Travel Grant 2011-12: Francisco Ramos

Francisco Ramos

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Annual Conference
March 28-21, 2012
Philadelphia, PA

Nature/Type of the Event

The annual TESOL conference it the most important meeting of TESOL professionals in the US as well as worldwide. The conference presents the latest pedagogies, methodologies, techniques and strategies for teaching and learning English as a Second Language and reunites the best-known researchers and teaching professionals in the field.

Relevance of Event for Applicant's Teaching, the Applicant's Involvement in the Event, and Expected Learning or Outcome

The field of TESOL is constantly evolving in the United States as a result of the endless influx of non-English speaking immigrants attending our schools and adult English as a Second Language classes. Providing these populations with the high quality instruction they need to succeed in learning English requires teachers who are knowledgeable of the latest methods, strategies and activities for teaching this language, as well as recent brain research findings on the mechanisms facilitating second language teaching and learning. As a Methods in Second Language Acquisition course instructor in LMU's Teacher Education program, attending the TESOL conference will give me the opportunity to keep abreast of research-based strategies and activities related to the use of authentic videos, cooperative activities, scaffolding, and integration of technology that I can later implement in my own class while presenting course topics and issues in a variety of innovative ways to my undergraduate and graduate students, and while requiring they present in class required readings or assignments. In modeling the implementation of the aforementioned strategies and activities in context, I will also demonstrate practically to my students how they can replicate them in their own classrooms and apply them to the teaching of diverse content areas, thereby increasing their repertoire of resources to teach English Language Learners.

Additionally, the knowledge gained in the conference in the areas of program development and curriculum planning will prove invaluable for me at the time of designing the curriculum and the content of the tentative courses in LMU's upcoming TESOL program. As a facilitator of the SOE's TESOL program Task Force at the request of Dr. Shane Martin, this knowledge will help me develop a solid program that can positively impact the theoretical and practical preparation of its graduates.

Travel Report

The Center for Teaching Excellence Travel Grant I was awarded this year allowed me to attend the Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) conference in Philadelphia, PA, last week. The TESOL conference is the largest conference of English teaching professionals in the United States, with nearly 7,000 attendees every year.

As a member-at-large of TESOL's Bilingual Education Interest Section (BEIS), I am expected to participate in the open meetings of the section, which are regularly held on the first day of the conference, as well as in the academic session organized by the section on a subsequent day. The latter is a great opportunity to interact with the rest of the members of the section, as well as with interested members and participants, analyze current events affecting the profession, and become familiar with current and future policies impacting the field. Additionally, as the current co-editor of the BEIS Newsletter, I took advantage of these sessions to disseminate past issues of the publication among participants and advertise the submission guidelines for prospective authors interested in submitting manuscripts for the upcoming issue.

The conference does not only target English teaching professionals in the United States. In fact, the numerous attendees from African, South American, and Asian countries bring a wealth of extraordinarily useful experiences for any professional interested in the teaching of languages and cultures in our country or overseas. Therefore, getting to know colleagues from other parts of the world offered me the opportunity to compare and contrast current teaching methods and strategies that I can apply to the courses I teach at LMU and that I can later share with colleagues in my department during our regularly scheduled meetings.