Language Matters

Language Matters-banner

Language Matters: A Professional Development Series

Language Matters is a series of presentations and discussions on issues regarding second language teaching and learning. The goal of Language Matters is for faculty, staff, and students to share their experiences, expertise, and knowledge.

All faculty, staff, and students interested in language teaching and learning are welcome!

                                         Upcoming Presentations


             “Helping Adult English Learners Transition to "What's Next"

                                                                 Thursday, February 18, 2016
                                                                       1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
                                                                    Wind River Room 232 UC

All of our learners are working toward something, whether it is postsecondary options, career training, a better job, or deeper connections with their communities. In a field now emphasizing college and career readiness more than ever, what does this mean for adult ESL, at all levels?  A 'transitions lens' can help us see our place in our students' trajectories, and innovative partnerships can enhance our classrooms into ever more meaningful, productive spaces.

Presented by Dr. Patsy Vinogradov, Hamline University

Patsy Vinogradov is the director of ATLAS, the ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System ( ATLAS is the main professional development provider for adult educators in Minnesota. ATLAS is located at Hamline University, School of Education, where Patsy is also an adjunct faculty member ( Patsy holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language, and a PhD in Education: Curriculum & Instruction. Her research focuses on literacy development and teacher education for adult learners, with a particular interest in teaching adult immigrants and refugees with limited first language literacy.  In her role at ATLAS, she directs professional development initiatives around teaching transitions skills, literacy, numeracy, and ESL in adult basic education.

March 1, 2016 Mexican Consulate 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

St. Croix Room 321 UC

Watch for more information, coming soon.


Past Presentations

Serving diverse English learners in K12 schools

Presented by Michael Bowlud, Minnesota Department of Education

ITAP Panel Discussion

Presented by Alex Hatheway, Jean P. Hsu, Andrew Nelson, Matt Gago, Olivia Wannarka and Alice Wedell.

Maximizing Professional Organization Benefits 

Have you considered a student membership into TESOL? Have you heard of WAIE or WITESOL?  Topics include optimizing website information, accessing grants and awards, engaging in interest sections, doing board and committee work, and taking advantage of student opportunities and "newcomer" benefits.

Presented by Rhonda Petree and Conan Kmiecik.

Past Events


Turkish Educational Systems and Teaching in Turkey 

Istanbul, traditionally known as where East meets West, has been the seat of three world empires and is the only city in the world lying on two continents. Delve deeper with current Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) graduate student Garrett Quandt as he shares his experiences living and working in Turkey's most populous city.

From Hands up to What's up: Teaching English in China is more than an experience  

Before China's reforming and opening up in 1978, English was seldom seen in schools and only phrases such as "Hands up!" were taught to soldiers for use in wars or phrases such as "Long live Chairman Mao" for propaganda purposes. However, China has made English education a priority, which has been overwhelmingly welcomed by people from all walks of life. Presented by May Tao, Visiting staff of Global Connection

Blend it! Flip it! Transform Teaching, Improve the Learning Environment    

Blended and flipped learning are not just buzzwords, they are ways to expand programs and provide student support where needed. It is a pedagogical hop for language educators accustomed to students working in groups. Participants will identify techniques to move "fact learning" to independent study and application of learning to a supported guided environment. By combining blended learning and flipped lesson techniques, we have transformed the way we teach and how students learn. The presentation will include examples from Russian and Japanese ITV courses.    Presented by Magara Maeda and Lauren Rosen

Flipping the ESL Classroom: Incorporating Inverted Learning in an ESL Grammar Class  

This presentation illustrates how to incorporate a flipped classroom methodology in an intermediate ESL grammar class.  The presentation will include the benefits and the shortcomings of adopting this method for the ESL classroom. Presented by Amrit Bidegaray

Teachers Speak Up!   

