Greetings from Seattle!

Hello, NNETESOL members and friends!

Every year, we try to send one of our board members—generally the past-president—to represent us at the TESOL International Conference. If you have never been, it’s a huge conference with an equally huge number of presentations, ranging from posters and papers to workshops and panels.

But it’s also an opportunity for our organization to rub elbows with representatives from other affiliates, near and far. We can hear about the trials and tribulations, celebrations and successes of groups that have the same purpose, even if they aren’t the same size. I was our representative this year in Seattle.

TESOL provides for affiliate leaders a space to be able to learn from each other, and this year, the topic was volunteering. United Way volunteer coordinators met with us to help us think about how we could attract and retain a cadre of dedicated people for our organizations.

And it got me thinking…

Northern New England TESOL is you. We are only as strong as our members. And we really want your input. We would love to have more people helping us decide what topics are essential to our area and how we could harness the power of our fierce dedication to this field to get things done.

So in the next few months, I will be putting some calls out there for you to give us input. And I hope we’ll hear from you.

Also, TESOL wants some information, too.

  • Members of the nominating committee came by and asked if we would please be so kind as to throw our hats into the ring to be nominated to serve TESOL in a larger way. You can see details here.
  • The research committee came by to let us know that they are looking for the hot topics in our lives. What do we want TESOL to focus attention on? You can email us here, and we’ll let them know.
  • Outgoing TESOL President Dudley Reynolds informed us about the proposed changes for affiliate leadership. He wants us to know that there has been no vote, that this is only a proposal. You can see the details in the blog post with links to recommendations here:
  • TESOL has opened registration for its advocacy summit June 18-20 in Alexandria, VA. The summit is a professional development opportunity to learn how to advocate on Capitol Hill for the needs of students. If you’re interested in going, register and let us know!
  • And finally, if you are interested in finding out more about what happened at TESOL, you should set aside time on April 8 to attend the St. Michael’s College Student Conference and TESOL Talks. A group of us who attended will be sharing nuggets of what we learned. Here’s alink to the event on Facebook and a link to the registration.

Hope to see you there!

Got something to share? SUBMIT NOW!

NNETESOL is opening the call for proposals for the 2017 fall conference!

We will be meeting at UVM, in the Waterman Building. And we have some great, new plans in store.

For starters, we are changing the way we ask you to do proposals. We are aligning ourselves much more closely with TESOL, mostly because we would like to be able to submit the best of the best presentations to be seen by an international audience. We’d like to be your stepping stone to Chicago 2018.

TESOL proposals are always due June 1, so this could be a dry run for you to try to present in front of an international audience.

We don’t want you to go it alone! We hope to be able to match people who are new to the process with mentors who can give helpful hints along the way. We also have created a set of videos that we hope will guide you through the process. You can look at the guide we’ve created here.

if we have enough interest, we are hoping to offer poster sessions. We also want to build on the roundtable sessions and bring more voices to the table.

We are looking for your voice!

Deadline is May 15. Make sure your proposal is in!

Questions? Email us at

Prayer Walk in Support of Refugees and Immigrants, Manchester, NH

On March 21st at 5:00 p.m. the Greater Manchester Clergy Association and the Granite State Organizing Project are hosting a procession in support of immigrants and refugees. The procession will begin at Grace Episcopal Church with a welcome and prayers. We will process to the Plaza outside of City Hall where the sacred texts of our faith communities, which speak of welcoming and justice for the sojourners, refugees and immigrants among, us will be read.

The procession comes as a response to the letter shared by the Manchester Clergy and the Granite State Organizing Project in November 2016,

“Deeply aware not just of our own immigrant stories and roots, but also of the clear biblical imperative to care for the stranger in our midst, to offer food, shelter, and care to those in need, and that there is no religious tradition which justifies sending children and refugees to their deaths, we invite our community to join us in prayerful study and active consideration of how we can best respond to this crisis and address the needs of those seeking our aid.”

The intention of the procession is to show that we are walking together to build a community that is open and welcoming to all people, regardless of their faith or ethnicity. People are invited to wear the clothing of their country of origin, and clergy of all faiths are invited to wear their vestments. Please join us in showing support for a very vulnerable population.

TESOL CALL IS Live Online!

Greetings to you all!  I would like to invite everyone and those who may not be able to attend the TESOL conference this year to join the CALL IS community online.  As in previous years, we are continuing to webcast sessions in our Technology Showcase and EV Fair so that our web audience can participate.  

