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2023 Literacy Symposium for Faith-Affiliated Programs

Breakout Sessions

TECs 1: Tips for Teaching ESL

Presenter: Dr. Cindy Kilpatrick & TECs Team

A Deeper Dive 1: Higher Levels

Advanced students have a variety of goals, from passing the TOEFL to getting a better job to being able to participate more fully in American culture. We will discuss how to build a class that blends the students’ stated (and possibly unstated) needs to keep them learning.

Presenter: Diana Bridges

Diana Bridges has been the director of ESL at Woodland since its inception in 2014. She is a graduate of Baylor University and Golden Gate Seminary. She has been teaching English and creating spaces for intercultural communities for more than thirty years.

TECs 2: Activities for Teaching ESL

Presenter: Dr. Cindy Kilpatrick & TECs Team

A Deeper Dive 2: Pronunciation

In this session, we will explore what English learners (and their teachers!) need to know about English pronunciation, including articulation, word stress, rhythm, and intonation. Attendees will participate in some hands-on activities that help demystify these tricky linguistic concepts. Bring a rubber band to the session if you have one available!

Presenter: Dr. Katie Welch

Katie Welch, Ph.D., is a university instructor, educational consultant, and active contributor in the TESOL field. Katie provides professional development to language educators through partnerships with the U.S. Department of State, Cambridge University Press, and several adult literacy organizations, including the faith-based group Literacy Connexus.

TECs 3: Lesson Planning

Presenter: Dr. Cindy Kilpatrick & TECs Team

A Deeper Dive 3: Reading & Writing

This workshop will equip ESL teachers with effective strategies and materials to teach reading and writing skills to ESL learners. Participants will explore ways to incorporate authentic texts, promote vocabulary and comprehension acquisition, and writing development. The session will also cover techniques for scaffolding instruction and fostering reading and writing connections.

Download a copy of the presentation slides here.

Presenter: Dr. Peggy Semingson

Low-Literacy Adults & Pre-Literacy Students

This session will review engaging activities for the ESL classroom that can be done with pre and semi-literate adult ESL students. 

Presenter: Taynim Johnson

Taynim Johnson is an ESL enthusiast. She graduated from UT Arlington with a degree in Spanish. Taynim currently works in the realm of adult education as a teacher trainer and representative for Burlington English in addition to managing the blog and social media for Literacy Connexus.

Cross-Cultural Understanding: Language Hospitality

Cross cultural understanding is key to effective language learning. In this session participants will examine components of cultural understanding including religion and migration. The goal of the presentation is to equip volunteer literacy (ESL) teachers to be excellent practitioners of language hospitality.

Presenter: Dr. Lester Meriwether

Lester Meriwether has served as the Executive Director of Literacy Connexus since 2004. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve with volunteers who teach, and intrigued with the concept of language hospitality.  

Student Placement & Goals for the Workplace

Assessments are tools for placing students as they begin their education journey, and instruments for measuring a student’s success at the end of the year. While perhaps seen negatively by students and necessary by teachers, assessments can also be powerful motivators for multilingual learners.

This session explores the details and importance of student involvement in goal-setting and progress assessment throughout the learning process.

Presenter: Matthew Johnston

Matthew Johnston is an ESOL Catalyst at Neighborly. He has 10 years of experience in ESL. In addition to teaching ESL in his community, he consults with churches and nonprofits in Adult Basic Education and coordinates outreach and leadership training for refugees. He volunteers as a TECs Trainer Apprentice with Literacy ConneXus.

Immigration Update

This session is an overview of the current immigration landscape in the U.S. We will talk about recent legal developments, policy changes and, in the course of doing that, we will challenge some of the common and widespread immigration myths in our nation.

Presenter: Dr. Jesús Romero

Jesús Romero was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He is the Director of Educational and Legal Immigration Ministries, a ministry of Fellowship Southwest. Dr. Romero is a fully-accredited representative by the U.S. Department of Justice. ELIM provides legal services to immigrants at low cost in the San Antonio area.

Registration has now closed for this symposium. Missed out? Find the rest of our calendar here and join us at another event!

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