The art of conferencing: TESOL 2014

3/31/2014

After 23 years of TESOLing, I feel as though I can speak with some authority when I say that Portland knows how to do a conference! The giant poppy sculptures hanging from the convention center hallways, the laptop lounges, the compostable coffee cups (with coffee that tasted much better than compost), the reassigned men's to women's restrooms (well that was a little tricky...) and a classy cocktail lounge right on site. All attendees received free light rail passes and I haven't even mentioned the excellent presenters and sessions. My focus is on adult ESOL and a plethora of sessions made the 2014 conference into a moveable feast. (Thank you Lori Howard,  Radmila PopovicJoe McVeigh,  Marsha Chan, Ronna Magy, Helen Solorzano, Susan Finn Miller, to name a few! Unfortunately, I couldn't make these links to their work at TESOL--it's too early...but once they come online, I'll switch the links.) 
A limited representation of the complexity of Adult ESOL
This was my busiest TESOL ever! A paired reading PCI with Lori Howard on Tuesday; all day TESOL meetings on Wednesday;  a panel with authors Daphne Mackey &  Joe McVeigh along with editor Jeff Krum and publisher, Pietro Alongi on Thursday, a vocabulary session on Friday--which I began 15 minutes early, until I caught myself.

My last session, on complexity, motivation, and adult ESL was a new adventure and to my delight I experienced a gracious group of participants who went along with me for the brain twisting ride. :-) 

Throughout the days and evenings in Portland, I saw many of ESOL's rock stars, spent time with many good friends, made several new ones, and--as always happens at TESOL-- was inspired by the thousands of practitioners, researchers, and grad students in attendance.  

If you're interested in the materials I shared at the conference, follow this link to Lighthearted Learning's Tools and Tips page--and please, let me know what you think.