Check out our wiki complete with a list of events, session discussions, and other various resources. Also, here are our YouTube channels for the EV Fair and Technology Showcase. Our wiki directly links to our YouTube channels, but you can always go directly there, view live sessions and explore the growing archive. 

Please spread the word and join the conversation! 


Abraham Reshad

Lecturer, Ohio Program of Intensive English

Associate Director, Language Resource Center

Linguistics Dept., Ohio University

Immigrant Rights Info Meeting in the Upper Valley

Welcoming All Nationalities Network (WANN) is hosting an information session for all who are interested in knowing more about the legal rights of non-citizens living in the US.
When? Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 7pm to 8pm
Where? Kilton Public Library Community Room, West Lebanon NH
Who? Attorney Kate Semple Barta, Director of WANN, will speak.

Using Google Docs to Upgrade Co-Planning and Co-Teaching

For the few years I have been teaching ELL at JFK in Winooski, Vermont, co-teaching with two grade level teachers during math has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my educational career. Learning to teach side-by-side with a classroom teacher, while gaining new content skills and sharing my own expertise of how ELLs develop language, has benefited all the children in our classrooms.

Image result for docs iconOur co-teaching is most effective when we’ve had time to plan together, set our common goals, discuss differentiation, and divide materials creation tasks. Recently hearing an improv comedian on VPR’s Fresh Air, Chris Gethard, explain how working closely with another comedian over time and with lots of practice gave root to an almost telepathic relationship where you could predict what the other person would say way before they said it, I was struck how true that can be of a co-teacher relationship as well. At least one in which co-planning is a precursor to co-teaching. However, with our busy weekly planning, meeting with math and literacy coaches, special educators, student support and faculty meetings, etc. it can often be a challenge to find common planning time. While my co-teachers and I can quickly get on the same page before a lesson, touch base about student progress after a lesson, and be flexible during a lesson when one of us has an idea for pushing students thinking or dialing it back to reach all learners, there is no substitute for formal shared planning.

The use of Google Docs for lesson development has created a virtual space where time becomes less of a barrier to successful co-teaching. In first grade, the team plans math when I’m unable to attend, but my co-teacher is able to plug lessons into a shared online plan that I have access to. This way, if we don’t have time to meet, I can at least know what is happening each day and add to the plan with accommodations, ideas to adapt lessons for my ELLs, and strategies for accessing key vocabulary. I may also ask questions that my co-teacher can then read and respond to right in the shared plan. When we do have a chance to sit down together, we continue to use this tool, both on our own computers, so that we can jot down changes and ideas as we talk about them and refer back to them before a lesson. The form we use also allows us to highlight math habits of interaction and habits of mind that we want to focus on in each lesson. The top of the lesson plan asks us to identify the big idea in the form of a question. Even if we have only this clarified, we are on our way to more cohesive instruction. This shared lesson planning has fostered an equitable and transparent co-teaching relationship.

At the kindergarten level, my co-teacher and I have begun to move our unique, thematic and play-based units in math onto Google Docs where we can quickly paste links to videos, printables and public records we want to share with the rest of the kindergarten team. When we return to these plans next year, all of our materials and ideas will be in one convenient place. Apps like CamScanner are a great way to get hand written materials into an electronic format for later reference and use. With this app, you can take a picture of a poster, for example, and upload it to Google Drive as a PDF file. This file can then be inserted in the Google Doc lesson plan.

In addition, after my co-teacher and I both attended the NNETESOL conference in November, we returned with another idea for our shared lesson planning inspired by Katy Heermann’s presentation “Bridging the Divide – Increasing Collaboration Between Classroom and ELL Teachers” to add a table with “can do” descriptors at different WIDA proficiency standards that is tailored to the content of each unit (NNETESOL 2016). I’ve begun adding these to the kindergarten math units, and plan to add them to the first grade units as well. This can act as a guide for other classroom teachers as they are thinking about how their ELLs can participate and contribute to math lessons.

The online lesson planning has been so successful that both of my co-teachers are now using it not only for math, but also to help pass information to me regarding literacy units and meetings I’m unable to attend.

If you haven’t yet started using Google Docs, it might be time to take the plunge.

By Sarah Forbes, Vermont NNETESOL Representative & K-1 ELL Teacher, Winooski School District. This post can also be found on

In Manchester, NH this upcoming Monday? Here’s an event for you!

