American Language Program Hosted 2016 Winter Conference

For immediate release:

The School of Professional Studies’ American Language Program (ALP) hosted its Winter Conference on Saturday, February 27, 2016, from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM at Columbia University’s Faculty House.

The conference, the second English-language learning conference held by the ALP, aims to provide an opportunity for New York City area TESOL professionals to share their knowledge and experience of academic English instruction. The theme for this year's conference, co-chaired by ALP lecturers Christopher Collins, Polly Merdinger, and Brittany Ober, was Critical Thinking in Language Teaching and Learning.

The event began with a plenary session by ALP Senior Lecturer Dr. Carol Numrich, a frequent speaker on the topic of critical thinking in teaching ESL. Dr. Numrich is the author of many ESL textbooks, including the popular "Issues" series (Face the Issues, Consider the Issues, Raise the Issues), and she is also an editor of the best-selling NorthStar series.

The presentations that followed were “Integrating Critical Thinking and Extensive Reading” by Frances Boyd (ALP), “Critical Thinking in a Pronunciation Course?” by Maria McCormack (ALP), “Using Pros and Cons to Facilitate Critical Thinking” by Alan S. Kennedy and Michele Lewis (ALP), “Applying Critical Thinking Frameworks to Learning to Write for the Web and Social Media” by Imy Berry (ALP), “Poetry as a Means for Critical Thinking and Self Expression” by Megan Chiusaroli (ALP and NYU), “A Practical Framework for Critical Thinking” by Mary Ritter and Abby Porter (NYU), “The Language Learner at the Movies” by Michael Natriello (NYU and LaGuardia), and “Designing Oral Presentation Assignments that Foster Critical Thinking….and How to Assess Them!” by Alison Wofford (Pace).

The conference, attended by more than one hundred people, concluded with a social event where attendees had the chance to interact with both presenters and other conference-goers to discuss pedagogical issues.

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