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Affiliate News: February 2010

Affiliate News (Summer 2007)

by User Not Found | 11/11/2011
A Message... Greetings From Sandy Briggs, TESOL President

Sandy Briggs, TESOL President 2007-08

Greetings to all of the affiliate leaders!

I was glad when Don Weasenforth of the Affiliate Leadership Council asked me to write a few words to you about TESOL and the affiliates. As TESOL president I am pleased to serve all affiliate members of TESOL. Each of TESOL's 98 affiliates plays an active role in supporting TESOL's overall mission. I would especially like to welcome the newest affiliates to the association:

  • Hong Kong Association for Applied Linguistics (HAAL)
  • TESOL Macedonia-Thrace
  • The Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA)
  • Penang English Language Learning and Teaching Association (PELLTA) from Malaysia

TESOL affiliates play a critical role in fulfilling TESOL's mission to ensure excellence in English language teaching to speakers of other languages by offering English language educators professional information and support within their geographic regions. Likewise, it is important that affiliates support each other by networking and exchanging valuable information and ideas for conferences, newsletters, and varied membership services.

TESOL supports its affiliates by offering a wide range of benefits. These benefits include travel grants to the TESOL annual convention, onsite leadership training at the convention, online leadership discussion lists, a worldwide directory of affiliates, promotion of affiliate annual conferences through an online worldwide calendar of events, and by providing funding for TESOL board members or TESOL staff to speak at your annual conferences. Affiliates can also take advantage of seven complimentary memberships to offer new members of your affiliates and reduced annual dues through the dual-membership rebate program.

Ongoing efforts to expand TESOL's global presence continue to evolve. In the past year, the TESOL Board of Directors has encouraged more global participation among affiliates in countries where the economic strain (as defined by the United Nations) may have otherwise kept them from becoming an affiliate, by lowering the affiliate annual dues in these countries.

In addition, two new global categories for individuals joining TESOL were created. Global memberships, both electronic and individual, offer discounted membership options for individuals who are current legal residents or native-born current residents in countries with a gross national income per capita of US$15,000 or less (as defined by the United Nations). Global members are full members of TESOL, but membership benefits may vary.

My affiliate is California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL). I have belonged to CATESOL and TESOL for many years now. Both associations help me stay current in the profession and offer me chances to participate in a range of conferences and professional development. I read the excellent publications that both offer me. Both associations also allow me to participate in advocacy for the students and teachers and the profession. CATESOL keeps me up-to-date in California, while TESOL keeps me up-to-date around the world. In short, both associations are a vital part of who I am as an English language teaching professional.

Thank you for your continued support of TESOL and its mission, for all of the work that you do within your affiliate and within TESOL. I look forward to continuing my service to you as TESOL president and hope to see you in New York in 2008.

My best,

Welcome From Elke Apelbaum Savoy, ALC Chair

Elke Apelbaum Savoy, Chair, TESOL Affiliate Leadership Council,

On behalf of the Affiliate Leadership Council (ALC) I would like to extend a warm greeting to all affiliate leaders. The ALC is proud to announce that as of the 2007 convention our ranks have swelled to 98 TESOL affiliates. Seventy affiliates were represented at our Affiliate Assembly at TESOL 2007 and participated in the Affiliate Leadership Luncheon and Workshop. We were especially pleased to welcome new members and to recognize existing members who won travel grants and various awards.

For those of you who are new affiliate leaders, the ALC is a council that was created two years ago to serve as a liaison between affiliates and the TESOL Board of Directors. Our duties include organizing the Affiliate Assembly, Leadership Workshop, Affiliate Colloquium, and affiliate booth at the annual TESOL convention. We also work with the Committee on Membership Entity Transition (COMMET) to provide conference attendees with an Interconnection Session that facilitates a cross-section of discussion between affiliates, caucuses, and interest sections. These activities create a forum for networking and exchanging ideas. Some of the articles and photos in this newsletter will give you a better idea of what we did this year and hopefully generate ideas for next year.

