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Visible Learning: The Sequel 

By John Hattie

Image of Cover Visible Learning The Sequel a synthesis of over 21000 metaanalyses relating to achievement John Hattie

By Federico Pomarici & Kara Mac Donald 

The author of the review’s text, John Hattie, has had three very successful publications on promoting learning. The first publication Visible Learning (2008) provided an overview of meta-analyses on successful learning outcomes, which was followed by Visible Learning: The Sequel (2023), released in part due to the popularity of the first publication of the topic. He also has a publication specifically directed towards educators, Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning (2008). The text appealed to the authors as it examines the various factors that influence learning and achievement, addressing these factors in well-organized individual chapters.

Book Review Reflection: Working Collaboratively in Second/Foreign Language Learning 

Edited by Maria del Pilar Garcia Mayo

Image Cover Working Collaboratively in Second Language Foreign Language Learning De Grunter Mouton

By Kara Mac Donald

This book begins by sharing how collaborative language learning is supported and situated within research on cognitive and social cultural aspects of learning. In particular, Vygotsky’s (1978) work on learning being socially mediated. The editor then shares nine researchers’ work in favor of collaborative learning. This initial chapter lays the foundation for the following ten chapters authored by different individuals addressing different aspects of implementing collaborative learning in the language classroom.


Book Review Reflection: English L2 Reading: Getting to the Bottom

By Barbara M. Birch and Sean Fulop 

Image Cover English L2 Reading Getting to the Bottom Barbara M Birch and Sean Fulop ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series Routledge

By Soo Min Lee, Ed.D.

English L2 Reading: Getting to the Bottom, written by Barbara M. Birch and Sean Fulop, offers foundational knowledge on the brain organization and interactions between working memory and long-term memory. The main focus of this book is native speakers of English acquiring English from the very early stage of cognitive development to developing fluent listening and reading skills at school. Therefore, it starts off with the human brain organization and language awareness in early childhood. What’s important is that as children develop their cognition, it influences language awareness and vice versa. The authors point out that once a child has more developed language awareness, they have better support for reading and writing at school. Even though English L2 learners do not necessarily have language awareness issues in their early development, due to their various L1 backgrounds, they have to deal with a different writing system. As a result, English L2 readers go through interlanguage and language transfer in the process of becoming a fluent reader in English. 


Working with Text and Around Text in Foreign Language Environments
Editors Halina Chodkiewicz, Piotr Steinbrich and Małgorzata Krzeminska-Adamek

Image book cover working with text and around text in foreign language environments springer

By Sumood Almawoashi, Amel Farghaly and Kara Mac Donald 

As language teachers and curriculum developers, we work with pedagogic, semi-authentic and authentic texts on a regular basis. These texts are receptive input for learners; they serve as a model for creating their own written texts and as resources for teaching language, reading and writing. This text is divided into three sections addressing the receipt of L2 written input, the creation of L2 output and the analysis of texts for learning and language development.

The Art of Teaching Speaking: Research and Pedagogy for the ESL/EFL Classroom by Keith S. Folse 

Image of Book The Art of Teaching Speaking Research and Pedagogy for the ESL/EFL Classroom Keith S Folse Michigan

Liza Martinez and Kara Mac Donald 

Anecdotally teachers and students most often mention listening as a challenging skill to teach. Listening content is fleeting and difficult for learners to catch and often listening is tested (i.e., a one-shot chance to comprehend) in the classroom, rather than taught strategically. Although a distinct skill, much the same can maybe be said for the teaching of speaking in the classroom. As much as possible, students are placed in groups to communicatively negotiate meaning and outcome of collaborative tasks. However, how well are the learners’ age, proficiency, and short- and long-term goals considered in each segment of the instructional program. Additionally, how do these student and class specific needs intersect with language production outcomes and instructional approaches? This volume is based on theoretical foundations but consists of a repertoire of classroom informed scenarios and instructional activities. 

Image Voice of Witness Education Logo Eye and Speech Bubble

Voice of Witness is a nonprofit that provides students with inclusive and culturally relevant learning opportunities through oral history. Learn about how VOW builds critical thinking, social-emotional, and communication skills through these projects in the mentor interview below.

Learn four ways to leverage learning resources from the New York Times

Image of high school students with national flags and United States flag credit Adile Jones
Photo credit: Adile Jones

The Biden-Harris Administration has recently launched the “Being Bilingual is a Superpower” initiative to promote multilingual education for a diverse workforce. New York State teacher and past president of NYS TESOL, Sarah Elia, writes for the New York Times on ways that educators can support this initiative. Multilingualism should be a path for ALL students. 



Voices of Newcomers: Experiences of Multilingual Learners by Denise Ammeraal Furlong

Image book cover voices of newcomers experiences of multilingual learners Denise Ammeraal Furlong Ed d

By Lisa Fischler
Voices of Newcomers: Experiences of Multilingual Learners by Denise Ammeraal Furlong offers a practical guide with timely steps to “maximizing the learning experience that educators provide” for multilingual learners (MLs), students new to education in the U.S. (Newcomers), and “SLIFE (Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education)” (p. xii). Set within the context of culturally responsive pedagogy, the short introduction and eleven additional chapters demonstrate very helpful ways to cultivate inclusive, connective, welcoming, and supportive scholastic communities for the students comprising MLs, Newcomers, and SLIFEs. This accessible book reads easily and will be of interest to K-12 schools, including their instructors, staff, and students, particularly those who are most responsible for assisting MLs, Newcomers, and SLIFEs.


Center for Applied Linguistics Two-part free webinar series 8 fundamental principles of effective adult English language instruction

Unlock the power of effective adult language instruction!

Adult language education instructors, register now for TWO free webinars to elevate your teaching skills. Inspire your adult learners with techniques from CAL's 8 Fundamental Principles of Effective Adult Language Education.


[⭐] ️ Webinar 1: Principles 1–4
Nov 9, 2023 | 3:00–3:45 PM
Discover strategies for adult language instruction, including learner-centeredness, leveraging learners' assets, and incorporating all language modalities. Boost language proficiency with engaging classroom and virtual activities.

[⭐] ️ Webinar 2: Principles 5–8
Nov 16, 2023 | 3:00–3:45 PM
Enhance your teaching with insights on comprehensible input, developing metacognitive awareness in learners, and creating a supportive learning environment. Build an inclusive and engaging language learning experience with a toolkit of excellent techniques.


Language Teacher Identity in TESOL, Teacher Education and Practice as Identity Work, Editors Bedrettin and Kristen Lindal

Image of Language Teacher Identify in TESOL Teacher education and practice as identity work edited by Yazan and Kindahl Routledge

By Li-Yuan Liao, Chia-Ning Liu, Tingting Li, Qiong Wu and Kara Mac Donald 


By Kara Mac Donald

As the managing editor of the CATESOL Blog Monthly Book Review, under Michelle Skowbo as the editor, I have the custom to send out invitations to members and ELT/FLT educators to see if any of them would be interested in co-authoring an upcoming review for a selected book for upcoming slated reviews.

An ELT/SLA text of typical length got more interested responses than usual, and with no similar text slated for the remainder of the 2023 publication year, at that point in time, I accepted all those that were interested in writing a review for the book. It seemed crazy at first to have five authors for a 300-page publication, but after discussions it made perfect sense. Each interested author had an area of interest and/or personal affiliation.


Sticky Assessment: Classroom Strategies to Amplify Student Learning by Laura Greenstein

Image Sticky Assessment Classroom strategies to amplify student learning Laura Greenstein an eye on education book Routledge

By Unsoon Won and Kara Mac Donald 

The book is not fresh off the presses, and in fact is from 2019. However, the review authors have found it a useful text within their context as teacher trainers. It is a very short and accessible text that provides a foundational understanding of assessment from which both novice and veteran language teachers can benefit. So, they decided to offer a review to benefit others as well.

Making Professional Development Meaningful

Image of cup of coffee, notebook with lined paper, and pen

"Cup of coffee, notebook with lined paper, pen, stickers, office plant on the wooden background." by Lia on is marked with CC0 1.0.

In our first mentor interview, a school administrator shares his experiences with making professional development meaningful.

The Power of Language by Viorica Marian

The Power of Language Viorca Marian How the Codes We Use to Think Speak and Live Transform Our Minds

By Federico Pomarici and Kara Mac Donald 

As language teachers, this book will likely interest you as it addresses the multi-faceted nature of language, its use, and its acquisition. The first part of the book is dedicated to how language influences individuals, and the second how language is used, created, and studied within society.

