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Affiliate News: February 2010

Affiliate News (Spring 2008)

by User Not Found | 11/11/2011
ALC Updates Chair’s Address

Elke Apelbaum Savoy, esavoy@aol.comb
Chair, TESOL Affiliate Leadership Council (

Dear Affiliate Leaders,

By the time you read this article the Affiliate Leadership Council (ALC) will be busy with final preparations for affiliate activities that will take place at the 2008 TESOL Convention in New York City. Speaking of the TESOL convention, if you have not already done so, I recommend that you go online to register and to book your hotel rooms. What a spectacular opportunity to visit one of the most exciting cities in the world at reasonable (for New York City) prices! The U.S. dollar is weak these days, so our international friends can take advantage of bargain prices.

I want to let you know how hard your ALC members have worked to pull together the 2008 TESOL Convention affiliate meetings. We could not have done it without support from our distinguished affiliate leaders. You can read a preview of affiliate events later on in this newsletter, but I want to take a moment to thank both the ALC members who have organized these events and the affiliate leaders who have answered our calls for help.

The Affiliate Leaders’ Workshop is the first event of the convention and is scheduled on Wednesday, April 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Many thanks to ALC Chair-Elect Ismael Garrido for organizing this spectacular event. Participants will be treated to an address by TESOL Past President Jun Liu entitled “The Future of TESOL in My Dream World.” After that, participants will be invited to join four different breakout sessions, led by affiliate leaders:

  • Policy Promotion for the Profession: facilitated by Karen Cadiero, past president of CATESOL; Ana Maria Rocca (TESOL Argentina); and Misty Adoniou, president of the Australian Council of TESOL Associations
  • Professional Development and Worldwide Professional Participation: facilitated by Mary Beth Flynn, president of TESOL Italy; Carol Griffith, TESOL & IATEFL Liaison of TESOLANZ; Brenda Custodio, TESOL Ohio; and Barbara Wookey, TESOL Ohio president
  • Organizational Sustainability and Growth: facilitated by François Vilmenay, president of MATE-TESOL Haiti, and Robert Connor, LA TESOL board member-at-large
  • Manage Your Affiliate Using Technology: A Review of Software: facilitated by Helen Solorzano, membership secretary for MATSOL; Lisa Hutchison, president of MITESOL; and Carol Wilson-Duffy, past president of MITESOL

Another affiliate TESOL convention staple is the Affiliate Colloquium. This event will take place on Thursday, April 3, from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. This year we are focusing on classroom-based action research trends. The organizer and facilitator of this event is Yilin Sun, president of WATESOL and past chair of the ALC. Panelists include Anne Burns, Macquarie University; Ari Sherris, Center for Applied Linguistics; Ismael Garrido, Chair-Elect of the Affiliate Leadership Council, Mexico; Suchada Nimmannit, Chulalongkorn University Language Institute; and Donald Weasenforth, Member A of the Affiliate Leadership Council.

The Affiliate Assembly is another vital session for affiliate leaders. This is our annual business meeting, and it is scheduled for Friday, April 4, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. At this assembly, affiliate leaders vote on issues and make their voices heard.

Last but not least be sure to visit the Affiliate Booth. Contact Don Weasenforth for more information.

You will find more information on all of these events in this newsletter.

Now that I have thanked the people who are working so hard to make our conference great, I would like to welcome our new affiliate members. Since the 2007 convention, we have welcomed six new affiliates: Saudi Arabia, Cameroon, Macedonia, New Brunswick, Serbia, and Macedonia. We now have 101 affiliates who belong to TESOL! Think about that for a moment. We are a significant force in TESOL, and we need to ensure that our voices are heard. The Affiliate Leadership Council is the affiliates’ pipeline to the TESOL organization, and council members need your feedback to know how best to serve you and to transmit your needs to TESOL’s board of directors.

Recently we elected a new Member A. I would like to welcome Misty Adoniou to the Affiliate Leadership Council. As the new Member A, Misty will participate immediately in our teleconferences and ongoing e-mail discussions with Central Office and our board liaison, and will shadow the old Member A, so that the transition will be smooth. Taking care of 101 affiliates is a lot of work, and we welcome all the help that we can get. Please do not be shy about volunteering your services.

In closing, I want to be sure to congratulate the winners of the four travel grants:

I would also like to encourage more affiliate leaders to apply for these awards next year as only four people applied this year. The affiliate travel grant helps cover a portion of the travel and accommodation expenses for one affiliate delegate to attend the annual TESOL convention. Affiliate members who demonstrate a need for financial support have the opportunity to benefit from the global exchange made possible through the travel grants program.

The ALC has faced many challenges this year: changes in Central Office staff, changes in board liaison, and a major reduction in our operating budget, to name a few. But one thing has remained constant, and that is the hard work of the members of the Affiliate Leadership Council. I want to recognize the dedication and commitment of Yilin Sun, Ismael Garrido, and Don Weasenforth. Despite the obstacles that we have faced, they have put together a spectacular array of affiliate sessions. Special thanks to Don Weasenforth for organizing and editing this comprehensive issue of the Affiliate News. When you read it, you will agree that it is a job well done.

Hope to see you all at TESOL 2008, in New York City, my hometown.

TESOL Educators in the Changing Global Community

Yilin Sun, PhD,
Past Chair, Affiliate Leadership Council (

This summer, I had the honor of being invited to be the opening keynote speaker at the TESOL Peru 2007 National Convention entitled “Shortening Global Distances by Making English Learning Easier” in Tacna, Peru. Attending the conference were educators and scholars from South America, Australia, England, and North America, and I was fortunate enough to make contact and converse with many of them. In my speech entitled “TESOL Educators in the Changing Global Community,” I addressed four major issues: the role of TESOL in the changing global community and the services that TESOL offers to our members and affiliates; the major changes in the TESOL field in the past two decades; the important theoretical, pedagogical, and ideological issues of world Englishes; and the significant contributions and impact of non-native speakers of English educators in the TESOL field. Nonnative speakers of English educators fulfill an important role in terms of leadership, research, teacher training, and working in the front line with English language learners. My last important area for discussion was the roles and social responsibilities of TESOL educators in the changing global community and the importance of getting involved in professional development.

I was pleased that my speech seemed to be inspirational and well received, and I feel I was able to live up to the expectations of my fellow Affiliate Leadership Council members and all of you as well. I feel honored that I had the opportunity to make a small contribution to fulfilling the mission and vision of TESOL while promoting excellence in English language education and professional development at the international level. It was a very productive 4-day conference for me. I learned a lot from participating in sessions and interacting with the scholars at the event.

I was very impressed with the English educators in Peru who have limited resources yet are doing a remarkable job in helping students succeed in learning English.

My special thanks goes to Professor Nefdy Falconi Salazar, President of TESOL Peru; the convention chair, Professor Nelly Rosado de Castillo; and
the convention planning committee for inviting me to be part of this great event and for organizing such an important professional development forum for us to grow as TESOL professionals in the changing global community and to explore and share best practices in shortening global distance by making English learning easier for our learners.

Articles TESOL Board Report (October 2007)

Elke Apelbaum Savoy, esavoy@aol.comb
Chair, TESOL Affiliate Leadership Council (

The following report was submitted to the TESOL board of directors at its meeting last fall. The report is reprinted here to inform all affiliates of the ALC’s achievements, its goals for the next several years, and its concerns.

TESOL Board Report
October 2007

Committee/Task Force/Caucus/Special Project: Affiliate Leadership Council
Submitted by: Elke Apelbaum Savoy, 2007-2008 Chair
Committee Members: Yilin Sun, Past Chair; Ismael Garrido, Chair-Elect; Donald Weasenforth, Member A
Board Liaison: Deena Boraie
Staff Liaison: John Duffy/Pam Williams

1. Background

The Affiliate Leadership Council (ALC) serves the affiliate community in a number of capacities. As a special entity that reports to the board, ALC is in a position to raise awareness about affiliate needs, issues, and concerns while also participating in the development of policies and action plans that reflect TESOL’s mission.

