The NNETESOL Board is currently working on compiling a history of the Board. Please check back for updates!

President History:

This is the list of Presidents that we have so far…

2000-01   Jeanette Ruffle
2001-02   Margaret Murphy
2002-03   Maddy Miller
2003-04   Rosemary Orlando
2004-05   Polly Howlett
2005(02)-06   Linda Walsleben
2006-07   Linda Ward
2007-08   Ruth Dater
2008-09   John Halliwell
2009-10   Beth Evans
2010-11   Linda Evans
2010-11   Shelly Chasse-Johndro
2011-12   James Whiting
2012-13   Kirsten Kollgaard
2013-14   Farrah Taylor Giroux
2014-15   Anne Wright Shank
2015-16   Cynthia Reyes
2016-17   Beth Evans

Current President: 2017-18   Stephanie Marcotte

Take-aways from the International TESOL Conference #TESOL18

By Nicole Decoteau, NNETESOL’s Social Media Coordinator

As a the ESOL Program Director at New England College, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the International TESOL Conference each year; however, I know there are many many ESOL teachers who don’t get funding opportunities. So, I wanted to share some nuggets of great information I learned for those that could not attend.

“Supporting Multilingual Writers in the Writing Center” — As a current student, I was able to save a considerable amount on the conference fee this year. So, I took the opportunity to spend that money on a full-day pre-session institute titled, “Supporting Multilingual Writers in the Writing Center.” Even though my college doesn’t have a designated “writing center” I felt this would be a great opportunity for me to get tips to bring back to adjunct composition instructors and tutors. For the last few years, I have searched for some means of giving monolingual colleagues an experience that closely relates to the an ESOL student’s experience writing in English, but I had yet to find anything truly effective until this workshop.

    • Give the writers 5 minutes to respond to a simple prompt. Ours was, “The (insert institution here) should raise the hourly pay rate for writing center tutors.”
    • On the instruction page, list these “new rules for writing”:
      • Put the letter “a” at the end of all nouns used as subjects.
      • Put the letter “b” at the end of all nouns used as objects.
      • Put all prepositional phrases in front of the verb.
      • Add a comma between two verbs with the same subject.
      • Do NOT use the words money, pay, salary, or earn in your sentences (these restricted words would change based on the prompt)
    • After being given time to write, we discussed the ways in which the rules were restrictive to our writing process. It was really eye opening.


One of the best parts of the International TESOL Convention is the ability to walk amongst the various vendors in the expo hall. This year I found some really neat new apps (paid and free), placement tests, and books. I wanted to share a few of those here:

  • en.news is 2-month old app from WeSpeke and CNN news. It’s a free site, and according to the developer will always stay that way. The app takes CNN news articles and “converts” them, within 15 minutes of publication, to language that is more accessible to ESOL learners. Utilizing the Collins Dictionary, students are able to push and hold on unknown words for instant definitions that they can then send to a notebook for later studying. There are also about 10 prescribed words for each article that students are quizzed on. To complete a lesson, a student must answer about 10 questions, which are currently skimming/scanning type text-level questions with the hope of developing inference-based questions in the future. Currently, there is no option to create a classroom, so teachers are mostly using this as supplemental language practice and asking students to screenshot their completed lessons/points page to show that they are interacting with current events via the app.
  • Extempore is a new app that allows teachers to assign reading/listening/watching prompts and then asks student to record themselves responding to the prompts. The teacher can then respond via voice or text. This seems like a nice app for those with hybrid/online classes, or those that want their learners to have more practice speaking outside of the classroom – perhaps in an EFL environment. It is, however, a paid app at about $9 per student.
  • The New Michigan Test is a placement test with high reliability (0.953 with +1 being perfect) and low cost – the lowest I found at the conference – at $5.95 per test with a minimum order of 25 tests that are good for one year. If you don’t use all 25 in a year, no worries! As long as you purchase 25 more tests, you’ll rollover those not used. This a internet-based test, which allows for flexibility in test taking location. However, there are no writing or speaking components; Michigan’s rationale being that those types of productive language tests can be more easily administered by the staff directly.
  • Duolingo is getting into the placement test game as well. These tests are $49 per student, but they do test speaking and writing. They also offer an online proctoring service, which is one major reason the cost is higher, which would allow institutions to send the test to students in other countries and still be certain that the student applying to their school is the one taking the actual test. I was a touch skeptical of a popular language learning app crossing over into placement tests, but the reliability score for this test is quite high: 0.96 where a +1 is perfection. It definitely seems worth checking out if you’re interested in finding a new placement test.
  • The Grammar Answer Key by Keith Folse is a collection of 100 short explanations of very common ESOL grammar questions. For over 10 years Dr. Folse has been compiling “hot seat” questions, several of which appear in his teacher’s guide Key to Teaching English Grammar to English Language Learners, that instructors all over the world have been asked and may struggle to answer, particularly native speakers who think, “It just sounds right.” This short little guide is a great companion for instructors who want an alternative to trusting Google when they don’t know how to explain a grammar point.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of interesting take-aways, and I encourage you to go onto the convention website, select the “schedule at a glance” button, then “browse and search the convention program” followed by the “Agenda” tab and finally “full schedule” to peruse the sessions. If you find something that looks interesting, check to see if the presenter has uploaded their presentation/handouts through the website. Most presenters are happy to answer questions via email as well.

