September 2020

MELEd 2020 Conference Guest Speakers Announced

MELEdThe MELEd conference will take place in a virtual format on Friday, November 20, and Saturday November 21, 2020. We are thrilled to announce our two amazing guest speakers this year: Mandy Manning and Karen E. Johnson. 

On Friday, November 20 at 5:00 pm CST, Mandy Manning will present a 45-minute keynote address “Our Paramount Duty: Language as a Vehicle for Connection and Belonging,” followed by a 15-minute Q & A session. 

Manning is the 2018 National Teacher of the Year. With New Mexico Teacher of the Year, Ivonne Orozco, Manning co-founded Teachers Against Child Detention, urging educators to act on behalf of immigrant children incarcerated across the U.S. and denied their right to education and freedom. 

On Saturday, November 21 at 9:00 am CST, Dr. Karen E. Johnson will present a 60-minute keynote titled  “Praxis-Oriented Pedagogy and the Development of L2 Novice Teacher Expertise,”  in which she will trace the developmental trajectory of three novice ESL teachers over two years as they move through three praxis-oriented pedagogy courses.

Johnson is Kirby Professor of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on a sociocultural theoretical perspective on second language teacher education, the dynamics of communication in second language classrooms, and narrative inquiry as professional development.

For a complete description of both keynote presentations, go to our Fall Conference Keynote Speakers page. 

Registration for the MELEd conference will open soon. Please note:


  1. The EL Coordinators Meeting will also have virtual format. and is still scheduled for Thursday November 19.
  2. The virtual MELEd conference will be fully online, and will include both pre-recorded and live/synchronous sessions.
  3. CEUs for MELEd will still be available.

We appreciate your patience as we navigate this new landscape. We look forward to seeing you online at this year’s conference! 

For updates about this year’s conference, check the Conference web page. 

Commitment to Enacting Social Change


MinneTESOL has signed #IamABE’s statement of commitment to social change. Recently #IamABE launched a campaign to contact the election candidates on the ballot this November and find out how they will support ABE if they get elected. To support this effort, we include below some quick, actionable steps each individual and organization can take to help enact this change.


  • during staff meetings, make sure that everyone knows who their representatives are and how to contact them
  • brainstorm ways to highlight your program’s work and condense it into an ‘elevator pitch’ that staff can use when calling or emailing their representatives
  • share advocacy experiences among staff: successes, challenges, ideas for other ways to connect
  • use your platforms and networks (social media and otherwise) to share information on the importance of ABE & ask people to join you in advocating for it
  • visit the #IamABE website for information on how to be an ABE Advocate & an explanation on how MN ABE funding works (you can also reach out to #IamABE ([email protected]) if you’d like someone to talk to your staff about any of these topics!)

Get Involved with the MinneTESOL Executive Board

Do you want to get involved with English language teaching on a deeper level, increase your own professional development, and meet colleagues from around the state? If so, please consider running for the MinneTESOL Executive Board. This Fall we have vacancies on the MinneTESOL Executive Board. All positions have a 2- or 3- year term. 

  1. First Vice President – (1-year term, 3-year commitment) assists the President and serves as President in the absence or disability of the President. This person serves as a liaison to the Executive Board for all Interest Section and Standing Committees, except the Conference Program Committee.
    The 1st Vice President succeeds the President in the following year and then serves one final year on the board after that as Past President for a total of three years of service.

    A good fit for: leaders, strong communicators, idea people, passionate advocates for ELLs and EL educators
  2. Third Vice President (1 year term; 2 year commitment) – assists the 2nd Vice President as co-chair of the annual fall MELEd conference.  The 3rd Vice President succeeds the 2nd Vice President in the following year for a total of two years of service. 
    Note: This position carries a significant time commitment.  Plan on sharing ongoing duties with the 2nd Vice President throughout the year, including up to 5-10 hours/week in Feb/March and 10-15 hours/week from August until the fall conference.

    A good fit for: organized, detail-oriented multi-taskers, excellent communicators with enthusiasm and ideas for our ever-expanding conference!
  3. TreasurerThe Treasurer works with the Executive Assistant and supervises the financial health of the organization. The Treasurer oversees MinneTESOL fundraising and scholarships and any revisions to the organization’s financial policies.

    A good fit for: practical thinkers, good stewards of financial records

A more detailed description of the roles and responsibilities is available on the MinneTESOL Bylaws.

All Board members are required to attend four annual meetings in January, May, September, and after the annual conference and to provide timely communication relating to all duties.  Each of the following positions typically carries the perk of funding to attend the national TESOL conference once per term.

The Board positions will be elected by the MinneTESOL members during the time of the MELEd Conference in November. If you are interested in running for a Board position, please contact Kate at [email protected].

MinneTESOL Journal Featured Article

As we head into the face-to-face, hybrid or virtual classroom this month, it’s a great time to think about classroom dynamics. This month’s featured article is “Building an integrative classroom” by Matthew Delaini. The gap between a teacher’s desire for classroom engagement and a student’s motivation can sometimes lead to a frustrating struggle for control in the classroom. Understanding what is happening beneath the surface in such situations can help teachers to select techniques that build relationships and increase the likelihood of engagement.

This and all articles are available in the Spring 2020 Journal.

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] 

Get to know the Executive Board

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

Name: Laura Lenz

Position at MinneTESOL:  Past President

Teaching context:  Currently I am a Teacher on Special Assignment (T.O.S.A.)  in the Rochester Public Schools.  I am a Graduate Induction Program (GIP)  Coach for new elementary teachers.  This program is a partnership between our district and Winona State University.  Residents are working on their master’s degrees while teaching full time in their own classrooms. I serve as an instructional coach for them and teach seminars as well.  Since our district has 10% English learners, I bring my lens as an EL teacher to this job.  

Why you got into ESL:  I love teaching language, and I value working with a diversity of people.  The EL students and families I work with have so many strengths and assets I am inspired by their resilience. My job is to allow them to shine and achieve their goals.  

Current project:  Bringing mindfulness to educators and students to support well-being during difficult 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].

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: Dr. Karen E. Johnson, Mandy Manning
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2024 MELEd will take place at RiverCentre Nov 21-23, 2024
Registration Opens in September