Lighthouse Summer Symposium

Motivation: An Essential Bridge to Academic Success
A symposium dedicated to meeting ESL students where they are and leading them to success.
Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25, 2015
Ferris State University
Big Rapids, Michigan

Registration Fee: $100

(includes registration, four meals, a formal dinner, tea time, and other activities)

For more information, contact:  
(231) 591-2450

The Bridge to Academic Success

The 2015 Lighthouse Summer Symposium at Ferris State University will run for two full days: Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25. All presentations will take place on Big Rapids campus of Ferris State University (Big Rapids is an hour north of Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Of the many planks on the bridge to academic success, ESL teachers know MOTIVATION is a major plank which can determine student success or failure. This year’s symposium will delve deeply into how to motivate English Learners move through the various stages of language acquisition. The Symposium will feature top-notch keynote presenters such as Anna Uhl Chamot and Michael Berman and workshop-style sessions in a collegial atmosphere. We look forward to welcoming our TESOL colleagues from around Michigan and from partner international institutions to another great symposium.

Lighthouse strives to be a welcoming place for the TESOL colleagues where they can actively engage with the presenters in exploring the pedagogy and innovative best practices addressing issues surrounding motivation.  Besides the working sessions, we want to allow time for the attendees to rub shoulders or network professionally in a less formal setting.  So, the schedule will include slots for "tea time" and lighter evening activities in the summer ambiance of West Michigan.

As ESL instructors, we all have one goal in mind:  to lead our students to academic success.  But our students come with varying levels of proficiency and skill set.  That is to say, we have to meet our students where they are, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan for guiding our students to accomplish their goals.  We recognize that the students enrolling in our programs often don’t come fully equipped with all the necessary cognitive and study skills to rapidly acquire the requisite English in order to transition to their chosen fields of study at the university, which they have to accomplish within a limited period of time.  In this year’s symposium, we aspire to address one of the vital elements in language learning: motivation.  We’ll explore how motivation is a crucial factor in second language acquisition and how it’s instrumental in student success.  Besides the learner’s positive attitudes towards the second language which is a huge contributing factor to student success, we’ll prospect for better ways to motivate our students.