MinneTESOL Newsletter

April 2024 Newsletter

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 you some ML advocacy work happening both nationally and locally. 

I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s TESOL convention in Florida where I met the Assistant Deputy Secretary, and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition, Montserrat Gariby. During her session, she shared the US Department of Education’s Raise the Bar: Lead the World call to action. The goal is to unify and highlight researched ways of increasing student excellence. I highly encourage you to take a look at their webpage and resources where multilingualism is highlighted as foundational to student success.

I would also like to draw attention to the Minnesota Plain Language Bill (House File: 3071/Senate File 3094), which was initiated by MinneTESOL member and ML teacher, Amna Kiran. You may recall her table during the last MELEd conference where she was collecting support from ML educators across the state. The Plain Language bill ensures that the language used on the Minnesota driver’s license test follows the guidelines of the federal Plain Language Act. It recently passed both the House and the Senate, and is on its way to the Governor for signing. Congratulations to Amna, bill authors Rep. Brade Tabke and Sen. Claire Oumou Verbten, and all those who signed the petition and letters of support at MELEd! Check out the coverage of the work here or here.

I hope this newsletter finds you well. The continued threat to, and violence on, BIPOC and LGTPQ+ communities and global conflicts, continue to create worry and weight on the hearts and minds of educators and our families. The suffering and heartache of fellow community members, and although not the purpose of this letter, it must be acknowledged. 

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mendela

In partnership,
Qurina Slayhi

Events News

MinneSLIFE Spring Fling on April 27 Canceled

The MinneSLIFE Spring Fling, originally slated for Apr. 27, has been canceled. Stay tuned for a MinneSLIFE event this summer!

Adult Education Interest Section Book Group on May 10

You are invited to the Adult Education (AE) Spring Interest Section meeting, hosted by AEIS leaders Katrina Benson and Jill Ashley-Grochowski on Friday, May 10 at 1pm at Neighborhood House on 179 Robie Street E, St. Paul, 55107. Attendees will receive an e-book of Rooted in Joy free of charge. We will also offer refreshments. Hang out after our Spring “Book Club” Launch for a tour of Neighborhood House. For further information, or to register, e-mail Katrina or Jill at [email protected]

College IS Meeting on Generative AI on April 13

Thank you to everyone who attended the hybrid College IS Meeting about Generative AI for multilingual writers on Saturday, April 13. And thank you to our speaker Dr. Dan Emery. It was a useful and productive session!

MELEd News

The Minnesota English Learner  Education (MELEd) Conference will be held November 21-23, 2024 at the Saint Paul Rivercentre MELEd 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 is open now. 

Getting to know MinneTESOL 

Name: Katrina Rosamay Benson

Position at MinneTESOL: Adult Education Interest Section Co-Leader

Education context: Neighborhood House & Lyndale Neighborhood Association

Why you got into ESL: I’ve always been drawn to language learning and cultures that differed from where I grew up (in southern suburbs of the twin cities). Additionally, the rich lived experience that adult learners bring to the classroom, share, and ground their communities in, is incredible! 

Current project: I’m building out a volunteer-based Digital Navigator Program at Neighborhood House in Saint Paul. With the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), we adjusted program models due to the change in funding. We hope to reach participants across all programming to offer consultations with Digital Navigators. These consultations will support each household in securing low-cost internet, a device to use in their home, and the skills they need to navigate our online worlds.

MinneTESOL journal featured articles 

Katherine D. Dudley’s article “‘Science of Reading’: Research for Educators of Emergent Bilinguals in Kindergarten” examines what the science of reading offers to educators working with young students who are learning English as they learn to read. Dudley explains shifts in literacy instruction in Minnesota that are bringing reading instruction in line with science of reading research. She also points out that reading skills transfer across languages, and that translanguaging can allow students to use their whole linguistic repertoire in learning.

In “Building Bridges: Connecting Student Languages in the ESL Classroom,” Siri Mehring describes Bridging, an approach used in dual immersion settings that allows students to compare and contrast two or more languages. Drawing on what is known about Bridging in dual immersion, Mehring makes a case for its applicability to ESL classrooms, offers suggestions for its implementation, and provides resources for further exploration of Bridging.

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.

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 [email protected].

Past Newsletters
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…

Congratulations Sam Ouk Congratulations to MinneTESOL member Sam Ouk who is doing a Best of Affiliates Presentation at TESOL. His “After the Killing Fields (Refugee Simulation)” presentation was voted the…

New Year, New Executive Board Many new faces joined the MinneTESOL Executive Board this year. Meet the new Executive Board members First Vice-President: Qurina Slayhi, MA in ESL, is an English…

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…

MELEd Logo
MELEd 2022: Calls for Proposals and Proposal Raters The 9th annual Minnesota English Learner Education (MELEd) conference will take place November 17-19, 2022, at the Saint Paul Rivercentre. This conference is…

March 2022 Newsletter Legislative Update from MinneTESOL Advocacy MinneTESOL members have been busy with legislative advocacy this month! Thank you to all those who contacted your elected officials in support…

February 2022 Newsletter A Message from TESOL about Ukraine On behalf of the TESOL Board of Directors and staff, we share the world’s distress and grief regarding the events unfolding…

2024 MELEd will take place at RiverCentre Nov 21-23, 2024
Registration Opens in September