Invited Speaker Sessions

Sessions featuring a speaker selected by the Conferences Professional Council because the speaker has a message that is important to TESOL members. These are 60-minute live presentations, which will run at the scheduled time on the virtual convention platform. Some invited speaker sessions may be pre-recorded with Q & A.


*Note: All sessions and presenters are subject to change. Time for each session Q & A can be found on the virtual convention platform.


Live Sessions

Thursday, 25 March 

7:00 am - 8:00 am 
Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy: Coping With the Traumas of 2020
Christina Yanuaria
As we recognize the compounded impact of events in 2020, particularly for Black and Brown faculty and students, and the collective drain on mental and emotional health, it is critical that we reexamine our pedagogy and practices and incorporate trauma-informed and healing-centered practices that build our collective resilience.

1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Digital Equity: A Modern Civil Right
Rita Van Dyke-Kao, Daniel Choi, Merari Weber, and Christina Yanuaria
This session examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and deepened the digital divide, particularly for ELs. Panelists explore both the troubling reality of digital inequity and new opportunities as a framework for possible solutions that may assist in breaking down barriers to full digital inclusion.

2:00 pm-3:00 pm
Moving On(line): Tips for Planning Virtual Conferences and PD
Susan Gaer, Amy Pascucci, Margi Wald
Organizations and communities of practice have had to reconceptualize traditional PD models for virtual delivery. This session shares caveats and considerations one state affiliate gleaned from moving conferences, workshops, institutes, and other events from face-to-face to virtual settings. Participants leave with templates/checklists for event planning and implementation.

Facilitating the Dialogue Between Teachers and Researchers
Masatoshi Sato, Shawn Loewen, YouJin Kim
The research-pedagogy relationship can be rich and mutually supportive only when researchers and teachers collaboratively work for the common goal students learning. In this session, the presenters describe the current relationship between pedagogy/teachers and research/researchers. They also discuss some evidence-based pedagogy.

Who Owns the Science of Reading: Achieving Equity in ESOL
Kathy Escamilla, Socorro Herrera, Katherine Barko-Alva, Silvia Nogueron-Liu
This session explores paradigms that have driven literacy development for decades. Session content problematizes outdated approaches that currently benchmark reading and writing instruction in schools. Alternative paradigms grounded in research on literacy development are presented. Participants are guided in ways to maximize these alternatives.

3:00 pm-4:00 pm
Challenging Anti-Blackness in Language Education
Nelson Flores, Uju Anya, Patriann Smith, Aris Clemons
This panel brings together experts in language education to critically interrogate the ways that world language education, bilingual education, and ESL have historically been and continue to be complicit in the maintenance and further exacerbation of anti-Blackness.

4:00 pm-5:00 pm
Using and Choosing Online Resources for Speaking and Listening
Elizabeth Wittner, Lynn Henrichsen, Lucy Pickering
As the online presence in teaching ESL/EFL continues to grow, this session focuses on best practices for approaching the teaching of speaking and listening. Lynn Henrichsen focuses on L2 pronunciation teaching and learning resources accessible online via electronic devices. Elizabeth Wittner demonstrates how limited facetime opportunities can be used most effectively.

Friday, 26 March 

9:00 am-10:00 am
Listening: The Often Neglected But Always Essential Integrated Skill
Marnie Reed, Tamara Jones
Listening is essential for communication yetis rarely taught as a language skill. Note-taking approaches presuppose ability to process aural input. In this session, two challenges are addressed: parsing connected speech and understanding the discourse functions of intonation. Pre- and postinstruction assessments support a metacognitive strategy approach to improve listening for content and meaning.

Social Justice and the English Language Specialist Program
Joseph Bookbinder, Roger Cohen, Luciana C. de Oliveira, Ayanna Cooper, Deniz Ortactepe, Cristyn Elder, David Fay, Kristen Lindahl, Tony Newman, Claire Bradin Siskin
This session will highlight the work of English Language Specialists who have promoted social justice in English language teaching worldwide. Specialists and Regional English Language Officers will share their experiences in Jordan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and the U.S.

10:00 am-11:00 am
Neurolanguage Coaching in Action
Rachel Paling
No two brains are the same, so how can we practically implement neuroscientific principles to tailor-make learning to needs, without books, but with clear and structured targets and brain-friendly coaching conversations to facilitate potentially faster, more efficient, sustainable results? Coaching and neuroscience are key.