ALC plays a key role in planning and facilitating the Affiliate Leaders’ Workshop, the Affiliate Council Assembly, the Affiliate Colloquium, and other affiliate events during the annual TESOL convention. Each of the four members also has clear roles and responsibilities aimed at improving communication between the affiliates and TESOL, and contributes informative articles to the Affiliate News, a bi-annual affiliate electronic newsletter. Increasing TESOL’s global influence through the affiliate community is one of ALC’s primary goals. The council members together with the board liaison member represent the countries and regions of Mexico, Egypt, China, and the United States.

2. How does the work of this committee/task force/caucus/special project support the mission and strategic plan of TESOL?

  • The ALC developed its mission and yearly activity plan based on the mission and strategic plans of TESOL. All the activities we have been doing support the mission of TESOL’s leadership and professional development as reflected in this report.

3. Activities since the 2007 Convention

a. Completed projects

  • Published an affiliate newsletter with a new layout with the theme of “Innovations: Advocacy”
  • Selected theme/subtheme of “Innovations: Organization Development” for January 2008 issue of affiliate newsletter
  • Developed ALC banner for the TESOL Web site and for Affiliate Booth
  • Conducted a review of the ALC-related portions of the TESOL Web site to make it more accessible
  • Conducted a phone conference in June to update and discuss ALC plans for the year
  • Organized the Affiliate Colloquium for the 2008 TESOL Convention (The theme has been selected and panelists have been invited.)
  • Organized an interconnection session for the 2008 TESOL Convention (The theme is “Classroom-Based Action Research: Trends, Success, and Debate.” Five panelists have been invited and have agreed to present. The ALC, led by COMMET representative Yilin Sun, is the organizer of this activity.)
  • Developed the theme and confirmed the keynote speakers for the 2008 Affiliate Leaders’ Workshop (The focus for each of the breakout sessions has been selected so that the sessions support TESOL’s strategic goals.)
  • Promote TESOL and TESOL’s 2008 convention internationally (Yilin Sun gave a keynote at TESOL Peru and spoke at length about the benefits of TESOL affiliation.)
  • Assisted Valerie Jakar in engaging Aida Walqui as a keynote speaker for TESOL 2008

b. Ongoing projects (Completion dates noted as appropriate)

  • Final planning stages of the 2008 Affiliate Leaders’ Workshop, Affiliate Assembly, Affiliate Colloquium, and Interconnection session are in progress. The completion date will be February 2008.
  • The call for nominations for Member A will go out mid-September. The final date for nominations is November 1.
  • The election of the new Member A is scheduled for January 2008.
  • Support position statements and initiatives from TESOL and communicate regularly with the affiliate leaders via e-mail and newsletters
  • Continue promoting the benefit of allocating seven complimentary TESOL memberships to affiliates who meet their annual requirements
  • Continue promoting the new TESOL advocacy initiatives to the affiliates
  • Teleconferences to continue planning (to be scheduled as needed)
  • Plan ALC dinner meeting and ALC Breakfast at TESOL 2008
  • Publish the next issue of the Affiliate News in January 2008
  • Discuss with the Central Office (CO) the viability of continuing the “best of” presentations at annual conventions

4. Goals and Planning for the Future


  • Continue ongoing communication with affiliate leaders
  • Encourage affiliate presidents to be individual members of TESOL
  • Increased communication with the CO regarding the CO’s enforcement of the standing rules associated with the affiliates such as the rule requiring that affiliate presidents be individual members of TESOL
  • Consider use of a blog (possibly integrated in the Affiliate News) for continuous communication with affiliate leaders
  • Carry out planning for the 2009 TESOL Convention in Denver including Leadership Workshops, Affiliate Colloquium, Affiliate Booth, Affiliate Assembly, and Affiliate Editors’ Workshop
  • Increase general visibility and relevance of the Affiliate News, expand international participation/readership, and involve more affiliates in submitting articles
  • Consider feature article in Affiliate News (with focus on one affiliate, one Board of Directors member, or one affiliate leader)
  • Address issue of promoting international representation on the ALC
  • Promote fulfillment of TESOL goals through affiliates
  • Promote affiliate partnerships
  • Develop and administer a survey to gather input/feedback on the ALC’s services to affiliates, including ways to provide professional development activities, leadership training, and advocacy


  • Continue ongoing communication with affiliate leaders
  • Encourage affiliate presidents to be individual members of TESOL
  • Increased communication with the CO regarding the CO’s enforcement of the standing rules associated with the affiliates such as the rule requiring that affiliate presidents be individual members of TESOL
  • Carry out planning for annual TESOL conventions including Leadership Workshops, Affiliate Colloquium, Affiliate Booth, Affiliate Assembly, and Affiliate Editors’ Workshop
  • Collaborate with Electronic Village organizers to provide Web design consultation and software information for affiliate leaders at the 2009 TESOL Convention
  • Increase general visibility and relevance of the Affiliate News, expand international participation/readership, and involve more affiliates in submitting articles
  • Promote fulfillment of TESOL goals through affiliates
  • Promote affiliate partnerships
  • Analyze results of survey administered to gather input/feedback on the ALC’s services to affiliates. Devise and implement plan to improve professional development activities, leadership training, and advocacy on behalf of affiliates
  • Follow up analyses of survey results with focus groups at 2009 TESOL Convention

5. Requests for Board Action

a. Approval for Activities or Projects

  • Not applicable.

b. Changes to Approved FY’07 Budget

  • Add a budget item increasing the travel stipends for ALC members attending the 2008 TESOL Convention, as expenses are greater for New York City than for other venues.

6. Any Problems or Concerns the Board Should Know About

  • Adequate financial support is needed for Council members to attend the TESOL annual conventions for one night hotel plus per diem. As expenses in New York City are greater than the expenses in Seattle, we are requesting an increased stipend for this year.
  • Changes in CO staff (Laura Bryant left shortly before the 2007 convention, and John Duffy left August 17, 2007) create hardships for our committee. We are grateful to Pam Williams for stepping in and helping us meet our deadlines.
  • Financial support is needed for ALC members who represent TESOL at affiliate conventions. The Council requests that ALC members receive speaker travel funds.
  • Years one and two there were two board liaisons to the ALC. This year nobody is shadowing Deena. There would be greater continuity if a board member were assigned to shadow Deena next year.
  • We need to balance the composition of the ALC so that international members are proportionately represented in the rotation.

Celebrating 101 TESOL Affiliates: The Affiliate Leadership Council Welcomes Six New Affiliates

Since the 2007 convention, TESOL has approved six applications for affiliate status, raising the number of affiliates to 101.
Read the full item online...

Celebrating 101 TESOL Affiliates: The Affiliate Leadership Council Welcomes Six New Affiliates

Don Weasenforth, Member A,
Member A, TESOL Affiliate Leadership Council (

Since the 2007 convention, TESOL has approved six applications for affiliate status, raising the number of affiliates to 101. The Affiliate News invited representatives of each of the new affiliates to introduce their organization. Please take time to become familiar with three of TESOL’s most recent affiliates: KSALLT, TESLNB, and CAMELTA. Also welcome their representatives in New York this spring.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Association of Language Teachers (KSAALT)
Douglas Evans, President,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Association of Language Teachers (

After almost one year of work, KSAALT (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Association of Language Teachers) became the 100th affiliate member of TESOL International.

We started as a loose-knit group meeting monthly or as necessary to try to establish a TESOL presence in Saudi Arabia. After some preliminary brainstorming, we decided to expand our efforts by inviting teachers and interested people from all over the Eastern Province. We had potluck dinners, guest speakers, forums, games, and lots of hot black coffee as well. Many pitched in to help. Participation grew and grew as people found out about us.

Eventually, with over 50 members, we realized we were ready to apply for affiliation with TESOL, so we followed the necessary steps, put the paperwork together, and on December 3, 2007, we became the 100th affiliate member. This goal achieved, all I can honestly say now is that “the sky’s the limit.”

Our long-term goal is to offer professional development and friendship to other members of the English language teaching profession here in Saudi Arabia. Our short-term goal was met by achieving affiliate status. Our next step is a half-day conference this spring.

