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

Click here to register.

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.

Main Presenters

Anna Uhl ChamotAnna Uhl Chamot
Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Faculty Advisor for ESL and Foreign Language Education
George Washington University
Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Anna Uhl Chamot is Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Faculty Advisor for English as a Second Language (ESL) and Foreign Language Education at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She also directs the National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC), which conducts research, teacher education, and materials development for foreign language educators. Dr. Chamot has been principal investigator for a number of studies that investigated language learning processes of both second and foreign language students. Her research interests are in language learning strategies, content-based language instruction, and literacy development in adolescent English learners. She co-designed the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA), an instructional model for English language learners and has adapted this model to meet the needs of students learning English and other languages as foreign languages. Her publications include articles and books on research, methodology, and instructional materials, including: The Learning Strategies Handbook , The CALLA Handbook: Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (2nd edition), and Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Dr. Chamot holds a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in foreign language education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in Spanish literature from the George Washington University. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and fluent in French.

Keynote: Motivating ESL Students with Content and Learning Strategies
Intrinsically motivated learners value the information and skills to be learned, expect to be successful learners, and attribute their success to their own efforts. They set goals, regulate their own learning, and evaluate what and how they have learned.

This presentation explores these theoretical principles and suggests how they can be applied with English learners. Content topics from the school curriculum can motivate students by leading them to invest in acquiring the language needed to explore the content topics they value and understand that successful learning is the result of their own efforts.

However, introducing content to ESL students brings vocabulary, grammar, and conceptual difficulties. Explicit instruction in learning strategies provides students with tools for comprehending oral and written content and talking and writing about this content. In addition, learning strategy users attribute their successful learning to their own strategic learning efforts, rather than to forces outside their control.

Workshop: Designing Lessons that Motivate English Learners
ESL teachers often wish that their students were more motivated to learn English. To increase motivation, teachers might add games, rewards, and fun activities to the class. These can be effective in the short term, but as extrinsic motivators, such activities do not lead to long-term motivation. Students (and people in general) are interested in events, artifacts, and individuals that affect them personally – and traditional language teaching of vocabulary, grammar, and drills is not usually perceived as interesting or relevant to students’ daily lives.

This workshop builds on the motivational theories presented in the keynote to engage participants with guidelines for developing lessons that motivate English learners by integrating content, language, and learning strategies. These lessons are effective in both ESL classrooms and mainstream classrooms that include English learners.

Michael BermanMichael Berman
Professor of English as a Second Language
Montgomery College, American English Language Program
Rockville, Maryland

Michael Berman is professor of ESL in the American English Language Program (an EAP program) at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and over a dozen ESL textbooks and software applications, including Connect with English (McGraw Hill), Advanced Listening (DynEd International) and the American English Pronunciation Tutor and the Word Combination Card (Language Arts Press), and he has won national awards for both his teaching and materials writing. His teaching career has been varied and includes formative years spent at the Centro Venezolano Americano (a bi-national center) in Caracas, La Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila in Saltillo, Mexico, and the University of Illinois at Champaign, among other locales. In 2007, he founded Language Arts Press, an ESL publishing house dedicated to developing new models of higher ed ESL resources that are engaging, research-based and affordable.

Keynote: A Multidisciplinary Toolbox for Motivating Diverse Students
Michael has looked at student motivation from many angles and positions: as an 18-year faculty member at a large community college (60,000+ students), as ESL program coordinator and associate dean of humanities, as a prolific materials writer, as chief education officer of a small ESL press, as a community mediator, and as a home schooling parent. As a result, his quest for keys to motivating and inspiring students has taken him through a wide range of disciplines, including educational psychology, stress physiology, conflict resolution, and even marketing. In his keynote talk, Michael will discuss the most salient overlaps of these disciplines and, from this set of principles, will identify strategies both quick and involved for motivating our students in the ESL classroom. Michael will also talk about the ramifications of these motivational principals on policy issues (e.g., credit vs. non-credit) and on discrete populations such as Generation 1.5ers and international students.

