WATESOL FALL 2020 VIRTUAL CONFERENCE 

WATESOL at 50: Innovations, Access, and Equity in 

Learning & Teaching in Times of Change

Saturday, October 17, 2020 

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS Debra Suarez 

CALL FOR PROPOSALS 

The proposal deadline has PASSED. Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal! 

Opens: July 17, 2020 
Closes: August 31, 2020, 11:59pm ET 

Notification of acceptance: September 18, 2020 

Submission Link: https://forms.gle/ZRrzXNJ4278aLbJt6


WATESOL welcomes proposals from teachers, teacher educators, program administrators, materials and curriculum developers, language assessment experts, technology specialists, graduate students, researchers, and other professionals in fields related to the learning and teaching of English as an additional language. 

Even though we will not be able to meet in person, WATESOL will bring TESOL professionals together to exchange ideas and learn from each other as we do every year!  We invite proposals for two session types this year: 60-minute live sessions and pre-recorded sessions of up to 30 minutes. Live session formats include practice-oriented presentations, research-oriented presentations, workshops, and discussions. It is expected that any live session would include multiple opportunities for interaction among attendees.  Pre-recorded sessions will be made available several days prior to the conference.  No formal interaction with the presenter will be scheduled, but presenters are encouraged to share their contact information for participants who would like to discuss their presentations further.  See the “Session Types” section below for more information.  The conference will also feature a keynote address, SIG (Special Interest Group) meetings, and networking opportunities.

Please read the following proposal submission guidelines thoroughly and feel free to contact WATESOL’s Professional Development Co-Chairs at pd@watesol.org with any questions. 

Please note : If your proposal involves a product or other resources from an organization that you work for, your proposal falls into the Exhibitor category. Whether that organization is for profit or not for profit, there is a separate proposal submission process from the one described below. With many thanks for your interest in WATESOL, we ask that you please instead contact the WATESOL VPs to complete the exhibitor submission process intended for the wide variety of organizations that exhibit at the conference each year. 


PROPOSAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 

All proposals must be written in English and submitted online through WATESOL’s Proposal Submission Form. The link will be active from July 17 - August 31, 2020 . Emailed, faxed, or mailed proposals will not be accepted. 

Each person is allowed to submit a proposal as the primary presenter for only ONE live session (whether practice-oriented presentation, research-oriented presentation, workshop, or discussion). The same person may serve as a co-presenter on up to two more live session submissions. There is no limit for pre-recorded session submissions. A separate proposal must be submitted for each proposed session. WATESOL reserves the right to disqualify a proposal immediately if a person has submitted more than one proposal of the same type as a primary presenter. 

Each proposal must adhere to the guidelines in this Call for Proposals and must include the following elements: 

  • Presenters’ names, affiliations, contact information, and bios (Please avoid acronyms or abbreviations in affiliations. List only the main institution, not departments or programs.) 

  • A title (max 15 words) 

  • A summary to be printed in the conference program (max 50 words) 

  • A detailed session description (max 300 words) 

  • Various categorizations (e.g., type of proposal, primary context, target skills) 

Please note that the online Proposal Submission Form does not offer the function of saving a draft and returning to it later, so proposal submitters are recommended to prepare all of the necessary information in advance. 

Additional information on the types of presentations, components of a proposal, review process and criteria, and presenter roles and responsibilities is available below. If you have any questions after reading through this information, please email the WATESOL Professional Development Co-Chairs (pd@watesol.org).


SESSION TYPES

Live Session: Practice-Oriented Presentation (60 minutes): 

  • A practical demonstration of teaching techniques, accompanied by a description and rationale.

  • Sessions are scheduled for 60 minutes.  Presentations should last at least 45 minutes, and should include a mix of presentation and interaction (e.g., discussions, simulations, Q&A).  Presenters are encouraged to lecture for no longer than 15 minutes at a time. 

  • Please note: The expectation is that no more than 10 minutes will be spent explaining the underlying theory and research so that most of the time can be devoted to the demonstration. 

Live Session: Research-Oriented Presentation (60 minutes): 

  • An engaging oral presentation of research and/or theory relevant to language learning and/or teaching.

