Once more, we are excited to bring you a free, open access, online journal that strikes the balance of rigorous academic content and an accessible, practical writing style.
In this Spring 2016 edition of the MinneTESOL Journal it is our pleasure to bring to you an excellent collection of nine scholarly pieces focusing on the many aspects and contexts of English language teaching and learning in Minnesota. To set the stage for this issue, the first article is by Dr. Andrea DeCapua, who joined us as a keynote speaker at the Minnesota English Learner Education Conference in fall 2015. In her article, DeCapua describes a unique and exciting classroom approach, called the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm (MALP®), which is utilized to build bridges to formal education for struggling English learners.
Our second invited selection focuses specifically on culturally responsive teaching by Lynne Ackerberg, the 2015 MinneTESOL Harold B. Allen Award Winner. In her article, Ackerberg explains how to weave into lessons the histories, understanding, and respect for our migrant students who come in search of new homes for themselves and their families.
In addition, we have a nice selection of articles written around the language teacher angle. You can read about Andrea Echelberger’s amazing journey as a teacher struggling as a language learner or learn from the advice shared by experienced teachers and researchers, Debbie Hadas and Bonnie Swierzbin, for how to transfer teacher’s work into a conference presentation to share with other professionals. In her article, Katherine C. McNulty shares the story of a K-12 school district that has promoted powerful partnerships between classroom and EL teachers, by coupling the structure of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and language assessments, as a result of the implementation of WiDA. Yet another article focuses on elementary teacher preparation, where Rebecca Bauer and Keitha-Gail Martin-Kerr share the results of a study exploring the extent to which is a teacher education program prepared its elementary classroom teachers to support culturally and linguistically diverse students in their classrooms.
Finally, we have three creative pieces focusing on supporting the language learner. Darren LaScotte’s article explores research and suggests possible methods for assessing the oral skills of L2 learners experiencing speaking anxiety. In his report, Patrick T. Randolph shares a Head-to-Toe Method of Associations to assist students in acquiring new vocabulary. Finally, Ina Ziegler describes a case study of academic coaching in a sixth-grade ESL setting. This research-based coaching approach is designed to help students develop a growth mindset, set and achieve personal and academic goals, and create an identity as confident, self-directed learners.
We hope you will enjoy reading your peers’ work and will find them educational, inspiring and reflective. As always, please read, like, and share the articles widely through your listservs and professional networks. And keep up to date with the MinneTESOL Journal by joining our Facebook and Twitter communities!
Anne Dahlman and Kimberly Johnson
MinneTESOL Journal Senior Co-editors