March Letter from the President
As you are likely aware, there has been an enormous uptick in violence directed at Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities here in the U.S. The recent attack in Atlanta is not the first and will unfortunately likely not be the last such event. MinneTESOL stands in solidarity with Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities here in the U.S. and abroad. MinneTESOL condemns white supremacist violence in all its iterations and is committed to an anti-racist approach to the practice of TESOL.
I, probably like many of you, have been seeking ways of “putting my money where my mouth is,” so to speak, in an effort to support these communities in their work towards healing, and to confront and prevent future attacks. During discussions with friends and colleagues, I am struck by the common desire among everyone I’ve spoken with to be more involved, to show their solidarity and support, and to do something that has the potential to make a difference.
Within MinneTESOL, we feel that it is essential for us to back up our anti-racist rhetoric with action, and so we are organizing an effort to match donations up to $1000 to CAPI (formerly Center for Asian and Pacific Islanders) a local organization that works with immigrants, refugees, and people of color to help them gain access to services and resources. We encourage you to consider joining us in donating to this vital local resource. If a donation is not accessible to you, we are also including a list of other action items below which we’ve adapted from our colleagues at MCTLC (Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures) and we encourage you to take whatever steps you’re able to.
- Get informed: Anti-Asian Attacks Rise During Pandemic | NPR's Stories On The Surge In Violence
- Speak up, support, and take action with CAAL (Coalition of Asian American Leaders in MN).
- Consider auditing your curriculum and materials for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Addressing Anti-Asian Bias | Learning for Justice
- Explore resources that address Issues of race, diversity and social justice from ACTFL.
- Read Social Justice: A Call to Action by L.J. Randolph Jr. and consider what work you might enact.
- Connect with Asian Pacific Organizations in Minnesota.
- Look through and use the Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit, a set of lesson plans and reproducible materials created through a coalition of Asian American community organizations. (More information here, Toolkit here)
- Consider leading a session at the MCTLC 2021 conference around this topic and social justice themes. If you are willing to lead one of these sessions or something similar to it, please email email@example.com.
- Consider submitting a proposal to present on a topic related to race and social justice themes at MELED 2021.
March 2021 Newsletter
Response to anti-Asian violence: March 2021 letter from the president
MinneTESOL is committed to an anti-racist approach to the practice of TESOL. We feel it is essential for us to back up our anti-racist rhetoric with action, and in response to the uptick in violence directed at Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities here in the U.S, we have organized an effort to match donations up to $1000 to CAPI (formerly Center for Asian and Pacific Islanders) a local organization that works with immigrants, refugees, and people of color to help them gain access to services and resources. We encourage you to consider joining us in donating to this vital local resource. For more information, see the full president’s letter on our website.
Support increased funding for ELs in Minnesota
After hearing that many educators do not feel they understand the complicated K-12 EL funding streams, MinneTESOL Advocacy hosted an event on February 17 with invited speakers Leiataua Dr. Jon Peterson and Jeannette Lutter Gardella. We are grateful for Jeannette, who gave a comprehensible overview of various funding streams. The infographics she shared are linked below.
Jon presented an EL funding bill that was recently introduced in the MN House. The bill has four main goals:
- Increase funding for all EL students
- Provide additional funding for students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE)
- Create a statewide EL parent and community advisory council
- Establish accountability for compensatory funds to directly benefit EL students
How you can take action to support this bill:
- Read the bill (HF 1939)
- Personalize this letter to send to your MN elected officials asking them to support the bill when it is introduced. Use this link to find contact info for your MN elected officials.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to join our mailing list or with any questions. Follow MinneTESOL Advocacy on Twitter and Facebook.
“Fearful no more: Teachers amplifying culturally and linguistically diverse familial voices in technological spaces” (Barko-Alva, K, Porter, L., & Herrera, S., 2021) challenges existing assumptions about using technology to support learner engagement. Based on field research and observations, this work recommends tech-rich instructional strategies made possible when teachers engage critical consciousness and reflection to create equitable learning spaces.
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@example.com
Get to know the Executive Board
Each newsletter will profile a different Executive Board or MinneTESOL member.
Name: Krista Schweppe
Position at MinneTESOL: Secondary Interest Section Leader
Teaching Context: I am a 9-12 ESL teacher at North High School in North St. Paul, MN. Although my teaching context is relatively fluid, I am currently co-teaching co-teaching Earth Science, Biology & English 11. I also have the privilege of teaching a newcomer Science class.
Why you got into ESL: I’ve always loved learning languages and the more I dabbled in foreign language learning and instruction, the more curious I became about better understanding how languages are learned. My experiences as a Norwegian language teacher at Skogfjorden, Concordia’s Norwegian Language Village and years spent as a second language learner at University of Oslo have been formative experiences along my journey to becoming an ESL professional.
Current Project: Projects in the K-12 world feel a little bit different this year, but two projects I hold near and dear to my heart right now are: 1. the ELM Project–I am in the first cohort of coaches from my district, and 2. Bilingual Seals–I am collaborating with students to create a promotional video about this opportunity.
MELEd 2021 Call for Proposals Open Soon
The annual MELEd conference will take place November 18-20, 2021, at the Saint Paul Rivercentre. We are planning to do an in-person conference this year. Look for a call for proposals for conference submissions in early March.
TESOL 2021 Best of Affiliates session
The TESOL 2021 International Convention and English Language Expo will be held virtually from March 24-27, 2021.
Exercise and the brain—MinneTESOL “Best of TESOL affiliates 2021”
TESOL goers, please consider checking out “Enhancing Learning in the Classroom with the Benefits of Exercise” from Patrick Randolph on Friday, March 26 at 10:00 a.m. EST. This was voted the Best Presentation at the 2019 MELEd conference and is featured at TESOL 2021 as a Best of Affiliates presentation. This session can soon be found on his YouTube channel.
Friday, March 26th, 2021
10:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time
Enhancing Learning in the Classroom with the Benefits of Exercise
This interactive session examines physical exercise’s powerful effects on the brain. Language learning benefits are discussed and participants will practice effective exercises guaranteed to help strengthen their ELLs’ cognition, attention, and memory. One academic-based activity is also offered that focuses on developing student awareness of exercise’s robust impact on learning.
The 2021 “Best of TESOL Affiliates”
Each year, up to eight TESOL nominated Affiliates are invited to present special sessions at the TESOL International Convention. These are submitted as the best presentations from the 109 of the worldwide TESOL Affiliate Conferences. TESOL International is responsible for selecting the eight best sessions. This year there were three. These award-winning sessions are then presented at the annual TESOL Convention. Below are the presenters, affiliates, titles, and times of the three “Best of TESOL Affiliates.”
Affiliate: Intermountain TESOL
Title: What’s in a Meme?
Affiliate: TexTESOL V
Title: Investigate Social, Political, and Cultural Issues Using Novels
Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. EST
Patrick T. Randolph
Title: Enhancing Learning in the Classroom with the Benefits of Exercise
Friday, March 26, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST
Patrick T. Randolph specializes in vocabulary acquisition, creative and academic writing, speech, and debate.
No fooling: College/Secondary/SLIFE event on April 1
Join the MinneTESOL College Interest Section and SLIFE Standing Committee for the virtual presentation “Supporting High School and College SLIFE Students” on April 1. FFI, check out the MinneTESOL events calendar.