Panel discussion organized by Dr. Doug Margolis, Assistant Professor, TESOL Program, UWRF What's the best way to learn a foreign language?  Should students be able to speak their first language in the language learning classroom?  Should oral errors be corrected? If so, when? How? How should culture be addressed?  What's the appropriate role of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary in language learning?    Panelist include Cecilia Bustamante, Diane Jacobson, Doug Margolis, Gretchen Toman and Magara Maeda.

English Learners in Elementary Schools 

Presented by Dr. Amy Frederick, Assistant Professor, Literacy Education, Teacher Education, UWRF Children who come to school with a home language other than English face twice the challenge: learning English and learning academic content. It can take many years for bilingual children to "catch up" to their English speaking peers.

Hacking the Language Classroom: e-Ideas, -Activities, and -Resources

What are some ways of infusing fresh material into the language classroom?  The life hack is a genre of writing on the Internet that provides tips and shortcuts for becoming more productive or efficient in life. During the presentation, the presenters will share 5 hacks for the language classroom.  

Presenters: Alex Hatheway and Conan Kmiecik.    

Education in Gaza 

Fatma Aljarrah is from Gaza, Palestine. This presentation will provide background information about Gaza regarding the history, geography, politics, and religion, but most importantly, this presentation will provide information about the educational system, focusing specifically on English language teaching and learning. 

During the presentation Ms. Aljarrah will discuss the challenges that English language teachers encounter as well as possible solutions to overcome some of the hurdles. Pictures and videos will be used to let people know more.

Bio: Ms. Fatma A. Aljarrah is a Fulbright Scholar from Gaza-Palestine. She is in the TESOL MA Program at UWRF. She is a practicing English language teacher in Gaza, as well as a TV presenter.                         




What Can Linguistics Learn from Biology? Three Arguments in Favor of a Consistent Theory of Part-of-Speech Subclassification
Presented by Dr. Vladimir Pavlov

Using Dynamic Written Corrective Feedback to Develop ESL Learners' Linguistic Accuracy
Presented by Charlie Lavin, ESL Instructor  Charlie Lavin's Plan B Paper can be found at

Academic Posters for Newbies: A Step-by-step Walkthrough Using PowerPoint

Presented by Conan Kmiecik, UW-River Falls Associate Lecturer and ESL and Cultural Summer Program Coordinator for the ELT Program

The 21st Century Classroom: Communication, Collaboration, Assessment & Technology
Presented by Magara Maeda, UW-River Falls Instructor of Japanese

The TESOL Program's Taiwan Teach Abroad Program (TTAP)
Presentated by TTAP Coordinator Doug Margolis and TTAP Participants Diane Jacboson, Helen Watts, and Mai Moua

Academic Success and International Students at UWRF
Presented by Rhonda Petree, UW-River Falls Director, ELT Program and Associate Lecturer, and Charlie Lavin, UW-River Falls ESL Instructor.
Power Point Presentation


Co-Teaching to Meet the Needs of English Learners
Presented by Diane Jacobson, UW-River Falls ELT Associate Lecturer

Lexicology: A Missing Link in Language Teacher Training
Presented by Dr. Vladimir Pavlov, UW-River Falls TESOL Associate Professor

Teaching English Abroad Panel Discussion
Presented by Rhonda Petree, UW-River Falls Director, ELT Program and Associate Lecturer; Charlie Lavin, UW-River Falls ESL Instructor; Justin Otto, ELT Program Graduate Assistant; and Mary Zoubek, ELT Program Graduate Assistant

Technology In The Classroom: Best Practices and Realistic Approaches
Presented by Anne Edvenson, Minnesota English Language Program ESL Instructor, U of M-Twin Cities

Error Correction in the Language Learning Classroom
Presented by Doug Margolis, UW-River Falls TESOL Visiting Professor

Lesson Planning: Warm-ups and Wrap-downs
Presented by Rhonda Petree, UW-River Falls Director, ELT Program and Associate Lecturer


Rhonda Petree
231 Kleinpell Fine Arts

Contact Us

English Language Transition (ELT) Program
M-F 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Facebook Icon