11:00 am-12:00 pm
Us Ga Speak We English: Promoting Inclusive Language Teacher Practices
Kisha Bryan, Jessica Berry
This session highlights the complexities of teaching, learning, and living in communities where creoles, like Gullah, are spoken alongside standard English and AAVE. Based on their experiences learning and teaching standard English as a second dialect, the presenters provide best practices for language teacher preparation and PD.

3:00 pm-4:00 pm
What's the Use of Usage-Based Linguistic Approaches to Language Teaching?
Natalia Dolgova, Andrea Tyler, Benjamin White, Jack Hardy
This session explores how cognitive linguistics, sociocultural theory, and corpus linguistics contribute to usage-based approaches to language teaching. Their shared focus on meaning as the basis of human communication is particularly relevant for L2 teaching. Following a brief discussion of each approach, the panel concludes with a Q&A.

4:00 pm-5:00 pm
The Genre-Based Classroom: Whys and Hows
Colin Ward, Alice Savage
A content-rich genre-based approach allows classroom participants to draw from subject area texts as a guide to writing. Along with providing focus and structure, such texts also reveal lexical chunks that can be used to frame ideas and embed information. Presenters discuss how this can work at multiple levels.

5:00 pm-6:00 pm
Corpora and Data-Driven Learning for Younger Learners: Making It Work
Peter Crosthwaite
Data-driven learning (DDL) involves direct learner engagement with language corpus data, working as language detectives, with every student a Sherlock Holmes. This session discusses the affordances of DDL for younger (pretertiary) learners, introduces some useful DDL tools, and outlines challenges in implementing DDL in the pretertiary TESOL classroom.

Saturday, 27 March

4:00 pm-5:00 pm
Identifying, Referring, and Servicing Dually Identified EL/SpEd Students
Fran Herbert, Lynda Idle
This session explores how educators can use comparative data to meet the needs of EL students in making informed decisions about referrals to special education (SpEd), thereby reducing disproportionality, and identify collaborative practices in the multitiered system of supportprocess that meet ELs' language needs in supporting appropriate referrals/services of ELs to SpEd.

Pre-recorded Sessions with Q & A

Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL: Current Issues and Future Prospects
Ali Fuad Selvi, Aya Matsuda, Nathanael Rudolph, Bedrettin Yazan
For nearly three decades, scholars problematized dominant approaches in TESOL and offered novel ways to reconceptualize the notions of standards, legitimacy, ownership, identity, instruction, use, and interaction. In this session, panelists offer their vision for the future of this line of scholarship and discuss its implications for TESOL profession(als).

Coming Together: Starting the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conversation
Federico Salas-Isnardi
How do we start a diversity conversation at our institutions? What does it mean to include people of diverse races, ethnicities, languages, religions, sexual orientations, and abilities? A panel of TESOL professionals discusses their perspectives on these difficult questions and the challenges of teaching English in multicultural contexts.

The Challenges and Promises of Technologies in Remote Learning Environments
Cristiane  Vicentini, Ashlee Cappucci, Tony Erben
The presenters consider six fundamental elements of remote learning, which they call the 6 As: Availability, Access, Awareness, Application, Assistance, Affiliation. Each element is considered in terms of the technology considerations educators need to grapple with to ensure the academic and social-emotional growth of their ELs.

Questions About Language Assessment? Resources and Strategies for Language Teachers
Meg Montee, Margaret Malone
Although language assessment is almost ubiquitous in most English learning situations, many teachers have limited background in language assessment. This panel identifies obstacles to understanding language assessment and identifies promising approaches to address them for students, teachers, and administrators in K-12 and adult language settings.

On-demand Sessions

Using Art as Content in ELT
Alice Savage
In this panel, presenters leap from the whys to focus on the hows of using visual and performing arts in ELT. Participants gain creative ideas for using poetry, drama, design, painting, and sculpture to create lessons that also meet language outcomes.

Reading Research and Implications for L2 Reading Development
William Grabe, Charles Browne, Marlise Horst, Fredricka Stoller, Alice Savage, Thomas Robb
In recent years, a number of newer directions in understanding reading and reading development, and the role of vocabulary in language development, have taken on a greater prominence. Five well-known scholars present on these expanded directions in reading research and their implications for L2 reading curricula and instruction.

Identification of Reading and Language Disabilities in Spanish-Speaking ELs
David Francis, Nonie Lesaux
This session examines the challenge of identifying reading and language disabilities in language minority children in kindergarten through second grade. Using analyses from a large-scale longitudinal dataset, the presenters examine a range of factors that affect the oral language and reading development of Spanish-speaking ELs and thereby impact disability identification.