Exciting News: Introducing CATESOL's Brand New YouTube Channel! 

Dear CATESOL Members,
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new YouTube channel, where a world of valuable insights, knowledge, and inspiration awaits you. As dedicated educators, we understand the importance of continuous learning and professional development, and our YouTube channel is designed to bring you just that!

Subscribe Now:

Assessment for Experiential Learning by Cecilia Ka Yuk Chan 

Image for Assessment for Experiential Learning Routledge Research in Education Chan, Cecilia Ka Yuk

By Michelle Skowbo and Kara Mac Donald 

True-to-life learning experiences can be deeply practical and motivating, so why aren’t they a greater part of students’ education? In Assessment for Experiential Learning, Cecilia Ka Yuk Chan  acknowledges the numerous pitfalls that can sour students, teachers, and administrators against its adoption. Chan affirms that research supports the inclusion of experiential learning and gives steps for educators to make it meaningful and beneficial. She explores experiential learning issues, offers solutions, and tackles the often nebulous challenge of assessing experiential learning. 

House Appropriations Subcommittee Threatens ELA Funding (Reprinted from the TESOL Advocacy Action Center)

 The Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Appropriations cycle is in full gear, with the U.S. House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHSE) Subcommittee on Appropriations meeting last week on the fate of federal funding for multilingual learners of English (MLEs) and the English language teaching (ELT) educators who serve them.

Call for Submissions: Mentor Interviews 

Image by Zoetnet of two women sitting on a cement wall in paris chatting
"chatting" by zoetnet is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Are you a new ESL teacher who likes to write? 

Are you an experienced educator who enjoys sharing your experiences? Consider being part of a short mentor interview for the CATESOL Blog! 

What is a mentor interview? 

Interviews will consist of three questions and the interviewer will transcribe a “cleaned up” version. Interviews can range in length from 400 to 900 words. 

Contact the to find out more. 

CATESOL Book Review: Corpus Linguistics for English Teachers: New Tools, Online Resources, and Classroom Activities by Eric Friginal

Image of [ Corpus Linguistics for English Teachers: Tools, Online Resources, and Classroom Activities: 9781138123090: Friginal, Eric: Books]

By Nicole Brun-Mercer and Kara Mac Donald 

Corpus linguistics (CL) is growing, and it serves as a fantastic tool for English teachers to support their learners. As computers and web-based programs are increasingly available, classroom teachers can analyze students’ language production in large and mini-corpora. This permits a deeper understanding of learners’ vocabulary and language use patterns that can directly inform instruction.

Introducing World Languages in Elementary School 

Image of boy at a whiteboard by Allison Shelly for EDU Images

By Sarah Elia, NYS TESOL member and past president 

For anyone who has ever wished for world language education in elementary schools, there’s so much we as parents, teachers, students, and community members can do even with little to no supplemental funding. Sarah Elia, a Past President of New York State TESOL, offers creative ways school communities can expose children to world languages on a daily basis, ultimately increasing empathy for the experience of all language learners including ours ELLs. Find out about simple strategies that are appropriate for younger learners (and some that can be adapted to adult learners as well) at this link

CATESOL Education Foundation Presents 

The 2023 College/University Level 

English Language Research Award 

This award is intended to encourage a wider range of scholarly work that may not often be represented in traditional scholarly venues. Through this award, CATESOL Education Foundation hopes to share a scholarship that highlights exceptional work being done in the field of ESL/TESL  focusing on classroom-based research; curricular projects; well-argued bibliographic research regarding theory, research, pedagogy, and/or educational policy; and other types of research projects with clear pedagogical implications. 

Book Reflections – A New Column Post


Drawing on the CATESOL Blog Book Review posts, the Blog will be offering a monthly Book Reflections post that will be sole author or co-author pieces offering a reflective piece on one or more books related to ELT. The intention is to offer a personal narrative sharing article to promote (a) book(s) but not in the conventional chapter summary format of academic book reviews that may appeal to some members a bit more as readers or as writers. Inquiries:

Foundations for Teaching English Language Learners Research, Theory, Policy, and Practice by Wayne Wright

Foundations for Teaching English Language Learners Wayne E Wright

By Melissa Bourg, Kevin Tapee and Yeeun Choi

The history of the United States has always included immigrants, and most people who have arrived in the United States have not been native English speakers. In every generation one of the challenges faced by non-English speaking students has been to find a way to learn English to keep up with their native speaking peers. This challenge has been tackled by both lawmakers and educators, as the number of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the classroom continues to rise across the country. As a result of this ELL growth, state and federal laws have had to evolve, as well as the training that is provided to in-service and pre-service teachers.


Teaching L2 Composition, Purpose, Process, and Practice 
By Dana R. Ferris and John S. Hedgcock

Image Dana R Ferris and John S Hedgcock Teaching L2 Composition Purpose Process and Practice R

​By Liza Martinez & Kara Mac Donald 

This text is the 4th edition of a newly released publication of Teaching L2 Composition in early 2023. Previous editions have been highly popular among teacher trainers, in-service writing instructors, writing program administrators and L2 writing researchers. The fourth edition maintains the book’s fundamental structure with the first several chapters providing an overview of the fundamentals of L2 writing, followed by chapters addressing instructional practice, with the last several focusing on specific topics on L2 writing. This addition addresses new developments in L2 writing instruction, curriculum design and writing assessment. Additionally, reference lists have been added at the end of each chapter.


CATESOL Update: Membership Pricing

CATESOL has great news! The one-year membership rate is now a flat $30 for all! Our CATESOL Leadership feels very strongly that the proposed change to our membership pricing is integral in helping the organization continue to fulfill its mission of professional development, research, and advocacy viewed through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.
Starting on May 1st (Happy May Day!), when you log into the CATESOL website, the site will reflect this new rate.  All one- and two-year members who have paid through at least April 30, 2023 will receive an automatic one-year extension of their existing membership.  If you are renewing and your amount due is greater than $30, please contact Susan Gaer, our Membership Coordinator, at She can help update your records and provide an invoice reflecting the new rate.

We know that there is still more work to do, so we are also working to ensure that our colleagues have equitable access to CATESOL membership, regardless of financial circumstances. In that spirit, if you feel that you can provide financial support for others to join CATESOL, please visit the CATESOL Education Foundation page to make a tax-deductible donation: Be sure to note that this donation is for the CATESOL membership fund in your donation submission.

We are excited about the access opportunities this new pricing structure will provide – and we hope that you will share this news with friends and colleagues to help us grow the organization. By increasing awareness and participation in CATESOL, we can remain solvent and provide even more member benefits and robust professional development and networking opportunities.

We appreciate the variety of ways that our membership supports CATESOL. We thank you in advance for your patience as we work through all the intricacies of this transition so that we can fulfill our goal of supporting all students, instructors, administrators, and others serving multilingual learners.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the CATESOL leadership at 

And below is a flier for you to share this great CATESOL membership news with your colleagues!

Image CATESOL New Membership Rates Join Today 30 for All

Welcoming Newly Arrived High School ELLs

Image George Lucas Educational Foundation Edutopia English Language Learners Welcoming Newly Arrived High School ELLs These strategies can help English language learners

By Sarah Elia, NYS TESOL member and past president 

This recently published article sets the stage for creating a truly globalized school community from the physical environment to the educational opportunities in and out of the classroom. Not only do these simple steps support and welcome newly arrived high school English learners, but they also promote understanding, tolerance, and acceptance among all members of the school community. Further, the recommendations can be used in all school settings regardless of grade level. Please be sure to click on the embedded link to see examples from Saugerties High School in New York State. 


Book Reflections - Our Inaugural Column

Drawing on the CATESOL Blog Book Review posts, the CATESOL Blog will be offering a monthly Book Reflections post that will be sole author or co-author pieces offering reflective pieces on one or more books related to ELT. The column provides a book review with a more reflective discussion or personal critique of a publication/s. The intention is to offer a personal narrative-sharing article to promote (a) book(s), but not in the conventional chapter summary format of academic book reviews, that may appeal to some members a bit more as readers or as writers.

The inaugural column for May 2023 is offered by Navneet Potti. For June, we have Foundations for Teaching English Language Learners Research, Theory, Policy, and Practice offered by Melissa Bourg, Kevin Tapee and Yeeun Choi. For July, check out an examination of four texts that prompted reflection from Dr. Tara J. Yosso’s Saturday Plenary at the 2022 CATESOL Annual Conference by Kara Mac Donald.

