NYS TESOL AL Marks 36th Annual Winter Conference
By Matty Espino for TESOL/Applied Linguistics
The 36th annual New York State Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Applied Linguistics Winter Conference (NYS TESOL ALWC) took place last March at Teachers College, Columbia University. This conference, held in partnership between the Applied Linguistics and TESOL program at TC and the professional organization, NYS TESOL, showcased over 40 presenters from around the world and their current research. Over 300 registered guests took part in the event, breaking record attendance numbers in the history of the conference.
Conference highlights included a variety of paper and poster presentations geared towards bridging the gap between theory and practice within TESOL and Applied Linguistics. In addition, Dr. Santoi Wagner, from the University of Pennsylvania, gave a riveting keynote address on integrating Service Learning in TESOL.
To provide a bit of history, the ALWC began as part of movement to keep the Applied Linguistics Interest Group within NYS TESOL in the 1970s. Unhappy about the possibility of being cut, Dr. Leslie Beebe, Miriam Eisenen, and Carol Montgomery banded together to create the ALWC. As of the 2015 year, ALWC continues to thrive as a growing conference, tripling in numbers from its inauguration. In addition, this unique conference is put on entirely by students for the community. Last year’s committee consisted of all MA students from both Teachers College and Hunter College.
At this year’s event, many of the students on the organizing committee are students from the TESOL/AL program, but also includes one student from Columbia University’s East Asian Studies.
Matty Espino is an MA graduate from the TESOL program at Teachers College. Currently, he serves as the Program Secretary for the programs in Philosophy and Education, History and Education, and Cultural Studies and is also an Ed.M candidate in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College.