San Diego’s 2014 Mini-Regional Conference

Mar 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: Conferences, Regional
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San Diego’s 2014 Mini-Regional Conference—
So Many Choices, So Little Time!

Magdalena Kwiatkowski

Magdalena Kwiatkowski

By MAGDALENA KWIATKOWSKI

—Organized by the CATESOL San Diego Chapter, this year’s conference in San Diego will be an unusual hybrid between a regional and a chapter event. Keep your hopes high, though! The keynote speaker will be none other than Dr. Keith Folse, the ESL guru and author of more than 50 books on teaching writing, grammar, and vocabulary. He is going to ponder the question of which grammar points should be taught for a great writing class. But that is not all. In an effort to bring more K-12 educators to CATESOL and address the inescapable, yet by no means obvious, topic of how Common Core State Standards translate into ESL practice, the organizers have invited the San Diego County Office of Education WRITE Institute for a workshop on the transitioning of long-term English learners from high school to college writing demands. There will also be peer-selected presentations on other language skills and issues and a chapter-sponsored panel of local program directors discussing effective job strategies. Indeed, so many choices, so little time!

The conference will take place on April 12 at the beautiful new facilities of the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego campus. The school was featured on the cover of Almanac Architecture & Design 2010 and has views overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Salk Institute, and the Torrey Pines Gliderport. The view and the ocean breeze alone are worth the trip!

In addition to the keynote lecture and concurrent presentations, there will be a large poster session and publishers’ exhibit. TESOL students have been encouraged to participate and present. The chapter made every effort to keep registration fees for this great event affordable. Breakfast is included with registration. Parking at UCSD is free on weekends. For more information about the San Diego Mini Regional Conference, visit the conference website at www.catesol.org/sdregional/.

One might wonder how a chapter could organize such a spectacular event. In truth, we wonder as well. The CATESOL San Diego Chapter was founded only two and a half years ago. Since then, we have presented four professional-development workshops, which have attracted a total of more than 300 people. We have held five social events and regular monthly meetings. We publish a newsletter in which CATESOL members and nonmembers write about their current research or teaching experience, present their students, and share their thoughts. We have regular presentations at our monthly meetings, with topics varying from “How to Incorporate a Volunteer Program Into an ESL Program” (presented last month—inspiring ideas by Daniel Heckmyer) to “Tibetan Bowl Healing for Teachers” (one of the many areas of expertise of our first and past chapter coordinator, Erika Marie Rose). Admittedly, San Diego is a beautiful place and has a large local immigrant and student population. Is this the secret of the vibrant growth of the chapter? We prefer to think the secret is our enthusiasm, not just the weather. But one can never be sure in San Diego.

Find out more about us at our chapter website at www.catesolsandiego.weebly.com.

Magdalena Kwiatkowski is coordinator of the CATESOL San Diego Chapter.

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