Missed #TESOL2018 in Chicago?

Here are some photos taken NNETESOL’s past President, Beth Evans, at the conference. Check back soon for a blog post from the Board’s Social Media Coordinator, Nicole Decoteau, about the conference. 

Online Conference Access: TESOL Annual Convention Chicago 2018

If you’re attending the TESOL Annual Convention in Chicago next week, make sure to visit the Electronic Village and Technology Showcase (Expo Hall booths 491 and 540). Also, plan to join the CALL-IS Open Meeting and vote in the Steering Committee elections (Wed. March 28, 5.00 to 6.30pm, Convention Center room N135).
If you’re not attending the Convention, remember to check CALL-IS webcast sessions. Access callis2018.pbworks.com to access the webcasts and a complete list of sessions.

Message from Yorkey Development Grant Recipient, Andrea Reising

I would like to say THANK YOU! to Northern New England TESOL for honoring me with the wonderful Richard Yorkey Development Grant award this year. The award contributes to my Spring 2018 coursework in the Graduate Certificate in English as a Second Language Program from the University of Southern Maine. After completing the program, I will be able to add the K-12 English as a Second Language endorsement 660 to my Maine State teaching license. The course I am currently taking, to which grant funds were applied, is EDU 563 Testing and Assessment. We are approximately half-way through the semester, and the readings and discussions have been so helpful! I am becoming more familiar with the details of standards, formative and summative assessments, standardized testing, validity, reliability, washback, performance indicators, rubrics- you name it! So much to learn, and the knowledge is so valuable in becoming an adept and fair assessor of our students. Currently, I teach Intermediate Adult Ed ESL and PreK-5 Visual Art. I am delighted to see how much my ESL certificate learning helps in both of these settings. Many of my Art students are ELLs, and I look forward to taking on a role in ESL instruction at the elementary level in the future. I became interested in teaching ELL students while volunteering for the Mentor Program at Portland High School in Portland, Maine. I worked with a brilliant young woman from Somalia, who went on to graduate from the high school and enroll at Southern Maine Community College last fall. She plans to study Psychology and/or Education. Watching her adapt and thrive served as a huge inspiration for me. This led me to begin teaching Adult Ed ESL and to enroll in the program to earn my K-12 ESL endorsement. Thank you so much NNETESOL for helping to make it happen!


Andrea Reising

Our affiliate, at TESOL

Hey, all! I just want to remind you that we have representation at TESOL this year. It’s pretty prestigious. Below are all the affiliate sessions. If you go, please try to support our own Elizabeth Hartung-Cole! And if you know her, reach out and say, “Good luck!”



Center for English Teaching Excellence (Republic of Georgia)

Foreign Language Learning Environment in Large and Mixed-Ability Classes
The presenter found that teaching foreign languages came closer to teaching real communication in large and mixed-ability classes, especially in heterogeneous language environments. This was despite methodology being unable to establish an effective system for teaching communication skills and only a minority of students managing to acquire such skills.

PRESENTER: Nino Sharvashidze
10:30 am–11:15 am


Michigan TESOL

Promoting Active Vocabulary Learning Using Context Clues in Academic Writing
Emphasizing the interconnection between academic reading and writing, the presenters discuss ways of engaging students in using context clues as an effective strategy to promote active vocabulary learning and use in academic writing.

PRESENTERS: Wendy Wang, Kay Stremler, Susan Ruellan, Martina Syrova
2 pm–2:45 pm


Washington Association for the Education of Speakers of Other Languages

Native American Boarding Schools: The Continent’s First ESL Immersion Program
Inspired by first hearing her grandfather’s ancestral language spoken in 1980, the presenter explores the history of Native American boarding schools, including their role in education today. The presenter discusses the societal impact boarding schools have had and what this means to ELLs and Native education in current contexts.