I am a Muslim Woman: Conversations with local Muslim Women

Monday, March 13 at 6:45 p.m.
Registration starts at 6:15
Program begins at 6:45

St. Catherine School: Auditorium (Handicap Accessible)
206 North Street, Manchester, NH 03104.
enter parking lot for auditorium from Russell or Hemlock St.

Our Presenters

Masooma (Pakistan): Overview of Islam
Munise (Turkey): Rights of Muslim Women & Men
Riman (Syria): Women’s Education and More

Join us for refreshments after the program!

Please RSVP to or
via our Join/Contact Us page.

Help to understand the latest U.S. travel ban

People–my people–the ones I teach and advocate for–are scared.

They don’t necessarily have to be included in the travel ban to be scared, either.

But the ones who are are doubly scared, and I don’t blame them.

So it’s important to stay informed.

My supervisor just sent me this link from The Refugee Center Online, which explain what the travel ban covers and gives resources to those who have questions or who are concerned about relatives or friends waiting to come here.

The page also has translations into 16 languages. And you can find a self-paced citizenship class on this site.

Please share this widely, along with your understanding and compassion. We need all we can get these days…

–Beth Evans, NNETESOL president

Can’t go to TESOL? Go to St. Mike’s!

Students from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., are hosting the first ever student conference on April 8. And, best of all, it’s FREE!

Keynote speaker will be Joe McVeigh, a longtime teacher, consultant and author. Find out more about him at this link.

Joe McVeigh

Registration opens at 8am with coffee, pastries

Plenary from 9-9:50
Concurrent 1 (3 sessions) 10-10:45
Concurrent 2 (3 sessions) 11-11:45
Lunch 11:45-1p
Concurrent 3 (3 sessions) 1-1:50
Concurrent 4 [TESOL Talks & MORE TESOL Talks] 2-3:30
Quick Wrap Up – certificates, farewells 3:30
Here’s a link to the event on Facebook and a link to the registration. An RSVP is not required (they really just want to know how much coffee to order!), but if you do, you’ll get a free lunch ticket to boot! 🙂

Can’t wait to see you there!

Need a membership to TESOL?


As a volunteer board members, our lives get busy. And then there’s the issue of being spread across three states… Getting our act together isn’t always easy.

Just look at that area that our group covers! What a crazy large piece of real estate!

So there’s something we’d like to tell you that we’ve been meaning to. But the “how has always been an issue of debate. So I’m just putting it out there.

Our group is an affiliate of TESOL. We stand as an autonomous organization, but we all stand for the same thing: excellence in the research and teaching of English. We benefit from the international organization in so many ways. They provide professional development, offer opportunities to We commit to send someone to the international conference at least every two years. And in just a couple of weeks, it will happen again. “Big TESOL” is will take place in Seattle.

Are you going? I’d love to have coffee or something.  But even more pressing is if you are still working out the details of going and you’ve never gone before. And you’ve never been a member. Or even if you’re not going, but you’d like to get a little more involved. This blog post is for you!

TESOL has given each affiliate seven memberships to give away. And maybe, even if you’re not going to the conference, this could be an opportunity for you.

Why would you want to be a member? Well, there are lots of benefits, including a discounted entrance to the conference. It shows potential employers that you care enough about your field to be part of a larger organization, that you are a lifelong learner. It opens doors to free and reduced-cost webinars and classes.

Did I mention that we are giving these away?

There are, however, some caveats:

  1. The complimentary member must be a member of the affiliate. If you don’t know what that means for us an NNETESOL, give us a shout and we’ll let you know. The webmaster is dying to hear from you!
  2. The individual must be a new TESOL member or someone who has not been a member in more than five years. Renewing TESOL members or current TESOL members do not qualify and the membership applications will be returned. Member status will be verified upon receipt.
  3. The seven individuals must each complete a TESOL membership application. The name of the affiliate must be listed as the name of the referrer.

Does this describe you? Do you want to put your name in the hat?

Write us. We’ll send you the details.

And if you’re going to be in Seattle in a couple of weeks, email me here. We should at least have coffee! OH! And I think we’re scheduled to be at the affiliates booth on Wednesday morning. I’m still working out the details. I’ll send them out here, and then you should stop by! We’d love to see you.

I hope to hear from you, one way or the other…

–Beth Evans, NNETESOL president

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