The ALC would like to thank Denise Murray, the plenary speaker at our Leadership Workshop, for her enriching talk, "Affiliate Leaders in a Changing World." Special thanks are also due to those affiliate members who participated in our Affiliate Panel and who led our Leadership Workshop Breakout sessions:

"Marketing Affiliates and Membership Recruitment"
Facilitators: Dr. Sufian Abu-Rmaileh, TESOL Arabia; Karen Dennis, CATESOL; and Ulrich Schrader, MexTESOL

"Interacting and Collaborating Between NNS and NNS Leaders Within and Across Organizations"
Facilitators: Vera Bradford, BRAZ-TESOL; Yilin Sun, Washington Association for the Education of Speakers of Other Languages

"Engaging Affiliate Leaders in Advocacy Activities"
Facilitators: Don Weasenforth, TexTESOL V; Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, CATESEOL

"Affiliate Newsletter for Changing Times (How to make it relevant)"
Facilitators: Ulrich Bliesener, TESOL Germany; Ismael Garrido, ANUPI-TESOL

"Strategies and Challenges in Accessing Funding for Professional Development and Further Education in Other Countries"
Facilitators: Jean Frantzy Italien, MATE; Suchada Nimmannit, Thai TESOL

We will be putting out a call for participation in leadership workshops for TESOL 2008. Please keep an eye on the affiliate e-list for more information.

This year we are working with caucuses and interest sections on a special project. This is still in the early planning stages. There will be more information about this in the next newsletter.

At the affiliate meetings this year we asked you all to consider running for the Affiliate Leadership Council. Please check the TESOL Web site for more details: The deadline for nominations is November 15.

To learn more about the ALC and its members please check our Web site at Thanks to the efforts and talent of Don Weasenforth, Member A, we now have an official banner that shows the photos and bios of your ALC members.

So thanks to all of you for making TESOL 2007 a success. We are so excited about working with you as we develop TESOL 2008.

Message from Don Weasenforth, ALC Member A

Don Weasenforth, Member A, TESOL Affiliate Leadership Council,

Welcome to the summer 2007 issue of The Affiliate News! You'll notice a few changes to this issue, changes made in response to comments made in last year's survey of Affiliate News readers. Most obvious is a different formatting being used to distinguish The Affiliate News from other online TESOL periodicals.

I hope that you will—as with past issues—find this issue substantive and informative, and with your participation we can continue to produce such a newsletter. Please note below the submission deadline (October 29) and other submission information for the spring 2008 issue.

I would like to thank Sandy Briggs for her warm greeting to TESOL affiliates and Elke for her helpful summary of the history of the Affiliate Leadership Council (ALC) and of just a few of the memorable events at the 2007 TESOL Convention. Also in this issue are a number of additional reports from the 2007 convention, followed by updates from various affiliates. Before delving into reports from this year's convention, let me first introduce you to this year's members of the ALC.

It is a pleasure to join the wonderful group of colleagues on the ALC, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to provide support for TESOL affiliates worldwide and thus promote the more general efforts of TESOL. You'll find below the new banner posted on the ALC's Web site, incorporating a photograph and short bio of each ALC member.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the newsletter. Remember to submit your articles and photographs for the next issue!

Conference Reports & Articles Affiliate Leadership Council: Affiliate Representation and Advocacy

During the Affiliate Assembly on March 23 at the 2007 TESOL Convention in Seattle, the following two resolutions were considered for endorsement. The Affiliate Leadership Council (ALC), representing the views of affiliate leaders and serving as advocacy liaisons between the Affiliate Assembly and the TESOL Board of Directors, led a discussion of the resolutions that resulted in the decisions reported below.

  • Resolution on International Advocacy

RESOLVED, that whenever possible TESOL frame its position statements and
advocacy efforts with reference to international standards and conventions and use
language that makes them applicable in multiple geographic contexts.