We also have a Web site we can all be very proud of. See us at Our webmaster accomplished the impossible in a very short period of time and put us on the Internet map here in the Kingdom.

Our membership is drawn from throughout the Eastern province and includes Western and non-Western men and women from preschools, primary and secondary schools, military language training schools, colleges, language institutes, and universities. This is an extraordinary accomplishment in Saudi Arabia. We are accomplishing great things and we are truly unique, being the only TESOL affiliate in the Kingdom.

Thanks to all.

TESL New Brunswick
Paula Lee Kristmanson, President,
TESL New Brunswick (

It is with great pleasure that we join the TESOL organization as an affiliate. By way of introduction to our small, but mighty(!), organization, I would like to first of all invite you to the national conference to be held in the spring of 2008 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, cohosted by TESL New Brunswick, TESL Nova Scotia, and TESL Canada. A big focus of TESL New Brunswick’s (TESL NB) work at the present time is the planning of this conference; therefore, I felt it appropriate to begin this short article in this way. Please check out our official conference Web site at and consider submitting a proposal for presentation or attending this event.

TESL NB has existed since 1990 and has grown from a small locally based association of approximately 20 members to a much larger and much more diverse group of ESL/EAL (English as an additional language) educators from across the province of New Brunswick, located in eastern Canada. Our teachers and instructors represent a wide range of teaching contexts including ESL in French language schools, English programs for adult newcomers to Canada, EAL for young newcomers in our English school system, intensive ESL programs for international professionals, and English for academic purposes university programs, as well as a variety of specialized private language school environments. We are pleased to have such an energetic and committed group of ESL/EAL educators contributing to our association and to the building of this profession in our small province.

In addition to professional development sessions, such as local and national conferences, we are involved in work to support teachers in a variety of other ways. Recently, we established a TESL resource collection housed in our provincial library system and have committed to contributing to the development of that collection each year. We also support a public speaking competition, a new initiative begun in a francophone school district in the north of our province. Many of us are involved in providing workshops in our local areas or in doing research in the area of ESL learning and teaching such as the work with the new Intensive English pilot on the Acadian peninsula of New Brunswick. We are pleased to now be involved with internationally renowned organizations such as TESOL, as it will provide additional opportunities to grow professionally.

Cameroon English Language Teachers Association (CAMELTA)
Dorothy Forbin, President,
National Pedagogic Inspector – English
Ministry of Secondary Education, Yaounde
Cameroon English Language Teachers Association

CAMELTA, the Cameroon English Language and Literature Teachers Association, was born in April 2001. Its birth was a natural next step for the English Language Teacher Associations (ELTAs) that had existed in different parts of Cameroon for some 27 years.

CAMELTA offers a regular forum for the introduction and exchange of new pedagogic practices, fostering collegiality and helping promote mutual support. It has united the regional associations into a network, generating divisional and provisional chapters nationwide. In Cameroon, where online facilities for schools are still a luxury for teachers and a large number of our 1,950 members do not have access to the Internet, our efforts in workshops and seminars throughout the country are very welcome, especially in the more remote villages and towns.

CAMELTA aims to improve the practice of language teaching and learning to:

  • promote high standards of in-service language teacher training,
  • foster and promote scholarship relating to language teaching,
  • foster high academic and professional standards, and
  • break down the isolation that teachers experience both in their classrooms and in their


CAMELTA’s calendar is replete with workshops and seminars, at the divisional level twice a term and at the provincial level once a term. These meetings culminate in a week-long annual national congress in August, when we also hold an annual general meeting. A foreign ELT expert has usually joined the local experts at the annual congresses, which have usually been opened by the Secretary of State for Education in an impressive ceremony. The British Council and the American Embassy have been partners of CAMELTA, especially at this annual event, as have local publishing companies.

CAMELTA recently became an affiliate of TESOL. We consider this a very important step for our association, which stands to benefit in no small way from networking with the other affiliates of TESOL.

The Affiliate Leadership Council (ALC) would like to welcome also the other three new affiliates which have joined TESOL since the 2007 convention: FORTELL (India), Serbia (ELTA) and ELTAM (Macedonia). You will find an article from FORTELL in the Affiliate News section. We hope to introduce affiliate leaders to ELTA and ELTAM in our July issue.

The ALC looks forward to working with these new affiliates to support English language instruction in the regions they represent. It likewise encourages all affiliates to welcome and support these new affiliates.

Preview of the Affiliate Events at the 2008 TESOL Convention

The Affiliate Leadership Council is organizing the following events at this year’s TESOL convention to support the work of affiliates worldwide. Plan to attend and let your colleagues know about these opportunities. Please check the convention program for final scheduling information.

Affiliate Leaders’ Workshop: Worlds of TESOL: Challenges and Perspectives for Affiliate Leaders
Wednesday, April 2, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
The Affiliate Leaders’ Workshop provides networking opportunities and professional development for affiliate leaders. At this event, affiliate liaisons can pay membership dues and cash travel grants will be paid out. The workshop is composed of two parts:

Welcome and Keynote Address
8:30–10:00 a.m.
TESOL President Sandy Briggs will provide greetings. TESOL Past President Jun Liu will deliver the keynote address, “The Future of TESOL in My Dream World.”

10:00–11:30 a.m.
How are affiliate leaders and affiliate organizations across the globe responding to TESOL’s strategic goals and sharing the use of technology in managing their affiliates? This set of workshops will allow participants to engage in discussion about TESOL’s strategic goals and on managing affiliates using technology. Breakout groups will focus on specific concerns related to the theme. Breakout topics include:

  • Policy Promotion for the Profession (to increase TESOL’s professional visibility)
  • Professional Development and Worldwide Professional Participation (to provide the best possible professional development & to expand TESOL’s worldwide services)
  • Organizational Sustainability and Growth (to increase TESOL’s membership worldwide)
  • Manage Your Affiliate Using Technology: A Review of Software

Leadership Luncheon
Wednesday, April 2, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Speaker: Shelley Wong, Incoming President

Affiliate Colloquium: Classroom-Based Action Research Trends, Successes, and Debate
Thursday, April 3, 8:30–10:15 a.m.
Action research is assuming an increasingly prominent role in policies, programs, and practices in English language teaching. Panelists will address issues such as challengeability, creativity, and sustainability of action research from political, theoretical, and practical perspectives using their research and practice.

Facilitator: Yilin Sun, Past President of the Affiliate Leadership Council

  • Anne Burns, Macquarie University, Australia
  • Ari Sherris, Center for Applied Linguistics, USA
  • Suchada Nimmannit, Chulalongkorn University Language Institute, Thailand
  • Ismael Garrido, Chair-Elect of the Affiliate Leadership Council, Mexico
  • Donald Weasenforth, Member A of the Affiliate Leadership Council, USA

Interconnection Session: Research-Development Across TESOL Entities—Actions, Impact, Future Directions
Thursday, April 3, 10:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Panelists from affiliates, interest sections, and caucuses share research in several major areas including the role of nonnative English speakers in today’s globalized world, the global role of English and the ascendance of critical languages, trends of TESOL affiliates in research and development, and the survey of worldwide employment conditions.

Facilitator: Yilin Sun, Past President of the Affiliate Leadership Council

  • Denise Murray, Macquarie University, Australia
  • Deena Boraie, The American University in Cairo, Egypt
  • Keiko Abe-ford, CALA, Seigakuin University, Japan
  • Janet Orr, TEAL Services, USA
  • Liz England, Shenandoah University, USA
  • Lucie Moussu, Ryerson University, Canada

Leadership Council Information Session: Affiliates and Interest Sections—Meet Your Leaders
Thursday, April 3, 12:15–12:45 p.m.
Affiliate Leadership Council and interest section leaders spotlight the work both councils do for their individual entities and field questions that members may have.

TESOL Orientation for Affiliate Representatives
Thursday, April 3, 1:00–1:45 p.m.
Learn about TESOL affiliate benefits and services! This session is designed for new TESOL affiliate leaders and ELT organizations interested in becoming TESOL affiliates.

Affiliate Newsletter Editors’ Workshop
Thursday, April 3, 2:00–3:45 p.m.
Affiliate newsletter editors share best practices and lessons learned. A TESOL editor will facilitate this discussion and serve as a resource.

