Keynote Speakers

Opening Speaker - Wednesday, 28 March 2012 5:30 pm–7 pm

Alberto M. Carvalho
In Pursuit of Excellence for All
Alberto Carvalho, having implemented innovative practices to meet the needs of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) and its 17% English language learner population, shares his focus on a concentrated approach used to reduce the achievement gap between ELLs and non-ELLs.  As a result, M-DCPS ELLs are experiencing national academic success; given the appropriate time and educational resources, these ELLs out-performed non-ELLs. 

Alberto M. Carvalho is an outspoken advocate for high-quality education for all students, beginning in the classroom, as a science teacher, and through his outstanding leadership as superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest school system in the United States. Under Mr. Carvalho’s direction, Miami-Dade had its highest high school graduation rate ever in 2010 and saw students consistently outperforming their national peers on the 2009 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading, mathematics, and science. A leader in innovation, Mr. Carvalho was recognized by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce as the 2010 Visionary Leader of the Year and by eSchool News as one of the Top 10 Tech-Savvy Superintendents in the United States in 2011.  He is President-Elect of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) and has been featured on CNN and NBC, and in The New York Times, District Administration Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and Nightly Business Report.

James E. Alatis Plenary - Thursday, 29 March 2012 8:30 am–9:30 am

William Labov
The Sociolinguistic Intersection of Spanish and English
The native English of Hispanic Americans shows three different directions of development, depending on sociolinguistic orientation towards traditional Spanish culture, the African American community, and the local mainstream society. Major differences appear in these developments according to geography and which language is used in the acquisition of literacy.

William Labov  is professor of linguistics and director of the Linguistics Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, USA. After beginning his career as an industrial chemist, he received a Ph.D. in linguistics, making major contributions through his, now classic, quantitative studies on language variation and African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). Labov’s analysis of oral narratives of every-day life has been widely used in the expanding field of narrative studies. Dr. Labov's honors include National Academy of Sciences member, AAAS fellow, Linguistic Society of America past president, Guggenheim fellowships, and honorary doctorates from the universities of Uppsala, Liège, York, Edinburgh, and Paris.

Plenary - Thursday, 29 March 2012 2 pm–3 pm

Kurt Kohn
The “My English” Condition: SLA as Individual and Social Construction
Learners cannot help but develop their own version of the target language—in their minds, hearts, and behavior. Kohn explores this claim from a social constructivist perspective, using empirical evidence from English as a lingua franca (ELF) communication. He discusses implications for TESOL and argues for a reconciliation of ELF ownership and Standard English preference.

Kurt Kohn is chair professor of English and applied linguistics at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and director of the Steinbeis Transfer Center Sprachlernmedien/Language Learning Media. His research and teaching interests focus on English as a lingua franca and second language learning and teaching. Since the early 1990s, he has led European projects on multimedia open-content authoring (Telos Language Partner) and e-learning/blended language learning with a focus on pedagogic corpora and web collaboration. Recent articles include "English as a lingua franca and the Standard English misunderstanding" (English in Europe Today: Sociocultural and Educational Perspectives, John Benjamins, 2011) and "Computer assisted foreign language learning" (Foreign Language Communication and Learning. Handbooks of Applied Linguistics, Mouton-de Gruyter, 2009).

Presidential Plenary - Friday, 30 March 2012 8:30 am–9:30 am

Christine Coombe
Teacher Effectiveness in ELT: Empirical and Practical Perspectives
A primary concern amongst English language teachers today is how to be more effective in the ever-changing world of education. This presentation will provide a review of the research about what constitutes an ‘effective teacher’ as well as offer strategies for increasing teacher effectiveness in the EF/SL classroom.

Christine Coombe has a Ph.D. in foreign/second language education from The Ohio State University, USA, and is currently on the English faculty of Dubai Men's College, UAE.  Christine has lived and worked in the Arabian Gulf for the past 19 years, serving as the former Testing and Measurements Supervisor at UAE University and Assessment Coordinator of Zayed University. Former leadership positions include President of TESOL Arabia and founder and cochair of the TESOL Arabia Testing Special Interest Group. During her tenure in the Middle East, Christine won many awards, including 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment and  Chancellor’s Teacher of the Year for 2003–04. In leadership roles, she served on the TESOL Board of Directors as Convention Chair for 2006 and currently serves as president of TESOL International Association (2011–13).

Plenary - Friday, 30 March 2012 2 pm–3 pm

Heidi Byrnes
The Bilingual Turn and Language Teaching: ‘Minding’ our Language
The bilingual turn in language teaching and learning can be looked at from many perspectives. This presentation focuses on implications for teachers’ knowledge of language (KOL). It describes a “mindful” approach to KOL as one that considers language to be, first and foremost, a resource for meaning-making and will characterize a coherent and shared meaning-oriented metalanguage as an indispensable tool for both teachers and learners as they navigate the complex communicative environment of the bilingual turn.

Heidi Byrnes is George M. Roth Distinguished Professor of German at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on the acquisition of academic literacy in a second language by adult instructed learners from curricular, pedagogical, and assessment perspectives. Her most recent publication, co-authored with Hiram Maxim and John Norris, is Realizing Advanced Foreign Language Writing Development in Collegiate Education: Curricular Design, Pedagogy, Assessment  (MLJ, 94, Supplement-1, 2010). She currently serves as immediate past president of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and has been selected as the new editor-in-chief of the Modern Language Journal, beginning in 2013.

Plenary - Saturday, 31 March 2012 8:30 am–9:30 am

Jun Liu
The Future of TESOL: Challenges and Opportunities
The field of TESOL is facing numerous challenges with the increasingly diverse roles English plays around the globe. Such challenges, however, have created many opportunities for innovation and creativity in teaching, learning, and assessing English. Dr. Liu will address a number of pertinent issues facing the future of TESOL.

Jun Liu is a past president of TESOL International Association (2006–2007) and currently serves as TESOL’s representative in China and as a Board Trustee for the International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF). Currently an associate provost for International Initiatives at Georgia State University, USA, Dr. Liu previously directed the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona, where he was professor and head of the Department of English. His research interests include intercultural communication, curriculum and standards development, teacher education, and second language writing. Dr. Liu co-edits the Michigan Series on Teaching Multilingual Writers. His extensive publications in language education include Teaching English in China: New Perspectives, Approaches and Standards (Continuum Publishing, 2007), and Peer Response in Second Language Writing Classrooms (University of Michigan Press, 2002, co-authored).


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