The Affiliate Assembly endorsed this resolution, which was placed on the agenda for the June 2007 TESOL Board of Directors meeting. Framing position statements so as to make them applicable to various geographic contexts reflects the interests of TESOL's international membership and provides a basis for broader effectiveness of the statements.

  • Resolution on Conference Dates Selection

RESOLVED that in the future TESOL work to make it possible for its members to
attend CCCC and TESOL and benefit from both conferences.

The Affiliate Assembly did not endorse this resolution, and the resolution thus will not be forwarded to the TESOL Board of Directors. It was felt that accommodation in this case could entail subsequent accommodations of other interest groups, leading to intractable complexity in the selection of dates for the TESOL convention.

ALC Report for the 2007 Affiliate Assembly Meeting

The Affiliate Leadership Council reported that the following accomplishments were made during 2006-07 in support of TESOL affiliates:

  • Welcomed four new affiliates to the TESOL family: TESOL Macedonia-Thrace; Penang English Language Learning and Teaching Association (PELLTA); Hong Kong Association for Applied Linguistics (HAAL); and the Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA).
  • Organized the Affiliate Colloquium on Social Responsibility, the Affiliate Workshop, the affiliate booth, and the Affiliate Assembly for the convention.
  • Participated actively in COMMET (Committee on Member Entity Transition) and the COMMET Web board.
  • Remained active in all Interconnection communications.
  • Organized the Interconnection Colloquium on Professional Development.
  • Collaborated on and finalized the ALC Standing Rule.
  • Conducted the annual election for member A resulting in Donald Weasenforth's election.
  • Developed roles and responsibilities.
  • Maintained an active role in preparing the TESOL affiliate booth with a good number of affiliates being represented (banner made by Ismael Garrido for the ALC booth).
  • Published two issues of The Affiliate News with feedback from the Tampa convention and reports from different affiliates around the globe (Ismael Garrido is responsible for the excellent changes in our newsletter.).
  • Sent a survey to all affiliates to gather feedback on The Affiliate News, with the following findings:
    • 44.4 percent of the 45 respondents sometimes read the newsletter, and only 28.9 percent always read it;
    • 61.9 percent said the information was of relevance, and 77.5 percent mentioned that they found the layout to be user-friendly; and
    • Apparently only 31.6 percent know that the newsletter comes out twice a year.
  • Identified leaders for the breakout sessions at the Leadership Workshops.
  • Kept regular contact with the affiliates via e-mails and responded to their questions and issues in a timely manner.
  • Actively promoted TESOL at conference events to recruit new affiliates and also listened to the affiliates' suggestions.
  • Worked closely together with TESOL member relation managers and liaisons from the TESOL Board of Directors throughout the year via e-mail discussions, teleconferences, and so on.
  • Advocated for local affiliates, discovered their needs and concerns through a survey, and brought their concerns and issues (e.g., change of travel grant deadlines, suggestions to modify the criteria for complimentary TESOL membership awards) to the TESOL Board of Directors.

ALC Plans for 2007-08

  • Continue ongoing communication with affiliate leaders.
  • Continue planning for the 2008 TESOL Convention in New York City.
  • Respond to the findings from last year's Affiliate News survey by increasing general visibility and relevance of the newsletter, expanding international participation/readership, and involving more affiliates in submitting articles.
  • 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.

Reflections on the Interconnection Colloquium Presentation

Yilin Sun, Past Chair, Affiliate Leadership Council

TESOL 2007 is nearly five months past now. It was so wonderful to have met many of the affiliate leaders at the Affiliate Leadership Coucil (ALC) workshop and the Assembly at the convention in Seattle! There were nearly 7,800 participants at the convention, which made it one of the best-attended TESOL conventions in the past five years. At the convention, we heard Betty Azar's thought-provoking opening speech on "Roles of Grammar in Language Teaching." Also, TESOL President Jun Liu's stories of his challenges and successes as a nonnative speaker of English inspired us. He gave us advice on our responsibilities as educators and showed us how he learned the importance of diligence and perfection on his journey to become a leader in the TESOL field.

