Voting, Teaching ESL Online, Optimal Input, DIESOL, and More
CATESOL Newsletter

In this Issue...

Newsletter Editor, Christie Sosa

Welcome to the CATESOL Newsletter, a complimentary newsletter on all-things ESOL from the CATESOL Organization.

We have a lot of news to share, so be patient with me. This week's highlights:
  • CATESOL Board Member Voting is now OPEN. If you are qualified to vote, you should have received an email from Past-President, Danielle Pelletier, with directions on how to do so. Deadline: Friday, May 22 PST.
  • What makes comprehensible input optimal? Read Professor Stephen Krashen's thoughts on the topic below.
  • I connect with ESL Professor Femia Scarfone from Saddleback Community College and get her thoughts on how to run a 170-minute online multi-skills class via Zoom.
  • DIESOL? Say what? I track down ESL Professor Brent Warner from Irvine Valley Community College and get the low-down on DIESOL's edtech endeavors. 
  • Finally, CATESOL Legislative Advocate, Jeff Frost, provides the CATESOL Community an update on Governor Newsom's 2020-21 January budget proposal.
But before we jump into all this...a special note from CATESOL's President.

Cheers to a Successful Spring Virtual Conference

CATESOL President, Susan Gaer

Welcome to spring and life during the Pandemic. On May 8-9, we had a very successful Spring Virtual Conference. We had a total of 485 registrants and earned more than 17,000 dollars. This money is going to be used to pay off some of our outstanding debts. We appreciate the depth and breadth of our member support and hope to get the videos and handouts on the member portal as soon as possible. Most of the comments we got from our 200+evaluations were positive and include such as the following:
 “The conference was well-organized with a variety of interesting topics and knowledgeable speakers.”

“You pulled off an inexpensive, interesting and nurturing conference at very little cost to the participants.”


CATESOL Board Member Voting

The ballot is out and it is time to vote. Voting will finish on Friday, May 22 at 11:59pst. You can view all the candidates and their photos listed in alphabetical order by first name here.  We  hope you will make the effort to get out and vote for your new board. Your vote matters and your voice counts.

The Optimal Input Hypothesis: Not All Comprehensible Input is of Equal Value.

Stephen Krashen and Beniko Mason

A popular assumption is that any kind of input we provide in class is acceptable as long as it provides some comprehensible input.  Thus, we can teach songs, put on a play, and lead the students in exercises, because they all involve some comprehension of messages.
This is not correct.  Comprehensible is not enough. There are other factors that make up “optimal input.”


Thoughts on Teaching ESL Synchronously Online

While many resources have emerged during the pandemic that support teachers on how to get up and running on an LMS platform or use Zoom, I have seen less resources on how to actually utilize synchronous time in the ESL discipline.

So, I connected with ESL Professor Femia Scarfone from Saddleback Community College in Southern California to get her thoughts on how she runs her 170-minute multi skills course online, twice a week.

Before jumping into the specifics of her class schedule, Profesor Scarfone, explained to me how now more than ever she recognizes students’ need for human connection in addition to opportunities to practice their English in a supportive environment and in real-time.

Read the whole thing to learn how Professor Scarfone runs her class using Zoom and what a typical online class day looks like for her.


The Lowdown on DIESOL

Historically, TESOL has been underrepresented in the world of Education Technology, and few teachers are taught how tech can be integrated into the classroom to help ELLs build their English skills. Luckily, there are some teachers who have been pushing the envelope for years, helping colleagues in our field see how they can better serve students through tech.

Ixchell Reyes and Brent Warner are two of those teachers, and they co-host the DIESOL podcast (pronounced like TESOL, but with a D), the only ESL podcast with a specific focus on EdTech. Reyes, an ISTE Emerging Leader, and Warner, recent recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award at Irvine Valley College, have been presenting for years on technology in the ESL classroom for organizations like CATESOL and CUE, as well as working as teacher trainers for universities, colleges, and language institutions. 
The DIESOL podcast is pedagogy-driven, first focusing on research in the field, and then looking at how that research can be applied to the classroom, both face-to-face and virtual.


The State Budget: Governor Newsom's State Budget

Jeff Frost

Governor Newsom released the “May Revision” to his 2020-21 January budget proposals, which included his adjusted plans for public education. This May Revision budget correction is based upon the updated General Fund revenues that were first released to the public on May 7.  Last week, the Department of Finance reported that the administration had revised General Fund (GF) revenue estimates for the current budget years due to the “national recession” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the health emergency, we are seeing a precipitous decline in personal income and General Fund revenue collection, rapidly rising health, and human services caseloads and substantial COVID-19-driven costs. Specifically, the May Revision confirms that the General Fund revenues will decline by $41.2 billion below January projections, as follows:
  • 2018-19: +$0.7 billion
  • 2019-20: -$9.7 billion
  • 2020-21: -$32.2 billion


Have something to share with the CATESOL Community?

Newsletter Editor, Christie Sosa

How are you teaching ESL online? What's working for you? What's not working for you? Connect with me at Or, for those of you who have some time to provide some of your tips for teaching online and would like to be featured in the next issue of the CATESOL Newsletter, please fill out this form here.
CATESOL Newsletter - Voting, Teaching ESL Online, Optimal Input, DIESOL, and More