Affiliate Assembly
Friday, April 4, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
The Affiliate Assembly is the annual business meeting for TESOL affiliate leaders. At this event, affiliate liaisons can pay membership dues and cash travel grants will be paid out.

Affiliate Booth
During Exhibit Hall hours (see specific times below)
Showcase your affiliate’s accomplishments and upcoming events by making materials available and hosting the table. Stop by the booth to find out what other affiliates are doing. The invitation to host the table will be e-mailed to affiliate leaders by early 2008. The Affiliate booth will be open during the following times:

  • Wednesday, April 2, 3:00–5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 3, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 4, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 5, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Please contact Don Weasenforth ( with any questions about the Affiliate booth.

Affiliate Newstopics

New Connections in Israel
Nava Horovitz, Acting Chair,
ETAI (English Teachers’ Association of Israel)

The English Teachers’ Association of Israel (ETAI) is a grassroots, voluntary organization and affiliate of TESOL concerned with the professional development of its close to 1,000 members. The membership includes English teachers from all sectors of the English teaching population in Israel and covers all levels of education—elementary, junior high and secondary school, and college and university.

Although Israel is considered to be a small country, ETAI has many members who, for various reasons, are not able to come to our major regional and national events. Therefore, it was decided that we would find other ways to keep these members up-to-date with what is happening or going to happen in the near future.

Under the slogan of “If You Can’t Come to ETAI, ETAI Will Come to You,” we have initiated an e-newsletter that we hope to publish once a month and that will somewhat “fill the gaps” to help members feel more connected to and aware of decisions made by the executive committee.

As an additional part of this new approach and based on the success of two such events already held in the north, we are planning a number of local mini-conferences in various parts of the country—north, central, and south. Some examples of the range of subjects addressed at these events are

  • “Making Textbook Exercises Interesting” by Penny Ur from Oranim Academic College
  • “The Anatomy of Anger or How to Survive Those Hard days in School” by Diana Finzi, educational psychologist and psychotherapist
  • “Ethnodrama and the Foreign Language Learning Classroom: Giving Voice to Our Students” by Reina Reiner from Talpiot Academic College
  • “EngLine: Virtual Encounters of the Third Kind” by Xavière Hassan from Open University, England

It is our job as a teachers’ association to supply a variety of means to foster professionalism. We hope that these two new directions will spark more interest and activity in our organization and also lead to further initiatives and new directions.

Far Eastern English Language Teachers’ Association
Galina Lovtsevich, President,
FEELTA (Russia Far East)

This year, 2007, was an “off” year for us, as we hold our international conference once every 2 years. The last one was in June 2006 in Birobidjan, capital of the Jewish Autonomous Region, and on June 26-28 of this year we will be returning to our headquarters in Vladivostok.

An “off” year, however, does not mean that we all sat on our hands, enjoying memories of the last conference. We have a regular calendar of events, which include the 2-day Winter Methodology Seminars, with local and not-so-local presenters, and our annual talent show for students of English. The talent show again attracted a record number of entries from secondary schools around the region. Children sang, recited, and presented short skits for a total of over 10 hours.

In September, we held a special event, a symposium in Vladivostok, sponsored by the English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy. The symposium featured J. D. Brown, two U.S experts, and two Russian experts. It was followed by our first retreat for members of the FEELTA Executive Board, during which members relaxed for a few days together, sharing language teaching ideas and planning future events.

When you add FEELTA’s presence at the 6th Pan-Asian Conference on Language Teaching and Learning in Bangkok last January; representation at various regional, national, and international conferences; and three packed issues of our newsletter, you can see that even the “off” years are filled with FEELTA events. In light of this busy calendar, the enthusiasm of our members just keeps growing, especially as we are all preparing for our June 2008 conference.

FORTELL’s Achievements
A. L. Khanna, Secretary,
FORTELL (Forum for Teachers of English Language and Literature)

FORTELL has affiliated itself with IATEFL and TESOL, two international associations of English language teachers. It publishes a 32-page newsletter three times a year, which includes reports of the seminars, workshops, and other activities organized by its members; it also includes articles, interviews, book reviews, and profiles of eminent scholars from India who have made significant contributions to the teaching of English language and literature. FORTELL also has a Web site that provides profiles of its members, copies of previous newsletters, and details of the seminars, workshops, and other activities held from its inception. FORTELL has also been associated with textbook writing projects and curriculum design workshops at the school and university level.


FORTELL has organized several seminars and workshops during the past year. A 2-day Orientation Program on the Development of Language Skills for Master Trainers was held at R.P.V.V. Kishanganj, Delhi, on April 26-27, 2007. Ms. Diana Harley, senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, was the resource person.

An ELT workshop at Maharaja Agrasen College, University of Delhi, was held on May 15, 2007. Dr. Neil J. Anderson, specialist in reading from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA, was the resource person.

Our English for Young Learners Seminar was held June 8-9, 2007, at the American Research Centre in New Delhi. The key speaker was Mary Lon McCloskey.

The ELT Workshop for Primary School Teachers at Udaipur was held August 23-26. The resource persons were Dr A. L. Khanna from the University of Delhi and Falguni Chakravarty, an ELT practitioner.

FORTELL holds the view that English language teaching needs to be strengthened at the grassroots level where the teachers need a lot of help. It holds workshops and teacher-training programs that are directed primarily toward capacity building for English teachers. It follows a multilingual approach to second language teaching. The emphasis is on using the home language of the learner as a resource for learning English. Learners are made to feel that their home language can coexist with the new language being learned. This approach develops English as an alternative tool to enable learners to express their views and feelings and to help them participate in the world around them. FORTELL also believes that English can be learned and sustained only through a vast resource of literatures written in English around the world.

Other Affiliates
FORTELL wishes to network with other associations in South Asia. It has already established some contact with SPELT (Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers) and NELTA (Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association) members. It proposes to gradually interact with other associations in the region and gain an understanding of what they have done for the professional growth of their members and an understanding of the innovations they may have made in ELT.

Policy Change
In response to the growing importance of English in the job market, many states in India have introduced English in schools. However, most schools, particularly in rural India, do not have even the minimum number of teachers necessary to make instruction in English possible. Some FORTELL members have started networking with educational organizations in rural areas and have organized some workshops so they can gain familiarity with those situations before proposing and implementing anything. After our preliminary investigation, we felt that the situation for learning and teaching is fraught with many difficulties because those willing to teach English have generally not studied beyond secondary school and there is hardly anyone in their village they could consult in times of difficulty. Furthermore, their English speaking and reading skills are minimal. FORTELL proposes to intervene in this learning situation and teach English through a multilingual approach to second language teaching, in which the home language and learning context are taken into consideration in the planning of teaching materials. It also proposes to collaborate with the SCERTs (State Councils of Education Research and Training) of the state in which we decide to intervene.

Issue Before FORTELL
Although we are expanding numerically, the attendance at our meetings is not very encouraging. The oft-cited excuse for absence is that it is not possible to travel long distances after school/college work.

FORTELL Officers

N. K. Jain, President A. L. Khanna, Secretary Tara Chadha, Treasurer Kusum Sharma, Joint Secretary

Annual MATE-TESOL Haïti Conference for English Teachers Big Success
François Villemenay, President,
AMTE (Miragoane Association of Teachers of English-TESOL Haïti)

The third annual affiliate MATE–TESOL conference for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers, held July 27–28 at the Office of Public Diplomacy at the United States Embassy in Port-au-Prince, was a big success. The conference was sponsored by the United States Embassy, theSchool for International Training, the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, and the United States Department of State English Language Specialist Programs. The conference hosted about 56 participants from throughout the country and region. The conference, whose theme was “Teaching English Effectively: Increasing Communication in Our Classrooms,” offered a variety of presentations and workshops on topics highly relevant to EFL teachers. The speakers were Elizabeth Tannenbaum, associate professor for the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont; Jacques Alix Louis; and Antoine David. Mrs. Megan Larson-Kone, the Cultural Affairs Officer at the Office of Public Diplomacy in Port-au-Prince, spoke at the opening ceremony.

