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W&L Students to Present at Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages Conferences Hannah Denham ’20 and Edwin Campos ’20 are president and co-president of W&L’s English for Speakers of Other Languages Program.

 Hannah Denham ’20 and Edwin Castellanos Campos ’20, president and co-president, respectively, of Washington and Lee University’s English for Speakers of Other Languages Program (ESOL), co-authored a proposal titled “A Two-Pronged Pedagogy: Bridging Language and Community.” Denham and Campos sent the proposal for considerationto the Virginia Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languagesand the international Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), both annual conferences for educators of English for non-native speakers.

The proposal was accepted at both conferences. The first is at the Virginia conference in Charlottesville in September, and the second will be the international TESOL conference in Denver, Colorado, in March 2020. Denham and Campos will both present in Colorado.

“We weren’t expecting to be accepted to present at TESOL in March because it’s typically professional educators who present,” said Denham. “We found out that for the first time ever, in eight years of ESOL applying, our proposal to present was accepted!”

The mission of ESOL at W&L is to facilitate communication within the increasingly diverse population in Rockbridge County. The program works with speakers of all languages and offers formal ESOL classes and one-on-one tutoring arrangements, Spanish classes for adults, free translation of documents (Spanish-English/English-Spanish) and a hotline to provide immediate interpreting services.

ESOL makes no requirements for membership in the organization other than an interest in helping the non-English speaking members of Rockbridge County.

“I was drawn to ESOL’s work because I wanted to get to know the Lexington/Rockbridge community better and use my Spanish to do so,” said Denham. “I was attracted to ESOL specifically because of its model of a mutual exchange between volunteers and English language learners, as well as the emphasis placed on working alongside local nonprofit partners and other university organizations.”