About the Spokane Regional ESL Conference

Since 1990, the Spokane Regional ESL Conference has been a great place for teachers to get inspired, meet lifelong friends, discover new opportunities in the field, obtain OSPI clock hours, and develop new enthusiasm and zeal to move forward. Our goal every year is to continue the magic!

The first conference was held in 1990 when a few local ESL directors and teachers met in the faculty lounge at Gonzaga University. (See copies of previous programs below.)

The conference has grown over the years (431 registrants in 2016) with participants from across the state of Washington, northern Idaho and Montana as well as attendees from California, Nevada, Oregon and Japan. Our first online conference was held in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions with about 194 registrations. This was followed by the 2022 online conference which had about 150 online attendees from around the world, including attendees actually presenting from 5 different countries: Russia, Chile, Canada, Japan, and the USA.

Generally, K-12 attendees make up a little more than 50% of the registrations. Intensive English program faculty and administrators make up about 20% and the remaining registrants include students, people from community and volunteer ESL organizations (faith-based and non-profit), as well as publishers and exhibitors.

Over the years the conference planning committee also has expanded to a growing number of representatives from Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, the Institute for Extended Learning, Mukogawa U.S. Campus, Spokane Public Schools, Whitworth University, the Community Colleges of Spokane, Mead School District, the Central Valley School District, the Intensive American Language Center (IALC) at WSU, the Spokane College of English Language, and Great Northern University. 

Many thanks to Mukogawa U.S. Campus (formerly Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute) for hosting the on-site conferences from 2011 to 2020.

After going online for 2021 and 2022, the conference returned to Gonzaga University in 2023 and is currently partnering with Gonzaga's Pedagogy of Hope to put on the conference.