Low cost books to encourage literacy, by Townsend Press


Spring 2012

by Robb
Scott, Ed.D.

in Lamar
by Robb
Scott, Ed.D.

Why Textbooks?
by Ashley

Seeing David
Hopkins in
by Robb
Scott, Ed.D.


for free!

ESL MiniConference Online!
eBook collection of achievement profile interviews, on Kindle!!

ESL MiniConference Editorial Advisory Board

Stephen KrashenStephen Krashen, Emeritus Professor


In the late 1970s, Stephen Krashen began promoting the "natural approach" to language teaching, which he laid out in a landmark text he co-wrote with Tracy Terrell. His ideas about the difference between learning and acquisition have strongly influenced the field of ESL/EFL for several decades. In the past five years, Professor Krashen has fought to save whole language and bilingual education in the United States and, more recently, has been lobbying for "recreational reading" and better stocked school libraries because of research relating both to higher achievement.

Carmelita Ballesteros Carmelita Ballesteros, Ph.D.
Da-Yeh University, TAIWAN


Carmelita Ballesteros has taught ESL/EFL, written pronunciation textbooks, and trained teachers in the Philippines and Taiwan. In the Philippines, she taught mainly oral communication courses, wrote pronunciation textbooks, and produced audio tapes for children. While marketing the books and tapes, she got involved and interested in teacher training. From being a teacher trainer, she became an educational consultant for some private schools. In Taiwan, she is pursuing her old interest in pronunciation teaching and oral communication as well as a new interest in discourse analysis vis-à-vis writing pedagogy. She has a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Santo Tomas.

Mike Garant Mike Garant, Ph.D.
University of Helsinki, FINLAND


Mike Garant has taught and/or done research on EF/SL in Finland, Japan, The United States, Estonia, the UK and other countries in Europe. In Finland, he works as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Translation Studies at the University of Helsinki. In Japan, Mike worked as an Assistant Language Teacher through the JET Program from 1991-93. He studied and did research at Osaka Gaidai and Nara Kyoikudai from 1994-96 as a Monbusho Scholar. He is very actively involved in research on ESL as well as engaging in International exchange activities. Mike Garant earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a MSc in TESP from the Aston University, Birmingham, England and a Doctoral Degree from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Melinda GleesonMelinda Gleeson


Melinda Gleeson has been involved in ESL in Australia for 15 years writing text books and materials as well as teaching. She has written ESL curricula for both private schools and the government and has run seminars on teaching methodology, curriculum and testing. For several years she was an editor on TESL-L, an online teachers' discussion forum and has reviewed books for ESL journals. In recent years she has been involved full-time in online teaching and learning. Melinda has a BA in English, A Dip.Ed in TESL, a B.Ed in Literacy and an MA in Applied Linguistics.

Dafne GonzalezDafne Gonzalez


Dafne Gonzalez has been an EFL, and EST/ ESP teacher for 30 years, in Caracas, Venezuela. She has taught methodology courses in a MSc in an Applied Linguistics Program at Universidad Simon Bolivar, where she is an Associate Professor. She has been involved in online teaching since 2002. Dafne has published articles in different international journals, and has presented at TESOL conferences, and at online and f2f e-learning events. As an active member of Webheads in Action, she is interested in the use of synchronous web tools for LL and teacher development. Dafne earned a B.A. in Modern Languages, and a MSc in Applied Linguistics. Currently, she is working on her doctoral dissertation on ESP e-course design and evaluation at Universidad de Valencia, in Spain.

Caroline GwatkinCaroline Gwatkin
Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA


Caroline Gwatkin has trained teachers, lectured extensively and published in Argentina since 1981, when she arrived there from the United Kingdom. In 1990, she opened "The Place," offering general English for adolescents and ESP courses for adults. Ms. Gwatkin is also the co-founder of the "Advanced Studies Centre," a teacher development centre which offers internationally validated courses for teachers, including distance in-service and online e-mail modules in Argentina and abroad. She has worked as an examiner for both the Cambridge Examinations Syndicate and the British Council. Ms. Gwatkin has a Dip. Ed. and an R.S.A. in TEFL.

Jack McLaughlinJack McLaughlin, Ed.D.
Scottsdale, ARIZONA


Dr. McLaughlin brings 14 years of experience in public education and private industry, including leadership positions on both coasts of the United States. Dr. McLaughlin has served as a district superintendent in Southern California, a high-school principal in New York and, prior to joining LearningStation, was the project director at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. His primary research interest is "edutainment," using technology to generate high-interest, high-relevance learning activities. Dr. McLaughlin earned his Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Polly RichmondPolly Richmond
Salt Lake City, UTAH


After graduating from the University of Utah with an M.A. in English, Polly Richman began her career in Salt Lake City as a produced playwright. To make a living, she wrote advertising copy, moonlighting as a freelance editor. Ten years ago she accepted an unsolicited offer to teach ESL in the University's English Language Institute, earning an RSA/Cambridge CTEFLA in Paris, France one year later. Specializing in reading, writing and grammar, she developed an American literature/creative writing course and a poetry class in which students improved their reading, writing, vocabulary, pronunciation and critical thinking skills.

Margaret A. ScheirmanMargaret A. Scheirman
Minneapolis, MINNESOTA


Margaret A. Scheirman was an associate education specialist at the Minnesota English Center, University of Minnesota until the MEC was shut down in 2004 as a funding victim of the post-9/11 ESL world combined with reduced funding for higher education by the Minnesota Legislature. She completed her M.A. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Kansas. She taught ESL and also a few Spanish courses for more than 24 years at major university IEPs in the Midwestern U.S., community colleges; a private language school; a suburban high school, and a Japanese engineering university near Tokyo. Many college-level Japanese teachers of English have used "American Trends," Ms. Scheirman's book of essays on American culture. Her areas of interest include contextualization of grammar instruction, integration of content-based instruction across skills, learning styles and test writing. Ms. Scheirman has presented at Midwest NAFSA, MidTESOL, JALT and TESOL. Since the closing of the MEC, Ms. Scheirman has completed a paralegal certificate and is currently a writer employed at Thomson West, a legal publishing conglomerate.

Maria SpelleriMaria Spelleri
Sarasota, FLORIDA


Maria Spelleri is the Program Coordinator of The Literary Council of Sarasota, Florida, a non-profit agency that offers ESL services to immigrants and literacy help to native English speakers. She is also the owner of English Solutions, working with foreign-born professionals and academics privately and in small groups, honing oral and written presentation skills and reducing strong accents that hinder comprehensibility. Maria has developed a series of short interactive workshops for ESL tutors on TESOL topics, such as "Helping Your Learner with Pronunciation" and "Communicative Grammar Techniques."

About the ESL MiniConference

Meet Robb Scott, Editor