CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A specialized group of professionals will gather on Saturday for the 16th annual conference of West Virginia Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
"We expect between 80 and 90 folks this year," said Cathy Shank, vice president of the organization and conference chair. "The organization is for all professionals who work with children and adults learning English as a second language.
"People come from all over the state for the conference," she said. "It's a small group of professionals statewide. It gives people an opportunity to interact with one another. It's the only conference for practitioners."
The event is set for 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Garnet Career Center, 422 Dickinson St. The conference is hosted by the Kanawha County Adult Basic Education/English as a Second Language Program.
The conference theme is "In Touch with English Language Learners."
Attendees are those who work with children, teens, and college students as well as older adults. While some work with students, others help parents learn the English language.
"Students are Hispanic, Japanese, Ethiopian, Thai," Shank said. "They are people from all over the world. It's a worldwide community. It is always interesting."
Instructors working with children in grades kindergarten through 12 generally hold a teaching degree as well as an endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language.