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Author Archives: Weijia Li

Paid Internships Available for Post-graduate TESL students

The Latin American Legal Defense
and Education Fund (LALDEF) organization offers an ESL program in Trenton for low literacy Spanish-speaking adults.

There are two internship positions for post-graduate students pursuing a Master of Education in TESL, one for a teacher, and another who would take on the management of this program in addition to teaching.

The positions are available year-round. The program offers 3 cycles of 11-week classes (Feb-Apr, May-July, Sep-Nov). Each cycle accepts 25 students and use the Ventures curriculum (Cambridge University press). These are multi-level classes with students in 3 different levels.

The work of the program manager would be supported by 8-10 volunteer tutors, some of which are bilingual undergraduate students from the Spanish Department of TCNJ. Classes are scheduled one weeknight (in spring and fall), a Friday morning (in winter only) and on a Saturday afternoon.

Please contact Maria (Charo) Juega, Executive Director of LALDEF at 609-688-0881 for further information.

• A Bachelors degree in Education/Linguistics with an average 3.0 GPA or higher
• Be enrolled in a post-graduate program of study leading to a Master or PhD degree in Education, preferably in teaching English as a Second language or Bilingual education
• Fluency in Spanish highly desired
• Able to dedicate an average of 4-hours per week with a flexible schedule, involving evening and weekend hours
• Prior experience teaching, or tutoring low literacy adult students highly desirable


Opportunities to Win an NJTESOL/NJBE Scholarship

Opportunities to Win an NJTESOL/NJBE Scholarship

Each year, NJTESOL/NJBE sponsors scholarships and awards to support the academic aspirations of our students and members,  This year, there are two scholarships in Higher Education:

1. The Dr. Jessy Reppy Memorial Scholarship is a new scholarship offering a $1500 scholarship for a student who is enrolled in a TESOL M.A. program.

2. The Higher Education Scholarship offering a $1500 scholarship for a student in ESL classes at 2 year or 4 year colleges/universities. Applicants can either be a traditional or a non-traditional student.

To access the scholarship applications, go to the NJTESOL/NJBE website: and go to Scholarship and Award Applications, and then go to the bottom of the page to click on the desired scholarship link. If you have any questions about the scholarships, please contact the Awards Committee representative at

Winners will be honored at the NJTESOL/NJBE Spring Conference Awards Reception, May 28th, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Brunswick at 5:00 PM.


Announcing the 2013 Summer Academy : July 1-3, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Summer Academy : July 1-3, 2013

We are pleased to announce the 2013 Summer Academy at The College of New Jersey, made possible by a grant from the US Department of Education.

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Summer Academy, held yearly from 2012-2016, features a series of summer workshops that address the needs of ESL teachers, content area teachers, and administrators who work with non-native speaker populations in K-12 and higher education contexts. The workshops cover classroom techniques, assessment, materials and content adaptation, language and linguistic concepts, administrative orientation, and other instructional concerns for ESL students. Our program for 2013 is detailed below:


2013 ESL Summer Academy

Monday, July 1st through Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Check in is open 1 hour prior to your workshop. Please arrive in good time to ensure a prompt start.

Location: Education Building Room 115F

Payment on site, in cash or check only.

Participants will receive credit for professional development hours.

Register by June 20th to ensure your seat. Space is limited.

Registration Coming Soon!


Workshop Details

Workshop #1 (Monday July 1st, 9 AM- 12 PM)

Cost: $15 not including lunch

Title to be Announced


Workshop #2: (Monday July 1st, 1 PM- 4PM)
Cost: $15 not including lunch

Conversations with, by and on behalf of English Language Learners

by John L. Balbi, Teachers College, Columbia University

Culture, placement and instructional design, and language acquisition as three interrelated areas that help to more fully understand our work with English Language learners. During this workshop, participants will learn how to provide students with the tools they will need to become more fully integrated into the educational community of their school, their community and beyond.

John L. Balbi holds a MA in TESOL (1975) and a M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision (1979) from Teachers College, Columbia University.  He has also acquired a School District’s Administrator Certification from the New York State Department of Education. He has been a dedicated educator for more than 40 years teaching and supervising in the field of English as a Second Language. In the past three years alone he mentored 36 teachers, writing a total of 175 formal observations. He was one of the first 12 English Language Learner Instructional Support Specialists in New York State to receive Level I QTEL (Quality Teaching for English Language Learners) certification (2005). He has also given a variety of workshops specializing in the QTEL conceptual framework emphasizing specific scaffolds as they support learning within a socio cultural environment.

He is a consistent presenter at the New York State TESOL conferences and has also presented at the national TESOL conference.  His presentations focus on applying theory to practice making content accessible to English language learners at all levels of proficiency.