  • Sessions are scheduled for 60 minutes.  Presentations should last at least 45 minutes, and should include a mix of presentation and interaction (e.g., discussions, simulations, Q&A).  Presenters are encouraged to lecture for no longer than 15 minutes at a time.

  • Please note: The expectation is that the presenter(s) will use visual support effectively to engage the audience rather than simply reading a scripted presentation of research. 

Live Session: Workshop (60 minutes): 

  • A carefully structured, practical, hands-on professional development session that provides the audience a chance to practice and interact with the material being presented.

  • Presenters are encouraged to engage participants using the options available in the video conferencing format, such as breakout rooms, chat box, and polling. 

Live Session: Discussion (60 minutes): 

  • A carefully structured hot-topic - based discussion moderated by one or two “presenters.” 

  • Each presenter may ask participants to do some preparation (e.g., reading an article, listening to a podcast, watching a video) before joining the discussion. The hoped-for preparation should be clearly stated in the proposal. A link to materials will be included in the program and posted one week prior to the conference.

  • Presenters are encouraged to engage participants using the options available in the video conferencing format, such as breakout rooms, chat box, and polling. 

  • Please note: The expectation is that presenters will engage the participants with thought provoking questions following such structures like the socratic seminar or philosophical chairs.

Pre-Recorded Session (30-minute maximum): 

  • Pre-recorded sessions can address research, practice, or policy.

  • Sessions may be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 30 minutes.

  • Recording must be completed two weeks prior to the conference and will be posted with the program one week prior to the conference.

  • Presenters are encouraged to include opportunities for reflection or personal engagement (i.e., asking reflection questions, prompting attendees to complete activities on their own, etc.) 

  • Presenters are encouraged to use visual supports to engage the audience. 

  • Presenters are encouraged to share their contact information so attendees can contact them with questions.

  • Technical support will be available to help presenters complete their recording. 

Exhibitor Presentation (various options): 

  • A presentation of any of the above types that demonstrates or highlights a product or other resources created by an organization that one or more of the presenters works for, whether for profit or non-profit 

  • Please contact the WATESOL VPs to complete the proposal process intended for exhibitors.


COMPONENTS OF A PROPOSAL 

Three components of each proposal will be read and scored by the reviewers: the title, the summary, and the session description. The title and summary will appear in the Conference Program Book. Although the full session description will not appear in the Program Book, it will be read carefully by the reviewers and will be critical to the assessment of the proposal. Please note that the content of a proposed session should not change significantly after the proposal is accepted. 

Below are some additional guidelines on each component. Proposals that do not adhere to the requirements of the “must-not” statements will not be considered for review. The rubric that will be used to evaluate each proposal is provided in the next section. 

**Please be sure to write the summary and session description with the Proposal Evaluation Rubric in mind.** 


Title

  • Should be very carefully proofread, as it will appear in the Conference Program Book.

  • Should accurately reflect the session’s content in language that will be clear to the intended audience.

  • Must not exceed 15 words (each part of a hyphenated word counts as one word).

  • Must not include presenters’ names, institutions, or published works 

  • Additional guidelines : Please capitalize all verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, both terms of hyphenated compounds, and the first word after a colon; do not capitalize conjunctions, articles, or prepositions of fewer than four letters. 

Summary 

  • Should reflect the quality and content of the presentation in a way that appeals to its intended audience 

  • Should be very carefully proofread, as it will appear in the Conference Program Book.

  • must not exceed 50 words.

  • Must not include presenters’ names, institutions, or published works.

  • May be edited by the WATESOL Conference Committee.

Session Description 

  • Should demonstrate evidence of high-quality research and/or practice and convey the value of the presentation for the intended audience and the field 

  • Should conform to an appropriate session type.

  • Should attend to all five criteria in the Proposal Evaluation Rubric.

  • Should be written in a clear and well-organized way that suggests the likelihood of a systematic, accessible, professional presentation.

  • Should include: 

  • a clearly stated purpose and point of view.

  • a justification with reference to current theory, best practices, and/or state-of-the-art research.

  • information about the participants or population (e.g., of learners, teachers, etc.).

  • supporting examples and/or details on the methods and results, as relevant.

  • an appropriate amount of material for the allotted time conclusions, implications, and/or applications.

  • an explicit statement of intended outcomes for the audience (i.e., what attendees will understand and/or be able to do by the completion of the session).

