Georgia Teachers of English to
Speakers of Other Languages
2017 36th Annual GATESOL
"K.E.Y.S. to Cultural Proficiency:
Unlocking the Language of
Equitable Instruction"
     October 19 - 20, 2017
Prepare to explore the K.E.Y.S.


K        Know Thyself and Others

Ways you are reflective in your teaching of, preparation for, and interaction with your students, colleagues, families, and other clients. 

E         Engage All Stakeholders

Ways you engage your families, businesses, community leaders, and legislators as you work to affect a change in the lives of your English Learners and members of the multilingual and multicultural populations.

Y        Yield to Public Policy

Ways you reach out to your Legislators, Representatives, Senators, and other guiding organizations responsible for overseeing education, related programs, and outreach.

        Strategize Instruction and Collaboration

Ways you develop lesson plans, deliver professional development and training, and work across the curriculum to meet the educational and personal needs of your multilingual and multicultural populations.



2017 36th Annual GATESOL
"K.E.Y.S. to Cultural Proficiency:
Unlocking the Language of
Equitable Instruction"


The Inspiration

The term, culturally relevant pedagogy, was established by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings to describe “…a theoretical model that not only addresses student achievement but also helps students to accept and affirm their cultural identity while developing critical perspectives that challenge inequities that schools (and other institutions) perpetuate” (1995, p. 469).

The Heart of the Matter

Someone once said, “People like to be celebrated and not tolerated.”  This is true of multilingual and multicultural populations.  What is lamentable is that some tolerate, marginalize, and alienate members of those multilingual and multicultural populations.  This is a reality that adversely affects education, commerce, and international relations.  Culturally proficient leaders are advocates for their multilingual and multicultural populations.  To fulfill this role, leaders, including educators, must be transparent in their personal reflections.  They should examine their existence in their communities, decide to be responsive to their constituents, and become agents of change. 

Above & Beyond

Success in ESOL is not “just good teaching.”   Research has shown that “best practices,” in isolation, are not conducive to success.   If “good teaching” was the solution, then many educators could hide behind “best practices,” fail to challenge their misinformed perceptions of their students and families, and develop students who are well-rounded, socially adjusted, and aware of and take advantage of all the financial and social resources in their communities.  In fact, prejudiced views of an educator might form a barrier that prevents students from researching topics and discourage that same teacher from sharing knowledge that could increase their social and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1979).  The field of ESOL embraces focused study, research-based strategies, and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders. 

School Leadership & Other Educational Institutions

School districts have become increasingly interested in culturally responsive teaching.  School principals have inquired about their school environments and classroom strategies and how they might be able to make their multicultural and multilingual families feel welcome (Moyer & Clymer, 2009).  Recently, education has recognized that there is more to students’ academic success than simply grades.  In fact, students’ sense of belonging directly impacts their performance (Mertens, Afara, & Caskey, 2007). Students’ culture has a significant part to play in their sense of well-being. 

Contemplation, Communication, & Collaboration

The 2017 36th Annual GATESOL Conference, “K.E.Y.S. to Cultural Proficiency: Unlocking the Language of Equitable Instruction,” will address these issues and so many more!  Our English Learners are valuable assets in our educational organizations and communities.  GATESOL advocates for those English Learners and their educators and seeks to establish and maintain partnerships with all organizations supporting our mission.  We look forward to welcoming our Keynote Speakers, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings and Dr. Danny Brassell, and other vital community leaders who play monumental roles in empowering and educating English Learners and other multilingual and multicultural populations!  If you want to be a part in finding out what can be done to provide equal access to education of English Learners and their families and to engage stakeholders of all facets of our society, make plans to join us in Macon, Georgia, October 19-20, 2017, for GATESOL’s Annual Conference! 


Bourdieu, P. (1979). Distinction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995, Fall). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32 (3), 465-491.

Mertens, S. B., Anfara, V., & Caskey, M. M. (2007). The Young Adolescent and the Middle School. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.   



Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings

(Courtesy of AEI, booking agents)

Gloria Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and is Faculty Affiliate in the Departments of Educational Policy Studies, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis and Afro American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was the 2005--2006 president of the American Educational Research Association. Ladson-Billings’ research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students. She also investigates Critical Race Theory applications to education.