The Multilingual Self: An Inquiry into Language Learning
By Natasha Lvovich 

Image Natasha Lvovich The Multilingual Self: An Inquiry into Language Learning

By Navneet Potti
In my head, all even numbers are either blue or red, while all the odd ones are either green or black. As I sit here and think of the number 8, my mind’s eye creates the numeral in a striking shade of indigo, and the number 7 appears in what I’ve seen being referred to as “forest green”. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, my earliest recollection is from middle school and anything to do with numbers had me breaking into a sweat. Mathematics confused and scared me in equal measure, and I was constantly grappling with ways in which I could understand it better. I don’t remember what caused it, but I found that starting to think of numbers in terms of colors made them more approachable - friendlier even. It helped me understand mathematical concepts more easily and in a way that made the approach to learning more “mine” - something that worked on the basis of rules I had made and not something I was reading in a textbook or being lectured at by an intimidating adult standing at the front of my classroom. So when forced to think of the first few prime numbers, I would automatically think of the “friends in green” - 3, 7, 11, 13, 17 and 19 - standing smartly shoulder to shoulder. Or when attempting to learn the multiples of 12, my mind would fire up a silent fireworks display of blues and reds. Distracting? Maybe. But it did help drive the point home to my numerically addled brain and saved my skin on multiple occasions over my next few years of academic pursuits.

Differentiated Supervision: Growing Teachers and Getting Results    

By Ann Mausbach and Kim Morrison

Cover Image Differentiated Supervision Growing Teachers and Getting Results Ann Mausbach Kim Morrison Corwin
By Siyi Gao and Kara Mac Donald 

As a school administrator, program manager or department supervisor, some responsibilities these senior educators have is to supervise their personnel, guide their professional development and conduct performance evaluations. Teacher supervision styles and processes are informed by personal approaches to leadership and schools’ evaluation systems. However, some factors that inform how leaders consider, or should consider, in supervising individuals is to account for their differences in the personal/professional goals and needs, readiness, and level of support required. Differentiated Supervision, Growing Teachers and Getting Results offers a model for supervision, understanding that schools are complex dynamic places, with many interconnected stakeholders, that is a comprehensive approach to effectively supporting teachers.

Expanding Literacy: Bringing Digital Storytelling into Your Classroom

By Brett Pierce

Brett Pierce Expanding Literacy Bringing Digital Storytelling into Your Classroom Heinemann

By Leslie Sherwood and Kara Mac Donald 

Multimodal writing is commonplace in the online landscape. Articles of all kinds have print text alongside images, videos, and often links to other online resources. Students are constantly interacting with these multimodal texts throughout the day on their phones, tablets and laptops for school and leisure. It makes perfect sense to give students assignments that mirror these real-word texts. The author, Brett Pierce, advocates for middle and high school students to develop such multimodal texts to expand their literacies and share their voice. In fact, there are multimodal PhD dissertations. Although limited in number, even graduate education is embracing the practice as the academic and popular media publications are evolving. If higher education is coming on board, so should elementary and secondary education.


The Michigan Series in English for Academic & Professional Purposes, Volume 1, 2, 3 4    

By John M. Swales and Christine B. Feak

Image of four volumes Abstracts and the Writing of Abstracts Telling a Research Story Creating Contexts Navigating Academia Swales and Feak

By Sonia Estima and Kara Mac Donald 

Academic Writing for Graduate Students (Swales & Feak, 2004), with subsequent editions, is a ubiquitous text used in/for academic research writing courses. The smaller short texts with a specific focus on particular aspects of writing a research manuscript were published a few years after (i.e. 2009). They also have been fundamental go-to-texts for academic research writing instruction. This review describes the value of the English for Academic & Professional Purposes series text as publishing educators, we have strengths and weaknesses across the different components of a research publication and a quick go-to concise source is beneficial. Also, for educators who are teachers of academic and research writing, there may not be a need based on student population to review all aspects of an academic research publication, and this series can offer an accessible engagement on particular areas of a research manuscript.

The series consists of four volumes: Volume 1: Abstracts and the Writing of Abstracts; Volume 2: Telling a Research Story: Writing a Literature Review; Volume 3: Creating Contexts: Writing Introductions across Genres; and Volume 4: Navigating Academia: Writing Supporting Genres. The structure and content of each booklet are summarized below.


Technology Enhanced Language Learning Interest Group
Presents Friday, January 20, 10:00 am - 11:30 am Workshop:

Vocabulary Tips and Tricks using Padlet for Classroom and HYFLEX teachers

Increasing Gender Diversity in Game Development Programs Clara Fernandez Vara | Associate Arts Professor, NYU Game Center Julia Wlochowski | Game Designer, Greenbrier Games Elaine Gomez | Graduate Student, University of Southern California Elyse Lem by Official GDC
"Increasing Gender Diversity in Game Development Programs Clara Fernandez Vara | Associate Arts Professor, NYU Game Center Julia Wlochowski | Game Designer, Greenbrier Games Elaine Gomez | Graduate Student, University of Southern California Elyse Lem" by Official GDC is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

It’s 2023!  Time to brush up on your tech skills for In-Class and HyFlex teachers.  The focus will be on innovative Padlet techniques for low-level through high-level learners.  Additionally, we'll help you problem solve technology issues in the classroom and on HyFlex.   Free for CATESOL members and only $5.00 for non-members. Register by going to TELL-IG January 20 Swap Meet or by going to CATESOL and click on the TELL-IG / Hyflex January 20th date, which will take you to the registration page.
For more information: CATESOL TELL-IG REGISTRATION  

Visit our Padlet Page!   
Cara Lazarus
TELL-IG Co-Coordinator
Johanna Gleason
TELL-IG Co-Coordinator

Envisioning TESOL through a Translanguaging Lens, Global Perspectives.
By Zhongfeng Tian, Laila Aghai, Peter Sayer & Jamie L. Schissel Editors

Image Educational Linguistics Zhongfeng Tian Laila Aghai Peter Sayer Jamie L Schissel Editors Envisioning TESOL through a Translanguaging Lens Global Perspectives Spring Book Cover

By Liza E. Martinez and Kara Mac Donald 

This is part two of the review of Envisioning TESOL through a Translanguaging Lens, Global Perspectives. This portion discusses Part III: Translanguaging in TESOL Classrooms of the publication. If you missed the November Blog Book Review that discusses Part I: Theorizing Translanguaging in TESOL and Part II: Translanguaging in TESOL Teacher Education, please check it out at the November Book Review.

Book Review – Envisioning TESOL through a Translanguaging Lens, Global Perspectives
By Zhongfeng Tian, Laila Aghai, Peter Sayer & Jamie L. Schissel Editors

By Liza E. Martinez and Kara Mac Donald 

Translanguaging is a somewhat new concept in linguistics and ELT, establishing presence in the early 2000s as means to discredit the notion in many western monolingual communities that the brain processes different languages separately. The term has been used to describe the use of multiple languages in a single situation. For ELT, translanguaging describes teaching students to become bilingual or multilingual through the use of two or more languages. This is a departure from former ESL paradigms that focused instruction on one language and excluded any other/s. This edited volume truly explores the practice of translanguaging in the ESL/EFL classroom across the global context, with contributions from authors in a multitude of instructional contexts and countries.


Book Review – Teacher Burnout Turnaround, Strategies for Empowered
By Patricia A. Jennings

Patricia A Jennings Teacher Burnout Turnaround: Strategies for Empowered Educators Copyrighted Material

By Siyi Gao and Kara Mac Donald
Teaching has always been a stressful profession, but the extended year of teaching online due to
COVID-19 brought new and unexpected challenges. Now predominantly back in the face-to-face
classroom, we do not find ourselves in a return to the previous normal. The post-COVID-19
situation has generated additional and new challenges and stressors. Teachers often have a hard
time maintaining motivation, engagement with instructional practice and relationships with
students. With an increased level of teacher shortage and minimal funding for schools, there may
be even less time for professional development and self-care. This recently published text in
2021 is highly relevant for teachers who feel overworked, stressed out and less engaged in the
field, as the author shows readers, as teachers, how they can grasp the power to empower
themselves as educators.

Book Review – English and Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education

By Luis Javier Penton Herrera, Editor

Luis Javier Penton Herrera Editor English and Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education: Global Perspectives on Teacher Preparation and Classroom Practices Springer

By Jun Li, Lorine Erika Saito and Kara Mac Donald 

Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) and Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) has been a topic of growing interest in ELT. Work around these subgroups of ELLs raises awareness of these learners’ specific needs, offers effective instructional approaches and interventions for language learning, supports students social acculturation, and emotional wellbeing, and advocates for policy reform. Three CATESOL members, Judy O’Loughlin, Brenda Custodio and Jose Franco, who have worked extensively in this area, are contributors to this edited volume. The volume showcases their academic engagement in support of SIFEs/SLIFEs, as well as many other well-known ELT researchers and professionals.


