February 2015 Newsletter

From the President:

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 5.44.21 PMI sincerely hope that each and every one of you is having a wonderful semester. It’s that time of year when usually the giant piles of plowed snow turn into blackened melting obstacles in parking lots. Utah has not received enough snow for this to happen this year. This can be fortunate or unfortunate depending on how you view the situation. Perhaps it means we haven’t gotten enough precipitation or maybe we should just enjoy the warmer sunnier weather.

I think that’s something we can all compare to the mid-point of our semesters. We have mixed feelings. We look forward to the change of pace that comes between semesters, but we may also realize that the time with our current students is shrinking. No matter your circumstance, teacher attitude can have a profound effect on student attitude and performance. Let’s strive to stay motivated and positive to help keep student morale up as we begin the push toward the end of the semester and school year.

Additionally, this is a time when many new teachers (as well as some of the more experienced ones) look for employment. Jobs are posted on http://itesol.org fairly regularly. If you know of a job opening, feel free to send it to the group email—itesol@googlegroups.com. After your message has been approved, it will be forwarded to the list. You can also network with other professionals through social media. Feel free to check out our recently revamped Facebook group—https://www.facebook.com/groups/itesol/.

Thanks for all you do to help ESL students and teachers. I wish you the best in all you do.

-Ben McMurry

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 12.05.16 PMFrom the Editor: Greetings fellow TESOLers! Welcome to a new edition of our Newsletter. We hope that this newsletter finds you well and good and that your pursuits are being pursued well, with happy results. As this issue is coming out, you will notice some of the up and coming events, as well as a few new faces on the I-TESOL board.

Up and coming is the Higher Ed./Adult Ed. Mini Conference. There are a few other conferences for you to be aware of as the year moves forward. You will find these listed below.
We are grateful for your support and contributions to our community of TESOLers and our community as a whole.

Announcements; Up and Coming Events:

The following are the up and coming conferences that may be of interest for you and are hopefully on your radar already.

I-TESOL Higher Education / Adult Education Combined Mini-Conference
March 7, 2015 Brigham Young University (see p.3 of Newsletter for more information)

14th Annual Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Roundtable (SLAT Roundtable)
March 6-7, 2015. Tucson, Arizona.
Website: http://slat.arizona.edu/slat-interdisciplinary-roundtable

TESOL 2015 International Convention & English Language Expo
March 25-28, 2015. Toronto, Canada.

2015 Colorado and Wyoming Writing Tutors Conference
April 18, 2015. University of Colorado-Boulder
“Climate Change: Responding to New Challenges and Opportunities in the Writing Center”

I-TESOL Conference
September 18 -19, 2015. West Yellowstone, Montana.

Meet the Board

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 12.07.42 PMIncluded below are some of the new board members of the I-TESOL board. We’re glad they are aboard and also glad that you can get to know them now too.



Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 12.08.49 PMBrooke Eddington, Brigham Young University English Language Center (BYU ELC). I am currently a member of the Executive Council at the BYU ELC. I received my BA in Linguistics and MA in TESOL, both from BYU. I’ve been teaching for five years. My research interests include second language writing and grammar, specifically error correction and written corrective feedback. I recently joined the I-TESOL Board as the secretary.


Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 12.09.32 PMJudy Ma, Brigham Young University. I am from mainland, China, and I am currently a student in the TESOL MA program. I am hoping to graduate in April, 2015. My thesis title is The Role of Pronunciation in Speaking Test Ratings. My research interests include learning and teaching pronunciation and assessment in second language learning. I recently joined the I- TESOL Board as the Adult Ed Interest Session Chair.


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Vetting Corner

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 12.12.45 PMThis area of the Newsletter is devoted to vetting some of the papers or articles that different members of ITESOL may be working on. It is a way to share and get some feedback on the ideas we generate for papers and professional articles.

If you would like to submit to The Vetting Corner, contact Brian Owens at bowens2012@yahoo.com

*Since this is a new area of the Newsletter,
we will show you what we mean. Brooke
Eddington was kind enough to submit this for an example of what we are looking for in this area of the Newsletter. We are hopeful that others in our community may want to share by you, and you, and you, sharing some of your writings as well (we didn’t want to leave anyone out). Thank you!

Submitted by Brooke Eddington: Brigham Young University
Title: Three Tips for Personalizing Feedback

Abstract: One challenge every teacher faces is providing timely yet effective feedback. Hartshorn et al. (2010) suggested that feedback is effective when it is “meaningful, timely, constant, and manageable for both student and teacher” (p. 87). I propose adding a fifth component to this list: feedback should be personal. This paper explores three simple tips for personalizing feedback.

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