*Registrants who participate in both Monday workshops will have lunch included in their entry fees.


Workshop #3 (Tuesday July 2nd, 9:30 AM- 4 PM)

Cost: $30 including lunch

Optimizing Learning Conditions in the ESL Classroom 

by Dr. ZhaoHong Han, Teachers College, Columbia University

Learning a second language is largely an unconscious process, and, as such, it is controlled by the learner, not by the teacher. However, teachers can provide conditions to facilitate learning, and can do so to the extent of maximizing learning opportunities. In this workshop, participants will learn both what those conditions are and how to create and optimize them.

Dr. ZhaoHong Han is Professor of Language and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she teaches graduate courses in Applied Linguistics, TESOL, and foreign language instruction. She currently directs the TESOL and Applied Linguistics Program. Dr. Han’s research interests lie broadly in second language learnability, teachability, and their interface. Her work on fossilization, corrective feedback, second language reading and vocabulary development, second language reading instruction, and second language input processing has appeared in a variety of journals and books. Dr. Han is the recipient of the 2003 International TESOL Heinle and Heinle Distinguished Research Award, and a repeated recipient of the Teachers College, Columbia University Outstanding Teacher Award.

Dr. Han has lived and taught in China, Italy, Norway, United Kingdom (Scotland, England), Japan, and Spain.


Workshop #4 (Wednesday July 3rd, 9:30 AM- 4 PM)

Cost: $30 including lunch

Bilingual Basics, Our Best Bet 

by Joan Wink

The purpose of this all-day inservice is to share the the basics of language acquisition and bilingual education: What do we know? How do we get another language? Who can do what, when? How do we do it?  And, why does it matter? These ideas will be shared with words, colorful images, and activities. Throughout the presentation, participants will be involved interactively with each other through reflective processes, which can also be adapted to their own unique classroom.

Joan Wink is professor emerita of California State University, Stanislaus. Throughout her career, she has focused on languages, literacy, and learning in pluralistic contexts. Now, partially retired she divides her time writing on the family ranch in South Dakota and teaching and consulting nationally. Her books and other resources are available at She is the author of Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World, 4/eA Vision of Vygotsky with Le Putney, and Teaching Passionately: What’s Love Got To Do With It? with Dawn Wink, her daughter.

TESL Program Alumina Received Ph.D.

TESL Program Alumina Received Ph.D.

Suihua Zhao (second from left) with her doctorial committee members

TESL program alumina, Suihua Zhao (second from left), an ESL and Chinese/Bilingual teacher at West Winsor Plainsboro completed her doctoral studies in Education Leadership at Lehigh University and will receive her Ph.D. in May.  Dr. Yiqiang Wu (first from left), TESL program coordinator at TCNJ was on her doctoral program committee.

“We always encourage our graduates to pursue doctoral degrees to become leaders in the education of students of multilingual and multicultural background. So far as we know, 16 of our graduates either received Ph.D. or are working on their doctoral degrees from the following universities: Columbia University, Lehigh University, Rutgers University, Rowan University, Seton Hall University, Syracuse University, Denver University, Temple University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, University of Minnesota, Virginia Commonwealth University and a university in Philippines,” said Dr. Wu.

One Graduate Student Receives Fulbright Scholarship Award

One Graduate Student Receives Fulbright Scholarship Award

Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren, a graduate student in our TESL program and a Spanish, Grades 9-12 teacher was selected among 13 teachers from across the U.S. for the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad, Summer 2013.

“Teaching the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):  Costa Rica” is part of the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA), Summer 2013. This program provides grants to support overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor.

Aimed at building teacher capacity and skills needed for teaching in and preparing students for an increasingly interdependent and global world, the group offers a unique opportunity to strengthen Spanish language skills, deepen knowledge about the MDGs and Costa Rica, develop curriculum, and engage with communities through an in-depth study of Costa Rica’s progress toward attaining the UN MDGs.

An ESL Workshop for Bonner Scholar Immigration Team

An ESL Workshop for Bonner Scholar Immigration Team

ESL workshop for Bonners

On March 27th, two undergrads, Cynthia Perez and Jenna Rizzi met with the Bonners, who teach adults English at the El Centro community center.
They began the workshop with a poem to show exactly how difficult the English language is. Then they delved into listening, comprehension, and pronunciation strategies, speaking about stresses in words, intonations, and the linking that frequently happens with words in the English language. A few strategies were also introduced to help their students learn authentic language such as teaching the students phrases and given the advanced classes topics to read about that deal with their interests.


Overall, the workshop was a success and everyone benefited from the experience.