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Larson-Kone highlighted the importance of English as a foreign language. She also pointed out the benefits to be gained from a very good command of English. She concluded by encouraging all the attendees to aim at better education in their quest for excellence in the English language teaching profession. Her persuasive remarks were the impetus needed to start the conference.

Elizabeth Tannenbaum conducted two workshop sessions: “The Perfect Lesson: New Directions in TEFL” and “Teaching Speaking in Large Classes.” For “The Perfect Lesson” workshop, participants investigated key areas in the field of English language teaching today. These areas included assessment integration of all skill-learning strategies, schema building learner autonomy, cooperative learning, and reflective teaching and learning. In “Teaching Speaking in Large Classes,” she shared useful and practical ideas for teaching speaking effectively in large classes with limited resources. By participating in and analyzing a speaking activity, the participants considered classroom management, small-group work, multilevel group work, and motivation. This session also considered ways of working with limited resources in large classes. On the second day of the event Elizabeth engaged the attendees in four well-tailored communicative activities with minimal resources.

Jacques Alix Louis emphasized the importance of the communicative language teaching approach in the learning and teaching process, while Antoine David presented “Teaching Pronunciation,” emphasizing the need to effectively use both the American Heritage Dictionary and the International Phonetic Alphabet phonetic codes.

The closing ceremony included the vibrant participation of James Ellickson-Brown, public affairs adviser at the Office of Public Diplomacy, and Guerrier Michelet, from the École Normale Supérieur. They sang “This Land Is Your Land” and “On a Friday Morning” respectively. All in attendance could admire the dexterity with which they played their guitars. This was a memorable educational event indeed! The participants felt that the sessions were highly productive and that they gained insights that will certainly strengthen their teaching skills.

Panama TESOL’s 21st Annual Congress
Lizzie Garcia de Paredes, President 2007-2009,
Panama TESOL

Panama TESOL held its 21st Annual Congress September 14-16 in Panama City. Shelley Wong, the plenary speaker, presented “Integrating Language Through Dialogic Approaches: Learning By Doing.” Below are photographs of the event.

Shelley Wong

Shelley Wong & Davina Cole, Panama TESOL President

Shelley Wong, Nora Luz Hernandez (Coordinator of the Language Unit,
Ministry of Education, Panama), and Ylda Farre-Rigau (College Board, Puerto Rico)

Shelley Wong enjoyed our food and dance at Las Tinajas. The dancers wore the famous 'polleras'.

Tennessee TESOL Supports Mini-Conference in Johnson City
Judy A. Cleek, President,
Carole Hudson, Mini-Conference Organizer,
Tennessee TESOL

On Saturday, September 29, 2007, things were buzzing in upper east Tennessee. The doors atScience Hill High School in Johnson City were open at 6:30 a.m., and vendors were busily transporting materials from their cars to the display tables inside the cafeteria. ESL teachers and district staff were already there to make sure everything was in place for the first upper east Tennessee ESL mini-conference, “Together We Can—Success for ELLs.”

Carole Hudson, mini-conference chair and ESL teacher for the Johnson City School System welcoming mini-conference attendees.

Two major purposes drove this mini-conference. In the area of upper east Tennessee, it is “the norm” for most school districts to have one or two ESL teachers to service the entire district. Conference planners (Carole Hudson and her team) attempted to facilitate networking among the area’s ESL teachers to build academic bridges for future communication. Each ESL teacher is charged with the ultimate success of his or her ELL students. However, most of the ESL teachers in this area of the state are the lone ESL teacher on their campuses. Thus, they longed for a “team” with which to discuss student issues, lesson ideas, appropriate materials, and lesson implementation. It was hoped that by providing a venue for networking and conversation, academic friendships could be established and academic communication would become routine.

A second purpose of the mini-conference was to provide opportunities for quality in-service for fellow ESL colleagues. Appropriate professional development opportunities within the field of second language acquisition can be difficult to find. It was a goal that these “best practices” could be shared and used by other ESL teachers and they, in turn, could and would share with others. When this sharing of ideas becomes part and parcel of our everyday procedures, student success will improve.

The conference day turned out to be a huge success. Seventeen school districts and thirty-three different schools were represented.

Upper East TN ESL team, hosts of the conference

Attendees included district personnel, a school board member, classroom teachers, ESL teachers, administrators, district support personnel, and college students. The keynote speaker and special guest was Jan Lanier, director of ESL Services for Tennessee. Mrs. Lanier was a delightful speaker and was the overwhelming favorite of the audience. The high school ELL students from Joe Hoffman’s classes at Science Hill were another unique addition to the day. These young people helped guide attendees to the breakout rooms, answered questions, carried items from one place to another, helped presenters prepare their rooms, and generally did anything that was asked of them. They were a wonderful representation of some of Johnson City’s “best and brightest.”

A variety of topics and age groups were evident in the breakout session choices that spanned morning and afternoon sessions. These sessions included

  • Making Music Work for Your Classroom
  • How to Add Some Drama to Your Life
  • Survivor ESL
  • What Works With Reluctant Writers?
  • Practice Drills That Bring Smiles
  • Special Education and the English Language Learner
  • ESL Modifications for Content Area Teachers
  • Popular Culture, Content Area, and the Secondary ESL Classroom
  • Tried and True Strategies for ELL Success
  • Making the Mind-Body Connection for Learning
  • Parent Advocacy—Above and Beyond

The Executive Board of Tennessee TESOL approved funding for up to two mini-conferences in different regions of the state per year. Not only board members but also ESL professionals from the general membership have stepped up to host mini-conferences in their areas. Mini-conferences benefit ESL professionals, classroom teachers, and administrators, and they also provide an opportunity for developing leaders within the affiliate. With the goal of two ESL mini-conferences per year, TNTESOL broadens its visibility and service within the state and provides leadership opportunities outside the Executive Board. Mini-conferences can meet individual needs within a particular region of the state that annual state conferences may not address. They have proven to be a valuable extension of Tennessee TESOL.

2007 TexTESOL State Conference
Kathy Najafi, President,
Texas TESOL, Region IV

Registration Area at Convention Center

The 2007 TexTESOL State Conference (October 25-27), which attracted 500 attendees, could not have started off on a more spectacular day as hundreds of sailboats graced the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico offGalveston. Preconference Institute attendees were amazed at the sight as they made their way to and from the very successful ongoing sessions of Jo Gusman, Gretchen Bitterlin, Donna Price, and Jeff Mohamed. Friday found early birds coming back from their stroll along the beach, making it just in time to enjoy a scrumptious continental breakfast in the Exhibit Hall. The day’s sessions began with a winning presentation given by our plenary speaker, Irene E. Schoenberg, entitled “The Seven Characteristics of Today’s Master Teacher.” Enthusiasm was in the air, as conference-goers

Irene E. Shoenberg

hurried from one motivating session to the next. As the morning sessions ended, attendees ventured off onto the island for lunch and returned to mingle with the many exhibitors, looking at the variety of books, magazines, tapes, CDs, and other teaching materials on display.

The day only got better as our featured speakers, Lynne Diaz-Rico, Randall Davis, Gretchen Bitterlin, and Donna Price, as well as other presenters continued with thought-provoking sessions. As the day wound down, many found themselves enjoying the President’s Reception on the second floor of the Conference Center—overlooking the breathtaking view of the Gulf—while socializing over appetizers and listening to music by the Coconuts, a very talented local group. Oh and if Lady Luck was with you on Friday, you were a recipient of one of the many door prizes. Later in the evening, while some TexTESOLers took advantage of the lovely weather and the inviting beach just across from the Conference Center, presidents, past presidents, and presidents-elect of the five TexTESOL affiliates were busy holding the annual Council of Presidents meeting.

Harpist at Awards Luncheon

The conference’s last day proved just as invigorating as it started off with Quick Share, a set of 15-minute mini-presentations and even more great sessions that led up to the Awards Lunch in the Grand Ballroom. There, awards were given to four TexTESOLers from TexTESOL II, III, IV, and V in recognition of their contributions to their profession, as luncheon attendees dined on delicious food and listened to harp music. The day continued as featured speakers Dorothy Kauffman, Heide Wrigley, and Keith Folse offered insights into methods for improving reading instruction for ESL elementary and middle school learners, practical ideas in teaching ESL to immigrants and refugees, and the role vocabulary plays in successful writing.

