Tara Arntsen will be blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for her posts!
This will be my first year attending the annual TESOL Convention, and I am looking forward to sharing the experience with you with some posts live from Portland. I have been telling people that I will be attending this convention in late March for months and suddenly it is not just late March anymore, but this week! There is still some planning I have to do, but here is some of what I have figured out already. Besides blogging from the convention for TESOL, I am participating in a number of ways.
I have two presentations at the EV Technology Fair on Saturday morning. Both presentations are about resources I have already blogged about here, but you will have to stop by to see what more I have to share. Additionally, I will be representing Dakota TESL, a TESOL affiliate in North and South Dakota, which adds some events and objectives to my list. I have learned quite a bit about this organization and look forward to sharing what I learn in Portland with their board members when I return.
As for sessions, there are just so many to choose from! First off, there are the keynote sessions, which I would hate to miss. Then, since I teach in an intensive English program with a high percentage of students from Saudi Arabia, I am focusing on sessions related to that particular student population. My interest in educational technology will definitely impact my choices, too. Additionally, I have some students who are almost true beginners of English. I hope that by speaking to the various publishers in attendance, I will be able to find very low level material, easier than the lowest level of Penguin Readers and Oxford Bookworms graded readers, that is suitable for adults.
This year, I was fortunate enough to be a recipient of the Professional Development Travel Grant, which has allowed me to participate in certain events that I may not otherwise have been able to attend. I opted to arrive early to be part of the half-day Curriculum Design for ESL Programs: Focus on the Essentials Preconvention Institute, which I am really excited about. Additionally, I will be at a Tea With Distinguished TESOLers called Putting It All Together: Differentiating an IEP with Chris Sauer on Friday afternoon. These events both directly relate to my work at Northern State University, and I hope that they will point me toward solutions for a couple of persistent issues.
So at the end of the day, what are my goals? I want to be able to attend many sessions, participate as much as possible, meet tons of fellow educators, run into classmates and professors, and learn everything I can during my time in Portland. I will let you know how I do along the way and, if you are in Portland, find me! It would be my pleasure to meet you.