Book Review – Language Program Evaluation, Theory and Practice

By Brian K. Lynch

Language Program Evaluation Theory and Practice Brian K. Lynch Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series Editors: Michael H. Long and Jack C. Richards

By José Franco and Kara Mac Donald 

Conducting assessments of language programs whether for administrative quality control, program accreditation or action or institute research purposes is often a large endeavor composed of various forms of data from numerous stakeholders. This book is a great piece, offering an overview of program evaluation and applied linguistics a historical lens through which to see the evolution of the practice, different research frameworks and designs, and steps for conducting a context-based language program assessment. 

Book Review – Listening in the Classroom, Teaching Students How to Listen

By Marnie Reed and Tamara Jones, Editors

Listening in the Classroom: Teaching Students How to Listen Marnie Reed and Tamara Jones, Editors

By Natalia Barley and Kara Mac Donald 

Listening comprehension for most learners is a struggle. There are the small handful of learners that just seem to find listening in a foreign language as an easy skill, yet that isn’t the case for most learners. Many teachers too also find teaching listening a challenge as despite doing pre-listening activities and vocabulary preparation, many learners often grasp little of the listening passage. Teachers go back and use a variety of strategies to unpack the details of the passage for students, but they can feel less in control of the process compared to other skills. This book offers both novice and experienced teachers effective approaches to teaching listening, whether the information sheds new insight on instructional practice or simply is a refresher to refine classroom instruction.

Book Review – Effective Second Language Writing By Susan Kasten, Editor

Effective Second Language Writing Susan Kasten Editor Maria Dantas-Whitney Sarah Rilling and Lilia Savana Series Editors  TESOL Classroom Practice Series

By Sonia Estima and Kara Mac Donald 

Learning to write well is a challenging task, even in one’s own first language, and it can be much more intimidating in a second language. Also, writing, and second language writing, are not one monolithic skill, but have many distinct sub-skills, like paraphrasing, synthesizing, mastering different registers and so on. The chapter discussions are highly accessible and based within the described context of the author and each ends with a Reflection on the particular information shared with respect to why something was popular with students, change was implemented, and other reasons related to the chapter’s focus.

Book Review – Using Home Language as a Resource in the Classroom, A Guide for Teachers of English Learners

By Kate Paterson

Using Home Language as a Resource in the Classroom: A Guide for Teachers of English Learners Kate Paterson

By Unsoon Won and Kara Mac Donald  

Many teachers have English learners (EL) in their classrooms, not only in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs and/or classes but also in mainstream content classes across all levels of instruction (e.g. K-12, university). It is important for teachers to know how to appropriately support ELs for them to be successful. The book is short and very accessible, making it ideal for busy teachers who want to know how to better meet ELs needs in the classroom.

Book Review – Language Learning Environments, Spatial Perspectives on SLA (2021) by Phil Benson

SLA Second Language Aquisition - Language Learning Environments - Spatial Perspectives on SLA - Phil Benson

By Federico Pomarici and Kara Mac Donald 

The book is slender and with only six chapters in the table of contents, it could be assumed that the author attends to the content superficially and that it is a brief discussion of spatial dimensions regarding SLA. It is far from that. It is a book that has been jammed full of content from theory to application into one short volume that both informs readers and provokes thoughtful reflection based on experience/s with the content discussed.

Book Review - A New English Grammar: American Edition (2021) by Andrew Rossiter 

A New English Grammar: American Edition - English Grammar by example - Andrew Rossiter

By Lisa Fischler

Utilizing a form-meaning-function (FMF) approach to language learning is important because “grammar is not merely a collection of forms but rather involves the three dimensions of (morpho)syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Grammatical structures not only have a morphosyntactic form, they are also used to express meaning (semantics) in context-appropriate use (pragmatics)” (Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999, p. 109). The reference book, A New English Grammar: American Edition, by Andrew Rossiter contains the elements of such a tri-dimensional approach to learning English grammar. This book is made up of four chapters that are entitled “Verbs,” “The Noun Phrase,” “Other Parts of Speech,” and “Sentences and Clauses.” This reference book is organized somewhat differently than most English as a Second Language (ESL) textbooks, but will work well as a companion to most textbooks designed to teach American English grammar.

Book Review – And Justice for ELs, A Leader’s Guide to Creating and Sustaining Equitable Schools

By Ayanna Cooper

And Justice for ELs: A Leader's Guide to Creating and Sustaining Equitable Schools, Ayana Cooper, Corwin

By Aylin Atilgan Relyea and Kara Mac Donald 

Both new and veteran educational leaders are faced with providing more equity and inclusion for marginalized groups in their diverse school populations. Ayanna Cooper’s book underlines ELs’ civil rights to English language education and presents practices to deliver and sustain an environment for their academic success. Although geared towards district and school leaders, chapters address a broad range of topics and suggested practices that can also be informative for classroom teachers, as a metric of sorts to see how well their school is meeting the civil rights and educational needs of ELs. 


Book Review – Enacting the Work of Language Instruction, High-Leverage Teaching Practices – Vol. 2

By Eileen W. Glisan & Richard Donato

Enacting the Work of Language Instruction: High-leverage Teaching Practices Volume 2 Eileen W. Gusan Richard Donato

By Kara Mac Donald 

This review examines the second volume in the Enacting the Work of Language Instruction, High Leverage Teaching Practices series. The first volume was reviewed in the November issue of CATESOL’s Blog Book Review column. As a recap the first volume Enacting the Work of Language Instruction, High-Leverage Teaching Practices (HLTPs) – Volume 1, was published in 2017, and was followed by Volume 2 just this past year (2021) and adds four additional HLTPs to the initial six offered in the first book.

Book Review – Empowering the Community College First-Year Composition Teacher, Pedagogies and Policies

By Meryl Siegal and Betsy Gilliland

Empoering the Community College First-Year Composition Teacher: Pedagogies and Policies / Edited by Meryl Siegal and Betsy Gilliland

By Sonia Estima & Kara Mac Donald

For community college education in California, there was a significant shift permitting students to earn course credit eligible for transfer to a four-year university with the passing of AB 705 in 2017. The objective is to increase graduation rates from community college and transfer to complete a four-year degree, and initial data is suggesting this is so for California. This book is highly relevant within the larger discussion of equity and inclusion across the country, not only within California, as the role of community colleges serve an important access to further education and professional skills.

Book Review - Enacting the Work of Language Instruction, High-Leverage Teaching Practices – Vol. 1

By Eileen W. Gusan & Richard Donato

Engacting the Word of Language Instruction: High-leverage Teaching Practices, Eileen W. Gusan & Richard Donato, ACTFL

By Chia-Ning Jenny Liu & Kara Mac Donald 

Enacting the Work of Language Instruction, High Leverage Teaching Practices consists of two volumes. Both books provide a set of practices that prepares teachers in training, new teachers, and veteran teachers to offer effective instruction, which have been used in numerous pre-service and in-service teacher training programs. The first book, Enacting the Work of Language Instruction, High-Leverage Teaching Practices – Volume 1, was published in 2017, and was followed by Volume 2 expanding the focus of practices in 2021 due the popularity of the first volume. Due to the relevance of both volumes for ELT and supporting learners, the November book review offers a review of Volume 1 and Volume 2 is reviewed in the December issue. 


A Closer Look: Careers in Supporting ELLs

This Thursday, November 18th at 5:00 pm, the CATESOL Orange County Chapter and the CSU Fullerton TESOL Club will co-host a virtual career event called, "A Closer Look: Careers in Supporting ELLS." Our experienced panelists will offer career advice for those starting out or hoping to find new opportunities in the ESOL field. The event is open to all students and teachers in our field, and no prior registration is needed. Attendees can simply join the Zoom link. More details below.


TESOL Guide for Critical Praxis in Teaching, Inquiry, and Advocacy

By Jennifer Crawford & Robert A. Filback, Editors

Premeier Reference Source, TESOL Guide for Critical Praxis in Teaching, Inquiry, and Advocacy

By Erin Kourelis & Kara Mac Donald


The book responds to the highly diverse population served by ELT and the TESOL field’s need to examine its rooting in the hegemony of the English language, the perpetuation of practices that favor some learner populations and disadvantage others, and the inherent bias in many instructional practices and curriculum content. The chapters are many and address a broad range of topics that will permit teachers to better support the diverse learners in ELT classrooms by discussing research and literature surrounding instruction, equality and social justice matched with example practical pieces for application in the classroom as a guide for readers. The book review is quite lengthy, as the edited volume is both fat (i.e. thick and dense) and phat (i.e. excellent), and to do the content justice, each of the twenty-five chapters need more than a few sentences to reflect the value presented in each of them.

