Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center
3100 Town Center Trail
Denton, TX 76201
Group Name: 58th Annual TCTELA Conference
Sleeping room rate: $135/night (single or double, includes breakfast)
Book your room ASAP (before January 18) to ensure this reduced rate!
Booking Link: https://www.hilton.com/en/book/reservation/deeplink/?ctyhocn=DFWNTES&groupCode=CESELA&arrivaldate=20230202&departuredate=20230205&cid=OM,WW,HILTONLINK,EN,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRECT
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“Words are to be taken seriously. I try to take seriously the acts of language. Words set things in motion. I’ve seen them doing it. Words set up atmospheres, electrical fields, charges. I’ve felt them doing it. Words conjure. I try not to be careless about what I utter, write, sing. I’m careful about what I give voice to.”
-- Toni Cade Bambara
Civil rights activist, writer, and teacher Toni Cade Bambara knew the power of language. She poignantly highlights the weightiness of words. While she penned these words over 40 years ago, their relevance in 2022 is resounding.
Language has the ability to pull us apart. Words are often politicized and rebranded into polarizing political propaganda. Language can be deeply divisive marginalizing people in profound ways. We all understand that words can create powerful electrical fields that cause harm. Conversely, we use words that have universal unifying meaning. Love and joy don’t necessarily carry the same exact meaning for every person, but they are universal in that they set atmospheres. We all understand these words conjure strong emotions. Language has the ability to pull us together.
To some, it may appear that the intricacies of language, and its inherent power are concepts too complicated for our students. However, our students understand language. Our multilingual students are brilliant enough to move in and out of multiple languages. Likewise, we know that even our earliest learners who speak varying dialects of English understand the art of code-switching.
In our classrooms we choose texts filled with language hoping that our students who have been traditionally marginalized will see their stories. We choose those same texts hoping that our students who haven’t experienced marginalization will read that same language and use it to see their classmates through a clearer window.
The theme of the 2023 TCTELA Annual Conference is Embracing Boldness: An Exploration of the Power of Language.
As ELAR educators, we spend time teaching reading, writing, listening and speaking. I invite teachers to think about the role language plays in every aspect of our classrooms. Some questions to consider for proposal submissions are any of the following, or any fusion of the following:
- How does written and spoken language impact classroom instruction?
- In which texts is language used in a profound way?
- How do we teach writers to write boldly and bravely?
- Are we teaching kids that certain languages are better or more powerful than others? How? Why does this matter?
- How does language bring us together? Which texts do this well?
- What kinds of speaking lessons teach students about the intricacies of language?
- What characters, or real life heroes exemplify what it means to use language in a bold way?
Other connections to consider are:
- How can we cultivate more linguistically inclusive schools?
- How has the language of the current political climate positively or negatively impacted the ELAR classroom?
- What does it mean to teach reading in a bold fashion?
- How does the language surrounding ELAR education in Texas help, or hinder literacy educators?
The Lioness of Literature Toni Morrison said, “Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no name. Language alone is meditation.” As you prepare to meet us in Central Texas for the 2023 conference let the boldness of powerful language be your guide.