Tech Takes Center Stage at CATESOL 2015

Dec 22nd, 2015 | By | Category: Annual, Conferences, Lead Story, Secondary
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Mardelle Azimi


—Our 46th CATESOL Annual Conference was a resounding success, replete with the relevant theme “Technology Through the Ages”; we saw more inspiring, interactive presentations than ever advocating technology in the ESL classroom. Included below are highlights of just a few areas of the tech-themed conference. Thank you for attending the annual conference or participating as committee member, presenter, volunteer, or attendee!

image of conference appBefore November 12, you might have connected to the CATESOL Annual Conference homepage on Facebook, or you might have joined the CATESOL Annual Conference “Events Page” on Facebook, a new techy tool to generate interest in the conference. Before the conference, attendees could access a mobile app that helped them schedule their conference events to maximize their time as they navigated the conference. Attendees’ response to Sched has been great! Postconference, you still have a voice; please take a brief survey to share your conference experiences to help shape future conferences. Please follow this link:

In the opening plenary, Peter Sokolowski mentioned to CATESOL Annual Conference attendees that “looking up a word in the dictionary is an intimate act for each of us individuals, but the words looked up by millions of online users together tell us a surprising story about the English language.” In addition, one of the featured speakers, John Segota, provided conferencegoers with an update on how Congress is affecting California education of ESL students.

collage of mobile devices workshop

At the “Mobile Devices in ESL” workshop with Susan Gaer and Blair Roy

Poster sessions, presentations, exhibits, publishers, and interest-level meetings filled our conference days while Sunday’s workshops provided even more in-depth sharing and learning. As you can see, in one workshop, the participants enjoyed interactive activities concerning mobile devices with Susan Gaer and Blair Roy: Go to for more.

collage of poster session images

Poster sessions at CATESOL 2015 Anaheim

These are just a few of the absolutely inviting areas of the 46th Annual CATESOL Conference in Anaheim. We hoped you enjoyed the wisdom, camaraderie, and inspiration of your peers and presenters as well as the boogie night—the Saturday Night Fever dance!

Here’s an immense Thank-You! for attending the CATESOL Annual Conference or participating as committee member, presenter, or volunteer! It takes a village to put on a conference—or a dedicated, techy CATESOL committee. We were excited to see so many familiar faces and make new friends and we’ll look for you at next year’s CATESOL Annual Conference!

Mardelle Azimi is publicity and social media coordinator for the 2015 CATESOL Annual Conference.

Secondary Level Conference Tidbits

image of sandy Silverstein

Sandy Silverstein

—Vicky Wang, the winner of the Secondary Level writing competition, was introduced to the audience at the 2015 CATESOL Annual Conference, held November 12-15, in Anaheim, by Sandy Silverstein.

Later, during the Secondary Rap session, John Segota presented the major issues concerning education in Washington, DC. Of particular concern was the revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, better known as No Child Left Behind, and which has since been replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act. (See also Jeff Frost’s report on the act in this issue.)

After the rap session, Sandy, accompanied by Jeff Mattison and a parent volunteer, addressed the changing demographics of the immigrant population and discussed the benefits of a Newcomer’s Program. The presentation was augmented by a brief showing of the video I Learn America, in which a Canadian filmmaker created a documentary focusing on five immigrant students’ first year in this country and in our school system. (See also Brandon Lambert’s Steinbeck Chapter article on the documentary in this issue.)

—Sandy Silverstein, Secondary Level chair


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