Ladson-Billings is the author of the critically acclaimed books, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children, Crossing over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms, and Beyond the Big House: African American Educators on Teacher Education. She is editor of 6 other books and author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. She is the former editor of the American Educational Research Journal and a member of several editorial boards. Her work has won numerous scholarly awards, including the H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, Spencer Post-doctoral Fellowship, and the Palmer O. Johnson outstanding research award. She is the 2015 winner of the Social Justice in Education Award given by the American Educational Research Association. She was named the 2012 winner of the Brock International Prize in education. In 2012 she was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain. In 2010 she was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell. In 2002 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. During the 2003--2004 academic year she was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California. In fall 2004 she received the George and Louise Spindler Award from the Council on Anthropology and Education for significant and ongoing contributions to the field of educational anthropology. In spring 2005 she was elected to the National Academy of Education and the National Society for the Study of Education. In 2007 she was awarded the Hilldale Award, the highest faculty honor given to a professor at the University of Wisconsin for outstanding research, teaching, and service. She is a 2008 recipient of the state of Wisconsin’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Heritage Award and the Teachers College, Columbia University 2008 Distinguished Service Medal. In 2009 she was elected to Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society’s Laureate Chapter—comprised of 60 living distinguished scholars. Former laureate members include notables such as Albert Einstein, John Dewey and Eleanor Roosevelt. Ladson-Billings is currently one of the NEA Foundation Fellows charged with providing advice on its “Achievement Gap Initiative.” In 2014 she was a panelist on the White House’s African American Educational Excellence Initiative’s Essence Festival, “Smart Starts at Home” panel. In 2015 she received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Literacy Research Association. In 2016 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Benjamin Banneker Association of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.

In addition to her scholarly activities Ladson-Billings has been an active member of the broader community. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Greater Madison, a member of the Vision Council of the United Way of Dane County, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Madison Children’s Museum. She formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and remains an active advocate for African American women’s health. In 2007 Ladson-Billings was ordained as a deacon in her church, only the second woman in the church’s 105-year history. Ladson-Billings is 49-year member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a member of The Links, Inc.

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Danny Brassell

Affectionately known as “Jim Carrey with a Ph.D.,” Dr. Danny Brassell ( has held a variety of titles and worked with leaders from a variety of fields and disciplines, but he has always considered himself first and foremost a teacher. He is a best-selling author of 15 books, including Read, Lead & Succeed and Understanding the English Language Learner. A gregarious, sought-after author, speaker and business consultant, Danny is a recognized authority on leadership development, reading, motivation and communication skills. His mission is to bring joy back into education. Thousands, from school districts to association conferences, have enjoyed his energetic, interactive and informative presentations. He has spoken to over 2,000 different audiences worldwide.


Click HERE to view Dr. Danny Brassell's personal message to GATESOL and the 2017 36th Annual GATESOL Conference attendees!


Visa Information

For general visa information, visit the U.S. State Department website.

Citizens from participating countries who meet the requirements for the Visa Waiver Program can travel to the United States for business or tourism for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. To see if you qualify, please review Visa Waiver Program Eligibility Requirements. 

Sponsored in part by:



(V.I.P. Breakfast)



National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage, provides quality PreK-12, Academic, and Adult Education instructional solutions for reading, science, social studies, mathematics, world languages, ESL/ELD, Advanced, Honors, & Electives, Career and Technical Education, and Professional Development.  See our new catalog at

LEXIA LEARNING (logo and information coming soon!)

Check back for updates!

If you would like to sponsor any portion of the 2017 GATESOL Conference, please contact the Conference Chair, Kendra M. Castelow.

Registered Exhibitors

Achieve Greater Sucess

Continental Press/Dodge Learning Resources

Data Recognition Corporation (DRC)

Delaney Educational

FEV Tutor

Georgia College & State University, Graduate Admissions


Greensboro College

Imagine Learning DOUBLE PLATINUM

Jmetik Maya

Lexia Learning PLATINUM  

Mercer University, Tift College of Education

National Geographic Learning/Cengage SILVER

Pearson ELT

Perfection Learning

Positive Learning

Project ELL

Summit K-12/Dodge Learning Resources

The U.S. Department of State English Language Programs


Wole' Designs

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Join our NEW Facebook Group!


General:                   Kendra M. Castelow, Conference Chair Program:                  Jayoung Choi, Chair
Registration:             Katie Kurumada, Chair
Exhibitor Liaison:       Greg Wickersham, Liaison

Georgia TESOL

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