Writing a TESOL conference proposal

Writing a TESOL conference proposal

It wasn't until my first year teaching at the University of Oregon that I felt confident enough to try to write a TESOL proposal.  During grad school, I suspected conferences were better left to the 'experts' and I neglected to consider what or how I could contribute to the field.  If you're in grad school and thinking the same, don't.  Try it out now--you surely have ideas that would benefit others.

Without a buddy I don't know if I would have taken the plunge either.  Danielle Bus and I were working together at the University of Oregon when she suggested that we should try writing something out.  We had some shared experiences over the course of the year that raised questions that we wanted to investigate. We invited some more senior instructors to join us to try to widen our perspective.  

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Incorporating Reading and Writing in Chats

I think that one interesting way to incorporate reading and writing into video chats would be to have a shared reading, perhaps a news article related to a current hot topic to be read first.  If reading controversial news stories could be assigned before the chat, students would have to recall their reading and talk about the text, which we know helps aid in reading comprehension.  Students could also have the reading in front of them and they could reference while chatting.  Of course, the reading material would have to be carefully selected to ensure that it was interesting and could prompt a good deal of discussion.  I also think that using video chat as a way to form a sort of book club could be a great use.  Maybe prior to chatting, sections of an assigned book could be read and students could be asked to write reflections on those assignments, then they could use asynchronous CMC to share reflections with one another.  They would already have some indication on how their chat partners were responding to the text before interacting in real time.  I think that activities like these could really focus the learning and help ensure that students remain on task.