Pre-Conference Workshops

Friday, October 23rd Online

These professional development workshops (Friday, October 23, 1:00 pm to 4 pm) 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 24, 2020.

Pre-conference sessions will take place online via zoom.

  • Each workshop is from 1:00 to 4:00 on Friday, October 23rd, unless otherwise noted.

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

Pre-Conference Registration closes October 19th.

  • $15 for WAESOL Members 
  • $20 for non-members 

Scroll down to read descriptions of the 3 sessions to choose from.  You will need to indicate your session choice when you register.

Click here to register for a pre-conference workshop. 



Zooming Your Way to Classroom Interaction

Timothy Diko, Mukogawa USC in Spokane, Washington

Friday, October 23, 1:00 pm to 3 pm

This workshop focuses on making the Zoom classroom more interactive and fun for students AND more manageable for the teacher. The presenter first demonstrates activities using basic Zoom features that build community in the virtual classroom, focus attention, and engage students. Participants then learn and practice strategies for setting up and managing Zoom group discussions and jigsaw activities.  Finally, attendees learn step-by-step instructions to set up and use virtual backgrounds, and how to set up an additional monitor to more comfortably manage the virtual classroom.

Objectives: 1) To demonstrate strategies for using Zoom features such as viewing modes, renaming, video on/off, gesturing, chat, screen sharing to promote classroom interaction and engagement; 2) To demonstrate how to set up and manage Zoom jigsaw discussion activities; 3) To demonstrate how to set up and manage virtual backgrounds (green screen) and to use additional monitors to more comfortably manage the virtual classroom.

Timothy Diko has taught ESL/EIL in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Japan. He currently teaches at Mukogawa USC, in Spokane, Washington.  He has a BAed Spanish/ESL and an MA TESOL.


Supporting Adult ESL Students with Disabilities: Insights from the community college classroom

Kimberly Russell, University of Hawaii at Hilo

Friday, October 23, 1:00 pm to 4 pm

This session will be from the point of view of an ESL practitioner with many years teaching students with both diagnosed and suspected disabilities that may affect the learning process, including personal experience dealing with multiple learning disabilities as a learner. Session is expected to be most useful for current classroom instructors, though it would also be of interest for classroom tutors, and program administrators.

Presenter will review issues related to teaching adult ESL students with disabilities, hearing, vision, and learning disabilities. Physical disabilities such as mobility impairments will be touched upon but will not be a major focus, as these rarely impact actual language learning, though they can impact classroom management.  Session will be include an interweaving of:

  •  BRIEF Presentations of information interspersed with participant discussion/Q&A/Hands-on activities. Topics will cover major types of learning disabilities, signs of undiagnosed learning disabilities, working with disability services offices and referring students, as well as issues regarding working with students with visual and hearing impairments, such as: intake testing and placement, getting Standardized tests (e.g. CASAS) formatted in Braille, teaching hearing impaired/deaf students with translators in the classroom.
  • Discussion among participant (breakout rooms) with report back and group discussion, Q and A.

Kimberly Russell is an instructor with over 30 years of experience in the community college and university classroom both in the US and Japan, who believes that her experience as an instructor who has learning disabilities makes her a more compassionate and creative instructor. She has written and edited ESL textbooks and associated materials for both Cambridge University Press and Pearson Publishing. Ms. Russell currently teaches Composition for the English Department of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and reside in Hilo, Hawaii. She has served the TESOL community for years, having been a board member of WAESOL and HITESOL.


Tech with a Purpose: Fostering Virtual Student-Centered Classes

Bridget Green 
Margaret (Maggie) Diehl, Spokane Community College
Sarah Griffith, Notre Dame of Maryland
Rosemary Colón

Friday, October 23, 1:00 pm to 4 pm

Since lockdown, online teaching has become the norm. Whether synchronous or asynchronous, it is a challenge to make our online classes interactive, affectively and cognitively engaging, with language-rich, student-centered activities that challenge and motivate our learners. The presenters will demonstrate ways to do just that! 

In this session, we will 

  • describe ways to enhance learner autonomy by motivating students to take charge of more of their English input and output; 
  • identify the benefits of tech, review best practices for integrating new tech, and outline how to use tech to reach your pedagogical goals; 
  • demonstrate a useful virtual tool for creating engaging input and explanations for flipped or asynchronous learning, personalized writing feedback, videos or short messages to students, and instructional videos to teach new technology or processes;
  • explore different applications of Flipgrid that can be integrated into lessons to expand ELs’ learning experiences;
  • demonstrate a user-friendly, simple website where you can build more than 15 different kinds of interactive activities, including games, flashcards, image sequencers, and more! 

In addition, the presenters will supply detailed handouts for each activity and will follow up the presentation with a digitally-curated resource that will link to all the materials from the presentation, as well as further screencast demonstrations of useful technologies for teachers.

Note:  Several days before the WAESOL Pre-Conference, participants will

  • be invited to respond to a short survey;
  • be sent a guide with instructions on technologies to download and try out in advance in order to get the most out of the presentation; and
  • receive an introduction videocast that will be used to begin the discussion.

Please sign up early!

Bridget Green has over 30 years’ ESL/EFL teaching experience in the US, Japan, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ecuador, and Uganda. In addition, she has 15 years’ teacher-training experience at the post-secondary level. While not a clearly defined early adopter of tech, she has been incorporating it enthusiastically and has taught a graduate course in Pedagogical Technology for several years and loves to use it to make her classes more engaging and interactive.

Margaret (Maggie) Diehl is an adjunct instructor at Spokane Community College, teaching ESL in the Adult Basic Education division. She has also taught at Mukogawa Women’s University US Campus, Spokane Falls Community College, and Gonzaga University. She has her masters in TESOL and taught abroad in Costa Rica. Juggling adjunct work can be difficult, but the varied experiences and contexts have given many opportunities for her to challenge herself and continue learning. Recently, exploring online teaching has been the newest opportunity for growth, and she looks forward to sharing her “ah-ha” moments at WAESOL this year. Her father always told her “the secret to a happy life is to find what you love, then find a way to make money doing it.” She has been successful creating a happy life in Spokane, WA, teaching English to immigrant and refugee students and continuously learning from them.

Sarah Griffith is an educator currently teaching as an adjunct at Notre Dame of Maryland. After earning her MATESOL from Gonzaga University, she has spent the past few years learning ways to build community in the classroom and how to use technology to facilitate critical thinking. Her passion for challenges took her to rural Thailand, where she worked in low resource classrooms as a teacher and educational consultant in a partnership with One Sky Foundation, a local NGO. Sarah is an advocate against native-speakerism and incorporates the English as a Lingua Franca approach into her curriculum. Sarah has recently launched The English Sisterhood, an online speaking program exclusively for women, to provide a safe, supportive community for them to practice English, develop international friendships, and feel confident in English conversations.

Rosemary Colón is an ESL educator. Having attended the MATESOL program at Gonzaga University, she has been able to build on her experience over the last 3 years teaching in university and community settings in the Spokane area where she currently resides after having spent most of her life in the Bay Area, California.  Rosemary has also worked with KSPS PBS as an education consultant developing curriculum and facilitating workshops. She is an advocate not only for ELs but for education as she takes an interest in policy and advocacy by learning how educators can build on their support for their students and communities.  She continues to supplement her experience and learning through conferences such as WAESOL, collaborating with her peers, and being creative with tech resources like Twitter.  ¡Sí se puede!