If you have a news story you would like to share with MinneTESOL, please send information to the MinneTESOL executive assistant: admin@minnetesol.org

Save the Date!

The Minnesota English Learner Education Conference will be held November 19-21, 2020 at the Saint Paul Rivercentre*

MELEd LogoThe Minnesota English Learner Education Conference is a partnership between MinneTESOL and the Minnesota Department of Education.  It is a merger of the annual MinneTESOL Fall Conference and the Minnesota ESL, Bilingual, and Migrant Education Conference.

The Call for Proposals will be available at the end of February

*Parking included in conference registration on a first-come, first-served basis

We hope to see you there!

Please direct your questions to the conference chair:

Ghaida Shamsan shams040@umn.edu

MinneSLIFE Spring Fling Conference Update

The MinneSLIFE website is at www.minneslife.org.

Here’s the link to the page on the site that talks about the conference.

PLEASE share widely as soon as you can do that we can get a solid group of proposals.

Advocacy Postcards

Valorie Arrowsmith, our Mid Central Regional Officer (and K12 ESL and World Languages educator), writes.

Saturday, 1/5/19 was the coffee gathering for ESL, ASL, and world language teachers in East Central Minnesota.

One of our tasks was to send post cards to decision-makers.
You may like to use this idea.
I printed the message options on one side and the the image on the reserve side.
Attached is one addressed to Governor-Elect Walz (who, by the time we mail the postcards, will be the Governor).
Also attached is one without an addressee.
Feel free to use or pass along to interested people.


Hello MinneTESOL friends!

I am happy to share this very interesting blog post from one of our past president’s, Dr. Michelle Benegas of Hamline University. Michelle’s advocacy for our content area, English as a Second Language, elevates our roles within school environments, in my opinion. Those of us that work in K-12 contexts do teach English language learners (ELLs) or English learners (ELs), but we are English as a Second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc…) Language teachers. Our licensure area is ESL, the same way as licensed math teachers are simply math teachers and not math learner teachers. I have been sharing Michelle’s perspective with colleagues with the hope of increasing our professional contribution to the educational experience of our newest learners in Minnesota and beyond. I hope you will consider Michelle’s perspective!

Thank you,

Sam DiVita

ESL Teacher

Past President (2017), MinneTESOL

TESOL denounces decision to end DACA

Our parent organization has issued a statement denouncing the proposed end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. To read their statement, click here.


Highly Qualified Update!

May 2, 2017

On Friday, April 28,2017 the Teacher Education-Interest Section convened a meeting that was attended by MDE staff, teachers, principals, district leads, and teacher educators for a discussion of Highly Qualified (HQ) teachers. Under ESSA, HQ was eliminated, which has resulted in a lot of confusion and frustration in the ESL community as we try to figure out implications for ESL teachers and programs.


While there is much uncertainty at the moment given pending legislation around changes to teacher licensure, there is also a window of possibility. An amendment has been proposed that could be added to the tiered licensing bills that will be discussed in conference committee beginning Monday, May 1. The proposed amendment (Assistant Commissioner Hue Nguyen is trying to get us a draft of the language) would allow for teachers who are currently HQ to continue to teach in their same roles for 2 years.

If you are in favor of such an amendment, contact members of the committee to express your ideas.

Members of that conference committee include:

A sub-committee is being orgnaized by Michelle Benegas and Amy Hewett-Olatunde to work on advocacy. Stay tuned for updates. Contact Michelle if you are interested in serving on this committee.

Many thanks to Kristi Herman-Hill for taking notes at the meeting (attached).


Congratulations to MinneTESOL members receiving scholarships to attend the 2017 TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summit!

April 7, 2017

The 2017 TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit will be held June 18-20 in Washington, DC. MinneTESOL is proud to send the following members to represent MinneTESOL and Minnesota ELLs this year:

  • Rachel Casey, MinneTESOL Executive Board member/Southwest Regional Officer
  • Michael Schwartz, MinneTESOL member, director of the IEC at St. Cloud State University
  • Sam DiVita, MinneTESOL Executive Board member/President

You can learn more about the awardees here.


Language teachers talk shop at Mora Gathering

March 8, 2017

Mora, MN—When language teachers gather, the time is filled with words.  Words race across the table, get shared with a partner, make up a discussion about the challenges and highlights of the field of second language acquisition, and are used to disseminate current information.  That is what happened when ESL and world language teachers met at the New Generation Bakery in downtown Mora, MN in early March.  Those choosing to spend their Saturday morning talking shop represented Minnesota Teachers of Second and Other Languages (MNTESOL) and were members of the Minnesota Council for Teaching Languages and Cultures (MCTLC). Read more about this March 4th meeting here.

On March 13, ELLs and MinneTESOL members testified at both Minnesota State House and Senate Education Committee hearings on upcoming bills to support English Language Learners (ELL) in Minnesota. – See more here.
 The MinneTESOL retirees at the September potluck.

The MinneTESOL retirees at the September potluck.
The retired MinneTESOL members now have their own web page! Deirdre Bird Kramer has turned the group’s blog into a MinneTESOL Retirees website.  Please add this website to your toolbar, and also please take her up on her request to send items for her to post!

Amy Hewett-Olatunde
 A great article appeared in the Star Tribune about Amy Hewett-Olatunde, who is a MinneTESOL member and Teachers’ Ed Interest Section leader. Amy talks about why she loves teaching ESL.