A recent note on a listserv suggested
that fewer people are attending TESOL
and other related conferences. While it
is true that the current tough global
and U.S. economies make conferences more
of a luxury, there are still some very
good reasons why ESL professionals thrive
in a conference dynamic.
One of the ways ESL MiniConference Online
attempts to help our 5,000+ monthly readers
from around the world is by providing news
about and reports from meetings not everyone
can attend. Here are two upcoming conferences
we are going to be watching, in the New York,
New Jersey region.
First, on Saturday, February 22, 2003, at
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, Long Island
City, Queens, New York, is the 25th Annual
Applied Linguistics Winter Conference,
sponsored by the NYSTESOL Applied Linguistics
SIG, RISLUS (CUNY Research Institute for the
Study of Language in Urban Society)and the
LaGuardia Community CUNY Academic ESL Program.
See a schedule of this year's presentations
The theme of the Winter Conference is "The
Bilingual ESL Learner," and the plenary speaker
is Ofelia Garcia, Professor of Bilingual Education
at Teachers Collenge, Columbia
University, speaking on "The Other Languages
The NYSTESOL Applied Linguistics SIG's
annual winter conference is always a great
event. Last year, there were nearly 500
participants, and about 20 different
publishers' displays. This is always a
good warm-up for the national Applied
Linguistics conference, and LaGuardia
provides a congenial atmosphere for
You can read the ESL MiniConference
coverage from last year's winter conference
Why not go to the conference yourself this
year, and send a report to ESL MiniConference
Online for publication?
Another good reason to head east this winter
is the NJTESOL-NJBE sponsored "Culturally and
Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Children"
conference, at New Jersey City University,
on Friday, March 7, 2003.
This conference will consider the following questions
regarding English Language Learners and Special Education:
Who is eligible?
What are the best practices for intervention and assessment?
Where can we get help?
When should we refer a child to the Child Study team?
Why is it important to know this information?
Many ESL/EFL professionals today are not aware of
the growing need in the areas where language
learning overlaps with disabilities. One problem
is when language difficulties mask learning
disabilities, and a child who needs special
services does not receive them; another problem
is when language difficulties are mistaken for
disabilities and a child is mistakenly referred
to and possibly placed in special education.
Being able to navigate and sort out this crucial
language learning and special education topography
has become a focal point for those who advocate
on behalf of culturally and linguistically diverse
children in American schools today.
ESL MiniConference Online will be reporting this
New Jersey conference in our March edition, with
firsthand accounts of the discussions from that
If you would like ESL MiniConference to announce,
spotlight or report your event, please send an
Story by Robb Scott, Hays, KANSAS
2003 ESL MiniConference Online