Workshop: Motivating the Motivators: A Self-Inventory for ESL Teachers Why did you enter the field of ESL teaching?
Is your love affair with teaching still alive or have the logistics and duties of your day-to-day professional life gradually led you off the path of inspiration? It is both intuitive and clear from the research that inspiring and motivating teaching requires inspired and motivated teachers. Unfortunately, a wide array of workplace and personal factors can undermine our passion and our pedagogical effectiveness, either temporarily or indefinitely, if we do not take action to regain “balance.” This workshop will provide an opportunity to reflect openly on the state of our professional lives, reconnect with our priorities, identify factors that interfere with these priorities, and make a plan toward regaining the fire and balance we need to be motivational forces in the classroom.

Patrick T. RandolphPatrick T. Randolph, ELL Lecturer, Writing Specialist
Western Michigan University,
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Patrick T. Randolph has taught English language learners for the past 21 years. He specializes in vocabulary acquisition, creative and academic writing, speech, debate, and drama. His research interests focus on applying recent findings in neuroscience to the language classroom and investigating how synesthesia can help contribute to better teaching methods. He has co-authored a best-seller for TESOL Press, Cat Got Your Tongue?: Recent Research and Classroom Practices for Teaching Idioms to English Learners Around the World (2014); and, he has authored two best-selling books of poetry: Father’s Philosophy and Empty Shoes. Proceeds from these books go to Feeding America and Loaves and Fishes. Patrick lives with his soul-inspiring wife, Gamze; his cheerfully bilingual daughter, Aylene, and wise, comical-cat, Gable in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Workshop: Implementing the Five-E System of Motivation in Teaching and Learning
I have always believed that the best way to motivate our English language learners is a way that encourages them to pursue an enthusiastic self-motivating yearning to learn in the classroom while simultaneously inspiring them to engage in a life-long journey of self-enrichment outside the classroom. In addition, my own teaching experience has taught me that the more motivated our students are, the more they contribute to the class, and this, in turn, helps contribute to their own education. Our job, then, is not merely to teach but to inspire. How can we do this? The answer lies in what I call the Five-E System of Motivation in Teaching and Learning. This workshop consequently looks at how Emotion, Examples, Energy, Exercise, and Euphoria make the ELL classroom a place of dynamic rebirth of motivation for both instructors and students alike.

Symposium Schedule

Friday, June 24, 2015
8:00 – 9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 AM Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Paul Blake, Lisa vonReichbauer, and Louis Arokiasamy
9:15 – 10:00 AM Keynote: Michael Berman
A Multidisciplinary Toolbox for Motivating Diverse Students
10:10 – 11:10 AM Invited Guest Speaker: Mostafa Papi
The Regulatory Focus Theory
11:20 – 12:20 Workshop: Joan Conway
Motivating Through Biography
12:20 – 2:00 PM Lunch
2:00 – 3:00 PM Workshop: Daniel Petersen
Authentic Voices: Motivating Students through Digital Storytelling
3:10 – 4:10 PM Tea Time: Nawal Abbas
Strategies to help motivate your ESL students
4:20 – 5:50 PM Workshop: Michael Berman
Motivating the Motivators: A Self-Inventory for ESL Teachers
6:00 – 8:00 PM Sit down dinner
8:00 – 10:00 PM Socialize
Saturday, June 25, 2015
8:00 – 9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 AM Welcoming Remarks by Lisa vonReichbauer and Louis Arokiasamy
9:15 – 10:00 AM Keynote: Dr. Anna Uhl Chamot
Motivating ESL Students with Content and Learning Strategies
10:10 – 11:30 AM Invited Guest Speaker: Patrick T. Randolph
Implementing the Five-E System of Motivation in Teaching and Learning
11:30 – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 – 2:30 PM Workshop: Anna Uhl Chamot
Designing Lessons that Motivate English Learners
2:40 – 3:40 PM Workshop: Jolene Jaquays and Sara Okello
It’s Okay to Have Fun
3:50 – 4:50 PM Workshop: Russian delegation
What motivates Russian Students to learn English as a Second Language
4:50 – 5:00 PM Closing remarks by Lisa vonReichbauer
5:00 – 7:00 PM Dinner at Ferris