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Synopsis of KATESOL/BE 2004

Available on DVD:
Keynotes, Opening Ceremony, Keynote Panel and ESOL Roundtable


Streaming Video of Several Sessions!
Excellent Photos from the Instructional Resource Center!

Robb Scott, Conference Chair, at the welcome sign in front of Memorial UnionFort Hays State University, in Hays, Kansas, was the site of this year's KATESOL/BE Annual Conference, with the theme "Advocating for Language Learners in the Era of No Child Left Behind." There were 300 attendees this year--by far the most ever at a meeting of the Kansas Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. By comparison, last year's KATESOL Conference was attended by 50 people.

Conference participants from all parts of the state of Kansas, as well as across the border from Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, California, Utah, Minnesota, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and even representatives from the countries of Peru and Spain, enjoyed a line-up of keynote speakers which will not soon be matched: Jacqueline Boyd (Haskell Indian Nations University), Rebecca Kopriva (University of Maryland), Stephen Krashen (University of Southern California), Joy Reid (University of Wyoming) and Bill VanPatten (University of Illinois-Chicago).

Lorena Dickerson and Ana Garcia, from the U.S. Department of EdIn addition, there was a very strong--and well attended--schedule of concurrent and poster sessions, including themes and issues related to Pre-K to 12, adult education, migrant education, immigrant policies, sheltered English instruction, assessment and accountability, school-to-parent communication, and dozens of other topics directly or indirectly connected to the educational landscape in the United States today in the context of challenges and frustrations posed by the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as "No Child Left Behind." KATESOL and Fort Hays were honored by the presence of Ana Garcia and Lorena Dickerson, Program Specialists from the U.S. Department of Education, who traveled from Washington, D.C., to conduct a morning and an afternoon overview of NCLB as well as to answer questions about this important law.

Pearson Group booth at KATESOL 2004 (Photo credit: Judy Pape) Dianne Criswell, publishers rep, Scholastic booth at KATESOL 2004 (Photo credit: Judy Pape) Tara Schurch, publishers rep, Harcourt Achieve booth at KATESOL 2004 (Photo credit: Judy Pape) Nancy Cooley, publishers rep, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill booth at KATESOL 2004 (Photo credit: Judy Pape) Jim Anderson, Jane Miller, publishers reps, Cambridge University Press booth at KATESOL 2004 (Photo credit: Judy Pape) Barbara Sihombing, publishers rep, Longman ESL booth at KATESOL 2004 (Photo credit: Judy Pape)

A very important component in the overall success of KATESOL 2004 was the way in which exhibitors were integrated into the schedule. A total of 11 exhibitors--Readers Press, Wright Group McGraw-Hill, Harcourt Achieve, Harcourt School Publishers, Hampton-Brown, the Spanish Embassy, Cambridge University Press, Pearson ESL, Pearson Learning Group, Scholastic, and Glencoe-McGraw Hill--were located in two rooms right along the way to and from most of the concurrent session rooms, on the second floor of Rarick Hall. In addition, sessions ran 45 minutes with 15 minutes in between each session, producing a very constant, regular flow of visitors to the publishers booths. Also, several publishers submitted and had proposals accepted to present their own concurrent sessions, which were packed.

Rarick Hall, Fort Hays State University Rarick Hall, Fort Hays State University Rarick Hall, Fort Hays State University

Throughout the morning, conference participants found coffee and herbal teas, along with doughnuts and muffins, in the exhibition areas. Later in the day, large bins filled with crushed ice, cans of pop (soda) and bottled water were added, and in the afternoon seedless red and white grapes. For an hour, beginning at 3:30 p.m., Stephen Krashen was stationed at a table in one of the exhibitor rooms, selling and autographing copies of some of his most famous texts. From 4:00 to 4:30, Janet Booth, KATESOL Conference Co-chair and Publishers Liaison, coordinated a lively raffle of books and materials donated by all the publishers who exhibited at the conference.