The Interest Group Council is Looking for You!

As we plan for our Fall 2021 conference, we are looking for members who might be interested in getting involved in our 2021-2022 operating year as part of CATESOL's Interest Group Council (IGC).
Our interest groups are managed by people like you, who are interested in a particular aspect of language education and wish to share their experiences and bring content and opportunities to our membership.  
Currently, we have 12 different areas that might be of interest for you to consider. We are looking for coordinators and assistant coordinators in the following IGs (see list below). If you are interested or would like to find out more information, please contact the specific IG Coordinator or the IG Chairs. All of us will be delighted to provide you with more information about our IGs and how you can become a part of the IGC for 2021-2022!  We look forward to getting to know you!

Bentley Cavazzi 
IGC Chair 2020-2021

Daniela Lup
IGC Assistant Chair 2020-2021, IGC Chair 2021-2022

Marsha Chan
IGC Chair 2019-2020

Critical ELT in Action, Foundations, Promises, Praxis by Graham V. Crookes (2013) Routledge

Critical ELT in Action: Foundations, Promises, Praxis; Graham Crookes

By Sonia Estima & Kara Mac Donald 

The book addresses the topic of critical pedagogy, where issues of social justice and democracy are incorporated in teaching and learning, with the goal of a critical consciousness to bring change to the world through critique and action. The topic is distinct from the current focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and social justice in ELT, but it most certainly intersects with it. In some ways addressing DEI in the classroom, critical pedagogy can inform instructional practice, envision the curriculum and syllabus and the role of the teacher and learners. So, it seems like a relevant text to review at this time, as we as an association address the trends of making English language learning more equitable and accessible. 



Book Review – Mindfulness in the Classroom; Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm

By Thomas Armstrong (2019) ASCD

Mindfulness in the Classroom / Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm /  Thomas Armstrong

By Michelle Omidi & Kara Mac Donald 

A year plus of classroom instruction being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in many cases heightened the need for mindfulness in the classroom to build resilience among teachers and students. As we transition back to the new normal of f2f instruction, there will be continued uncertainties and anxiety and this book is a guidebook of sorts on how to better care for us and our students, and foster awareness and resilience.

Hybrid Language Teaching in Practice; Perceptions, Reaction, and Results

By Berta Carrasco & Stacey Margarita Johnson (2015) Springer

Spring Briefs in Education - Berta Carrasco, Stacey Margarita Johnson - Hybrid Language Teaching in Practice: Perceptions, Reactions, and Results - Springer

By Sue Shanley & Kara Mac Donald

Hybrid instruction was a common model for language courses prior to the pandemic, and in some educational contexts, its use may increase as we enter the new reality, post-pandemic. The authors wrote the book for secondary and postsecondary teachers responsible for hybrid instruction, but teachers in other contexts may benefit from its accessibility and relevancy as it focuses on how to design a hybrid course, technology considerations with pedagogy in mind, learner feedback, the authors’ perspectives on hybrid language teaching, and advice for teachers and students.



RW-IG Webinar Report: Action Research; Getting Your Feet Wet in Academic Publications

Sonia Estima & Kara Mac Donald

Action Research: Getting Your Feet Wet in Publishing Research


Many teachers would like to publish their work but may not have sufficient experience to navigate the process independently.  Other teachers may not yet be familiar with how to carry out a large-scale research project and write it up for publication. However, teachers are constantly engaging in reflective practice and further formalizing reflective practice into action research is an accessible way to improve instructional practice and enter the world of academic research publishing. The webinar is one in a series offered by the Research Writers Interest Group (RW-IG) to introduce CATESOL members to what action research consists of and how it can be drafted for publication.


Book Review – Rituals for Virtual Meetings, Creative Ways to Engage People by Kursat Ozenc & Glenn Fajardo (2021) Wiley

"I didn't realize how much I needed this book until I read it." Bob Sutton, Rituals for Virtual Meetings: Creative ways to engage people and strengthen relationships, Kurzat Ozenc Ph.D Glenn Fasardo
By Federico Pomarici & Kara Mac Donald 
As many schools are returning to in-person instruction, it may seem that the need for guidance on how to conduct virtual meetings will be behind us. Yet since the practice of meeting in Zoom and via other platforms became the norm over the last year, the convenience of virtual meetings will likely continue for a variety of reasons, like eliminating time and cost to travel. Over the last year, we did learn a lot of tricks and were forced to be innovative not only to engage our students in the classroom, but to make meetings more personal, reduce screen fatigue and less lockstep guided by the agenda. However, expanding our repertoire of means to innovate and better engage people in virtual meetings is useful for the post COVID-19 world. This book, Rituals for Virtual Meetings: Creative Ways to Engage People, in particular is helpful based on its ‘recipe book’ or lesson plan booklet type structure, where each section consists of a variety of virtual meeting activities or actions that address various aspects of meeting delivery. The book is divided into three sections; i) How Rituals Make Virtual Meetings More Engaging, Productive, and Meaningful, ii) Rituals for Virtual Meetings, iii) Beyond the Office.

Supporting the Journey of English Learners after Trauma by Judith B. O’Loughlin & Brenda K. Custodio, (2020) University of Michigan Press

Supporting the Journal of English Learners after Trama (book cover with images of classrooms)

By Erika Saito and Kara Mac Donald 
With the CATESOL Spring Virtual Conference on May 7th and 8th with a focus on transformation, inclusion, diversity and engagement, it seemed appropriate to feature a book addressing these focus areas for ELLs.
Supporting the Journey of English Learners after Trauma, by Judy O’Loughlin, a CATESOL member, and Brenda Custodio, her longtime colleague and friend, engages with ELLs’ diversity and challenges to include them in the larger discussion to make an impact on addressing their specific needs and transform the field and the learners’ journeys. Since this group of learners is diverse, they define various terms related to learners intersecting with the experiences of immigration and trauma in the introduction to set the stage for coming discussions. 


Book Review – 101 Activities and Resources for Teaching English Online, Practical Ideas for ESL/EFL Teachers by Jackie Bolen


By Leslie Sherwood and Kara Mac Donald 

Teachers have continually sought ways over the last year to make online language learning more dynamic, incorporating engaging activities. The topic of sharing and engaging with resources for online learning activities is still relevant, even with the availability of a vaccine and lock-down restrictions being loosened as online learning for many students will continue as the situation is fluid across the state and nationally. There will be forms of hybrid instruction, some learner groups continuing full virtual instruction, while others may be returning in some form to the f2f classroom. The dynamic nature of what is to come requires teachers to continue to think outside the box for hybrid instruction and ongoing virtual teaching. 101 Activities and Resources for Teaching English Online, Practical Ideas for ESL/EFL Teachers is a super accessible, lesson activity tool kit with online teaching ideas and suggestions arranged across 7 sections with numerous activities offered within each section, and with a resource section at the end. Since each section offers so many activity ideas, with little to no textual discussion associated with each section, the book review will provide a brief overview of each section and a description of a few activities that stood out to give the reader a feel for the types of engaging activities offered.


Social Justice in English Language Teaching
Christopher Hasting & Laura Jacob, Editors (2016), TESOL Press

Social Justice in English Language Teaching

By Nancy Kwang Johnson and Kara Mac Donald 

With the CATESOL Spring Virtual Conference just around the corner in early May with a focus on transformation, inclusion, diversity, and engagement, it seemed appropriate for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion panel coordinator, Nancy Kwang Johnson, to be invited to contribute to featuring a publication on advocacy for diverse student population for a book review leading up to the Spring Virtual Conference. There are numerous books on social justice in the classroom, but the desire to highlight a book specifically addressing English Language Teaching was a principle criterion.  Moreover, CATESOL Education Foundation Diversity, Equity and Inclusion grant recipients will be using the book in their workshops.  Social Justice in English Language Teaching (ELT) (Hasting & Jacob, 2016) was selected as it closely aligns with membership needs and is also a TESOL Press publication. However, it is valuable to note that this publication was reviewed in the CATESOL Blog, Book Review column in April of 2020 by Kara Mac Donald with Kristen Arps. Some CATESOL Blog readers may recognize it. Nonetheless, it is featured again in light of the conference theme as it can provide valuable insight for those familiar with the book to revisit its content, as well as introducing a new resource for those who are not. In light of the conference focus, this review is more in depth than the prior one. Additionally, as is the structure of the books to some degree, where at the beginning of the book conceptual issues are presented and addressed regarding practice-based responses with a more applied focus later in the book, with case studies, curriculum approaches and instructional suggestions. The book review language and style of the chapter reviews reflects more in-depth conceptual reflection of the content early in the review and a more tangible practitioner language style towards the end.  