As all good things must come to an end, so too did our 2007 TexTESOL State Conference. For many, this year’s state conference offered an opportunity of a lifetime to mix business with pleasure! Die-hard TexTESOLers ended the 3-day conference with a cooldown at the Hilton Lobby Bar, where a drawing for iPods was held. Finally, when asked to sum up the conference in one word, one TexTESOLer simply said, “Awesome!”

2007 TexTESOL V Fall Conference
Caroline DeCoux, President,
Texas TESOL, Region V

Martin Guerra, host for the 2007 Fall Conference, promoting the 2008 TexTESOL State Conference

The 2007 TexTESOL V Fall Conference, held on September 29, was one of the best in recent memory. Nearly 240 ESL professionals attended this year’s fall conference, and the venue at Mountain View College was close to perfect. The college staff, particularly Martin Guerra who served as site chair, did a great job hosting the conference.

The conference met the diverse needs of our membership, which includes K-12 teachers, college/university professors, and teacher trainers. Dr. Stephen Krashen, our keynote speaker, gave us all food for thought, and though we might not fully agree with his political views, he was very engaging! Attendees were also inspired by the number and variety of the concurrent sessions. In addition to Dr. Krashen’s keynote and breakout presentations, 40 concurrent sessions on a wide variety of topics were available to attendees throughout the day. The fall conference also provided a great opportunity to promote the 2008 TexTESOL State Conference, which will be hosted by TexTESOL V.

TexTESOL V and Yakut TESOL Partnership Negotiations
Don Weasenforth, Member A,
Member A, TESOL Affiliate Leadership Council

The current Yakut TESOL and TexTESOL V boards of directors are negotiating a partnership to facilitate collaborative efforts that will promote professional development in Yakutsk and North Texas and provide mutual support for the two affiliates. Though the specific terms are still being discussed, the following activities are being considered as part of the partnership:

Promotion of Professional Development

  • Organize joint conferences/seminars/workshops where views on the subject of teaching English in the two countries can be shared, in online and face-to-face formats
  • Organize and publish joint conference/seminar/workshop materials (newsletters, electronic journals, etc.)
  • Share guest speakers from both areas (Dallas and Yakutsk) who can discuss their practical experiences and theoretical approaches related to second language instruction
  • Develop and implement joint training courses for teachers in Dallas and Yakutsk via online and face-to-face formats in Dallas and in Yakutsk

Classroom Instruction Support

  • Organize, develop, and implement collaborative educational Internet projects between Dallas/Fort Worth area and Yakutsk schools/universities to promote EFL/ESL instruction and broaden ESL professionals’ perspectives of instructional approaches
  • Co-organize the English Summer Camps in Yakutsk, including invitation of teachers and interns from Dallas to teach EFL to children and teens
  • Establish a mutual cultural exchange of students from universities and schools from Dallas/Fort Worth to Yakutsk and from Yakutsk to Dallas/Fort Worth

Bridges to the Future—Supporting Students for Success
Yilin Sun, PhD, Past Chair,
TESOL Affiliate Leadership Council

Educators at WAESOL 2007 Conference

In my hometown, beautiful Seattle, the Washington Association for the Education of Speakers of Other Languages (WAESOL; held a very successful annual conference entitled “Bridges to the Future—Supporting Students for Success” on Saturday, October 27, 2007. For this year’s conference, we had two keynote speakers: Dr. Shelley Wong, TESOL president-elect, who inspired the audience with her speech entitled “Using Dialogic Approaches in Teaching and Learning With Language Minority Students,” and Ms. Jayme Adelson-Goldstein, author of the popular Oxford Picture Dictionary, who gave an interactive presentation on effective vocabulary teaching strategies.

The WAESOL board and the conference committee worked as a team and organized 60 sessions for educators from the state of Washington. The event was well attended with more than 260 WAESOL members participating. I am very proud of the WAESOL board for a job well done!

Yakut TESOL Fall Workshops
Larissa Olesova, President,

September 21-25, 2007, Yakut TESOL held a fall workshop for English language teachers of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia;, Russia. During the 4 days, 80 secondary school, college, and university teachers and professors participated in discussions of various issues related to teaching English in Sakha.

Judith Elliot Facilitating a Workshop
The guest speaker of the workshop was Judith Elliott, an English as a foreign language fellow from Vladivostok, who is responsible for overseeing English language teaching in Far-East Russia. She also holds a master’s in European history as well as doctorates in social sciences and developmental psychology. It was the fourth time she visited Yakutsk to offer presentations and workshops for local English teachers. Judith emphasizes Yakut teachers’ dedication to their job and the necessity of lifelong learning. She provided a wide range of print and video materials on teaching listening skills, English in context, and American studies. Listening tasks on the Russian Unified State Exam are considered to be the most difficult for students, so special attention was paid to teaching listening skills. In her workshop “English in Context,” Judith focused on using the Internet for class activities. During the event, teachers planned a dream trip as their group project.

A number of workshops were facilitated by colleagues. Tamara Ivanova and Lubov Adamova, Yakut TESOL members and experienced teachers, presented “New Opportunities for Russian Publication” as a result of their pilot project with Pearson Education/Longman (Novosibirsk, Russia). They also presented sample lessons; involved their colleagues in a discussion of the teaching materials, which were based on New Opportunities; and discussed advantages and disadvantages of the new seriesNew Opportunities. Alexandra Petrova, Yakut TESOL member and associate professor at Yakutsk University, shared her experience with teaching academic listening in her training course at theRussian State Pedagogical University.

One of the most memorable events was the teleconference presentation by Macmillan English Campus, a fully integrated online learning environment. In this teleconference, facilitated by Kerry Ormand from London, Ms. Ormand provided a wealth of information about using electronic resources alongside face-to-face teaching.

The book exhibit was organized by the Yakut TESOL Resource Center and the Macmillan representative, Maya Ivanova. Textbooks designed for preparation for the

Participants of the 2007 Fall Workshops

Unified State Exam and country studies books were of particular interest and in great demand.

In addition, every participant had an opportunity to participate in a raffle. The prizes were sponsored by the United States Embassy in Moscow, Macmillan (Yakutsk, Russia), and Pearson Education/Longman (Novosibirsk, Russia).

Evaluation results indicate that the fall workshops were a great success: All the participants intended to use all the instructional materials provided in the workshops, and 99 percent noted the highly organized nature of the event. A couple useful suggestions were made for future workshops: 72 percent of the workshop participants recommended additional activities related to the Unified State Exam, and 37 percent suggested providing round-table discussions and more sample lessons.

As is traditional for Yakut TESOL, all attendees left the workshops with up-to-date educational materials (books, CDs, and maps) as gifts from the Yakut TESOL Resource Center. These resources were provided by the English Language Office in Moscow (United States Embassy), Pearson Education/Longman (Novosibirsk, Russia), Oxford University Press (Moscow, Russia), and Macmillan (Novosibirsk, Russia).

Yakut TESOL: Interview with Bernard Livingston
Larissa Olesova, President,
Bernard Livingston,

Below is an interview with Bernard Livingston, an Australian English professional who taught atYakutsk State University. Mr. Livingston’s responses provide interesting insight into life in Yakut as well as Yakut TESOL.

Question: How did you find information about Yakutsk?
Response: After teaching Conversation English in Changsha, China, in 2000 and 2001, I travelled to Europe by train on the Trans Siberian Railway, and my first overnight stop was at Irkutsk. I liked this city, and thought it would be good to live and work there for a year, to learn more about the people, culture, and weather. I searched for a job at the university in Irkutsk but was unsuccessful. During that search, I found the address for Larissa Olesova and wrote to her.

