by Anastasija Baranovska

Approximately 300 participants attended the 2012 Conference of Michigan Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (MITESOL) conference in October that was hosted by Madonna University.

TESOL teachers, researchers, and administrators from across the Michigan and other states paid a visit to the school to be there for "Serving for a Better World" themed conference.

“Two plenary speakers Dr. Adrian Wurr from the University of Tulsa and Dr. Angelika Kraemer from Michigan State University focused their presentations on service learning and its implementation into ESL programs as well as into ESL teacher training curricula,” said Andrew Domzalski, Director of ESL & MATESOL and Co-Director of MS in Humane Studies at Madonna University. “In addition, the conference featured 57 break-out sessions and numerous exhibitors' displays.”

Kraemer delivered a speech “Engaging Students in and Preparing Them for K-12 Service-Learning Projects.” She shared best practices in community-based, foreign language service-learning opportunities that successfully engage undergraduates with K-12 students, according to the abstract of her speech.

Wurr talked about ”Learning Service and Service-Learning in Turbulent Times.” Wurr concentrated his attention on the service role as a part of the solution to the most of the actual problems in society today, involving English Language learners.

On the first day of the conference, Friday, Oct. 12, Madonna had the first ever reunion of the graduates of Madonna's Master of Arts in TESOL Program. On Saturday, Madonna University President Sister Rose Marie Kujawa greeted the conference participants.

“The conference was a milestone of sorts, I believe,” said Kathleen O'Dowd, Dean of the Madonna University’s College of Arts and Humanities. “Surely the largest professional annual state conference to be hosted at Madonna.  As such it is a clear indication that Madonna faculty is active and important in this profession, respected as leaders, and the presence of so many of the scholars/leaders in the field here on campus was certainly a prime opportunity to expand awareness of our facilities and our programs.”

Madonna University had a great opportunity not only to host the conference, but also to present our renovated and friendly campus, as well as the English as a Second Language Program (ESL) and Master of Arts in TESOL Program.

“Madonna's MATESOL Program is one of only two Michigan TESOL programs that has earned a national recognition,” said Domzalski.

“The success of the conference depended on hard work and dedication of a great number of Madonna community members and everyone went beyond their call of duty throughout the year-long preparations,” said Domzalski. “The conference was chaired by Andrew Domzalski, Director of ESL and MATESOL Programs and current President of MITESOL. Marian Gonsior, who teaches ESL and writing courses, was Co-chair and Hadeel Betti, ESL Coordinator, served as Local Chair. The coordinating team was helped by numerous volunteers from both Madonna University and MITESOL organization.”



Conference attracts educators to Madonna