Virtual Team Success, A Practical Guide for Working and Leading from a Distance, by D. M. DeRosa & R. Lepsinger

Virtual Team Success: A Practical Guide for Working and Leading from a Distance


 By Mirna Khater and Kara Mac Donald


Effective team interaction in the online environment has been a prominent topic in business and in education for more than a decade. However, with the mandatory mass move to online teaching by educators across the globe, many teachers who were not familiar with leading and/or interacting as a team in the virtual environment were forced to learn how to do so. The summer book review series addressed online teaching approaches, the fall series of short text reviews considered teachers’ needs in the online instructional environment, and the new year January book review continued with the online teaching focus. This February issue of the CATESOL’s Blog book review also emphasizes the online context, but shifts the focus from pedagogical and student-focused content to the leadership needs of teachers operating in the virtual environment.



Grit in the Classroom, Building Perseverance for Excellence in Today’s Students, Laila Y. Sanguras

Book Image for Grit in the Classroom: Building Perseverance for Excellence in Today's Students by Laila Y. Sanguras

By Robb Hill and Kara Mac Donald 
Grit in the Classroom in many ways builds on Duckworth’s 2016 Grit: The power of passion and perseverance, discussing how to develop an environment that fosters learners’ resiliency. The book isn’t new off the press, it was published in 2017 and doesn’t focus on the virtual learning environment. However, the book came to mind for the authors as teachers are wrapping up the schoolwork and going on a much needed break after delivering instruction online for the second semester. Teachers are again going to be having virtual instruction for the third time as classes  resume in 2021. This short accessible text is an enjoyable reading with some ideas to further develop the resiliency teachers have built in their learners over the last year in the virtual environment, even if not specifically geared to this context. Resiliency and the factors that develop it are not context specific.


Using Corpora for Language Learning and Teaching, by Dilin Liu and Lei Lei

By Jose Franco and Kara Mac Donald

Corpus linguistics as a form of instruction is a relatively new field, due to this fact, many teachers may not be familiar with how to utilize corpora for classroom teaching (also known as data-driven learning). The authors provide an extremely accessible and practical discussion with examples for readers to understand corpus use processes and techniques. Chapters include ‘Think and Do’ activities that support the reader in applying the information read, which permit the reader to apply the content to his/her context and needs.


Supporting Newcomer Students, Advocacy and Instruction for English Learners

Lucinda Pease-Alvarez, Laura Alvarez, Katharine Davies Samway (2020), TESOL Press

By Yara Khamis & Kara Mac Donald

The authors come from distinct fields within education and utilize their extensive experience to define, embrace, connect with, and advocate for newcomer learners in the classroom and beyond. The text is highly accessible and relevant to novice as well as experience teachers working with newcomer students.

The introductory chapter helps to lay a foundational understanding for the rest of the book by defining the political, social, and economic contexts that newcomer students come into in the United States (U.S.) and more specifically schools. We learn about the newcomer experience once they arrive in the U.S, like the programs they are put into. This chapter also helps to outline the historical flow of immigrants into the U.S, the effect of current immigration policies, the difficulties faced along the journey and the effect it leaves on the students once arriving.


Classroom Interaction for Language Teachers by Steve Walsh & Language Cooperative Learning and Teaching by George M. Jacobs and Harumi Kimura

By Aylin Baris Atilgan Relyea and Kara Mac Donald

The CATESOL Blog Book Review column has provided reviews of short booklets from three development series out of the TESOL Press edited by Thomas S.C. Farrell or Andy Curtis for the CATESOL 2020 fall issues. Since teachers have been busy with the ongoing and continual changes of the online teaching environment during COVID19, the column has offered members with accessible short practice-based and pedagogical-oriented texts that are highly relevant to inform online instruction, provide support and accessible professional development to teachers in the current context. With the end of the fall semester approaching, this will be the last installment of this series. Indeed the semester continues through November and into part of December, but the intention of returning to traditional review of full-length texts in November is that members can read the conventional length book reviews in preparation for possibly selecting reading for professional development over the winter break.


Language Teacher Professional Development, By Thomas S.C. Farrell (2015), Series Editor Thomas S. C. Farrell, TESOL Press

By Erin O’Reilly and Kara Mac Donald

In the Introduction, Chapter One, the author places teachers in three categories, with no value on the category one may self-assign or be assigned. He explicitly stated that each teacher, regardless of the category at any point in time, are doing what they understand best and the book is aimed at all educators across such categories, because he believes in teachers’ sincere intent.


Resiliency is a term that we associate with hardship, challenge or even trauma, while simultaneously symbolizing strength, adaptability or possibly a return to our core purpose.  Within the context of our professional lives, resiliency allows us to continue to teach and support our students, adapt our classrooms and pedagogy and seek out opportunities for networking and engagement with publishers, exhibitors, and the content itself. The conference committee has come together under these circumstances and with great single-mindedness in an effort to support you and further deepen the professional resiliency in all of us.

English Language Teachers as Program Administrators by Dan J. Tannacito & Language Teacher Professional Development by Thomas S.C. Farrell

By Erin O’Reilly and Kara Mac Donald

An installment of the CATESOL 2020 FALL Book Review Sequence for Busy Teachers – Featuring TESOL Press ELT Development Series & English Language Teacher Development Series, Editor Thomas S.C. Farrell and ELT in Context Series, Editor Andy Curtis

Quick Recap to the 2020 Fall Book Review Sequence for Busy Teachers
The CATESOL Blog Book Review column is offering reviews of short booklets from three development series out of the TESOL Press edited by Thomas S.C. Farrell or Andy Curtis for the CATESOL 2020 fall issues. The goal is to provide members with accessible short practice-based and pedagogical-oriented texts that are highly relevant to inform online instruction, provide support and accessible professional development to teachers in the current COVID19 teaching environment.



CATESOL Book Review: Project-Based Learning by Erin Knoche Lverick (2019), Series Editor Thomas S.C. Farrell, TESOL Press

By Viktoriya Shevchenko and Kara Mac Donald

Challenge your students and create a collaborative classroom environment with project-based learning. Explore the benefits of using project-based learning with English language learners and learn techniques for every step of the lesson, from rubric design to assessments and reflection. Discover how to create an enriching teaching and learning experience for you and your students! - TESOL


CATESOL Book Review: Teaching Adults in a Digital World by Glenda Rose (2016), Series Editor Andy Curtis, TESOL Press

By Viktoriya Shevchenko and Kara Mac Donald

The Introduction frames the context of online learning as unique to many language learning settings, as students are often in class spread across many countries and highlights the importance of the diverse factors in online teaching. The format of the book, distinct from other books in the series, is described based on the nature of online learning as not constrained by a particular context.



CATESOL 2020 FALL Book Review Sequence for Busy Teachers - Featuring TESOL Press ELT Development Series & English Language Teacher Development Series, Editor Thomas S.C. Farrell and ELT in Context Series, Editor Andy Curtis

By Viktoriya Shevchenko and Kara Mac Donald 

Overview to 2020 Fall Book Review Sequence for Busy Teachers
With the swift transition to online teaching, many instructors were not only figuring out how to navigate the online delivery platform, but also how to apply language acquisition and pedagogical principles to online lesson delivery on the fly.

With face-to-face (f2f), as well as some hybrid and online, educators grappling with the hasty switch, the reality is teachers may likely have little time to invest in reading full length professional development books, even though of interest, in the current constantly changing educational and social contexts.
Consequently, the CATESOL Blog Book Review column will offer reviews of short booklets from three development series out of the TESOL Press edited by Thomas S.C. Farrell or Andy Curtis for the CATESOL 2020 fall issues (August to November). The goal is to provide members with accessible short practice-based and pedagogical-oriented texts that are mighty1 and highly relevant to inform online instruction, provide support and accessible professional development to teachers.

Book Reviews from the ELT Series
The books were selected, among many in the ELT series, with the COVID19 online context in mind. The first text addresses a seemingly lesser focus of discussion on teaching adults online, as the K-12 context has somewhat prominent. The second text responds to the enormous screen fatigue experienced by students, regardless of educational context, who can benefit from the organization of off-screen in-class activities through project-based learning while being held accountable through communicative final products.


