ELP Instructor Steve Kopec  conducted a workshop at the Symposium of Second Language Writing on "Advancing Knowledge of L1 Arabic ESL Students' Language Repertoires and the Impacts on Instruction and Feedback in an Intensive English Program." The workshop addressed effects of variability in Arabic on Arabic English-language learners, adjusting teaching strategies to anticipate interference and transfer, and providing implicit and explicit feedback for Arabic students. The Symposium was held at Arizona State University in November 2014.
ELP University Connection Counseling Specialist Erick Hyde  has been appointed to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) International Initiatives Advisory Committee. The International Initiatives Advisory Committee was formed in 2013 and is charged with helping NACAC stay informed of trends and developments in international education and determine areas in which the department is well-positioned to deliver sustainable value to NACAC members and the broader international education field.
  ELP Instructors Sheila Mayne , Karen Dundon , and Eve Litt  have been selected to review proposals for the upcoming TESOL convention. The TESOL convention brings together ESL professionals with the goal of advancing professional expertise in English language teaching through featured speakers and educational sessions. All three instructors have previously presented at TESOL conventions.
Over 20 ELP staff members participated in an "I CARE" workshop led by Drs. Kimberly Wong and Yuhong He of Penn's Counseling and Psychological Services. This workshop introduced ELP staff to the signs of distress and mental health crises that can affect college students, with special attention to the challenges facing international language learners. Attendees practiced what they learned through role plays and a lively discussion afterward. The workshop was organized by ELP's Student Services Committee, chaired by Katie Lozier and Betsy Dougherty. Learn more about CAPS and I CARE at www.vpul.upenn.edu/caps .
Research ELP's Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction Sarah Grosik  organizes a bimonthly Research Reading Club that gives interested ELP staff an opportunity to discuss current research in the field. Recently discussed topics include use of unscripted texts in teaching, rater bias in oral proficiency assessments, and the nature of understanding-checks in the classroom. The Reading Club has been meeting since December 2013.
 ELP Lecturer Mallory Fix  founded and manages the Garces Foundation's English for the Restaurant and Everyday Living . The adult ESL program helps restaurant employees improve their English skills while simultaneously honing their restaurant industry skills in order to promote upward mobility in the industry and in their daily lives. While the program began as a small pilot of 10 students in January 2013, it has since expanded, serving over 500 adult learners from more than 100 Philadelphia restaurants. Dedicated and well-trained volunteer teachers have allowed the program to continue to grow and to improve their instructional outcomes. Such partnerships include Penn's Graduate School of Education's TESOL  department.
ELP Senior Language Specialist Sheila Mayne , ELP Language Specialist Becky Toner , and ELP Language Specialist Rachel Chaffin  participated in the Faces of English International Conference in Hong Kong in June 2015. Ms. Mayne presented on "Teaching Graduate Student Writing through Applied Pedagogy and Grammar," while Ms. Toner and Ms. Chaffin led a workshop on "Scaffolding Reflective Writing in ESL/EFL Contexts" and led a colloquium discussion on "Reflective Practice in the Shaping of Identity." The 2015 Faces of English International Conference featured cutting-edge research on multiple themes relating to English language education and applied linguistics. The conference was hosted by Hong Kong University and centered on the theme of Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy.
ITA Program Coordinator Elizabeth Gillstrom coordinated a 4-day American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages' Oral Proficiency Interview (ACTFL OPI) Training workshop for current ELP instructors. The ELP uses the OPI for a variety of assessment purposes – including testing the language of International Teaching Assistants, Visiting Scholars, and Post-Doctoral researchers. This training allowed ELP Instructors Robert Bacon, Eve Litt, Amy Nichols, Ian Nichols, Christy Shea, Michael Sullivan, Lisa Taglang, Rachel Thatcher, Rebecca Toner, and Robyn Turner to start the process of ACTFL OPI certification.
ELP kicked off its 8th annual workshop series for students in Penn Dental’s Program for Advanced Standing Students (PASS) . These workshops, which explore sociolinguistic and pragmatic factors that affect dentist-patient interactions, are geared at helping PASS participants build trust and ensure cooperation from patients both in the clinical setting at Penn and beyond their studies here. ELP Instructors Hilary Bonta, Mallory Fix, Andrew Petersen, Renaldo Scott, and Becky Toner each led a workshop for this year’s diverse group of 35 practicing dentists. Programs Manager Katie Ryan coordinated this year’s workshop series.
