Colorado TESOL News

Colorado Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Volume 38 Number 2

Winter  2016


CoTESOL Spring Conference 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016 

Colorado Mountain College - Spring Valley Campus
3000 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs, CO
Letter from the President 
Sarah Austin, President

Dear CoTESOL Colleagues,
As we all ring in the New Year, 2016 (!), your CoTESOL board is beginning its preparation for a momentous occasion: CoTESOL's 40th year. Our annual board retreat was held on February 6th, and we spent that time brainstorming special programs, outstanding signature speakers, and an anniversary-worthy theme. It is certain to be the best CoTESOL convention yet!
Personally, I came to CoTESOL, like so many of us do, thanks to colleagues. Little did I know the profound effect such a group of individuals would have on my role as an educator, and my growth as a person and professional. For those of you who are new to CoTESOL, we are, to quote our website, "a dynamic, growing organization of educators involved in various aspects of second language learning and bilingual education. Members include instructors, program administrators, students, researchers, and volunteers. We work with all ages and ethnic groups."   But for many of us, CoTESOL has become much less a professional affiliation and much more a group of family and friends.
As for me, I have been teaching English for almost 14 years. I began as a middle and high school language arts and reading teacher in rural Maryland, crossed the country to do literacy coaching in Pasadena Unified School District, and finally settled here, in Colorado. Along the way, I taught in Peru, tried to hone my Spanish in Guatemala and Costa Rica, and eventually migrated from secondary education to postsecondary. I spent seven years at The New America Schools doing literacy coaching and professional development where I first learned of and became involved with CoTESOL. In 2013, I took a position as an English Instructor at the United States Air Force Academy's Preparatory School, and moved to Colorado Springs just this August. This is my sixth year as a CoTESOL Board member and I am proud to be acting President as we look back at the strides CoTESOL and the ELA profession have made in the last 40 years.
It's my distinct pleasure to be taking this journey back in time with all of you. Please plan to join us at the Spring Conference in Glenwood Springs and at the Fall Convention on November 4th and 5th in Southeast Denver. Thank you for your consistent diligence as educators and your continued support of this organization.
Sarah Austin,
CoTESOL President
2015 Fall Conference Wrap-Up
Chris Tombari, Convention Services
On behalf of the CoTESOL Board, I want to thank you for supporting CoTESOL through attending the Annual Fall Convention. On November 6 and 7, 2015, CoTESOL hosted its 39th event with the theme of "Blue Skies, Bright Futures." (Read more)

2015 CoTESOL Award Winners
The following individuals were honored for their dedication and commitment to our profession during the Awards Luncheon and Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, November 7, 2015:
Gladys Doty Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession:
Elizabeth Skelton

Virginia French Allen Award for Excellent in Teaching
Jodi Venzara

President's Award
Darlene LeDoux

Best of 2015 CoTESOL Fall Conference

Devon Jancin & Tara Brandenburg

Each year, attendees vote on the presentations they find most useful, relevant and/or engaging. This year, twenty-six presentations earned votes, but one presentation stood out from the rest. This presentation by members of the INTO CSU program had the highest number of votes, and some impressive comments regarding its focus. Tara Brandenburg and Devon Jancin's presentation "10 Interactive Technologies to Engage Millennial Learners" is this year's winner for Best of CoTESOL.  Comments included:
  • Very interactive and high energy. Incorporated 'how to' and "why" in a way that empowered us to try this in our own classes--seemed simple and possible!
  • The presenters were well-organized and used the presentation to demonstrate their topic effectively. I will use what I learned.
  • Great resources to get students applying technology to promote their own learning.
Such comments reflect the enthusiasm and professionalism that CoTESOL has come to expect from its presenters. 

