session description:
In this interactive workshop, we will explore the profound link between emotions and academic writing, specifically diving deep into Academic Writing Anxiety (AWA). I’ll begin by helping participants understand contemporary research on AWA, then present key research findings from a study I conducted in collaboration with Dr. Susan Miller-Cochran. Practical exercises aimed at understanding and addressing AWA in classroom settings will be introduced, providing educators with tools and strategies. Throughout the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to reflect on the implications of AWA in their teaching spaces and engage in meaningful conversations about its practical implications. By attending this workshop, participants will grasp the importance of acknowledging AWA in academic writing, understand the findings from our study, and have actionable strategies to address AWA in their respective contexts.

Speaker’s bio:

Anuj Gupta is a PhD candidate who embodies multiple roles at the University of Arizona – a UX researcher, a technical writing educator, and Data Science and Digital Scholarship Fellow. His research and teaching agenda focus on designing, analyzing, testing, and deploying language technologies to create transformative learning experiences that promote social justice, inclusion, and empowerment for diverse audiences. He is currently working on his dissertation research where he is analysing the impact of AI technologies like large language models (LLM) on human communication, literacy, and emotions. He was recently awarded the Kairos Graduate Student Research Award and the CCCC Scholars for the Dream Award. His research can be found in journals including Composition Studies, ALRA, JSLAT, and the CWPA journal. Previously, Anuj helped build one of India’s pioneering college-level writing programs at Ashoka University. You can learn more about his research by visiting his website:

General, Professional Development, Webinar

Free Virtual Workshop September 13 @ 12:00-1:00PM

9/13 Webinar: Moving forward with social-emotional learning: Practical strategies and reflections for English teachers

Session Description: In this presentation, we introduce social-emotional learning (SEL) in the context of English language teaching (ELT), explain our position for embracing and promoting SEL as a vital practice and pedagogy in ELT, and share practical examples of SEL that English language educators can use in their learning spaces to support learners. Throughout the webinar, we will offer spaces and opportunities for reflections and conversations about how to successfully incorporate SEL, and how to envision ELT through an SEL lens. By the end of this webinar, participants will have an understanding of what SEL is, why include it in our practice and pedagogies, and approaches to including SEL in ELT.


Speaker Bios:

Luis Javier Pentón Herrera, Ph.D. is Full Professor at Akademia Ekonomiczno-Humanistyczna w Warszawie, Poland, the Coordinator of the Graduate TESOL Certificate at The George Washington University, United States, and Co-Editor of Tapestry: A Multimedia Journal for Teachers and English Learners. To learn more about Dr. Pentón Herrera, please visit his website



Gilda Martínez-Alba, Ed.D. is the Assistant Dean in the College of Education at Towson University and Co-Editor of Tapestry: A Multimedia Journal for Teachers and English Learners.  Her books include, Social-Emotional Learning in the English Language Classroom, with Luis Javier Pentón Herrera (a best seller). and Co-Editor of Tapestry: A Multimedia Journal for Teachers and English Learners. To learn more about Dr. Martínez-Alba, please visit:

Drawing Contest
Conferences, General

AZTESOL Annual State Conference 2023 Drawing Contest

CALLING ALL ELL STUDENTS! AZTESOL is inviting students and adult English learners across Arizona to submit drawings and short, written explanations of their drawings based on the theme: Layered Learning, Layered Learners. The due date for submissions is end of day Friday, September 15, 2023.
Winners will be determined based on the following 5 categories:

  • Grades K-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12
  • Higher Education
  • ESL adult learners (community college and other programs)

Winning submissions will be displayed at the AZTESOL Conference in Phoenix October 20-21, 2023 and will be highlighted on the AZTESOL website.


Advocacy Training

Help AZTESOL save Arizona from the bad budget! The budget laws (a tax cut, a tax shelter, and a tax cap) were signed by the Governor in June. Together, they will result in a permanent $2.689 billion-dollar loss of state revenue each year. If allowed to stand, these laws will result in catastrophic cuts to vital state services and functions including roads and infrastructure, AHCCCS, universities, DES, child safety, and education.  These cuts will directly impact us, our institutions, and our students.

AZTESOL is challenging its members to do the following:

  • Watch this training video
  • Complete this form to indicate how you will help with the campaign
  • Sign the 3 petitions at a convenient signing location
  • Check out a set of petitions to circulate (look for a location that says “Pick up petitions).  Staff will train you in signature collection.
  • Spread the word!  Most voters have no idea these laws were passed.  Use this messaging toolkit to post on social media and email or text friends and family.