We are delighted to introduce and frame up the Spring 2015 issue of the MinneTESOL Journal. Our spring issues are designed to build upon and extend the learning from the annual Minnesota English Learner Education Conference held the previous fall. For this issue, we’ve invited keynote speakers from the November 2014 conference to share their work with us. In addition, we encouraged conference presenters to submit their work for consideration in an effort to document their research or recommendations, reach others, and extend the conversations begun at the fall conference. As always with our Spring issues, all of the submissions for this issue were reviewed by members of the MinneTESOL Journal Editorial Board before acceptance.
Our featured, invited article for the Spring 2015 issue is a previously published article generously offered to us by Jeff Zwiers, keynote speaker at the fall conference, and his colleagues Susan O’Hara and Robert Pritchard. Bringing expertise in academic language development, this article describes ways for teachers to create the right conditions for effective classroom conversations and supports to prepare our learners for the communication rigors of college and beyond. Given the importance of preparing all learners at all levels to be academically ready, the article is timely and relevant.
We’ve got a nice variety of topics in this issue that feature ideas, lessons learned, or thoughtful analysis of teaching and learning across many contexts of English language teaching. Readers can explore the experiences of using music in the EFL classroom, incorporating strategies instruction as an aid to building listening skills, or working to support resilience in urban immigrant and refugee young people. We’ve also got articles that highlight research and experiences teaching college learners to use visual supports in presentations and how that might support listening development, how teachers of young learners can analyze leveled and graded readers for language complexity, and thinking about the value and impact of literature classes for students enrolled in a university-based Intensive English Program.
As always, this work doesn’t happen without many people. Thank you to those who take the time to write and submit manuscripts and to the volunteers who serve on the Editorial Board. We’d like to thank Kate Clements, who has worked with us for the last two years in the re-design of the journal, and welcome Jen Vanek as our new technical editor. Jen is a valued colleague who brings skills and energy to the task; she’s been a tremendous help as we assembled this issue and as we fine-tune the continuing evolution of the online journal. We are certain you will find much of value in the Spring 2015 MinneTESOL Journal. Enjoy!
Kim Johnson and Anne Dahlman
MinneTESOL Journal Senior Co-editors