Northern Regional Conference Rides the Waves of Change

May 17th, 2017 | By | Category: Conferences, Regional
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The Steinbeck Chapter, in coordination with the conference chair, Michelle Bagwell, hosted the Northern California Regional Conference in Pacific Grove on April 1. The theme for the conference, “Riding the Waves of Change,” addressed the constantly evolving landscape in the field of ESL. Through time, there have been shifts in student demographics, government funding, and academic expectations that ESL professionals navigate and accommodate seamlessly into their professional lives. The conference served as a venue for ESL professionals to take advantage of the professional-development opportunity to learn from and teach others useful and practical findings that they have learned through research and/or experience. Through participating in ongoing professional development, ESL professionals will be better equipped to deal with the changing seas of policy, funding, and classroom realities. The conference had a great turnout with approximately 150 attendees, who we hope will be able to confidently ride the waves of change that will inevitably continue to crash on the shores of the ESL profession.

Northern Regional 2017 speaker

Elfrieda Hiebert

The day was filled with a variety of sessions, which were launched in the morning with the plenary speaker, Elfrieda “Freddy” Hiebert (PhD, University of Wisconsin). Hiebert has had a long career as a literacy educator, first as a teacher’s aide and teacher of primary-level students in California and, subsequently, as a teacher educator and researcher at the universities of Kentucky; Colorado-Boulder, Michigan, and California Berkeley. Her research, which addresses how fluency, vocabulary, and knowledge can be fostered through appropriate texts, has been published in numerous scholarly journals and books. Through documents such as Becoming a Nation of Readers (Center for the Study of Reading, 1985) and Every Child a Reader (Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, 1999), she has contributed to making research accessible to educators. Hiebert’s contributions to research and practice have been recognized through awards such as the American Educational Research Association’s Research to Practice Award (2013). If you were unable to attend the conference, you can find out more about her work online and through her publications to continue your professional development and better ride the waves of change.

—The CATESOL Steinbeck Chapter


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