The walkway between Rarick and Albertson is by now a familiar route for KATESOL conference-goers Albertson Hall, Fort Hays State University Albertson Hall, Fort Hays State University Fort Hays colors, black and gold, are flown for special occasions

Due to the unanticipated high numbers of conference registrations, particularly in the three weeks leading up to the event, it was necessary to re-schedule hourly keynote speakers in the largest classroom on the Fort Hays campus, at Albertson Hall. This was a fortuitous change, however, because it gave everyone several opportunities throughout the day to stroll along the sidewalk which cuts diagonally across the FHSU "Quad" between Rarick and Albertson, and enjoy the natural beauty of the campus.

Sheridan Hall, Fort Hays State UniversityFriday evening's Opening Ceremony in Sheridan Hall's Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center was attended by about 200 people who came in early for the conference. One of the highlights of Friday evening's session was a series of three performances by the international students of the Hays Language Institute, co-hosts of KATESOL/BE 2004. These students-- from Korea, Japan, China and Thailand--presented lively, engaging and very nicely executed renditions of two plays: "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" (narrated in English and Korean) and a Japanese story, "Peach Boy" (narrated in Japanese and English). Between the two plays was a beautiful dance performed by Xin Xiao, of China.

At Friday's Opening Ceremony there were welcoming remarks by Fort Hays State University President Edward H. Hammond, as well as a speech by Kansas Commissioner of Education Andy Tompkins. Dr. Tompkins spoke about the progress being made by culturally and linguistically diverse students in Kansas schools, and explained the details of assessment and accountability under "No Child Left Behind."

Dr. Bill VanPatten, one of the five invited keynote speakers at KATESOL this year, stood in for the scheduled Opening Ceremony speaker, Dr. Stephen Krashen, whose connection from Denver to Hays was delayed. Dr. Bill VanPatten, University of Illinois-ChicagoDr. VanPatten entranced the audience with a theoretical paper comparing first and second language acquisition; his quick wit and humorous examples made what could have been slightly esoteric scholarly discourse actually very accessible for most participants at this opening event, which was free and open to the general public.

A "KATESOL Social," in Dreiling Lobby, followed Friday evening's Opening Ceremony. This reception was hosted by Fort Hays Professor Beth Walizer and the interns from her Reading Methods course, and sponsored by the Hays Professional Schools Alliance and the FHSU Department of Teacher Education. Later in the evening, nearly 30 conference participants continued celebrating at an informal gathering at Rooftops, a fine restaurant in downtown Hays, where many ate a late supper, while others drank beverages and still others watched the Kansas-Missouri basketball game on a T.V. in the adjoining bar. Stephen Krashen had finally arrived to Hays at 9:16 p.m., and, along with Bill VanPatten, hosted the KATESOL get-together at Rooftops.

Donald E. Blackman, USA Retired, DAV, is a member of the KATESOL Planning Committee and a past KATESOL PresidentAlthough Saturday morning was overcast, the entire day could hardly have gone any better if it had been preordained by divine intervention. The Fort Hays State University school colors, gold and black, were waving in the wind from flagpoles encompassing the entire campus. While many teachers stayed in Rarick for concurrent sessions, filling rooms whose capacity was about 45 or 50, there were always significant contingents heading over to Albertson for the hourly keynotes: Rebecca Kopriva at 9:00, Stephen Krashen at 10:00, Ana Garcia and Lorena Dickerson of the U.S. Department of Education at 11:00, Joy Reid at 2:15 and Bill VanPatten, in an encore performance, at 3:15.

As can be imagined, the Steve Krashen keynote was filled to capacity, in 169 Albertson Hall, which holds 141 people. The world-famous Stephen Krashen at KATESOL 2004His second talk of the day, at 11:00, in 114 Rarick Hall, was also filled with a standing and sitting room only crowd, and he graciously agreed to give an unprecedented third talk, again in 114 Rarick, at 2:15 p.m. Dr. Krashen's willingness to give his presentation three times in one day made it possible for everyone at KATESOL who wanted to hear him to do so.

