May 2020

May 2020
MinneTESOL Survey Results & Distance Learning  Resources

A huge thank-you to everyone who participated in our Distance Learning survey last month. More than 100 people provided feedback about distance learning trials, tribulations, and triumphs. (And congratulations to Karla Krause-Wohlfeil from Winona State University, winner of the $20 Target gift card for participating in the survey!)

Participants reported that the top challenges during the COVID-19 distance learning pandemic are digital literacy or lack of access to technology, general overwhelm, lack of internet access, and isolation.

You also provided feedback to other teachers, such as:

“…I would like to say that – even as we pare down what we can expect to cover and what we can expect from our students, we should also remember that classes are an important part of their lives right now. …  They want to see and hear from us and “feel” our caring for them. They want to connect with their classmates. AND they still want to learn.” – Debbie Hadas

“…if anything, this pandemic will highlight for districts just how large this ‘advantage gap’ is and how different our home access to equitable education really is. Maybe now districts will see the value in hiring more culturally relevant staff to help support the unique needs of our multilingual families.” – Jillian Magnusson

“Be assertive about ELD as a priority for kids versus an add on service. I wasn’t and now the kids are paying the cost. It’s hard to go back and advocate for changes now.”

This  information is invaluable to other teachers and also administrators to learn about the challenges of distance learning for ELLs as we go forward. Feel free to access the full survey here.

In addition, MinneTESOL has compiled a list of the free, user-friendly technologies that you recommend for connecting with our ELLs. Please feel free to suggest additions to this list – send your feedback to [email protected].

MinneTESOL Journal News

This Fall, MinneTESOL Senior Editor Jen Ouellette-Schramm (pictured) is stepping down after 3 years of work with the Journal. Thank you for your work, Jen! Michelle Benegas from Hamline University will be joining the Journal as an editor.

The next issue of the MinneTESOL Journal will be released later this Spring.

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: [email protected]
Michelle Benegas: [email protected]

MELEd 2020 Conference Updates

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.

Nominate a Colleague for the Harold B Allen or Mary Diaz Awards

MinneTESOL members are invited to submit nominations for the Harold B. Allen Award, honoring outstanding service to the field, and the Mary Diaz Award, highlighting achievements in advocacy. We are seeking nominations from a diverse group of candidates in terms of teaching context, geography, background, and experience. Award recipients and their nominating parties will be notified by mid-July, and awards will be presented to the winners at the MELEd conference on Friday, November 20, 2020. Winners will receive complimentary registration to the conference and a show of recognition

Submit Nomination(s)

To find out more about the HBA Award, click here.
To find out more about the Mary Diaz Award, click here.

Call for Proposals – Please Submit a Proposal!

MinneTESOL and the Minnesota Department of Education welcome proposals for MELEd 2020. We are looking for presentations related to all aspects of English language teaching and best practices for instruction and administration.

Here is the link to Submit a Proposal to MELEd 2020! The submission deadline is May 22, 2020.

Please see our website for more information:

MinneTESOL First-Time Presenter Scholarship

This scholarship is for people who have never presented at MELEd (or SLIFE Spring Fling or MinneTESOL). If awarded, the scholarship will reimburse recipients for the cost of 1 day of conference attendance. Reimbursements will be issued after attending the conference and presenting. MELEd First-Time Presenter Scholarship applications will open in September.

Get to Know the MinneTESOL Executive Board

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

Name: Krista Chong

Position at MinneTESOL: Member Relations Director

Teaching context: K-8 Charter School in Minneapolis
Why you got into ESL: I believe education is the great equalizer and I want to help students see their own potential and thrive in life!
Current project: Fundraising to help immigrant families who have lost jobs from COVID-19 pay their rent in these uncertain times.

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].

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: [email protected]

Past Newsletters
Letter from the President Salam – Greetings of peace – to you all, Welcome to Bilingual/Multilingual Advocacy month! In the spirit of this month, I would like to share with…

Letter from the President Salam – Greetings of peace – to you all, I would like to take this opportunity to share some topics that have been on my heart…

MELEd Conference News Our 10th annual conference will be held November 16-18, 2023 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. The Minnesota English Learner Education (MELEd) Conference is a partnership between MinneTESOL…

Nominations are now open for two annual awards. Award nominees must be a current member of MinneTESOL.  Nominations will be considered by a committee of MinneTESOL Interest Section and Standing…

Our 10th annual conference will be held November 16-18, 2023 at the Saint Paul Rivercentre. The Minnesota English Learner Education Conference is a partnership between MinneTESOL and the Minnesota Department…

Tags: Karla Krause-Wohlfeil, Krista Chong
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2024 MELEd will take place at RiverCentre Nov 21-23, 2024
Registration Opens in September