Taking Paths to Success at the San Diego Regional

Mar 19th, 2016 | By | Category: Conferences, Regional
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author image of Stefanie Johnson Shipman

Stefanie Johnson Shipman


—More than 270 teachers, students, and other professionals (see “Running Toward Engagement,” below) gathered to learn about and discuss “Paths to Success,” the theme of the San Diego Regional CATESOL Conference. Held Saturday, March 12, the conference was hosted by the English, Communication Studies, and World Languages Department of San Diego Miramar College. With more than 50 speakers and more than 20 exhibitors to share their thoughts and experience, the San Diego Regional truly offered a space to reflect on success and what that looks like in different contexts.

The plenary speaker was Dr. Eniko Csomay, a professor and associate dean at San Diego State University (SDSU), who kicked off the day by presenting literature, research, and analysis of the language of university classrooms to look at how student engagement is essential for the success of students.

image of San Diego regional attendees in the conference exhibitors' area.

Attendees peruse the offerings in the conference exhibitors’ area.

Featured speakers also continued this conversation of paths to success. First, Kelly Shah of American Language Institute (ALI) at SDSU presented the innovative curriculum that helps lead her students to success: social entrepreneurship. Then Donna Price of San Diego Community College District Continuing Education and Sylvia Ramirez of MiraCosta College presented concrete strategies for students’ success with the College and Career Readiness Standards of complexity, evidence, and building knowledge. Jason Greeno and Allan Pascua, also of SDSU ALI, talked about ways to be successful as an ESL teacher overseas, from looking for openings, applying, to living abroad. Last, CATESOL President-Elect Dr. Karen Russikoff of Cal Poly Pomona shared how CATESOL is more than just conferences; the organization can truly help ESL teachers and students succeed.

The San Diego Chapter of CATESOL also put on a special workshop, which included series of sessions about the transition to college. This series included faculty, counselors, coordinators, and students who discussed what transitioning to college actually entails, the challenges ESL student can face once there, and practical activities to prepare students for college.

Another special presenter and exhibitor in attendance was Richard Lederer—educator, author, and lover of words—from A Way With Words on KPBS. Lederer also is a contributing columnist for Language Magazine and has written more than 50 books. During his session, Lederer conveyed the joys and oddities of the English language.

a few of the members of the 2016 SD Regional CATESOL Committee

A few of the members of the 2016 SD Regional CATESOL Committee: Program Chair Tina-Marie Freeman, Donations Coordinator Karen Salerni, Conference Chair Stefanie Johnson Shipman, Site Chair Taisa Haluszka, Poster Sessions Coordinator and Social Media/Photography Coordinator Denise Maduli-Williams, and Treasurer Ivanna Guzman

Initial feedback on the conference from attendees suggests that it was a worthwhile Saturday that helped ESL professionals learn and grow on their own unique paths to success. “After just a few hours,” said Michelle Panik of MiraCosta College’s noncredit ESL program, “I left with so many techniques to implement in my classes.”

Thank you to all involved—attendees, presenters, exhibitors, volunteers, and conference committee members!

We look forward to seeing you in 2017 at the next San Diego Regional!

Stefanie A. Johnson Shipman of San Diego Miramar College is the 2016 San Diego Regional Conference chair.



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