Question: How did you get in touch with Yakutsk TESOL and how long did it take to get the job and prepare for your trip to Yakutsk from Australia?
Response: That letter to Larissa started 18 months of correspondence, culminating in a 12-month contract with the Foreign Language Department at the Yakutsk State University. Most correspondence was by e-mail, but some documents had to be posted by airmail which usually took from 2 to 4 weeks for delivery; several phone calls were also made. Several documents were in Russian, so I had them translated by a young Russian bride living in my home city of Mildura, Australia. At home I tried to find out as much information about Siberia and Yakutsk as I could with searches on the Internet. Very informative sites were and

Question: How did you travel to Yakutsk? How long did it take to travel from Australia to Yakutsk?
Response: I travelled to Yakutsk by aeroplane (three flights) and by train. I flew from Mildura to Melbourne (1 hour), Melbourne to Singapore (7 hours) with a 2-hour transit stopover, and Singapore to Beijing (6 hours). The next day I boarded Train 23, the trans-Mongolian train, for my trip to Ulaan Bataar (36 hours), where I spent a day exploring the city before boarding Train 263 for my last train leg to Irkutsk (40 hours). I stayed in a “homestay” in Irkutsk for 2 days, which allowed me time to visit magnificent Lake Baikal again and the Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture and Ethnography, before flying to Yakutsk (2.5 hours). Upon arrival in Yakutsk, I was met by Larissa, her husband, Ivan, and Larissa’s father, who then drove me to my accommodations in the student residence at the university. My journey took 10 days because I chose a slow tourist route. A more direct route by air, going through Mildura, Melbourne, Singapore or Tokyo, Beijing, Harbin or Kharbarovsk, and Yakutsk, would take about 24 hours if all the flights linked closely together. I selected the Trans-Mongolian route because I had previously travelled to Moscow via the Trans-Manchurian route. I actually wanted to travel on the Lena River ferry boat from Bratsk to Yakutsk (5 days), but I was dissuaded because of the uncertainty of it. Maybe another time!

Question: Had you read about the local culture and environment in Yakutsk?
Response: I had read several books that had mentioned life in Siberia, and I had seen some documentaries on TV about the same area (e.g., Oymyakon—The Pole of Cold), so my interest was kindled. The weather in Mildura ranges from -3°C (27°F) on a frosty morning in winter to 45°C (113°F) in the summer. I wanted to experience the extreme cold, the snow and ice, plus the long winter nights and long days of light in the summer. The two Web sites mentioned earlier gave short descriptions of climate and culture but naturally didn’t prepare me for the physical conditions.

Question: How did you prepare for the long winter in Yakutsk? How did you get advice about being prepared for the low temperatures?
Response: When I left Mildura on September 30, 2004, the temperature was 22°C (72°F); on arrival in Yakutsk on October 9, it was -1°C (30°F). Initially my Australian winter clothes were suitable, but as the temperatures dropped, I required better clothing. With the help of students, I purchased better clothes at local shops and markets. The main items were a coat, gloves, boots, and a hat, none of which would have been available in Australia and which would have been too bulky to carry in my luggage. Students and other teachers constantly gave me advice about coping with the cold.

Fishing on the Lena
Question: Have you changed your views and thoughts about living conditions in Yakutsk from what you had before the trip?
Response: Before my experience in Yakutsk, I imagined that many outdoor jobs would stop during the harsh winter, but to my surprise everything continued. Builders continued their construction, paper sellers still sold papers from their little canvas shelters on the streets, and the rivers became roads. Cars used on the streets were parked and left running so they would not freeze, then put into warmed garages overnight. The displays at the Northern Reindeer Herders Conference showed me how the nomadic people live quite comfortably in their tents over the winter. I had imagined that very deep snow would stop many aspects of life, but only 300 to 400 mm (12 to 16 inches) of snow falls each winter, allowing native horses and reindeer to continue grazing. I was unsure about how they heated buildings, but soon found that the reticulation of hot water in lagged aboveground pipes interconnecting all buildings in the city was very successful, making for a very comfortable inside temperature of 25°C (77°F). The heating/pumping stations around the city are fueled by the abundant natural gas in Yakutia. I thought one of the biggest problems would be the wind chill, which can get down to an unbearable -46°C, but in fact for almost the whole winter, a high-pressure zone sits over the Tuymaada Valley, making the wind quite calm.

Question: How was Yakutsk different? What was different?
Response: So many things were so very different from life in Mildura, Australia. I will only list them rather than elaborate on them: climate, temperature range (Mildura -3°C to 45°C [27°F to 113°F], Yakutsk 35°C to -50°C [95°F to -58°F]), old and new housing, gardening, landscape, flora and fauna, languages, people’s appearance, sports, food, traditional music, and culture and religion. There were also many things that were very familiar, including shops, clothing, pop music, celebrations, supermarkets, consumer goods, education, hospital facilities, and family life.

Question: Please share your teaching experience. What do you think about teaching English in Yakutsk, students, resources, and faculty? Was it difficult to adapt to the academic environment?
Response: From the very start of my time in the Yakutsk State University Foreign Language Department, I was made to feel part of the staff, despite my lack of Russian or Yakut language skills. There is a comprehensive TESOL textbook library. (I also took quite a few texts with me), plus VHS and DVD equipment as well as access to a computer projector. I had a computer in the staff room for class preparation and Internet access, and use of a photocopier for handout production. The office staff were very helpful, despite our language barrier, and made a good cup of tea. My students ranged from first-year medical students with limited English skills to fourth-year students, professional staff from the hospital, businessmen and businesswomen, and lecturers from the university, all with advanced levels of conversational English. A very enjoyable extracurricular activity was talking to other groups outside the university. Some classes were held at schools in villages outside Yakutsk, which meant an enjoyable excursion into the country. I was very impressed with the education system at all levels. From primary school, students are required to learn one or two foreign languages, along with the other core subjects. Music, dance, and art are taught at special schools separate from the main schools. I thoroughly enjoyed my contact with the students at all levels, and I hope they learned as much from me as I did from them. I know my teaching style was quite different from what they are accustomed to, so that must have taken some getting used to, and most recorded teaching aids were American, quite different from my Australian accent and colloquial language.

Question: What can you say about your living conditions in Yakutsk?
Response: My accommodations were in a student residence, which was a 5-minute walk from my teaching room. The residence was home to hundreds of students, in a nine-story building, so it was quite noisy at times. The foreign students and teachers had separate sections, out of bounds to the local students, where we all had a private room with shared kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, and laundry. Despite the noise, it was very comfortable.

Question: How did you spend free time there, especially in the winter? Who were the people you spent most time with?
Response: Summer or winter, there was never a dull moment. Outside class preparation time, I spent a lot of time exploring the area by myself usually, on public

Ysakh Festival
transport to villages and places of interest in the city. Travelling by city bus in the heart of winter is an exciting experience, especially when you can’t see through the iced windows and aren’t familiar with the stops. Even in winter, most shopping ventures were done on foot because it was only a 15- or 20-minute walk into the city center. During the year I was taken to an exhibition opening, a private New Year’s party, several dachas (second homes) where delicious shasliks (barbeques) were served, and musical concerts and traditional

Northern Reindeer Herders Conference
plays, as well as the indoor circus. The end of the academic year coincides with the main Yakut celebration, the summer solstice, the Ysakh Festival. I was taken to two of these spectacular festivals of Yakut customs. In 2005, Yakutsk was host to the Northern Reindeer Herders Conference, where people from Finland (Lapland) to the Bering Straits came to display their lifestyles and compete as well as discuss issues concerning nomadic herders. This was an amazing experience for me. Also, in the residence the 10 foreigners from Japan, Korea, Germany, France, America, Poland, and Australia often gathered to talk and eat together and had very special parties for each other’s birthdays. I bought a DVD player and borrowed a TV to set up a TV room. Cheap DVDs were readily available in the markets. One lecturer from a different department, but in my English class, took me under his wing. He took me to many of the above-mentioned places, and a senior male student took me to his home in a village and was a great help with clothing shopping. When I was not busy with other things, I did a lot of reading.

Question: Was food different? How was it different?
Response: Eating horsemeat was one major difference in food, which, by the way, was delicious when roasted. Raw frozen fish, shaved from the frozen fish with a

Party at the International Residence
large knife, dipped in pepper and washed down with vodka was another. Other food, although of a different type and preparation, was similar to food eaten in Australia. In the supermarket, many familiar foods were available. Each morning I had bananas from Ecuador on my cereal.

