Refugee Concerns Newsletter

RCIS News, Volume 2:1 (January 2006)

by User Not Found | 10/28/2011
In This Issue...
  • Convention Information
    • TESOL 2006 Tampa Convention Information
    • Refugee Concerns at TESOL 2006
  • News
    • Introduction to Special Project 2007
    • Call for Submissions for the Next RCIS Newsletter
  • About RCIS
    • RCIS General Information

Convention Information TESOL 2006 Tampa Convention Information

TESOL’s 40th Annual Convention and Exhibit is coming! TESOL 2006: Daring to Lead will be held March 15-18, 2006, in Tampa, Florida, in the United States at the Tampa Convention Center.

Visit TESOL’s Web site at for more information on

  • Convention Information
  • Online Registration
  • Online Hotel Reservations
  • Session Information
  • Special Events
  • Exhibit Information
  • 2006 Doctoral Forum
  • 2006 Graduate Student Forum
    Refugee Concerns at TESOL 2006

    We are very excited to have a wonderful lineup of RCIS presenters and sessions available at the Tampa Convention. Here is a preview of some of the sessions and highlights of our Refugee Concerns Interest Section contributions:

    ( Note : This list is only a preview. Sessions may be subject to last-minute changes because of such things as presenter availability. For a full program book, visit the TESOL web page at

    RCIS will host two Academic Sessions:

    Academic Session #1: International Perspective on the Refugee Journey

    This session will explore the refugee resettlement process from both an overseas and domestic perspective. The presenters will discuss processes, services, and challenges that refugees face before and after permanent resettlement in another country. They will explore the impact these experiences have on language acquisition, mental health, and access to opportunities.

    Presenters include Pindie Stephen, Allen Grognet, Robert S. Williams, and Daniele Calvani

    Academic Session #2: Refugee Families and U.S. Schools

    Schools are experiencing an influx of refugee students from ethnic groups new to the United States. How are refugee families introduced to American school culture? How can teachers prepare to work with them? Presenters will share techniques for successful cultural orientation.

    Presenters include Sanja Todoric Bebic, Pindie Stephen, and Sharyl Tanck

    RCIS will host an InterSection with Adult Education :

    Exploring Family Literacy in ESOL

    Family literacy supports the involvement of all family members to foster a literacy-rich home environment and to help families make educational and noneducational gains. Connecting with ESOL families and meeting their needs is often challenging. Join this InterSection to gain insight into ESOL Family Literacy theory, practice, and success.

    Presenters include Gail Weinstein and Sue Pon; Josie Kramer and Theresa Konchan; Leigh Schleicher, Dieu-Anh Nguyen, Diane Pecoraro, and Bounlieng Phommasouvanh

    RCIS will also participate in an InterSection hosted by Adult Education:

    Health Literacy — What does it mean?

    What is health literacy? Do health practitioners and ESOL educators share the same views? How do ESOL families navigate the health system? Join this panel presentation to learn about different views and experiences of health literacy and how educators can make a difference for ESOL families through curriculum and advocacy.

    Presenters include Janet Blair; Mericel Santos, Judy King, and Trudy Lothian; and Myrna Ann Adkins, Burna Dunn, and Barbara Sample

    RCIS will also present 11 sessions including papers, demonstrations, reports, video theater, and poster sessions:

    Helping ESL Adults With the Literacy Puzzle

    Presented by Nancy A. Strom

    Raising Awareness, Building Connections for Adult Learners

    Presented by John Stasinopoulos and Martha M. Attiyeh

    Language Brokering and Immigrant/Refugee Families

    Presented by Cheryl Benz

    Adult Refugee Students’ Digital Stories of Adaptation

    Presented by Elizabeth Swanson

    Identity and Language Acquisition Among Bosnian Refugees

    Presented by Lisa Hoffman Clark

    Innovative Writing Instruction for World English Speakers

    Presented by Christa de Kleine and Kathleen Williams

    Integrating Bantu Children Into the Educational System

    Presented by Khadar Bashir-Ali

    Introducing Preliterate Adult Refugees to English Literacy

    Presented by Ellen S. Knell, Hannah Buchanan, and Barbara Fish

    The School Backgrounds of Refugees and Immigrants

    Presented by Jeffra Flaitz

    Video theater: Vermont Welcomes Somali-Bantu Refugees

    Presented by Mary K. O’Brien

    Poster session: Advocating for ESOL Students Accessing Federally Funded Programs

    Presented by Shannon J. Mischler

    RCIS will host 10 Discussion Groups:

    Can This Volunteer Relationship Be Saved?

    Led by Pamela Herrlein and Barbara Sample

    Somali Bantu Women on Path to Success

    Led by Tracy L. Buseman-Carlstrom, Carrie N. Cargile, and Doree D. Dennis

    But What About the Teacher’s Culture Shock?

    Led by Burna Dunn, Myrna A. Adkins, and Barbara J. Sample

    Learning in the Community Circle

    Led by Sharon McCreary

    Helping the Refugee Family in Small City America

    Led by Asli Hassan and Janne M. Rice

    Explicit Literacy Instruction

    Led by Peggy Seufert

    Pathways to the Community for Refugee Adults

    Led by Pamela McPherson

    Understanding Notions of Literacy for ESL Classrooms

    Led by Khadar Bashir-Ali

    Peace Education in the ESL Classroom

    Led by Alexander Wrege

    Palestinian Identity in Diaspora: An Anthropological Perspective

    Led by Faida N. Abu-Ghazaleh

    News Introduction to Special Project 2007

    Monica Leong, Chair 2005-2006, Refugee Concerns Interest Section,

    To all RCIS members:

    This past summer, our RCIS submitted a Special Projects application to TESOL to ask for money to host a special event at the TESOL 2007 convention inSeattle, Washington, USA, to raise member awareness of refugee situations abroad, in our communities, and in our classrooms. Our idea is to host a high-profile special event with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR’s) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie and a panel of refugees from the Seattlearea.

