Pre-Conference Workshops

Friday, October 26th at Renton Technical College

These 3-hour professional development workshops (Friday, October 26, 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.) are designed to provide opportunities to discuss and examine relevant topics and important issues in greater depth.  Annual conference sessions will follow on Saturday, October 27, 2018.

Pre-conference sessions will take place on the 3rd floor of building J at Renton Technical College. Check-in and on-site registration open at 12:30.

Clock Hours are available for both the pre-conference workshops and the Saturday conference. STEM Clock Hours available for the STEM and ELL session.

Register online by October 22nd.

  • $30 for WAESOL Members ($40 on-site)
  • $35 for non-members ($45 on-site)

3 Session Descriptions:


Room: J-302

Writing for Beginning to Advanced ELLs: Critical Thinking and Grading

Dr. Mary Martha Savage, Gonzaga University

Abstract:This workshop addresses ways of teaching the conventions of writing and pushes into ways to elicit more critical kinds of thinking for ELLs. Good writing begins with guided discussions designed to highlight and capture ideas and academic language. Participants will leave with a handout outlining explicit techniques to foster academic discussion and effective feedback on writing. The grading involves a color system that allows for accessible feedback with minimal grading time. Lessons will be demonstrated with participants and discussion of ways to apply techniques in participants’ context will be conducted. Participants are encouraged to bring a class set of student work.

Mary Martha Savage’s classroom experience spans k-12, adult/immigrant, IEP and MTSL graduate coursework. She is a frequent workshop presenter because…I enjoy hearing the “lived experience” of others as we explore how to teach in more effective ways. She is an Associate Professor at Gonzaga University within the Teacher Education Department specializing in academic ESL and MA/TESOL graduate and endorsement courses. Her area of interest is facilitating the writing process with ELLs: k-12 –university students.


Room: J-310

Shifting Roles: Teachers as Instructional Designers

Julie Scales, UW Continuum College
Nasrin Nazemi, University of Washington

Abstract: In this workshop, we’ll explore the principles of Instructional Design and analyze the connections with the principles of curriculum design and the skill set of the classroom teacher. We’ll take a hands-on approach and create a design document (aka curriculum map) after looking at a variety of samples prepared for major online programs.  On a practical note, we’ll explore strategies for building a shareable e-portfolio, developing technical skills (classes and certificate programs), and growing a network of contacts in the field (LinkedIn and face-to-face networking).

Julie Scales moved into an Instructional Design role after teaching adult ELLs in the university and community college systems for over 10 years. Her experience with curriculum design and development in the UW’s International & English Language Programs and abroad was key in this transition. She now works on a portfolio of continuing education programs with UW Continuum College. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design, a Master’s in TESOL and a K-12 teaching certificate.

Nasrin Nazemi is Assessment Coordinator at the University of Washington. She has taught English to diverse groups of learners and has served on several curriculum committees contributing to the development of various courses and curricula. Her work is currently focused on designing and developing classroom assessment and program evaluation instruments. Nasrin has a Master’s in TESOL, and has developed familiarity with online course design and development, including assessment, through taking various self-paced online courses.


Room: J-312

STEM and ELL: A Lesson on Endangered Orca Whales in the Puget Sound 

(This session qualifies for 3 STEM clock hours.)

Dr. Cheryl Lydon, Puget Sound ESD
Dr. Joan Johnston Nelson, Office of Systems and School Improvement 

Abstract: This 3-hour workshop will take you through an authentic STEM lesson through the lens of engaging ELLs at varying levels of language acquisition. By integrating Science, Engineering, and Math, students see how these subjects come together to solve real-world problems.

As participants experience authentic STEM activities, the presenters will guide you through ways to effectively engage English Language Learners, make content comprehensible, and provided scaffolded support for English language development at varying levels of language acquisition. Resources for STEM instruction and career connections to the fields of science and engineering will be shared.

Dr. Cheryl Lydon is the STEM Program Manager for Puget Sound Educational Service District. She has over 25 years’ experience as a science education leader in both Colorado and Washington State, supporting teacher professional learning and whole system design to make science accessible to all students.   Currently, she leads PSESD’s science and programs in partnership with school districts in King and Pierce County. Cheryl originally taught middle school science and then worked as a professional development provider for Pacific Science Center. She has also been a middle school assistant principal and the elementary science coordinator for Denver Public Schools.

Dr. Joan Johnston Nelson has worked with English language learners teaching in K-12, adult literacy, university, and overseas programs since 1986.  She is an active advocate, teacher trainer, and consultant, as well as a frequent presenter at local, state, and international conferences.  She obtained her Masters in TESL from Gonzaga University and earned her PhD in Language and Literacy Education through Washington State University.  Her passion is for working with those considered on the margins, especially those in the refugee and immigrant communities and her own Native American community. Joan currently serves as Executive Director for WAESOL and is a Continuous Improvement Partner for the Office of Systems and School Improvement with OSPI.


Click here to register for a Pre-Conference Workshop.

Or add a workshop when you register for the 2018 WAESOL Conference.