  • plans for interaction with attendees during the session. [Live sessions only; If a proposal for a live session does not include information about how the presenter will engage with attendees, it will be accepted as a pre-recorded session.]

  • Must not exceed 300 words 

  • Must not include presenters’ names, institutions, or published works 

  • Additional guidelines : Please spell out any acronyms or abbreviations except for the following: L1, L2, CALL, CBI, EAP, EFL, ELL, ELT, ESL, ESP, IEP, NNEST, SLA, TESOL, TESL, TEFL. 


Categorizations 

Contexts: To help the WATESOL Conference Committee select appropriate reviewers, within the Proposal Submission Form, each proposal submitter will be asked to identify a primary context for the presentation, or to indicate that it is relevant to multiple contexts, from the following list: 

  • K-12 Education 

  • Adult Education 

  • Higher Education 

  • Bilingual Education 

  • Teacher Training 

  • Program Administration 

  • NNESTs (Non-Native English Speaking Teachers) 

  • Curriculum/Materials Development 

  • Advocacy 

  • Technology 

  • Other (please specify) 

Skills: To assist conference attendees in selecting which presentations they would like to attend, each proposal submitter will also be asked to identify the presentation as targeting one or more of the following skill areas: 

  • Listening 

  • Speaking 

  • Pronunciation 

  • Reading 

  • Writing 

  • Grammar 

  • Vocabulary 

  • Intercultural Communication 

  • Technology 

  • Other (please specify)



PROPOSAL REVIEW PROCESS & CRITERIA 

Presentations will be selected based on the results of a double-blind peer-review process conducted by WATESOL’s Conference Committee. Each proposal will be reviewed by at least two trained reviewers. They will not know the names or institutional affiliations of the proposal submitters, and the proposal submitters will not know the names or institutional affiliations of the reviewers. 

The reviewers will use the evaluation criteria and scoring rubric below, adopted from TESOL International. The maximum score for each proposal will be 24 points. The reviewers will have the opportunity to provide comments that may be sent to the proposal submitters. 

WATESOL / TESOL PROPOSAL EVALUATION RUBRIC 

Evaluation Criteria

Poor (1 point)

Fair (2 points)

Good (3 points)

Excellent (4 points)

1. The topic is important and appropriate to the field and the audience.

The proposal does not address a topic of interest to TESOL professionals.

The proposal addresses a topic of some importance or interest in TESOL.

The proposal addresses an important topic in TESOL.

The proposal addresses a groundbreaking or cutting-edge topic in TESOL.

2. The proposal is based on current theory, practice, research, and/or policy that is relevant to the presentation.

The proposal does not mention research, theory, practice or policy, or those mentioned are unrelated to the field or topic.

The proposal refers only tangentially to research, theory, practice, or policy, or those referred to may not be current.

The proposal supports session content with current and relevant research, theory, practice, or policy, e.g., through the use of citations or terminology.

The proposal fully integrates session content with current and relevant research, theory, practice, or policy, e.g., through the use of citations or terminology.

3. The proposal specifies participant outcomes that are relevant to TESOL professionals.

Participant outcomes are not provided, or the outcomes are not relevant to the session or TESOL professionals.

Participant outcomes are unclear or very general.

Participant outcomes are mostly clear and specific.

Participant outcomes are clear and specific.

4. The proposal provides a clear, coherent overview of the session plan. Session plans may be organized very differently depending on the session type. 

The proposal does not describe the session or how it will achieve the stated objectives. 

The proposal lacks coherence or only loosely describes the session and how it will achieve the stated objectives.

The proposal describes the session, including how it will achieve the stated objectives, clearly and coherently.

The proposal describes the session, including how it will achieve the stated objectives, clearly, coherently, and in detail. 

5. The session type is appropriate for the plan, goals, and delivery methods stated in the proposal.

The session type is inappropriate.

The session type is somewhat appropriate.

The session type is mostly appropriate.

The session type is clearly appropriate.

6. Overall Recommendation

This proposal is vague and/or poorly edited, suggesting that the presentation may be of poor quality.  I do not recommend this session. 

This proposal is somewhat clear, suggesting the presentation may be of weak quality.  I might recommend this session.

This proposal is clear, suggesting the presentation will be of good quality. I recommend this session.

