Nine American Culture and Language Institute (ACLI) instructors from across the campuses spent October 17 at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland, attending the Washington Area Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (WATESOL) 2014 Fall Convention. The theme was “21st Century Teaching: Promises and Realities.” Those attending included Darlene Branges, Chris Kern, Veronica Janes, Betsy Lindeman Wong, Sherlie Scribner, Fatima Khan, Valeria Leslie, Veronica Brown and Stephanie Gollobin.
Convention planners provided a busy day of professional development opportunities including a keynote address, a choice of over 30 content sessions, a networking lunch break and special interest group meetings. NOVA ACLI instructors Lindeman Wong (AL) and Gollobin (AN) shared practical teaching approaches and activities constructed from researched-based pedagogy. In her session titled “Super Suprasegmentals!,” Wong had everybody singing Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” before asking attendees to then go back and identify individual thought groups in the text. Gollobin’s session, “Engaging Reluctant Readers by Bringing Nonfiction to Life,” provided a strategy that coupled reading books about Washington area historical figures and events with writing projects and field trips.