You likely noticed that this Fall 2018 Issue of the MinneTESOL Journal has been posted in a newly redesigned website. We have worked over the past few months to update the journal’s look and navigation. We have also made changes to the infrastructure of the website making it easier to bring new issues to you. The work deepened our appreciation for the efforts of past Senior Editors Kimberly Johnson and Anne Dahlman, whose vision for the MinneTESOL Journal as a high quality and dynamic online practitioner journal set a high bar for our work. We hope that you will feel at home in this new space as you did in past years.
The issue includes two articles that focus on reading materials for language learners in K12 contexts. Aaron Mermelstein reviews literature describing representation of gender in children’s literature. Mermelstein emphasizes the point that representation can have a deep impact on the identity of language learners in the classroom. Meur describes a study on the use of retells and memory recalls to explore English learners’ comprehension when working in graphic novels.
In support of practitioners working with adult English language learners who may have had exposure to traumatic events, we include an article by Rachel Johnson. Johnson shares research reporting on evidence-based strategies that target attention and memory networks, interventions that can have a significant impact on brain mechanisms for language learning and therefore can help mitigate the effects of trauma on learning.
We also include an article by Heather Camp that makes the case for incorporating off-campus learning experiences into international students’ second language instruction at the college level. Camp describes the impact of acculturation and authentic language use on language proficiency development and shares an example from her own work in classrooms.
Finally, we include two articles that describe institutions central to development and ongoing support of ESL teachers in the state of Minnesota. Patsy Egan and Betsy Parrish present the work of the ATLAS at Hamline University, describing how preparing ESL teachers is central to their work providing Adult Basic Education professional development. Elaine Tarone’s article traces the development of programming and historical context for current ESL teaching and learning programs at the University of Minnesota. In this important piece, Tarone ensures that the history of TESOL in our state will not be forgotten.
One final note; this issue also marks a transition in our technical editing. Darren LaScotte worked together with Jen Vanek on posting this issue and the transition of the journal to the new website. He will take on the role of Technical Editor going forward. Jen Vanek will remain engaged with the journal as Senior Editor (one role is enough!). We are grateful to have Darren onboard and look forward to working with him on issues to come.