August 2022

The 2022 Advocacy Report from Washington

The 2022 TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summit was held in Washington, D.C. this year on June 20-22, 2022. TESOL Members from around the US were excited to be back in person for this memorable event. Four MinneTESOL members attended the conference.

MinneTESOL attendees’ reaction to the TESOL Summit

“This summit highlights the importance of coordinated national and state level advocacy on behalf of all multilingual learners in the United States.”   -Jonell Pacyga, ESL (K-12) Education Licensures Coordinator/Professor of Education & World Languages, University of Northwestern-St. Paul

“This summit offers a great opportunity to share best ways to support and advocate for multilingual learners in the United States. It also provides a safe space to raise awareness of multilingual learners’ needs and approaches to address such needs in various parts of the United States”. – Dr. Eglantina Cenolli, Mathematics and ESL teacher at NJH, ISD 742, St. Cloud.

“The summit was a great way to learn about the legislative priorities that will impact pre-K to higher ed multilingual students and families. The information about the Rights of Immigrant Students and ELs, as well as data from the NCELA & OELA were powerful to continue helping us advocate for our students.” – Angelica Torralba-Olague, ESL Teacher and Education Pathway Coordinator, Minneapolis Public Schools

“The advocacy summit was another great way to represent how TESOL “advances excellence in English Language teaching.” From rich conversations and networking with colleagues from around the country to genuine, sit down meetings with those who represent our students and our roles as teachers in the senate and house.  A meaningful time to bring advocacy to the forefront and highlight policies to bring to the floor.” -Ally Stephens, K-5 ESL Teacher, Anoka-Hennepin Schools

Advocacy Highlights

It was an honor to represent our MinneTESOL community at this year’s policy and advocacy summit in Washington, DC. Here is a little more about our experiences this year:

  • The TESOL community represents English language teaching professionals in the U.S. and in 150 countries around the world.
  • Nearly 50 educators attended the summit in-person, with many more participating on this year’s virtual advocacy day on June 21.
  • MinneTESOL was able to fund four representatives to attend: Jonell Pacyga (ESL (K-12) Education Licensures Coordinator/Professor of Education & World Languages, University of Northwestern-St. Paul), Dr. Eglantina Cenolli (Mathematics and ESL Teacher at North Junior High, St. Cloud), Angelica Torralba-Olague (Education Pathways Teacher & Coordinator, ESL & Social Studies, Minneapolis Public Schools), Ally Stephens (K-5 ESL Teacher, Anoka-Hennepin Schools)
  • The summit takes place over 3 days. The first day is a chance to meet and network with other advocating TESOL professionals from around the United States. The second day includes federal legislative updates, a presentation on the legal rights of immigrant students in public schools, and sessions from the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, and the National Skills Coalition (NSC).
  • The final day is spent meeting with the offices of U.S. representatives and senators at the capital.
    Our Minnesota team met with Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar’s offices. Both senators are committed to continuing to support TESOL’s recommendations.
  • We also met with staff from the office of four Minnesota Representatives based on our current district residences: Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, Tom Emmer, and Angie Craig.
  • McCollum, Omar, and Craig agreed to coordinate additional actions related to all of TESOL’s 2022 policy recommendations and are notably co-sponsors of the bills currently in congress. Emmer noted the SPELL act as a potential point of action.

For more information about this year’s summit, visit our newsletter web page.

TESOL’s current legislative priorities include:

Increased funding for K-12 English learners (ELs) through Titles I, II, and III of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

  • Increased funding for Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, benefitting adult English learners and others.
  • Passage of the Reaching English Learners Act, which would provide additional funding for the training of future TESOL educators at the K-12 level.
  • Support establishing a national strategy on international education.
  • Passage of the American Dream, Promise Act, and Dream Act, which would ensure a path to permanent citizenship for Dreamers.
  • Pass the Supporting Providers of English Language Learners (SPELL) Act, increasing student loan forgiveness for English language teachers from $7,500 to $15,00, equitable to what teachers from other licensure shortage areas (i.e. math and science) currently qualify for.

For more details about these and other TESOL legislative priorities for the 117th congress, access this document.

Wondering how to get involved? Advocate from home using the TESOL Action Center!

TESOL has created an Action Center with links for you to connect with your local legislators. You can raise awareness around the issues impacting English language learners and their families. Once you enter your name and address, your specific legislators will populate. Messages can be personalized, as well. It’s easy and you don’t have to be a member of TESOL to utilize the resources. Follow this link.

Connect with us!

  • Email [email protected] to join our mailing list or become a member of the MinneTESOL Advocacy Interest Section!
  • Find us on Twitter: @MNELAdvocacy
  • Find us on Facebook: MinneTESOL Advocacy Facebook

We encourage you to continue to advocate for English learners and English language educators by contacting your Minnesota representatives and senators using the TESOL advocacy center, linked above. The stories we carry are powerful when shared!

See MinneTESOL at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

MinneTESOL will be at the Great Minnesota Get-Together! On Friday, September 2, volunteers from MinneTESOL will be in the Education Minnesota booth in the Education Building at the Minnesota State Fair. We will ask questions from the US Citizenship test and hand out candy. If you are there that day, please stop by and say hello!

MELEd 2022 Update

The 9th annual Minnesota English Learner Education (MELEd) conference will take place November 17-19, 2022, at the Saint Paul Rivercentre.

Conference keynotes will be announced and conference registration will open in early September. This year we will offer discounted registration prices for students, EAs, paras, and retirees, as well as first-time attendee scholarships. Stay tuned for more information!

The new MinneTESOL journal is available now

The new issue of the MinneTESOL Journal is now available! Check out the current journal which highlights the ingenuity of English language practitioner-scholars from a variety of contexts.

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 for more information.

Journal submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Email the senior editors to learn more about submitting work: [email protected]

Did you know?

Past MinneTESOL newsletters can be found on our website, at

We want to hear from you

We are always looking for information to share from our members. Please send newsletter submissions to [email protected].

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