July 2020

2020 Advocacy Report from Washington

The 2020 TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit, usually held in Washington, D.C., was held virtually this year on June 22-24, 2020. This format allowed 14 MinneTESOL members from all over the state to attend!

What do MinneTESOL attendees have to say about the TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit?

“The summit reinforced the importance of entering into those “courageous conversations” that are integral to effective advocacy, especially at these challenging times of uncertainty.”  
-Sandra Juni,  ELL Coordinator, Hmong College Prep Academy

“I often cringe at the question, ‘Where were you born?’ on school registration paperwork. This question can make families feel unsafe. Now I know that even though schools are required to provide this kind of information, they are also allowed to use an estimate, making the question unnecessary.”-Rebecca Hildreth, EL Teacher, Mounds View Public Schools

“I learned about how funding is allocated to school districts. I was amazed at how many educators are so committed to equity for ELs."-Sara Maldonado, EL Teacher, West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools 

“Attending the TESOL Summit grew my knowledge base about our field so much. I appreciated learning about the legal rights of students and families and about legislative priorities that can enhance how we serve them.” – Rachael Bird, EL Teacher, Owatonna Public Schools


“The TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit reinforced for me how many different lanes of advocacy there are. It does not look just one way or require everyone who wants to speak up for their students to head directly to the Capitol. Also, there is always an immediate need for educators to advocate.”-Leah Soderlund, EL Teacher/MinneTESOL External Relations Director

To read more about the Advocacy Summit, and to find out about TESOL’s current legislative priorities and how you can get involved locally, read the full article on the MinneTESOL Advocacy Page. 


Register for the Literacy Action Network ABE Summer Institute 

The popular ABE Summer Institute will be held online this year on August 19-20. Find out more about the Summer Institute here, and click here to register. 


MELEd 2020 Conference Updates

All proposals are in for the 2020 MELEd Conference, and raters are busy reading proposals.Notification about proposal acceptance will be sent on July 24.

As of now, plans have not changed the format of the 2020 MELED Conference. We still plan to have an in-person conference on November 19-21, 2020 at the Rivercentre in St. Paul, MN. We will keep you apprised if the format of the conference changes. 

Recent Newsletters


June 2020
June 2020 Statement on Racial Injustice and Equality In solidarity…
Continue reading »

May 2020
May 2020 MinneTESOL Survey Results & Distance Learning  Resources A…
Continue reading »

April 2020
April 2020 Distance Learning Update: Letter to Gov. Walz We…
Continue reading »

March 2020
MELEd 2020 Call for Proposals MELEd Proposal Submission MinneTESOL and…
Continue reading »

February 2020
February 2020 MinneTESOL Interest Sections and Standing Committees An Interest…
Continue reading »

January 2020
Greetings and Happy New Year from MinneTESOL! At the start…
Continue reading »



Featured Article

Check out the timely article “New ways of serving adult ESOL learners: Innovation stems from disruption” from co-editor Jen Vanek in the Spring 2020 Journal. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced adult basic skills and ESOL programs to offer instruction at a distance. The uncertainty of the future means programs must rethink sustainable alternatives to traditional classroom programming. In this way, the pandemic has forced a change that might just reshape adult learning—potentially making it more flexible and personalized in the days to come.

This and all articles are available in the Spring 2020 Journal.


MinneTESOL Journal Call for Papers!
Now is your chance to publish an article in the upcoming MinneTESOL Journal, a practitioner academic online journal. See Writing for the MinneTESOL Journal. 

Submissions for the Fall issue are due August 15, 2020. Email the senior editors to learn more about submitting work:

Jen Vanek: jen_vanek@worlded.org
Michelle Benegas: mbenegas01@hamline.edu


Get to Know the MinneTESOL Executive Board

Each newsletter will profile a different Executive Board or MinneTESOL member.

Name: Sara Maldonado

Position at MinneTESOL: Advocacy Standing Committee Co-Chair

Teaching context: ESL for K-4 at Moreland Health and Sciences Magnet in West St Paul; Adult ESL Instructor for South Suburban Adult Basic Education

Why you got into ESL: I have a passion for teaching, connecting, and making relationships with immigrant children and their families, as well as for my adult learners. I want to be able to give them the language they need to live in this country.

Current project: I have several – delivering food weekly to families from my school; teaching English to 5 newcomers from my school twice a week; continuing the work of advocacy that I learned in the Summit by connecting with lawmakers and representatives from Minnesota.


TESOL 2020 Virtual Convention and Expo: Special Discount for MinneTESOL members

MinneTESOL is pleased to share a special online learning and networking opportunity with you from TESOL International Association. On 16-18 July TESOL is bringing together English language teaching professionals from around the world for its first-ever Virtual Convention & Expo. All MinneTESOL members are invited to register at the TESOL member rate of US $99 ($49 savings).

To register at the TESOL member rate, you must use this registration link by 8 July: https://bit.ly/2UV0oDf

From the comfort of your home, office, or on the go, you’ll be able to:

  • Hear from engaging keynote presentations with live Q&A
  • Gather new research, strategies, and tools from 100 sessions on English language learning and teaching
  • Chat and network with attendees and exhibitors
  • Find new ELT products and services in the interactive Expo

Additionally, if you miss a session, you can access the recording to watch at your convenience. To learn more about the Virtual Convention, visit the website.

We hope you will come together with your ELT colleagues at TESOL 2020!

Did you know?

Past MinneTESOL newsletters can be found on our website, at http://minnetesol.org/minnetesol-newsletters

We want to hear from you

We are always looking for information to share from our members. Please send newsletter submissions to admin@minnetesol.org.

Did we miss something?

Do you have a professional event you’d like to see included in the MinneTESOL newsletter? Please send an email with details to: admin@minnetesol.org