Question: What can you say about prices and the economy in Yakutsk? What was cheaper or more expensive than in Australia?
Response: I didn’t really make a comparison with the things I bought in Yakutsk because I was supplementing my university wage with my savings from Australia, and I am not a cautious spender. I wanted to make my life comfortable while I was there, so I bought what I wanted. But in general, I think most things were cheaper, unless you went shopping in the nicer stores, like Columbia, for clothes. I bought most of my clothes for the winter at markets, with the help of students. The prices of jewelry I bought as gifts were similar to those paid at home. Good fur coats were quite expensive, but I have no idea what a similar garment would cost in Australia. I didn’t talk to people about the cost of living or how they bought food and goods, but the homes I visited seemed to have all the items for comfortable living that we would expect to have at home.

Question: What can you recommend to people who are interested in traveling and working in Yakutsk?
Response: I think anyone who wants to work in Siberia would already have an open mind and desire to travel to a different country and culture. Such a person would need to have patience because some things take time, but most are well worth waiting for. When what you want doesn’t happen, then perhaps you have to do it yourself or at least initiate it. There are many people who will help you. Make the most of every opportunity because for most people it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and do these things. Have some money in reserve to do the things you want to do. Most of all, respect the people you are with and the places you are in. It is their home.

Question: What were your general impressions about your life in Yakutsk and about Yakut TESOL?
Response: I have so many wonderful memories of my time in Yakutsk and so many things I didn’t have time to do; I hope I will be able to return as a visitor one day and complete them. There were so many new and exciting experiences and so many people who were kind and helpful. The Yakut TESOL program is very active and growing at a steady rate, providing up-to-date texts and lessons to the English language students. The staff are to be commended for their work.

Affiliate Announcements

Affiliate Leadership Council Member A Election Results

Misty Adoniou, the incoming Member A on the Affiliate Leadership Council, has been a member of TESOL for 10 years and continues to maintain membership in TESOL Greece (11 years) and TESOL Australia (6 years). She served on the board of TESOL Greece from 2000 to 2002, with 2 years as the president of that affiliate. She has also served on the executive council of ACTA since 2004; she became president of that association in 2006 and continues to serve in that role.

As president of TESOL Greece, she worked with HUPE (Croatia), Inged (Turkey), and TESOL Italy to stage a European Union-funded joint conference in Greece. This network was established while she attended the Affiliate Leaders Workshops in St. Louis in 2001. As president of ACTA she instigated the association’s affiliation with TESOL, which became effective in 2007, and organized the staging of a TESOL symposium on the maintenance of community languages and identity in Australia in July 2008.

Misty is a strong advocate for the TESOL community, particularly so in Australia where she serves on many government advisory committees; for example, for the Bureau of Statistics she serves as an advisor on language demands of the federal census and other national surveys, and for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship she serves as an advisor on off-shore pre-embarkation courses for refugees being placed in Australia. This year she also provided evidence at a federal Senate inquiry into the introduction of a written citizenship test in Australia.

Her main goal in serving on the ALC is to foster more cross-fertilization and networking between affiliates in order to leverage the power that such a large mass of TESOL expertise from around the globe has to offer in securing good outcomes for the people we serve—the TESOL community.

The other ALC members—Elke Apelbaum Savoy, Ismael Garrido, and Don Weasenforth—look forward to working with Misty this coming year in providing TESOL affiliates with the support necessary to building a strong organization.

Welcome Misty!

Revised Standing Rules

Standing rules for leadership councils, as revised per board votes at their October 2007 meeting, are now on the TESOL Web site. The link to relevant documents is The documents can also be found on the Web site; from the home page, click “About TESOL,” “Mission and Governance,” and “Bylaws and Standing Rules.”

Important Announcements from TESOL Member Services

Affiliate Dues and Report: It is TESOL’s goal to serve you with benefits and updates that enhance your mission and strengthen your organization’s relationship in TESOL. To receive these benefits, be sure to keep your affiliate membership with TESOL active by completing the affiliate annual reportand paying annual dues. Dues should be paid in full prior to the 2008 convention. In March 1998, the board of directors approved a revision of Standing Rule V which states in SRV 5.I.A that affiliates that fail to pay their annual dues by the last day of the annual TESOL convention (April 5, 2008) will be placed on probation.

Membership Status of Affiliate Presidents: Please note the following policy change: TESOL requires that the president of all TESOL affiliates be a TESOL member. Affiliates whose presidents are not members jeopardize their affiliate status. TESOL will be sending reminders to any affiliate president who is not currently a TESOL member.

2007 Global Advocacy Recognition: Léon-Charles Ciss (ATES Sénégal)

Since 1999, TESOL has recognized at the opening plenary of its convention individuals who have advocated for, and on behalf of, the ESL/EFL profession and the constituency that it serves. Since 2000, one of these individuals has been nominated by a TESOL affiliate outside the United States. The 2008 nominee will be announced at the 2008 TESOL Convention in New York. Past honorees have included the following:

2000 Dr. David Lam nominated by B.C. TEAL (Canada)
2002 Dr. Victor Galindo Sanchez nominated by Mexico TESOL
2003 Raffaele Sanzo nominated by TESOL Italy
2004 Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan nominated by TESOL Arabia
2005 Dr. Vladimir Kurilov nominated by FEELTA (Russia)
2006 Sergio Bitar nominated by TESOL Chile
2007 Léon-Charles Ciss nominated by ATES (Sénégal)

TESOL invites its affiliates from outside the United States to submit nominations for the 2008 Global Advocacy Recognition. The deadline for nominations was Monday, January 28, 2008. For additional information, please contact John Segota, Advocacy and Professional Relations,

Below is a partial reprint from the TESOL press release highlighting Mr. Ciss’s accomplishments.

Alexandria, VA (March 2007) – Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL), the global education association representing more than 13,000 English language educators worldwide, announces it will be recognizing Léon-Charles CISS, Director General of Sonatel Mobiles, at the opening plenary of its 41st Annual Convention and Exhibit in Seattle, Washington, USA. The presentation will be held before an audience of 1,500 English language educators on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, at 11:30am in Room 4A of the Washington State Convention & Trade Center.

One of the top telecommunications executives in Senegal, Mr. CISS is a strong advocate of English language education in his country. Recognizing the importance of English as a global language in his professional work, Mr. CISS has been a key supporter of the Association of Teachers of English in Senegal (ATES), a professional membership association for English language educators. Internationally, he represents Senegal in the Surveys Committee of International Telecommunications Union, responsible for the development of Data Transmission networks in Africa. Since 1955, Mr. CISS has been a member of the High Standards Committee, in charge of restructuring the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva. He is presently a member of the INTELSAT Working Group, in charge of restructuring the Satellites International Organisation in Washington, DC, in the United States.

Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships: Call for Applications

The International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF) is pleased to announce the 2008 competition for the Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships for research on English language teaching and learning in the Arab world. The application deadline is February 29, 2008. For more information, go to

Contribute to the Affiliate Newsletter!
(Please forward this message to your affiliate colleagues.)

The Affiliate News invites submissions of writing and photographs for the July 2008 issue. The submission deadline is Monday, May 26, 2008. The theme for the issue will be announced after the 2008 TESOL Convention.

Affiliate Issues and Updates

  • Showcase your affiliate’s accomplishments.
  • Provide updates on affiliate conferences/workshops.
  • Share your affiliate’s vision for the field.
  • Seek insight into issues your affiliate is facing.
  • Generate interest and collaboration with other affiliates.
  • Discuss local educational policy/change as it affects your affiliate.
  • Report on or seek information about organizational development.
  • Discuss governance issues your affiliate is addressing.
  • Share photos of your affiliate members, conferences, and other events.

    General Information
    The Affiliate News is a biannual electronic newsletter published in July and January. The Affiliate News represents the concerns of all affiliates, promotes communication among affiliates, and provides support for affiliate leadership.

    Deadline: Monday, May 26, 2008
    Submit to Misty Adoniou at