PRESENTER: Joan A. Johnston Nelson
4 pm–4:45 pm


Northern New England TESOL

Engage in Strategies That Move Adolescent ELs Beyond Intermediate Fluency
Participants engage in hands-on practice of research-based strategies known to move secondary ELs “stuck” at intermediate fluency to proficiency in academic English. These innovative strategies build control of linguistic structures unique to math, social studies, and language arts while promoting student confidence, especially among long-term ELs. Attendees receive supportive resources.

PRESENTER: Elizabeth Hartung-Cole
2 pm–2:45 pm


Mid-America TESOL

A Guaranteed, Humanistic Four-Step Process to Help Prevent Plagiarism
The act of plagiarizing can destroy the student-teacher bond of trust. How can this perennial problem be permanently solved? The answer lies in four simple steps. This interactive session guides participants through a humanistic, useful, and effective process that guarantees to reduce plagiarism and cheating in the ELL classroom.

PRESENTER: Patrick T. Randolph
3 pm–3:45 pm



Argentina TESOL

Caring for the kinesthetic students through music and song
Educational professionals have been arguing about multiple intelligences and learning styles for a while. Yet, the presenter believes that not all intelligences are being addressed evenly. The presenter demonstrates how to apply some tools to cater to the less predominant intelligences.

PRESENTER: Silvia Schnitzler
2 pm–2:45 pm

Heads-up! WIDA is changing!

This just landed in my inbox. It’s a flyer announcing changes in the WIDA framework. The link is here, if you want to check it ou!


Upcoming Southern New Hampshire Professional Development Oppourtunities

A message from Aubrey Larson, NNETESOL New Hampshire Representative:

I just wanted to make you aware of some PD opportunities available in Southern New Hampshire area that would be beneficial to all English Language educators.  Below you will find brief explanations of the workshops and the affiliate links for more information.

International Consortium of Multi-Lingual Excellence in Education (ICMEE)

March 12th from 3:30 to 5:00 pm at the NH Dept of Education (101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH)

Professor Kelly Demers of St. Anselm College and State Title III Director Aaron Hughes will be giving an information session about the ICMEE eWorkshops (https://cehs.unl.edu/icmee/), free online workshops for professional learning communities of educators that have the overarching goal of improving the practice of K-12 educators working with bi/multilingual learners.  If you have any questions or requests, you may send them to Aaron.Hughes@doe.nh.gov.


Adversity and Resilience- Trauma Sensitive Schools

May 16th from 8:30-2:30 at the Radisson Hotel (Manchester, NH)

Put on by the University of New Hampshire and cosponsored by the Office of Student Wellness, NH DOE.  Registration is open now.

“Hope and relationship-focused practices are critical components of resilience and recovery in response to childhood trauma.  This conference will inform participants about the current science of hope to build resilience in the face of adverse experiences, vicarious trauma and self-care and trauma sensitive schools.”


TESOL Chicago Conference: NNETESOL Community Lunch

Have you ever tried Chicago deep dish pizza? Attending TESOL Chicago this month? Join other NNETESOL members for a community lunch on Thursday, March 29th at 12:00 p.m. at Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta (2106 S Indiana Ave, Chicago, IL 60616). Please RSVP as soon as possible to President-Elect Sarah Forbes at sforbes@wsdschools.org so we can make a reservation.
Hope to see you there!

WIDA changes afoot…

Hey, all. I just got this in my inbox. If you are a K-12 teacher, you likely will get an announcement from your LEA, but I thought I’d give you a heads-up.  A link to the flyer they refer to is below.




Announcing: 2019 Instructional Framework for WIDA’s ELD Standards

In an effort to support educators who work with English language learners, WIDA is continually reviewing and updating resources supporting the implementation of its English Language Development Standards. The five standards will not change, but we have listened to feedback and comments from educators across the consortium to inform this work while also addressing 21st Century classroom learning expectations.

The attached flyer includes an overview of the draft instructional framework and a roadmap of steps within a three-year implementation plan. Educators have the opportunity to participate in a public input period from March 22–April 20, 2018. This will be your chance to review the draft and share your reactions. Starting on March 22, the drafts and survey for giving input will be available at wida.us/standards. Please make plans to participate and help spread the word!

Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns at any time.

WIDA Client Services Center
WIDA at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research

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