Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What We Learned at I-TESOL

We all learned a lot at the I-TESOL conference this weekend, read the following to find out what exactly.

Any questions? Comment on this post and we'll answer them as best we can!

Jake Broadhead - During my time at the I-TESOL conference I was able to meet and discuss current topics with some of the top professionals in the ESL field. Some came from universities throughout Utah and Idaho and others were from English Language Centers. I was able to learn more in-depth about Assessment in whole but also how that specifically applied to English language learners. I enjoyed most of all being able to participate by presenting the international Pathway program to other professionals at the conference. This gave us exposure as students to the professional field of ESL and also to present to an audience and others what BYU-Idaho is doing to participate in English instruction worldwide.

Michelle Millers - Attending the I-TESOL Conference was a wonderful experience. My only regret is that I had to decide which sessions to go to during the different time-slots for presentations and workshops. I have gained a much greater knowledge of how to teach ELLs, how to integrate different technologies into the classroom, reading strategies for students, creating a unique, memorable project for ELLs to learn and use basic grammar concepts, and there were many discussions on assessing ELLs that were very informative and useful. The presentation from BYU graduates on their Basic Training and Resources program for volunteer English teachers was the most useful for me, as I am planning to teach English in China next fall and i will not have had enough formal teaching experience before then to teach it adequately. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to attend this conference.

Kendra Sanders - Attending the I-TESOL conference was a very enlightening experience for me. I learned a lot, of course, about TESOL assessment strategies, uses of technology, cognitive development and difference between adult ELLs and k-12 ELLs. That was all very fascinating, however, I think the greatest thing I gained from this experience was the opportunity to see where grad school could take me and what I could expect. I was given the opportunity to present the International Pathway Program, with a few other students from BYU-Idaho, to people at the conference. I felt that the presentation went well based on the inquiry that some of our audience exhibited. I also thought it a great experience to be able to have a taste of what grad students and people with their PhDs do. We had the opportunity to speak to a college professor from BYU Provo and ask him all of our questions about their graduate program, what it entails, what it takes to get accepted, etc. I also had the experience of getting voted into the k-12 intersection of the I-TESOL board. Although I don’t know much about what I-TESOL entails, except what I experienced at this conference, I learned a great deal of the concerns and agenda of the I-TESOL board in my very first board meeting during the conference. I am excited for this new opportunity that I would never have even considered had I not been at this conference, and I look forward to the networking possibilities and exposure to different aspects of the TESOL world. I feel that this opportunity really helped me to understand my options after I graduate and has helped me to start narrowing my focus and goals.

Barbara Stander – The I-TESOL conference was great this past weekend! I went knowing very little about the program and came away with a wealth of knowledge. I learned better methods for teaching English language learners and what programs are being implemented in different areas, including the amazing and growing international Pathway program here at BYU-Idaho and how others are working with refugees in Boise. I also learned how to improve power points, making them interactive and useful beyond simple presentations; they can be used for games, quizzes, practice tests, and more to help English language learners. Not only did I come away with a wealth of knowledge, but I was able to meet and connect to people from different locations. I was able to learn from them and their experiences, further adding to my reservoir regarding TESOL and its potential.

Danielle Kent - Attending the ITESOL conference this weekend broadened my view of the things I could do with my TESOL minor. I was able to attend a workshop on creating a class webpage which piqued my interest. Since then I have found that I can get an online teaching endorsement through this school. I was able to hear real issues and solutions in classrooms and critically think about what I can do to prepare for those concerns. I feel more confident in my education and ability to lead an ELL classroom now.

Meg Rumbaugh - I learned a lot of things this past weekend. I become much more familiar with the TESOL program. My favorite things I learned was about corpora and how to teach people vocabulary though context. I learned about a lot of resources for teaching which was great. I met a lot of great people at the conference.Something really great that happened at the conference was that I won a free TESOL membership. So that was exciting. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to go.

Chelsea Bowen - I TESOL was pivotal for me. Throughout my years at BYUI, and they have been many, i felt lost in what i want to do post graduation. After going to the conference and talking with the presenters i now have a clear plan for my future. I want to teach TESOL and i want to go to graduate school and get my masters in TESOL. I loved the key note speaker, Lyle F. Bachman's, emphasis on assessment. His comment about the possibility that bad assessment could be the result of bad teaching really hit me. My assessments reflect my teaching. I felt like the BYUI students who presented did an amazing job at being professional and knowledgable. Overall it was an amazing experience and i feel blessed to have been apart of it.

Garrett Bedford- Attending the I-TESOL conference has enabled me to realize how big of a program TESOL actually is. My eyes have been opened a great deal concerning the field opportunities that are available for me after I graduate. I enjoyed meeting with many people who are studying for their masters program at BYU, which I too am interested in doing. From the workshops , I have gained a greater appreciation for performance testing as well as assessment. My favorite part of the conference was actually sitting down with a representative from BYU who helped me see a clearer vision for the master’s program. I am grateful that I had a chance to attend the conference and hope to attend again next year.

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