Preconvention Planning

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.

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master's degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.
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6 Responses to Preconvention Planning

  1. Glad to read your post. It’s really a nice idea to share your first hand experience with the people who cannot attend the TESOL Convention due to the constraints of time and space. Looking forward to reading your posts.

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      I am glad you think so, Parthasarathy! Hopefully I included some points from the TESOL convention that were of interest to you, and if not, there were a number of others blogging from Portland too who might have interests more similar to your own. Now, I am looking forward to next year and maybe I will see you there.


    It would be very pleasant to meet you in Portland, Oregon, USA; but there are highest barriers that they don’t allow me to attend this event however I’ll be grateful if you may share your best experiences at the annual TESOL convention.

    Best regards.

    Jesús Hernández

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Jesús! I am sorry that you were not able to make it to Portland this year, but I am glad that I was able to share some of my highlights from the convention with you. Hopefully you and others were able to enjoy them and maybe we can meet in Toronto next year!

  3. Ben Perdue says:

    This is great! I was hoping that someone would be blogging about the event. We will be Tweeting live from TESOL from @ELPrograms and would be happy to RT your posts. If you get a chance, please stop by the English Language Programs booth and ask for Ben or Eric so that we can meet up.

    English Language Programs

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      I’m glad you think so Ben! There were a number of people blogging from the convention. Sorry we didn’t get the chance to meet officially, but I definitely stopped by every single booth in Portland. Maybe next year?

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