ESL Teacher Education Program, UAB

UAB's ESL teacher education program trains educators in meeting the needs of Alabama's growing popul

Operating as usual


Dear Alumni and Friends of UAB’s ESL Teacher Education Program,

We would like to invite you to our program’s 25-year celebration:

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 (4:00–6:00 pm or perhaps beyond)
UAB Alumni House, 1301 Tenth Avenue South, Birmingham AL

We are very excited to be celebrating 25 years of preparing educators to teach English as a second or additional language. Our program’s 25-year celebration will start at 4:00 pm with light refreshments and a free-flowing ambience for ESL educators to reconnect. From about 4:30 to 5:30, highlights and successes will be shared in a presentation that will be recorded for synchronous and asynchronous viewing. Afterwards (until about 6:30), you can interact with others while viewing posters about our program’s history, growth, and impact.

Finally, if you are still in contact with your former classmates, please share this invitation with them.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday, April 30th (F2F or virtually)!

Drs. Susan Spezzini, Josie Prado, Lori Edmonds, and Julia Austin

Photos from UAB School of Education's post 08/21/2023

Congratulations, Dr. Prado!

Timeline photos 08/21/2023

Familiar faces at UAB graduation!


Don't miss your chance to present at AMTESOL 2024!

Here's your chance to present at 2024!


Save the date for AMTESOL 2024 in Tupelo, Mississippi - January 11-13! Call for Proposals coming soon.


Don't miss out on the chance to present at SETESOL 2023 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, November 8-10.

Timeline photos 11/11/2022

Receive recognition for your exceptional work as an English Language teacher by applying for the 2023 Teacher of the Year Award. Applications are due 30 November.


Efforts of two University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty and their teams led to the state of Alabama’s acquiring a Seal of Biliteracy, a national program that acknowledges high school students who have achieved a high level of proficiency in English and at least one other language.

Krista Chambless, Ph.D., professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of World Languages and Literatures, introduced the need for a seal in the state of Alabama in 2015 in collaboration with Susan Spezzini, Ph.D., professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Chambless led efforts statewide among world language teachers and their school systems, while Spezzini supported these efforts among English language educators statewide and with officials at the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.


Don't miss the very first workshop on the Alabama Seal of Biliteracy since it was signed into law in April 2022. You are invited to the beautiful Birmingham-Southern College campus for a day of professional development that includes nationally recognized experts on the Seal of Biliteracy and local educators. Come learn about this opportunity for your students, how to implement the Alabama Seal of Biliteracy, and how teaching for proficiency relates to traditional humanities content and practices in the language classroom.

Saturday, September 10, 2022


Birmingham-Southern College Campus, Norton Theater, Norton Hall

Sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Alliance, the Department of Modern Foreign Languages, Birmingham-Southern College, and the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese

Cost: Only $10 for the entire day including a light breakfast, box lunch, and free parking

Workshop Description: With the Alabama Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL) signed into law recently, our teachers of world languages are eager to learn about the SoBL. How does it validate a student's proficiency in English and one or more other languages? How does proficiency serve (not erase) the humanities? Why does the SoBL increase language study? This day-long teacher workshop for K-12 language teachers statewide will explore these topics across languages through presentations and dialogue between scholars and teachers.

The primary audience is Alabama’s K-12 world/foreign/second language teachers and dual language instructors. Although, our main audience is K-12 language teachers, administrators, and language educators in higher education are welcome to participate.

Teachers of ALL world languages are welcome from public or private settings.

NOTE: K-12 teachers, the Alabama State Department of Education officials have provided the AATSP (Dr. Long) with a letter for you to share with your administrators to encourage supporting your attendance at the workshop. The workshop provides up to six hours of Professional Development credits.


Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of the Master's Student or Doctoral Research Forum. Serve as a proposal reviewer for the TESOL 2023 Graduate Student Research Forum in Portland, Oregon, USA! The proposal deadline is Friday, 16 September 2022.


Submit your proposal for the chance to share your research results at the TESOL 2023 Graduate Student Research Forum in Portland, Oregon, USA, 21 March 2023! Gain valuable experience, network with graduate students and faculty from other universities, and participate in the TESOL 2023 Convention!


Here's a wonderful opportunity to present online!

Program Mentor, English Language Learning (Full-time Faculty) Advanced Programs - Teachers College - HigherEdJobs 05/16/2022

Looking for a remote non-teaching position that requires ELL training but does not require a terminal degree? Western Governors University is seeking a program mentor (advisor) for their ELL program.

Program Mentor, English Language Learning (Full-time Faculty) Advanced Programs - Teachers College - HigherEdJobs Jobs in higher education. Faculty and administrative positions at colleges and universities. Updated daily. Free to job seekers.


Congratulations to UAB's Dr. Susan Spezzini and all those involved in advocating for the Alabama Seal of Biliteracy, which was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey on April 6th.

The State Seal of Biliteracy allows high school graduates, proficient in English and at least one other world language, including American Sign Language to add this Seal to their diplomas and transcripts. According to the Bill, the purpose of the Seal of Biliteracy is as follows:

>To encourage students to study languages.

>To certify attainment of biliteracy.

>To provide employers with a method of identifying people proficient in language and biliteracy skills.

>To provide institutions of higher education with a method to recognize and give academic credit to applicants seeking admission.

>To prepare students with 21st Century skills.

>To recognize and promote world language instruction in public schools.

>To strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of a community.

The Seal of Biliteracy honors immigrants’ languages and recognizes their children’s foreign language proficiency, and credits it on their high school transcript for graduation units, future career, or college admission requirements.


1 more week left for your voice to count! Vote for the AMTESOL Board Member-at-Large positions. If you are a current AMTESOL member and did not receive an email invitation to vote, please email us at [email protected]. Deadline to submit ballots: Saturday April 30th.


See you at 9:30am for the start of AMTESOL 2022 - ADVOCACY DAY! Our first featured speaker is Amelia Steadman McGowan.

Amelia serves as director of immigration law at the Mississippi Center for Justice, a home-grown public interest law firm committed to advancing racial and economic justice. Amelia is also an adjunct professor of Mississippi College School of Law, where she teaches immigration law and has directed the school's Immigration Clinic since its founding in 2016. Her work focuses on representing asylum seekers in appellate proceedings.

Amelia is a Mississippi native and holds a B.A. in History and Spanish from the University of Southern Mississippi, an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University, and a J.D. from Tulane Law School. As a student, Amelia studied abroad in Vietnam and participated in a cultural exchange program in Panamá.


See you in Jackson! On-site registration will be available. Download the Conference Program and find Driving & Parking Instructions on our website.


Get a head start planning which Concurrent Sessions you'll attend! The AMTESOL 2022 Conference Program is now available to download from AMTESOL's website!


Missed the online pre-registration for AMTESOL 2022? No problem! On-site registration will be available for all events January 27-29 at Jackson Convention Complex, Jackson, MS. Find all the details at


Looking to share a hotel room to save a bit of money during AMTESOL 2022? Tell us by Messenger or email ([email protected]) and we can connect you with like-minded others.

It's not too late to register for AMTESOL 2022 but hurry - prices will increase during on-site registration! We are looking forward to seeing you in Jackson, Mississippi, January 27th-29th.

AMTESOL 2022 Conference Registration 12/13/2021

AMTESOL 2022 Conference Registration Schedule for AMTESOL's 2022 Conference "Reach Across, Reach Out, Reach Up" on Friday-Saturday January 28-29, 2022. Don't miss the Pre-Conference Advocacy Day on Thursday January 27 and the Pre-Conference Institutes Friday morning January 28, 2022.

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