CoTESOL will provide the winners with one fully funded trip to attend the 2016 TESOL convention in Baltimore this April.  Congratulations to Devon and Tara on this award. 
Tom Germain, 2nd Vice President
The topic of encouraging new conference presenters has come up repeatedly in recent CoTESOL board meetings.  This on-going thread in our discussions has raised questions about how our organization might help more teachers get involved in sharing their knowledge, experience, and expertise through presenting at the annual conventions.  It was suggested that a brief article on mentoring might make a worthwhile contribution to the CoTESOL Newsletter. (Read more)
Leticia Ingram, recipient of the 2014 CoTESOL Virginia French Allen Award, has been chosen Colorado Teacher of the Year 

The night before the Colorado Department of Education announced its 2016 teacher of the year, Basalt High School English language development teacher Leticia Ingram dreamed one of the other finalists got the prize. (Read more)
Updates From Your Socio-Political Liaisons
Kat Bradley-Bennett and Elizabeth Schroeder, Socio-Political Liaisons

Immigration reform still hangs in limbo, but the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, possibly sometime this summer. It's a hot-button campaign issue and there is a lot of misinformation about the President's Executive Action. It is not amnesty, nor will it provide deferred action for all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. (Read more)
Introducing Victor Manuel Rizo Rivera - TESOL
Sandy Stokely, Elementary Ed Co-Chair

 One international participant attended the November 2015 CoTESOL
conference. CoTESOL sponsored Victor Manuel Rizo Rivera from Jinotega, Nicaragua. As an ELA/S teacher, and a Spanish speaker, I had the special opportunity to act as his host. Jinotega is in the northern part of Nicaragua. Victor teaches English to high school and college level students there. He also plans to start a K-12 English Language Academy. He was sent by his TESOL organization to get ideas, resources and materials to share with the other members and felt this responsibility keenly having high expectations for what he
would learn. (Read more)

Colorado's READ Act and the L2 Reader
Katherine Beck, DPS Dept. of Accountabiity,  Research and Evaluation
Alisa Dorman, CDE Office of Literacy
Elizabeth Schroeder, Elementary Ed SIG Co-Chair

(This is a corrected repost of an article from last fall with full author credit to Katherine Beck, Alisa Dorman and Elizabeth Schroeder.)

Across the state of Colorado, teachers are developing and implementing individual intervention plans intended to help students identified with a "Significant Reading Deficiency" to achieve reading competency by the end of third grade. If a student enters fourth grade without achieving reading competency, he or she is significantly more likely to fall behind in all subject areas beginning in fourth grade and later grades (Colorado Department of Education, 2014). (Read more)

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter, please contact the CoTESOL Communications Liaison.
Hilario Benzon
Christine Deines,
Communications Liaisons/
Newsletter Editors 
TESOL and TESOL Affiliate Membership Recruitment Program: TESOL Discounted Membership

Who is Eligible?

Current members of any TESOL affiliate that have never been a member of TESOL 
Association or have not been a member of TESOL in the past 3 years.

What is the Discount?

Eligible affiliate members will receive a 25% discount off the full price of a TESOL Professional Membership or a TESOL Global Professional Membership (for affiliates in eligible countries).  The discount is good when joining for one or two years. 


Member Type: Professional    

Price 1 Yr
Regular: $98
With Discount: $73.50   

Price 2 Yrs 
Regular: $166
With Discount: $124.50
How to Apply:

An eligible affiliate member would join TESOL online via the TESOL website. When asked for the promotion code at the beginning of the application they should enter AFF13. The individual also must indicate which affiliate they are a member of when prompted in the application. 
CoTESOL 2016

CoTESOL will celebrate its 40th Fall Conference this Fall.

CoTESOL XL: 40 Years of Transformation

November 4-5, 2016
Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast

Make sure you join us for this special event!
TESOL 2016 Baltimore

Are you presenting at TESOL 2016 Baltimore?
Executive Board

CoTESOL Executive Board




CoTESOL supports its members.

  • Encourages participation in professional discourse.
  • Supports collaboration, networking, leadership and research.
  • Provides professional development.
  • Disseminates information.


CoTESOL supports students and education.


  • Advocates and fosters respect for language and culture.
  • Promotes high standards.
  • Upholds the profession of English language teaching.  
Contact Information


c/o Larry Fisher

63 UCB

Boulder, CO.  80309