“I was a stranger, and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).

The following list of workshops is subject to change.

Conference attendees will be able to attend 3 workshops led by experienced literacy instructors and non profit professionals. Click here for workshop presenter biographical information.

ESL Instruction

  • American Accent: Six Techniques for ELLs to be understood by everyone! (Red Goldstein). This session delves into six different tools ESL teachers can put to work immediately in the classroom. Shy people may want to avoid this class 🙂 You will be engaged to try this stuff!
  • Directors’ Round Table and Networking (John Spear). Meet with with other program directors to discuss pertinent issues and share resources.
  • Let the Students Do the Work! (Nikki Ashcraft). Teachers often do all the work of preparing class activities and materials. However, involving learners in generating activity prompts and creating materials can make your lessons more learner-centered. Learn ways students can participate in constructing their language learning experience.
  • Social Media in an ESL Classroom (Olga Gilbert). Can social media facilitate a positive learning environment that will help students discover their voices in America? This workshop will explore this and other issues related to the use of social media in ESL classrooms. Sample activities will be presented.
  • Technology in Adult ESL: Impact on Teachers and Students (Katie Welch). Participants will leave the session equipped with at least two technologies – QR codes and Kahoot! Quizzes – that can be integrated into their adult ESL classrooms. Attendees will also gain a broader understanding of how educational technology can facilitate high-quality teaching.
  • Local ESL Teaching and the Value of University TESOL Certificate Programs (Cynthia Kilpatrick and Kurk Gayle).Two ESL specialists and two directors of university TESOL certificate programs talk about their work with prospective and current ESL teachers and various opportunities in the Metroplex.
  • Using National Geographic Resources to Find Your Voice in English (Janet Kay). This session provides attendees with activities and resources from National Geographic Learning to help adults communicate in English on a variety of topics including: classrooms, health, shopping, careers, and more. Attendees will receive FREE materials from National Geographic Learning.

Literacy Advocacy & Related Topics

  • Census 101: Why Your Answers Matter (Cynthia Wallace). This workshop provides an overview of the importance of a complete and accurate census count and how accurate data impacts our communities both financially and with regard to quality of life. Participants will learn strategic ways to raise awareness of the census in their communities.
  • Elements and Dynamics of Human Trafficking (Noel Mendoza). Human Trafficking is a complex issue impacting local communities every day. This session will provide a clear understanding of the elements present in human trafficking cases, and participants will gain insight as to what a comprehensive response to trafficking victims, survivors and the issue at large can include.
  • Introduction to Civic Engagement and Restorative Justice for Immigrant Communities (Sindy Mata). The attack on immigrants and impact of dehumanizing policies has led to increased trauma in our communities. This presentation is an introduction to how our community can mobilize through civic engagement and restorative justice.

High School Equivalency & Adult Education

  • Contextualized Learning: Journey to Success by New Readers Press (Ann Beeson). Learners need to learn academic skills at lower reading levels, with content contextualized to HSE and workforce needs. Journey to Success by New Readers Press helps fill content gaps and better engage learners. This workshop includes a product review, lesson demo, and a drawing.
  • Hear Here: The Audio Revolution of Podcasts, Adapted for Literacy Instruction (Wes Young). Podcasts, while no longer new, are still falsely though of as entertainment only. In this session, participants will learn a little history and learn how to adapt episodes of their favorite podcasts into teachable content for ABE, ESL, and HSE classrooms.
  • HiSET 2020 (Tanya Guerrero Haug). This presentation will demonstrate how the HiSET exam aligns with the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education, granting individuals without a high school diploma the opportunity to earn a state issued high school equivalency credential and move toward post-secondary education or a better career.
  • Welcoming and Instructing Adults with Learning Difficulties and DisABILITIES (Joan Grigsby and Jheri Clark). Most adult education students experience barriers in learning. This workshop will show how to honor students’ stories and work with their individual needs through an instruction program that enables them to progress toward achieving personal goals.


  • Citizenship: Where do I begin? (Shelly Whitfield). This session will give an overview of how to set up an eight-week citizenship course that covers the application process, interview, civic test, and English test. Participants will be provided USCIS teachers-student materials, online resources, and hands-on activities.
  • Refugee ESL and Citizenship (Russ Chun). World Relief Refugee ESL and Citizenship classes have revealed many insights. Oral tradition cultures are quick to learn the “story” of the USA and, surprisingly, those who would normally be categorized a level 1 ESL are passing the USCIS citizenship exam, how do we maximize our lessons approach to those from these backgrounds?

Multiculturalism & Worldview

  • Understanding Our Cultural Lenses (Patty Lane). This workshop will lead participants to discover the impact and importance of cultural lenses. Not only will they understand their lenses, but the lenses of others and how those cultural differences impact relationships, learning, and behavior. Through real-life examples and group discussion, practical cross-cultural issues will be addressed.
  • Welcoming the Stranger: Understanding the Immigrant Story (Federico Salas-Isnardi). In a highly charged rhetorical environment, it is important to reclaim the immigrant-refugee conversation. If we are to create communities that welcome immigrants, we need to actively listen to stories of immigration and share our own. We must also learn the history of the system, and we must understand the meanings of the terms we use.

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