At the convention, your ALC organized an Interconnection Colloquium entitled "Professional Development." Gabriel Díaz Maggioli from the Teacher Education and Material Writers Interest Sections and the TESOL board, Luciana C. de Oliveira from Caucus Group, and Elke Savoy, Vera Bradford, and I from the Affiliate Leadership Council served as panelists.

Dr. Díaz Maggioli, an expert in the field, opened the session. He first introduced a visionary approach to professional development that starts with a collaborative decision-making process and a growth-driven approach. Such professional development focuses on inquiry-based ideas and tailor-made techniques, not one-size-fits-all techniques. Dr. Díaz Maggioli then shared with the audience a Teacher's Choice Model for Continuing Professional Development. In that model, teachers move on a continuum from unaware to aware and from outdated to updated as shown below:

Dr. Maggioli noted that continuous professional development "will have a professional learning team whose members accept a collective responsibility for the academic achievement of all the students represented by the teachers in the group and who meet regularly to learn, plan and support one another in the process of continuous improvement" (Sparks, 2002).

The next presentation, "Reconceptualizing Professional Development: A Focus on Leadership," was given by Dr. Luciana C. de Oliveira from Caucus Group, who shared a working definition of a leader as someone involved in

  • Learning
  • Encouraging
  • Acting
  • Developing

Dr. de Oliveira discussed the various roles that a leader plays in a professional organization and educational institution. For her, leadership is an integral part of professional development that can take place within the classroom, at school, in the community, and in professional organizations, such as TESOL's affiliates, interest sections, and caucuses. Leadership opportunities can lead to professional development opportunities and vice versa.

Elke Savoy, ALC chair-elect, also shared a professional training model and practice from her department.

In my part of the presentation as the ALC representative, I shared the major findings concerning professional development issues from the preliminary survey results of ESOL Teachers in Adult Basic Education and Literacy Systems, a TESOL-sponsored special project that I coordinated (Sun, Gillespie, & Mum, 2005). Grounded on TESOL standards for adult ESOL programs, the survey provided an empirical basis for examining the status, professionalism, and quality of ESOL instruction in the field. The purpose of the survey was threefold:

  • to examine the working conditions of ESOL teachers who work within the adult basic education and literacy system;
  • to identify areas where TESOL can take action and make plans for advocacy directed toward achieving equitable working conditions for ESOL teachers in adult education; and
  • to use the survey's findings to make recommendations aimed at improving employment conditions and achieving equity in the workplace for adult ESOL professionals.

A total of 1,141 ABE/ESL educators completed the survey. Among them, 1,046 were from the United States and Canada, 57 were from other countries worldwide, and 38 did not specify where their programs were located. The majority of the survey respondents were female (85%) and White/Caucasian (84.1%). The age of most respondents (61.5%) ranged between 46 and 65.

Survey participants identified three areas as "very important" for their professional training: ESOL teaching methods and techniques (92%), access to resources and materials development (80%), and effective cross-cultural communication (74%). The areas that were considered "somewhat important" for professional development included working with students with learning disabilities (54%) and workplace ESOL (55%); 20 percent of the respondents felt that training in classroom management and conflict resolution was "not important."

When asked how many hours of staff development release time they received each year, 28.4 percent of the teachers revealed that they had none; 27.7 percent received fewer than 10 hours a year; and 25.8 percent indicated that they had received between 10 and 20 hours of release time.

When asked what would help teachers engage in professional development, the majority identified the support from midlevel unit administrators as very crucial as they can offer or deny release time and funds for teachers to attend professional development workshops and events.