    In September, we received the great news from TESOL: They are very interested in having us host such an event and have approved our application! This means that the TESOL leadership has offered to support RCIS over a 2-year period to bring this project to the 2007 annual convention in Seattle!

    During this first year, RCIS will receive $500 and lots of support from TESOL’s communications and convention people to help us secure Jolie (or another UN representative) and to organize the whole event, including a special theme, a panel of refugees as speakers, breakout sessions, and so on. Then, next year, we will apply again for the amount of money it will cost to put the whole thing on. In coordination with TESOL’s Convention Services Department and Member Services staff, we will bring Jolie, or another UNHCR representative, to the convention as a keynote speaker at a plenary session or a special evening program that will be publicized and promoted throughout TESOL. The TESOL leadership team also suggested that we consider adding an advocacy component to the session on the plight of refugees in ESOL.

    This is very exciting! It will take lots of organization, work, volunteer hours, and enthusiasm to make it happen. Luckily, we have a growing group of volunteers willing to help out.

    So far, our list of volunteers includes the following:

    Program committee : Khadar Bashir-Ali, Asli Hassan, Myrna Ann Adkins

    Local guest speakers committee : Nancy Strom, Jennifer Malloy, Khadar Bashir-Ali

    Promotions committee : Jon Lathers, Sara Gallow, Khadar Bashir-Ali

    Hospitality committee : Asli Hassan, Steve Rainey, Chalise Thomson

    Facilities/equipment committee : Jane Downey, Barbara Lewis

    If you are interested in volunteering and are not yet on our list, please e-mail Monica Leong at and let her know how you would like to help. There is always room for more volunteers!

    At the TESOL 2006 Convention in Tampa, Florida, we will likely be having an organizational meeting to update everyone and continue to prepare for our Special Project. If you are not able to be at the Tampa convention, don’t worry! We still very much need your help and we will keep you in the loop! Watch for more information on our electronic mailing list and in our e-newsletters.

    I am looking forward to working together with you all to see this project through to fruition.

    Thank you for all your support!

    Call for Submissions for the Next RCIS Newsletter

    We are now working on the next edition of the RCIS newsletter and we welcome articles and items of interest. The theme of the next newsletter is “Success stories from the field.”

    Please send us

  • articles or brief descriptions of successful projects and programs that you have seen in action, in either refugees’ home countries or new countries
  • event announcements
  • refugee-related political action alerts

    To meet our deadlines, please send your submissions to Colleen Shaughnessy at by February 15 . Please see our e-newsletter mission statement and submission guidelines below.

    Refugee Concerns IS E-Newsletter Mission Statement (available at

    The RCIS Newsletter will inform its readers on topics of refugee issues and concerns.

    The RCIS Newsletter will be oriented to ESL teachers at all levels of instruction who have refugees in their classes.

    The RCIS Newsletter will provide articles on many topics including but not limited to the following: refugee resettlement, ESL techniques, cultural information on new populations entering the United States, citizenship, cultural orientation at home and abroad, and health and mental health concerns.

    Submission Guidelines

    The following submission guidelines will help you develop your e-newsletter submissions.

    Article submissions must

    • be submitted electronically, in word or rich text format
    • include an abstract (50-word max) and a biographical statement (30-word max) following the citation style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Fifth Edition)
    • be written in language that is clear and understandable and in a professional style
    • include the author’s contact information
    • be no more than 2,000 words
    • contain headings, subheadings, lists, and bullets as appropriate
    • include electronic photos of the author(s), if possible and desired.

    Other submissions must

    • include a biographical statement and contact information
    • be no longer than 500 words

    Please note: Graphics and high-quality digital photos (jpeg or tiff) are welcome. Please include a caption and the name of each person clearly identified. For photos, a release form signed by everyone in the photo is required. All submissions will be edited for clarity, style, and length. Articles requiring revision will be returned to the author with suggestions. The author is expected to respond to the feedback and resubmit the article in a timely manner. Submission of articles does not guarantee publication. Authors may request editing assistance at any time.

    Special thanks to Monica Leong for gathering the content of this newsletter!

    About RCIS RCIS General Information

    Our Goals

    The Refugee Concerns Interest Section (RCIS) was formed to address the specific language and cultural needs of the entire refugee family group, including learners of all ages, by bringing together educators interested in refugee work, by providing fora for discussion, and by disseminating information.

    Our Statement of Purpose

    RCIS proposes to

    • develop an awareness of the role of ESL in refugee education at all levels (elementary, secondary, and adult) in English-speaking countries
    • disseminate information in areas of refugee ESL and to serve as a means of communication among refugee educators in all English-speaking countries
    • educate the public, government officials, and other educators as to the needs of the refugee population in English-speaking communities
    • encourage linkages between overseas refugee training programs and domestic ESL programs for refugees

    Our Community Leaders

    • Immediate past chair: Jon Lathers (Southfield, Michigan, USA)
    • Current chair: Monica Leong (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
    • Cochairs elect: Jennifer Malloy and Nancy Strom (both of Seattle, Washington, USA)
    • Current newsletter editor: Colleen Shaughnessy (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

    This year’s RCIS leaders are following in the footsteps of those who have come before. They are working hard to ensure that your RCIS meets its vision.

    Soon, we will be looking for new leaders to take on this mission and continue to work toward our community’s goals. Please consider running for election as one of our community leaders. It’s a great chance to make a significant contribution to your RCIS.

    For information on the role of Interest Section leaders, please visit TESOL’s Web site at and use the search tool to search for the “Interest Section Leadership Area.”

    Please watch for more information on online elections for our Interest Section.