This was Stephen Krashen's first-ever appearance in the state of Kansas, and was clearly the main attraction for a number of people who attended the conference. To arrive at Fort Hays State University, many teachers drove for more than six hours, and some for as many as 10 or 11 hours. "I still can't believe I got to meet all these famous people," said Irene Simonenko, of Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska.

The KATESOL/BE Annual Dinner was held at noon in the Fort Hays State University Ballroom, located in the Memorial Union. The meal was simple fare, but there were many positive comments about the tomato bisque soup which was served. Ernest Fernandez and Chartwells Food Service catered the KATESOL dinner at Fort Hays this year.

Marta Moran, of the Embassy of SpainIn remarks prior to introducing the keynote speaker at the KATESOL/BE Annual Dinner, Dr. Placido (Art) Hoernicke made the following comment related to the recent bombings in Madrid, Spain:

KATESOL/BE expresses deep sympathy for and solidarity with the people of Spain, as protests against this week's bombing in Madrid are being held worldwide.

The Flag of Spain was displayed at the front of the Fort Hays State University Ballroom, with a black ribbon in tribute to the lives lost in the bombing in Madrid. Marta Moran, a representative of the Embassy of Spain, was a special guest, speaker and exhibitor at KATESOL/BE in Hays this year. The Flag of Spain was lent by the University of Kansas for display at the conference.

Jackie Boyd, Keynote Speaker, from Haskell Indian Nations UniversityThe keynote address at the lunchtime session was presented by Jacqueline Boyd, a teacher educator at Haskell Indian Nations University. Her speech was titled "An American Indian Perspective on Diversity and No Child Left Behind." The audience was spellbound as Professor Boyd provided a historical context from which to view persistent issues and problems for Native American Indian students today.

All five invited keynote speakers--Jackie Boyd, Rebecca Kopriva, Steve Krashen, Joy Reid and Bill VanPatten--then shared the stage for a panel discussion on the conference theme: "Advocating for Language Learners in the Era of No Child Left Behind."

Keynote panel (left to right): Jackie Boyd, Stephen Krashen, Joy Reid, Rebecca Kopriva, Bill VanPatten

They were unanimous in suggesting that the problems with NCLB stem from, in Krashen's words, "letting amateurs dictate educational policies" which ignore the best advice of the professionals--teachers. A further error in implementation of "No Child Left Behind," according to several members of the panel, is the extreme emphasis on high stakes assessments to enforce accountability. 300 attendees gathered in the Fort Hays Ballroom for the Annual KATESOL DinnerAnother related difficulty is the way in which NCLB has become associated with the reactionary and xenophobic "English-only" movement, whereas bilingual education as well as first-language and less culturally-bound assessment practices would truly permit schools and teachers to determine how they are doing in meeting the challenge of helping English language learners, Native American students and other children from diverse backgrounds succeed academically.

There were a number of questions from the audience, including concerns about provisions under NCLB which are preventing schools from using bilingual paraeducators Power Talk: Dr. Katherine Langan (Sterling College), Ana Garcia (USDE) and Melanie Stuart (KSDE)who are effective teaching assistants with culturally and linguistically diverse children, but who cannot afford the time and schooling mandated by the new federal law.

One conference participant, Dr. Katherine Langan, of Sterling College, in Sterling, Kansas, said later in the afternoon that she would have liked to ask one further question of the panelists and everyone else present at KATESOL/BE 2004: "Why, when there is such overwhelming research showing the cognitive benefits of being bilingual, isn't there a national educational policy ensuring that all students become bilingual?"

Panelists Steve Krashen, Joy Reid and Rebecca Kopriva enjoyed the discussion at KATESOL 2004That question will hopefully be addressed at next spring's KATESOL Conference, to be held in Emporia, Kansas. If this year is any indication, the Emporia community and Emporia State University can look forward to an exciting weekend of activity which fills their town to the brim (All Hays hotels and motels were completely booked this year, and some conference participants had to room at nearby towns like Ellis or Russell, commuting 15 or 30 miles to the event). Also, Kansas teachers and administrators will be eagerly anticipating the next time they are convened to meet and discuss constructive responses to the positive challenges of truly leaving no child behind. Certainly some of the best moments of this year's KATESOL/BE Conference in Hays were the informal conversations with colleagues and friends we hadn't seen for years, as well as the forming of new friendships and alliances on behalf of our students.