  After being trained and certified as a site reviewer for the Commission for English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), UniConn Programs Manager Lisa Taglang  completed her first site review in Summer 2015. CEA is the national accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions, as recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education..
 ELP UniConn Counseling Specialist Erick Hyde's  well-received Coursera course – Applying to U.S. Universities – is one of the first hundred Coursera courses available in Coursera's pioneering "on-demand" format. Applying to U.S. Universities helps students understand how the U.S. university application and admission process works for international students applying to undergraduate programs. Over 50,000 learners from 178 countries took Applying to U.S. Universities in 2014.
Coursera is a leading provider of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Coursera aims to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Penn ELP is delighted to partner with Coursera in this effort.
Maddy LaFerla  Jenni  and Katie Lozier  presented "Integrating Religious Perspectives into Your Comprehensive Student Services Plan" at the NAFSA Region VIII Conference in Williamsburg in November 2014. Ms. Lozier also presented a poster on Integrating Religious Perspectives at the Annual NAFSA Conference and Expo in Boston, Massachusetts in May 2015.
Increasingly, aspects of student services in IEPs has come to include not only activities that enhance students' language learning, but also outreach that seeks to support students' religious practices as they adapt to a new academic and personal environment. Through surveying both students and staff, and seeking support from the religious community on campus, Ms. LaFerla Jenni and Ms. Lozier proposed a plan for integrating religious perspectives into an IEP's comprehensive student services plan.
Congratulations to John Cotton , Betsy Dougherty , Karen Dundon , Mallory Fix , Elizabeth Gillstrom,  Lauren Harold , Lauren Remenyi,  Mariel Ridley , Jack Sullivan , and Alyssa Swanson  who were accepted to present at the TESOL Conference 2015 in Toronto, Canada.
John Cotton 
Transforming a Peer Coaching System through the Views of Stakeholders
The presentation looked at the ways in which a peer coaching (professional development) system had been adjusted over time, primarily via written and oral feedback from participants in the system.
Betsy Dougherty 
A Recipe for Higher Expectations: Integrating Latin American Restaurant Workers
The presentation centered on a unique program that helps immigrant service-industry workers to learn English so that they better their career prospects and can move up in a given restaurant environment. The program goes beyond the English classroom and into the community as well, helping students to become integrated community members.
Elizabeth Gillstrom 
Increasing ITA fluency through the use of "Noticing Portfolios"
International Teaching Assistants struggle to comprehend the fast-paced, idiomatic English of undergraduates. This poster reviewed a student portfolio project for increasing learner listening skills by collecting and reflecting on samples of unscripted speech, offering tools and examples for participants to design similar tasks.
  Lauren Harold , Alyssa Swanson  and Karen Dundon 
Providing Culturally Relevant Advising Experiences: What Arab Students Expect
The presentation discussed a mixed methods study assessing the perceptions of the advising relationship from the viewpoint of Gulf Arab IEP students and IEP advisors. This research looked at the relationship between advising practices and satisfaction of Gulf Arab students in higher education.
Mariel Ridley 
Building Community with Poster Session Assessments
This session explained the benefits of using posters as an assessment tool and shared experiences with academic poster sessions in the intermediate and advanced classroom.
Jack Sullivan 
Hot Topics in Enrollment, Visas, SEVP, and Advocacy for IEPs
This session updated U.S. IEPs on trends in enrollment, visa issuance, SEVP policy, and advocacy efforts. Through interactive discussion, IEP teachers and administrators gained insight on how they can assist with the latest advocacy efforts.
Updates on TESOL Standards Initiatives
Members of the TESOL Standards Committee provided a brief review of published TESOL standards documents and gave a status update of their ongoing implementation. Presenters discussed new initiatives, including the development of standards for short-term TESOL programs and next steps with the TESOL PreK-12 ELP Standards.
Congratulations to Sarah Grosik , Sheila Mayne , Ian Nichols , and Mariel Ridley  who were accepted to present at the upcoming TESOL Conference 2014 in Portland, Oregon, and to Elizabeth Gillstrom  who will present a workshop in the Electronic Village at the same venue.