June 2017
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Joanna Duggan, Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC, USA, Marybelle Marrero-Colón, & Sarah E. Elia

Secondary Schools Interest Section (SSIS) volunteers were active at the TESOL convention in Seattle this year. Highlights included panels, the annual SSIS meeting, and the SSIS booth in the Exhibit Hall.

SSIS Panels

Drs. Maria G. Dove and Andrea Honigsfeld (Molloy College) facilitated a row-by-row turn-and-talk activity during their session entitled “Collaborative Conversations, Difficult Dialogues” on the topic of coteaching for English learners.
Photo credit: Andrea Honigsfeld

SSIS collaborated on two panels for the TESOL 2017 convention.

Subgroups Within Subgroups: ELLs With Specialized Needs and Backgrounds

Presenters addressed varied perspectives on specialized student populations. Topics included broad considerations and theoretical approaches to teaching students with limited or interrupted formal schooling, specific classroom-based strategies for newcomer students’ access to texts, implementation of RTI for secondary ELLs, and the specialized needs of long-term ELLs.


Helaine W. Marshall, Long Island University, Hudson (Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education: Creating Fertile Spaces for Learning)
Tim Blackburn, Education Northwest (Engineering Access for Newcomers: Text Engineering to Amplify Student Understanding of Content, Language, and Literacy)
Marybelle Marrero-Colon, Center for Applied Linguistics (Distinguishing Between Language and Special Needs: Using Response to Intervention With Secondary ELLs)
Joanna Duggan and Sarah C. K. Moore, Center for Applied Linguistics (Supporting the Needs of Long-Term ELLs)

Helaine W. Marshall of Long Island University, New York
Photo credit: Sarah Elia

Drs. Maria G. Dove and Andrea Honigsfeld (Molloy College) shared their research on the CR-ITI program impact during a session entitled “Gauging the Effect of TESOL Expertise on Learner Outcomes,” chaired by Andrea Hellman (Missouri State University) and Donald Freeman (University of Michigan)
Photo credit: Andrea Honigsfeld

Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Among ELLs in Secondary Settings

This panel discussed issues associated with secondary ELLs' oral language production, especially pronunciation. Presenters addressed the following: pronunciation and early grammar learning needs of secondary ELLs, professional development on strategies for incorporating pronunciation into everyday teaching, and language transference among native Spanish-speaking secondary ELLs.


Tamara Jones, Howard Community College
Karen Taylor, English Language Training Solutions
Moderator: Joanna Duggan, Center for Applied Linguistics

Heather Parris (ESBOCES) and Lisa Estrada (Hicksville Public Schools) present on technology tools to support ELLs with Andrea Honigsfeld (Molloy College)
Photo credit: Andrea Honigsfeld

Annual SSIS Meeting

SSIS held its annual interest section meeting. Nine members were in attendance. Special thanks to Kathleen Johns, Kathy Lobe, Joanna Duggan, Kristine Tennyson, Brenda Custodio, Nancy Yi-Cline, Marybelle Marrero-Colon, Sarah Elia, and Dr. Deborah Short for joining us and participating in a great discussion. Next year’s panels for TESOL 2018 were discussed, as well as Secondary Accents, the need for additional volunteers, the reorganization of interest sections in TESOL, and ideas and thoughts for the SSIS going forward.

CAL at TESOL: Tatyana Vdovina, Professional Development Specialist from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and Marybelle Marrero-Colon, SSIS Chair, decide to share some great Seattle coffee as they prepare for their presentations.
Photo credit: Marybelle Marrero-Colon

SSIS Booth

SSIS leaders manned a booth in the Exhibit Hall for a few hours during the convention. About 20 visitors stopped by for handouts and to learn more about our interest section. We even got a few new volunteers!

Marybelle Marrero-Colon at the SSIS booth
Photo credit: Sarah Elia


Photos of the convention and other updates are on our SSIS Facebook page. Have you liked our page yet? Please join us and share!

Finally, thanks again to all who participated in the TESOL convention this year! Special thanks to the TESOL staff and the many volunteers, presenters, and attendees. Without you, we wouldn’t have had such a great time!

Sarah Elia (left), SSIS Newsletter Editor, and Beth Clark-Gareca (right), both of the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Photo credit: Sarah Elia

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