KATESOL/BE Annual Dinner

Kristin Grayson, new 1st Vice-President of KATESOL/BE, facilitated the keynote panel discussionOne of the highlights of this year's KATESOL Conference in Hays was that Miriam Bolyard--a Fort Hays alum--brought with her to the campus 15 junior high students, mostly English language learners themselves, from Guymon, Oklahoma. The students got a campus tour in the morning, met with members of the Fort Hays HALO (Hispanic American Leadership Organization), and joined KATESOL members and other conference-goers at the midday annual dinner in the Fort Hays Ballroom. "We want our students to know that a university education is a realistic goal for them," explained Miriam Bolyard, a former president of the FHSU chapter of HALO who now works as an ESL teacher.

Dr. Rebecca Kopriva, Director of C-SAVE, University of MarylandHer example of advocating on behalf of her students, and instilling in them the desire to persevere and eventually attain a college education, embodies the spirit which inspired the vision which became this year's KATESOL/BE Conference. In the panel discussion at noon, Rebecca Kopriva said that KATESOL, with its growing numbers, has the potential to change educational policies in Kansas. "You are a political force," she explained, "and you need to use your power as a group to influence policy." Other panelists agreed strongly with that statement, and challenged the new officers of KATESOL/BE to help teachers to communicate the professional opinions of language educators to the policy makers in Topeka and Washington.

Dr. Tatiana Sildus, of Pittsburg State University,
is President of the Kansas Foreign Language Association Jackie Boyd and Stephen Krashen at this year's Keynote panel Isabel Lang, is a retired postal worker who works as
a paraeducator in LeRoy, Kansas, schools Mary Giles, National Resource Center, Harvard University Joy Fuqua (Fort Hays), Charlotte Reid (Hays) Irene Simonenko, ESL teacher, and her friend Franco, showing her poster about the ESL Newcomers Program in Omaha Public Schools (Photo credit: Judy Pape)

The new officers of KATESOL/BE for 2004-2005 are: Robert Bruce Scott, President (Fort Hays State University / rbscott@fhsu.edu ); Kristin Grayson, 1st Vice-President (Emporia State University / graysonk@emporia.edu ); Christopher Renner, 2nd Vice-President and Immediate Past President (Kansas State University / renner@ksu.edu ); Debra Stevens, Secretary/Treasurer (Geary County Public Schools / DebraStevens@USD475.org ); Janet Booth, Member-at-Large (Olathe Public Schools / jboothht@mail.olathe.k12.ks.us ); Stephanie McGinley, Member-at-Large (Goodland Public Schools / smcginley@usd352.k12.ks.us ); Howard Pollock, Newsletter Editor (University of Kansas / hpollock@ku.edu ); and Edith Palmberg, Sociopolitical Liaison & KATESOL Historian (Olathe Public Schools / palmberg@sunflower.com ).

The Conference Planning Committee for this year's record-setting KATESOL/BE Conference was comprised of: Robb Scott (Fort Hays State University), Peggy Hull (Dodge City Community College), Steve Wolf (Great Bend Public Schools), Nicole Cook (Hays Language Institute), David Reid (Fort Hays State University), Janet Booth (Olathe Public Schools), Don Blackman (Past President, KATESOL) and Edith Palmberg (Olathe Public Schools).

The 2004 KATESOL/BE Conference in Hays was sponsored by the Special Education/ESOL Department of Fort Hays State University and co-hosted by the Hays Language Institute. Dr. Placido Hoernicke is Chair of the FHSU Special Education/ESOL Department. Diane Kaufman is Director of the Hays Language Institute.

Streaming Video of Several Sessions!

This page was last updated on 03/15/2004.