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On November 1-3, 2018, our region hosted the state TexTESOL conference at the Westin Galleria Dallas in Dallas, Texas. We welcomed over 500 ESL professionals to the DFW metroplex and engaged in three very full days of professional development. Keynote addresses by Monica Lara, Helen Thorpe, and Federico Salas-Isnardi were inspirational, and the numerous breakout sessions –including quickshares, posters, and workshops – gave educators practical tools for teaching ELLs. Scrumptious meals and plentiful door prizes gave the event a touch of elegance and excitement. Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, presented, and served!

We look forward to seeing everyone at our next regional conference. The date and location will be announced later in the spring.

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Conference Program

We accepted proposals from 100+ ESL professionals who shared their expertise in workshops, breakout sessions, posters and quickshares. There truly was something for everyone — whether you’re a K-12 classroom teacher, a graduate student in linguistics or TESOL, a community ESL program head, a teacher trainer, a higher ed instructor, an administrator, or anything in between.

In lieu of a paper program, we used an online scheduling app called Sched to access the conference program.


Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Dr. Mónica Lara’s enthusiastic approach to teaching and learning in English and Spanish is the trademark of her educational career. Her roles in education include experience as a teacher, reading specialist, assistant principal, and educational specialist in the areas of dyslexia and bilingual/ESL education.

Dr. Lara’s biliterate and bicultural belief system is engaging, invigorating, and refreshing when she delivers her signature message: Enseñanza para todos (teaching for all).

Dr. Lara has led numerous State initiatives and has served as a state trainer for English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS); Spanish Language Arts Reading/Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills/College and Career Readiness Standards (SLAR/TEKS/CCRS); Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC), and LEER MAS.

In addition, she assists districts to evaluate their Bilingual/ESL programs to insure accountability and implementation of best practices for English Language Learners (ELLs). Dr. Lara holds a Masters of Arts degree in reading and a Ph.D. in Culture, Literacy, and Language, a testament to her commitment to and belief in teaching all learners. Her research interests include early reading assessment and biliteracy education.

Federico Salas-Isnardi is a linguist, ESL educator, diversity trainer, and independent education consultant with 30 years of experience in Adult Education and second language acquisition. He has conducted hundreds of workshops on many aspects of adult education, literacy, and ESL and has focused on intercultural and diversity training, social justice issues affecting students and teachers, literacy education in the 21st century, citizenship, and employability skills. He has worked as a state and local adult education program administrator, teacher, professional developer, program consultant, and materials writer while serving in numerous volunteer roles in state and national organizations. He also served on the team that developed the US Naturalization test and is co-author of Future English for Results a multi-media adult ESL series and Future US Citizens, a textbook to teach English to naturalization applicants.

Helen Thorpe is a nonfiction author who lives in Denver, Colorado. She has been a journalist for over twenty years and has previously written magazine articles for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Texas Monthly, and 5280. She also serves on the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

     Her first book, Just Like Us, was published by Scribner in September 2009. It won the Colorado Book Award, was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, and was adapted for the stage by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in a play that was staged in October 2013.

     Her second book, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War, came out in 2014 from Scribner. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin described Soldier Girls as “an absolutely terrific and important work.” Publisher’s Weekly called it “moving,” while Booklist said it was “engrossing and heartbreaking at once.” A review in Kirkus said: “[Soldier Girls] tells the absorbing story of how wartime experiences shaped the lives and friendships of three female soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. . . . Intensely immersive reading.

Helen is represented exclusively by the BrightSight Group

In addition to our Keynote and Plenary Speakers, TexTESOL invited several featured speaker sessions that were offered alongside our concurrent sessions. Special thanks to Texas A&M Commerce, Arte Publico Press, and Cambridge Publishing for their support in bringing these fantastic speakers to our conference.

Featured Speakers

Featured Speaker
Dr. Lucy Pickering
Professor of Applied Linguistics & TESOL
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Dr. Pickering is Professor of Applied Linguistics & TESOL at Texas A&M University-Commerce. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Florida. She has published numerous articles and book chapters in the area of L2 speech production.  Her teacher training book, Discourse Intonation for ESL/EFL Teachers, will appear with Michigan University Press in Summer, 2018.

Featured Speaker
Dr. Richard Gómez
Dual Language Consultant

Dr. Richard Gómez has been working with ELLs for over 30 years.  He has worked with ELL students as a secondary teacher, a University Professor, a State Director, and now works as a Dual Language consultant to over 150 school districts across 12 states!  Dr. Gómez trains on the Best Teaching and Learning strategies that he used both as a teacher and a teacher trainer.  Dr. Gómez stesses that these “Best Practices” have nothing to do with language, and will work with all grade levels and students.

Featured Speaker
Ray Villareal
Award-winning Author
Arte Publico Press

Ray Villareal is an award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, including Don’t Call Me Hero and On the Other Side of the Bridge.

He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Education and a Master of Liberal Arts. He has thirty years of experience working as a classroom teacher and an instructional reading/language arts coach. He currently teaches Clinical I Integrated Language Arts and Social Studies Instruction K-8 at the University of North Texas at Dallas.

Ray has trained thousands of teachers on how to teach writing. He has also presented at the National Council of Teachers of English, the Arizona English Teachers Association, the Texas State Reading Association, the Texas Librarians Association, the Region I Librarians Conference, the Duval County Public Schools Literacy Expo, the Sanibel Leadership Conference, the Region 5 ESC Librarians Conference, and the TexTESOL V Conference.

Additionally, Ray makes author visits at schools and book festivals across the country to promote reading and writing.

Featured Speaker
Robyn Brinks Lockwood
Lecturer in English for Foreign Students (EFS)
Stanford University

Robyn Brinks Lockwood teaches courses in English listening, speaking, and writing for international graduate students at Stanford University. She is also the education program coordinator of the American Language and Culture undergraduate summer program that focuses on teaching presentation skills and academic writing for undergraduate English learners. She is an active member of the international TESOL organization, is an ad hoc consultant for TESOL Press, and is a past chair of the Materials Writers Interest Section. She is a frequent presenter at TESOL regional and international conferences. Robyn has edited and written numerous textbooks, online courses, video programs, ancillary materials for teachers, and textbooks for writing, speaking, and listening English courses and TOEFL preparation. Her publications include those of Cambridge University Press, Macmillan Education, Oxford University Press, and Pearson; most notably, she is a co-author in the Prism series by Cambridge University Press and Flip It: Strategies for the ESL Classroom by University of Michigan Press.