CATESOL 2020 State Conference: Join the Conversation by Margi Wald and Amy Pascucci

Resiliency.  This is the theme of the CATESOL 2020 State Conference.  If you’re new to CATESOL, our state conference is an annual event where educators from up and down the state and beyond come together in one place for four days to learn, collaborate, and enjoy the company of passionate colleagues.  Knowing this, you can imagine why we decided to center this year’s conference around resiliency.  We, the conference organizers, hope that this year more than any other year in CATESOL’s recent past, conference attendees walk away from the four days with renewed passion and resolve, and sharpen their skills so that they may continue to show up for their students and colleagues amidst the many obstacles that we currently face.


CATESOL Book Review: Pedagogy & Practice for Online English Language Teacher Education

By Kara Mac Donald and Suzanne Bardasz

Pre-service and In-service teacher education in increasingly being offered and accessed online. It may be the delivery of training and professional development for teachers, and informs their delivery of language instruction to students virtually. Therefore, pedagogy needs to be the underlying source for development, design and delivery, not technology. The authors share principles and examples the how to accomplish this.


Online ESL Instruction in the Time of COVID

By Liza E. Martinez

Spring 2020 began as any semester. On our first week back, teachers came to campus to prepare for the upcoming semester; this culminated with the Faculty start-up meeting. The next two months progressed as usual. During that time, we heard of COVID-19 increasing and spreading, but we were not alarmed. It was still far away and not a part of our daily lives. Everything changed during the week of March 9. We heard that ASU, our sister institution, would be abandoning face-to-face classes and switching to online instruction. “We need to get ready,” advised Dr. Susan Salminen, a fellow ESL professor. “Since we share two classes, I can get them Zoom accounts,” she continued. I meekly agreed hoping it would not come to this. 


Advocating for English Learners: Are You Ready to Take Action for Learners, Their Teachers, and Their Programs!

By Judith B. O’Loughlin, CATESOL Advocacy and Policy Advisor (

From June 22-24 I attended the 2020 TESOL Annual Advocacy and Policy Summit representing CATESOL. This year the Summit was delivered virtually for advocates from all over the U.S. and internationally representing TESOL Affiliates. Days one and two were dedicated to providing attendees with updated information about what was happening related to upcoming legislation about English learners, their programs, and their teachers. There were speakers from 9 AM – 5 PM PT.  Much of the first day was devoted to understanding what is happening for K-12 programs and the second day focused on the adult learner both nationally and internationally.


Steinbeck Chapter: Looking Towards the Future

By Amber Paluszynski and Ondine Gage // Originally published in July 2019

As we come to the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the landscape for TESOL professionals has changed dramatically. From a burgeoning profession in the 1980s, we now find fewer and fewer viable graduate programs. Since 9/11, the intensive English industry has largely moved to other countries. As many of us have repurposed our TESOL training, the situation has led us to consider what unique skills do TESOL professionals provide to other areas of society? In response, the Steinbeck Chapter has shifted our focus to providing professional development which considers the ways in which we bring our unique set of TESOL knowledge, skills, and attitudes to a variety of social contexts. For our spring 2019 event, we offered a presentation and panel titled, “Education and Social Justice; The Role of Civic Engagement, Service Learning and Interculturality."


Teacher-Leadership for School-Wide English Learning

By Kara Mac Donald and Sonia Estima

The importance of language for survival regardless of the context is raised at the beginning of the Introduction with an example among animal species. This is linked to the importance of English Learners (ELs) having the appropriate language skills to participate in the English-speaking communities in which they live. However, the concern is raised that ELs spend much of their instructional day with teachers that are not trained in working with learners of English. The argument presented is that educators in ESL need to be trained to not only teach ELs language, but also serve a guides and mentors of general subject matter content teachers. The Introduction moves the discussion of how investment in one U.S. state EL legislation (i.e. English Learners in the Mainstream [ELM]) relevant to the author/s, then developed into a school-wide English learning (SWEL) model that offers guidance for teacher leading other educators.


Moving Online: Challenges and Lessons Learned by Lily Lewis and Nairi Issagholian

As two ESL instructors teaching adults in a university Intensive English Program (IEP), we decided to conduct timely action research early on in this transition process. We collected data by keeping a teaching journal, recording all online courses we taught, comparing course syllabi/learning outcomes with actual instruction that took place online, and gathering informal input from our students regarding their perspectives on online instructional practices. Next, we analyzed the data to identify patterns of obstacles we faced and specific ways we overcame them. In the following sections, we will share the challenges we encountered and the practical strategies we found useful in five relevant areas: technology, students, teachers, program
requirements and support, and pedagogy.


TESOL Statement on Racial Injustice and Inequality

"Alexandria, VA – (1 June 2020) Over the last week, we at TESOL International Association have joined with the rest of the world in our feelings of sadness, disgust, and anger at the senseless killing of George Floyd. With this most recent incident of police brutality involving a person of color in the United States, it seems undeniable that while the fear and pain caused by one epidemic has upended our lives, another equally menacing epidemic of racism continues to tear apart our communities and threaten the ideals of freedom, peace, and prosperity to which we so tirelessly aspire." // FULL STATEMENT


US Department of Education - English Services to English Learners 

"This fact sheet outlines States’ responsibilities to English learners (ELs) and their parents1 during the extended school closures and, in some cases, the move to remote learning2 due to the national emergency caused by the novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)." 



By Kara Mac Donald and Hanan Khaled

The book is divided into three sections, Part I: The Game, Part II: The Players and the Playing Field and Part III: The Playbook, with four to five chapters in each part. From the get-go, the tone is so accessible and friendly as if the authors were chatting with you in a lecture hall, across a table in a faculty meeting or in the campus or school cafeteria. This is one essential component of the whole text.


by Kara Mac Donald and Jose Franco

Statistics for Linguists: An Introduction Using R (2020) by Bono Winter takes a unique approach towards introducing statistics of linear models for linguistics, in that it builds model-based thinking instead of test-based thinking. Winters explains that he takes this approach to basic linear modeling as it provides the researcher a foundation of theoretical understanding of the statistical model they choose to use.  He also describes why he structured the book around R, opposed to utilizing SPSS. The text do not concentrate on mathematics, but aims to provide the researcher with practical and relevant information using extremely accessible language. 

Tips for Teaching Online with Margi Wald

Please note: This was written to a very specific audience based on the questions the participants  asked during a coaching session and the discussion that ensued. I wrote it (a) because I said I’d send links and (b) I think summarizing whole group discussions is a good pedagogical practice. 

CATESOL to Postpone Upcoming Conferences Due to COVID-19

As you know, we are facing a pandemic with COVID-19. In line with the actions of TESOL and other organizations to postpone or cancel large gatherings to reduce risk of virus transmission, the CATESOL Board voted today to postpone all Chapter and Regional face-to-face events until the fall of 2020. We feel that the safety of our membership far outweighs the risk of a face-to-face gathering. We are still planning on having our Annual Conference in October of 2020, provided this crisis is contained by then.

Since many classes are moving to an on-line format, at least temporarily, CATESOL wants to help teachers who don’t feel ready. We are planning two online events in April and May, starting with workshops on how to teach with Zoom and other online platforms. We will get back to you with details on this very soon. We will be updating our website to reflect the physical event postponement and the upcoming online teaching support as soon as possible. 

We thank you for your consideration as we do what we can to continue professional development for teachers in non-face-to-face formats. Stay healthy, everyone. The board will be meeting on March 23rd to decide on how to handle the finances of this postponement.

Book Review: Wordless Books: So Much to Say (2015)

By Kara Mac Donald featuring Erin O'Reilly

The book is divided into two sections, Stories with Easy Pictures to Follow and Stories with More Complicated Pictures to Follow. Each section is grouped on proficiency levels, with guidance on which skill/s development is targeted. In each section are lesson plan descriptions, assessment guidance and rubrics, additional resources and which TESOL PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards and Common Core State Standards ELA Suggested Connections are met.

Social Justice in Language Teaching (2016) Book Review

By Kara McDonald and Kristen Arps
Social Justice in Language Teaching, edited by Christopher Hastings and Laura Jacob consists of 22 chapters, divided into 7 sections that address specific topics around social justice in ELT. Part I: Social Justice and English Language Teaching: Setting the Stage, Part II: Peacebuilding and English Language Teaching, Part III: Positioning for Advocacy, Part IV: Language Rights, Privilege, and Race, Part V: Gender and Sexual Orientation Justice, Part VI: Working Across Borders/Advocating for Students. Part VII: Classroom Practices.



