Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Recap 2022 Virtual Spring Workshop | April 30, 2022 | 9am-3pm

Plenary - Lee Shainis, Co-founder of Intercambio

Topic: Brave Spaces

Whether we are teaching English classes online or in person, students of all ages and levels need to experience a sense of courage, belonging and feel welcome to share about their perspectives and stories. This accelerates language acquisition, invites teachers and students to learn from each other’s unique cultural lenses, and creates an environment of mutual learning.  We will explore how modeling cultural humility can address bias, shift power imbalances, and build empathy. Through the sharing of concrete tools and time in breakout room discussions, participants will gain new insights to make their classes welcoming, brave places that accelerate learning and build stronger cross-cultural connections. There will be a Q&A time at the end.

See Lee Shainis's Full Bio

Presentation Video   Link to Slides

Virtual Exhibition Hall

The Virtual Exhibition Hall includes self-explanatory exhibits that allow participants to view images, video, and slides via Padlet.

Padlet Link

Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings

Below you can find the available presentation slides and information.

K-12 SIG Meeting

Host: Erika Hayward, Southern Region Representative

K12 SIG Meeting Notes

Curriculum Management Service available for School Districts:

https://www.onatlas.com/

Ideas on Serving English Learner students who may or may not have learning disabilities:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8jBnp6UWmQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG79JrtTOfE

https://www.colorincolorado.org/webcast/english-language-learners-learning-disabilities#readings

Interesting activity to do with teachers as they think about Dual-Identification

Read Blatchley, L. A., & Lau, M. Y. (2010). Culturally Competent Screening and Special Education Referral: A Systematic Approach (Links to an external site.). Communique (0164775X), 38(7), 27-29.

Immigrant & Refugee SIG Meeting

Host: Beth Ronk, Refugee and Immigrant Concerns SIG Chair

Adult Education SIG Meeting

Host: Nanci Leiton and Linda Rasmussen, Adult Ed SIG Chair

Adult Education Slides

Higher Education SIG Meeting

Host: Lara Nardone, Higher Ed SIG Chair

Higher Ed Slides

Student Testimonials

There were 4 students who shared how English helped them make connections.  It is a great reminder of why we do what we do.  Thank you teachers. Your work is appreciated.

Testimonials Video

Award of Excellence Winners

Three wonderful teachers were recognized by their peers for their outstanding work over the past year. They each received an Award of Excellence in Teaching for their ability "to inspire and support speakers of other languages through professional development, research, coalition-building, and advocacy so that learners and communities thrive." These awards included a cash prize of $100. Read more about the winners below. Thank you for contributing to our field and serving our students.


Angelina Scarminach has been teaching for ten years and working with students for thirteen. Her first experience teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages was right out of college: She lived in Le Mans, France for a year and taught at a French high school. She has my Master’s Degree in Special Education and taught elementary special education for five years. This is her fifth year teaching ELD. Her current role with the Medford School District is Elementary ELD/Title III Teacher on Special Assignment and Migrant Education Coordinator. Angelina says, "I work with an amazing team of teachers and love what I do."


Jennifer Snyder is an ESOL instructor at Portland Community College with over 20 years of teaching experience. Before joining PCC, she also worked with international students at an intensive language program. At PCC, she is a faculty mentor, tutors in the Student Learning Center, and enjoys collaborating with colleagues. Among the many things that make her work interesting, she particularly likes teaching reading, vocabulary, and grammar. She also enjoys developing materials and is currently working with two colleagues on an OER (open educational resource) grant to develop a textbook and supplementary materials for an intermediate vocabulary class.


Sandra Banke is a lifelong Oregonian. She received her MA TESOL from Portland State University. She has been teaching ESOL in the Portland-area for the better part of three decades. Her research and professional interests include traditional print as well as digital literacy instruction. Sandra enjoys cultivating native plants in her garden as well as students' language skills in the classroom.

Lunch with ORTESOL Sessions

ORTESOL veterans hosted two separate session. See below for summary.

My lunch bunch group of ORTESOL newbies had quite a range of folks, most not really new to the profession.  They ranged from MA students, people who had taught K-12, retired, and had returned to teaching because they couldn't stay away, and some folks from Rogue Community College who had been teaching a long time but were new to ORTESOL (thanks Southern Oregon Rep Erika!)  We also were joined by a member of the ed tech team from the curriculum development and lesson planning platform Atlas (and co-sponsor of the ORTESOL Spring Workshop!  Thank you!).  In addition, we learned about the master's program in Framingham, MA that one of group members was able to complete while teaching in Taiwan and the Seattle World School, two online opportunities for teaching and learning.  Thanks to everyone for sharing your life experiences and knowledge along with your teaching.  Welcome to ORTESOL!

Below are some of the topics touched on during the discussion.

1. SB 551 reimburses community colleges for the cost of health benefits of .5 FTE faculty. Yeah Oregon! BUT some college HR departments are not grasping the concept. Can you imagine? If someone teaches part time, they could have health insurance!

2. More idea sharing about different delivery methods. Does ANYONE have any ideas on how to make Hyflex livable because it is a living hell at the moment.

3. Let's dig into how we can help Oregon reach their education goals of 40% BA attainment, 40% AA, and 20% GED. What the heck does this mean, and how can we help?

4. What is in an ESOL endorsement in Oregon? Should we advocate for every teacher in Oregon to have one or do we encourage our members to get on the gravy train to be a school wide ESOL consultant?

5. How to have professional uncomfortable conversations. This came up in the context of volunteers using their contact with newly arrived peeps to spread their faith. UO put as many employees through uncomfortable conversation training- I should have seen that as a sign.BUT, that means we could offer it as a workshop somehow.


Making New Connections Panel Discussion

As the dynamics of the ESOL profession is changing, many people are looking for new career opportunities that tie into ESOL experiences. Four guest speakers share their stories of how they transitioned to working in an elementary school, a for-profit business, an adult education program, and a literacy center overseas.

Panel Discussion Video

Erika Hayward

Erika Hayward currently serves on the ORTESOL Board as the Southern Oregon Representative.  See full bio.

View Erika's Slides

Delpha Thomas

Delpha Thomas, MEd TESOL and former ORTESOL President, made the transition into instructional design and corporate training after more than a decade in the language classroom. See full bio.

Daniel Scharf - After obtaining an MA in TESOL from Portland State University in 2015 Daniel moved to Japan and worked at Tokyo International University for about five and a half years. See full bio.

View Daniel's Slides

Anne Greenhoe - ESL and AE professional with over 20 years of experience. See full bio.

View Anne's Slides

Thank you for attending! 

Raffle Drawing Video





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