MITESOL 2016: Radical Tolerance

This conference was one of my most memorable. Jolene Jaquays did an incredible job organizing this year. Everywhere I turned I heard people remarking on her attention to detail and the way things came together. The theme, The Changing Faces of Diversity, was so timely and challenging. I was happy to see how so many in our membership were able to think critically about our field through this lens. Diane Larsen-Freeman was the keynote speaker and her talk was fabulous. She planned her presentation especially for our conference theme and collected evidence for diversity as it benefits those within an organization (or complex system). As expected, she spoke well and captivated the audience, but what struck me most was how personable and kind she was throughout the reset of the conference. Diane attended all of the sessions. She was even present during mine!


My presentation was on a topic I have long hoped to discuss at a TESOL conference: feminist pedagogy. I started my academic career with a women’s studies focus, so the move to teaching English language learners felt like a step away from that path. I assumed that in TESOL I would have to depoliticize my teaching and that I would never be able to tie together all of my teaching and research interests. Fortunately, I was quite wrong.

Presentation Slides


Thank you to everyone who attended my session. You were all so engaged and wonderful to talk with. Here are the results of our post-presentation survey:

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I hope to see you at TESOL 2017 where I will be speaking on the IC/ITA/ILGBT Intersection panel about radical acceptance. Our panel title is How to Manage, Facilitate, and Teach about Culturally Sensitive Issues. 

TESOL 2016 Presentation Materials

Thank you to all who attended my session! It was a full house and a great experience! Scroll down for the presentation, handout, Nearpod homework, Socrative results, and Plickers report. I hope to see you at future TESOL conventions!


A photo a participant took and uploaded to our SeeSaw journal during my talk.

Presentation Slides


Vocabulary Nearpod

Click the link above to begin the Vocabulary Nearpod I use to introduce my students to the importance of outside vocabulary practice.

Socrative Results

SeeSaw Submissions

Here are some of my favorite SeeSaw submissions from the session.

Plickers Report


This is the teacher view of a class report. I can also create student reports. Did you get an A?

Featured in International Teaching Videos

CMU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning put together a video series featuring myself, Dr. Forest, Caitlin Hamstra, and Danielle Petersen all of the English Language Institute discussing the strategies and approaches we use to help international students in the university. The series of videos is excellent, but I thought I would share this one, since it predominantly features my interview.

Strategies for Engaging International Students: Exit Tickets from CMU CETL on Vimeo.

How Blended Learning Can Pack More Objectives in Your EAP Writing Classes

This is my presentation from MITESOL 2015. It explores how EAP instructors can use Nearpod, Quizlet, Versal, and their university’s own CMS to accomplish more tasks in the same amount of time in their often objectives-packed writing courses.

Choosing a Good Topic: Nearpod

This is a Nearpod I created for my 094 Graduate Writing for International Students class. With this homework tool, I was able to embed this Nearpod into our Blackboard shell, assign this task for the weekend, and have students arrive on Monday with fairly focused topics that we could fine-tune and start working on right away. I received all of their responses in a .PDF report, and I was able to read what they had written and come into class with my own feedback ready to go as well.

Upper-Level Writing Class: Versal 

This is the Versal page I used to teach my students APA and Parallel Structures. As you can see, the units require completion before you can move on to the next, and I was able to track my enrolled students as they completed the tasks.

Student-Created Vocabulary Set: Quizlet 

In this class I created a vocabulary card for each word, but left the definitions blank. My students then went in and found appropriate definitions and images that reflected the meaning of each word. I am able to track how much each student is using Quizlet to study, so I can see if low test/quiz scores can be easily attributed to low motivation to study, or if another issue might be at play.

A Very Rewarding MITESOL 2015

I had an incredible time at this year’s MITESOL Conference. I was awarded the Best Presentation of MITESOL 2014 as well as the Best of Affiliates Award at TESOL 2016. This means that out of all of the best presentations nominated by TESOL affiliates (over 100 participating organizations worldwide), my presentation was chosen as one of the top eight and will be featured at the international conference in Baltimore this April. Shortly after receiving this award, my name was drawn in a raffle and I won a very heavy bag of textbooks! The books were geared toward middle schoolers, however, so I delivered them to a session about better serving adolescents. I felt a bit like Santa!

For those of you who attended my session and those of you who missed it but still want to know more about blended writing classes, an interactive Nearpod version of the presentation I gave will be available soon!


Israt, Alisha, and I after the final session.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this conference happen. See you all in Baltimore for TESOL 2016!