This proposal is clear and well-written, suggesting the presentation will be of professional quality.  I strongly recommend this session. 



Factors Disqualifying a Proposal 

A presentation proposal will be immediately disqualified from this review process if... 

  • WATESOL does not receive the proposal by the deadline 

  • the proposal is not received electronically through the online Proposal Submission Form 

  • the proposal is incomplete or not completed according to the guidelines in this Call for Proposals; 

  • the session title, summary, or session description includes the name(s) or institution(s) of any of the presenters; 

  • the primary presenter is the primary presenter on more than 1 proposal of a similar type (as specified above) or a co-presenter on more than 2 other proposals; or 

  • multiple similar proposals are submitted by the same presenter(s); or 

  • the presentation promotes a product or other resources associated with an organization that the proposal submitter works for. (Such proposals must go through the review process specific to exhibitors; please visit contact the WATESOL VPs .) 


Waitlisting 

Every year, WATESOL receives more high-quality proposals than it is possible to accept. If a proposal for a presentation or workshop is highly rated but does not make the initial cut, the proposal submitter will be notified that the presentation has been placed on the waitlist and is being considered as an alternate for one of the currently filled slots, should another accepted proposal submitter decline the invitation to present. Some of these waitlisted proposal submitters may also be offered the opportunity to present their work as a pre-recorded session. 

A Note on Program Balance 

WATESOL has several Special Interest Groups, and the annual conference brings together professionals and scholars working in diverse roles with English language learners of all ages and at all stages of language development in a variety of contexts. Therefore, in addition to considering the quality of the proposals according to the evaluation rubric, an important factor in proposal selection is program balance. Efforts will be made to ensure that the presentations at the conference are representative of the wide range of interests of WATESOL attendees by considering factors such as the range of topics proposed, the number of presentations on similar topics, content-area coverage, and relevance to the conference theme. 


RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PRIMARY PRESENTER 

Each proposal must have one primary presenter, who will serve as the main correspondent and presenter at the conference should the proposal be accepted. The primary presenter will be responsible for: 

  • ensuring that the WATESOL Committee is provided with a contact email address that will be valid through the time of the conference (as part of the proposal submission process, or via email to pd@watesol.org later if necessary); 

  • notifying any co-presenters about the status of the proposal and communicating with them about information sent by WATESOL; 

  • ensuring that all co-presenters’ names and affiliations are accurate so that they can be printed in the Conference Program Book, and notifying WATESOL (pd@watesol.org) by September 11, 2020, if there are changes in any of the co-presenters’ affiliations or contact information; 

  • responding to inquiries from the WATESOL Conference Committee in a timely fashion; 

  • confirming the intention to present, and finalizing the title and 50-word summary of the presentation for the Conference Program Book, within the amount of time specified in the acceptance notification email (generally 2 weeks); 

  • notifying WATESOL (pd@watesol.org) of any potential scheduling conflicts by September 11, 2020 (WATESOL will try to accommodate requests made for compelling, unavoidable reasons, but cannot guarantee that it will be possible to schedule a presentation at a certain time); 

  • registering and paying for the conference by the early registration deadline

  • ensuring that all co-presenters who will be attending the conference also register and pay for the conference by the regular registration deadline

  • notifying WATESOL (pd@watesol.org) of a cancellation as soon as possible , and certainly no later than September 11, 2020, so that available space in the program can be offered to waitlisted presenters with enough time for them to respond before the conference booklet is published; 

  • designing and delivering the presentation and moderating the Q&A; 

  • Granting WATESOL permission to share session videos for the purposes of professional development in the future.


Please note: It occasionally happens that a presenter fails to show up for a presentation, thereby wasting conference attendees’ valuable professional development time and reflecting poorly on the overall quality of the conference program. If extenuating circumstances will prevent you from fulfilling your commitment to present at WATESOL, please contact the PD Co-Chairs immediately at pd@watesol.org . Except in unavoidable and unpredictable situations (e.g., a cancelled flight, serious illness), if you fail to contact WATESOL by September 11, 2020, and do not show up for your presentation, you will not be allowed to submit a proposal as a primary or co-presenter for WATESOL 2021. 


Thank you very much for your interest in presenting at WATESOL 2020!




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