What do Members of CATESOL TOP-IG Want from their Interest Group?

By Marsha Chan and Jaydene Elvin
In Spring 2019, 2018-19 TOP Co-coordinators Marsha Chan and Ellen Lange, along with Assistant Coordinator Jaydene Elvin, polled the Teaching of Pronunciation Interest Group. An online Google survey was announced via (the now-defunct) TOP-IG Google Groups, and TOP members were encouraged to participate. The survey was designed to gather information regarding how members would like to engage in TOP-IG platforms.


CATESOL Los Padres Chapter Event - February 8, 2020

The CATESOL Los Padres Chapter invites you to join them this weekend at UC Santa Barbara for their annual spring conference.

By Kara Mac Donald and Sun Young Park
Navigating the Intercultural Classroom (2019) effectively links theoretical  perspectives with practical classroom best practices in each chapter, so teachers have the conceptual background for the sample activities to be able to effectively implement them in their classrooms or adapt as needed to their students’ needs. At the end of the book, five appendices further address the theoretical perspectives to support teachers’ practical classroom implementation.

Get involved, meet new friends, and contribute to making this conference a memorable event.
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
~Elizabeth Andrew (1882–1960) was the first woman organizer Labor Party in Wales.
Why Volunteer?


Plans for CATESOL’s 50th Annual Conference, “Honoring the Past and Inspiring the Future,” are underway! The Annual Conference will take place from October 3 to 6 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Please take a look at the CATESOL Annual Conference website for...

TESOL is currently recruiting application reviewers for the Ron Chang Lee Award. Sign up today! 

About the Award: Sponsored by Ron Chang Lee, this award was created in 2018 to honor three TESOL members who have achieved excellence through the implementation of technology...

by Kara Mac Donald and Federico Pomarici

Stillwell begin Chapter 1 by describing the wealth of experience teachers often have as many began careers in other fields or have taken courses in other disciplines as part of their teaching degrees. He preps the reader for the coming chapters, written by a variety of...

“I actually made friends in this class,” Leeza Stavinkov said wistfully, waving her slender arms in the air for emphasis. “Like in my other classes we just kinda sit there but in this class we actually like talked to each other.”

I smiled at her. You know that famous l...

CATESOL's history! Check out a fabulous piece by past CATESOL President, Kathleen Flynn on the history of CATESOL.

One of the great features of CATESOL’s Annual Conference is the opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the state and plant the seeds for future projects to bloom. Such was the case this past December in Anaheim in a meeting between the CATESOL President-Ele...

The Teaching of Pronunciation Interest Group (TOP-IG or TOP) is for teachers, tutors, and future teachers of all levels of experience teaching or researching pronunciation instruction, who teach or wish to teach students at any level to speak and understand oral English...

At this year's conference, I learned and appreciated many wonderful new ideas, teaching strategies, practical classroom activities, and cool tech tools. I am also grateful that CATESOL provided me the chance to promote my topic on gamification and game-based learning t...

I am a graduate student in TESOL program of Pepperdine University and I had the opportunity to attend the CATESOL 2018 Annual Conference. I am glad that I went because I learned a lot about language-teaching methods, designing activities that foster community in the cl...

Educators across California, and the United States (U.S.), often serve students that are recent arrivals as well immigrant students that have been long term residents in the U.S. and therefore, see the impact of these students’ immigration experiences and personal jour...

In October of 2017, AB 705 (Irwin) was chaptered into California state law and became effective on January 1, 2018. The historic law made changes to many things, but chiefly, it altered how colleges place students into English, mathematics, and academic English as a Se...

I came to America as an English language learner. When I was still a student in an ESL intensive program, I volunteered at a CATESOL conference. That was my first time at a CATESOL event and my very first memory of attending a professional conference.

I vividly rem...

As a person who loves English and strives for being an outstanding ESL instructor, I cherish this opportunity to attending this year's CATESOL conference--Oceans of Opportunity--and learning from other professionals in the TESOL arena.

I studied English as a second lang...

CATESOL Position Statement in Response to proposed legislation AB 705 (Irwin)  
May 2017
The background: 2017 proposed California legislation AB 705 (Irwin) requires community college districts or colleges “to maximize the probability that [a] student will enter and co...

Are you looking for ways to make a difference professionally? Then become involved in the CATESOL Board of Directors! It is never too soon to consider joining the CATESOL Board of Directors, and it's easier than you think!

Authors:  Bette Empol and Judith O’Loughlin were CATESOL Representatives at the 2015 TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summit, June 20-21,  2015.
We were asked to write a blog about our experiences.  Part of this blog was featured on the TESOL website. 
John Segota Asso...

 In this week’s Federal Flash, we cover U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s harsh words for the U.S. Department of Education on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), an update on congressional plans to rewrite the Higher Education Act, and the latest on President Trump’s nomin...

There is a new Migrant Policy Institute commentary (see link below) which examines the characteristics of DREAMers and the similarly aged U.S. millennial population.  The MPI report finds no evidence to support concerns about job competition between millennials and DRE...

Safe Schools for Immigrant Students – AB 699

The California Assembly has passed Assembly Bill 699 on October 5, 2017
The full wording of the bill can be found here:
Key aspects of the bill...

To read the article, click here

You might know me as your President-Elect. You might know me as the "tech guru". But you probably don't know the influence that CATESOL has had on my life. My first CATESOL conference was in 1978 in San Francisco. At that time I was a grad student at San Francisco Stat...

 Have you ever gone to a teaching conference and come home with inspiring ideas about revolutionizing your classroom? Have you actually done it? Most of us love great ideas, but find we don’t have the time or energy to reinvent how we teach once we come off our conferen...

On March 29, 2018, Gwendolyn T. Schwabe, known to all as Tippy, passed away peacefully at the age of 91 in Haverford, Pennsylvania, where she had been living in retirement. The TESOL profession in California has much to thank her for, in her roles as a Senior Lecturer...

This is the President's Quarterly Message

 The ESL industry is facing major disruptions, from shifts in international student mobility trends, to reductions in state budgets, to the rise of contract work. As educators in this ever-changing, competitive employment market, both novice and experienced CATESOL prof...

 Pivot Point is a four-part series on 21st Century Employment Resiliency for ESL teachers marketing their skills beyond the classroom.
Have you ever thought of Becoming a Language Program Administrator (LPA)? At some point during your career, you may have witnessed a col...

Pivot Point is a four-part series on 21st Century Employment Resiliency for ESL teachers marketing their skills beyond the classroom. This is the third post in the series on breaking into ESL publishing and commercial products and services marketing.

Did you study commu...

Pivot Point is a four-part series on 21st Century Employment Resiliency for ESL teachers marketing their skills beyond the classroom. This is the fourth post in the series on Exploring Overseas Teaching Opportunities. The ability to teach overseas may seem like a logist...

By Judith O’Loughlin, CATESOL Conference Services Advisor
Each year the CATESOL Annual Conference is generally scheduled for October or November before Thanksgiving.  Contracts with hotels and conference centers are planned up to three years in advance and dates are set...

The following interview was part of a daylong Steinbeck Chapter of CATESOL event on Advocacy.

As teachers, we are often moved by the stories of our students--especially our immigrant students. Many of us have participated in CATESOL because the organization’s mission has been to improve learning opportunities for our multilingual students.  This interview of a pre-service teacher’s experience as a “Realistic Dreamer” explores the ways in which he navigated an educational system, which sometimes supported him but at other times created roadblocks. His story allows us to consider a student’s unique longitudinal perspective and to understand the challenges he faced at different junctures in life. For those of us who come from or have participated in immigrant communities, the story may be familiar. For those who serve students at any juncture within this journey, we hope that this story will provide a portrait of your students’ potential. As teachers, we have the power to expect the most in every student, and to see potential in students when they may not see it in themselves. 

Learn about the first annual Spelling Bee from our CATESOL Education Foundation President, Margaret Teske. Have you signed up to participate yet?

The Loebner Prize Contest is the oldest Turing Test, which is named after Alan Turing, a famous English computer scientist who worked as a codebreaker in World War 2.  This  annual competition chooses the most human computer of the year. This year Ron Lee's chatbot "Tu...

AB 310 (Medina) – Community College Part-Time Faculty Office Hours

AB 310 (Medina) – Community College Part-Time Faculty Office Hours
This bill requires each community college district to report the total part time


Danielle Pelletier, President, CATESOL, USA
CATESOL has been working on several legislative initiatives to advocate for English language learners and educators, three of which are Assembly Bills 705 and 2098, and DACA.