ESOL Conference

English for Speakers of Other Languages

2017 ESOL Keynote Speakers 

Keynote Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - Dr. Cathy Amanti

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Dr. Cathy Amanti

 Sponsored by Kennesaw State University  Bagwell College of Education

"Leveraging English Learners' Funds of Knowledge for Language Acquisition."

Dr. Amanti teaches ESOL methods at Georgia State University. She has written and presented on the Funds of Knowledge research project, teaching English language learners, bilingual education, educational technology, and school discipline. 

She worked for 21 years for Tucson Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona as a bilingual education teacher, assistant principal, coordinator of the Language Acquisition Department, and project manager in the Department of Student Equity.

She recently completed a co-edited volume entitled Critical Perspectives on Teaching and Learning English Around the Globe, which is a compilation of original qualitative research studies that focus on the experiences of English language learners and teachers in various parts of the globe. 


Keynote Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - Carmen Agra Deedy

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Ms. Carmen Agra Deedy

  Sponsored by the Kennesaw State University Alumni Association


Carmen Agra Deedy has been writing for children for over two decades. Born in Havana, Cuba she came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1964. She grew up in Decatur, Georgia, where she lives today. 

Deedy began writing as a young mother and storyteller whose NPR commentaries on All Things Considered were collected and released under the title Growing Up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia. 

The Library Dragon received variuous children's state awards and has sold near half a million copies. In 2003 the book was chosen to represent Georgia at the Library of Congress's National Book Festival

Keynote Thursday, February 2, 2017 Manny Scott


Manny Scott

 Sponsored by Imagine Learning





Manny Scott was an original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit movie, Freedom Writers, starring Hillary Swank. Manny has energized over a million leaders, educators, volunteers, and students worldwide with his authentic, inspiring messages of hope.


He is the author of three books: Your Next Chapter, How to R.E.A.C.H. Youth Today and Turning the Page. Manny has a gift: the ability to connect with, hold the attention of and energize all kinds of audiences. From inner-city youth to business executives, Manny has learned to speak, and command, the language of his audiences with relevant, riveting, and compelling messages, moving them from cheers to laughter to tears, and go-forward determination.