Only 15 percent of the survey participants stated that they had attended between three and five TESOL conferences over the past 5 years, and 34 percent had not attended any conference sponsored by a TESOL affiliate.

Out of frustration, an ESOL educator commented, "Why are some administrators so short sighted!? My director only cares about putting teachers in the classroom, not so much on giving us time and funds to attend professional development activities."

Another said, "My working conditions are excellent and the support of administrators is totally present. Positions such as mine are few and far between."

One such supportive administrator made the following remarks, "I strongly believe that professional development is of paramount importance for ESL teachers. As an administrator for an Adult ESL program, I always do my best to give my teachers release time when they present at the conferences or attend workshops. To me, teachers deserve the opportunities to grow and learn and share their best practices with other teachers. Their presentations will make our program known to the others, and it's also great for the institution. The time they take off from work and spend at professional development activities like conferences will benefit the students and program in the long run. These teachers are often far more effective and innovative in the classroom with their students than some teachers that I have who just come and fill in the class hours."

It is encouraging to read the comments from this midlevel administrator, but it also makes us worry that there are not many administrators in the community college system with the same vision and commitment to faculty professional development as indicated in the study.

The participants also indicated the need for support to access professional development as an important issue for TESOL to take on as an action item for its advocacy effort.

The Interconnection Colloquium on Professional Development was only a start for all three entities (ALC, interest sections, and caucuses) to work together in addressing the importance of professional development in leadership development. Progress has been made in providing professional development opportunities for teachers in the TESOL field. Affiliate leaders need to start with a visionary perspective in providing leadership to support and sustain professional development for themselves and for the educators around them.

Sparks, D. 2002. Designing powerful professional development for teachers and principals. Oxford, OH: National Staff Development Council.

Sun, Y., Gillespie, M., & Mum, R. 2005, March. Tools for Change: Survey of ESOL Teachers in Adult Basic Education and Literacy Systems Panel presentation at TESOL 2005 Convention, San Antonio, TX.

"Affiliate Leaders in a Changing World" - Report and Summary of Denise Murray’s Talk at the Affiliate Leaders’ Workshop, March 20, 2007

Carolyn Ho, TexTESOL IV President,

Dr. Denise Murray, a former TESOL president and professor emeritus of Macquarie University, spoke to affiliate leaders at the Affiliate Leaders' Workshop at the TESOL convention in Seattle. Titled "Affiliate Leaders in a Changing World," the presentation began with an overview of the current context for TESOL affiliates as well as leadership competencies most helpful to leading organizations through external and internal challenges.

According to Dr. Murray, a number of challenges are facing TESOL affiliates worldwide. First and foremost is globalization, particularly the dominance of English as an international language. The demand for English teachers is increasing by the minute; as a result, there is a growing need for professional English teachers to provide quality instruction. Interestingly, accompanying this trend is the casualization of teaching staff, that is, making ESL/EFL teachers part-time staff with little or no benefits. Another challenge arises from competing demands of members or potential members. Professional organizations rely on volunteerism. When part-time instructors try to make ends meet by working overtime, volunteers may be hard to come by.

The challenges above are large in scale and deep in impact. In order to adapt to the changes in the external environment as well as the impact on the internal context of each organization, leaders of TESOL affiliates, Dr. Murray suggests, should develop a number of leadership competencies, which include technical and soft skills. Technical skills refer to expertise in TESL/TEFL matters as well as cognitive abilities. Soft skills include those that deal with personal reflection and interpersonal relationships. Dr. Murray recommends Goleman's emotional competence checklist as a guide for leaders to assess their emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Changing times call for agile leaders. Dr. Murray's presentation provided a well-rounded environmental scan and suggested useful tips for professional and personal growth. It was time well spent for TESOL affiliate leaders!

Sleepless in Seattle: TESOL 41

2007 TESOL Convention in Seattle, March 20-24
Daniel Haddock, BAYTESOL and executive member representing TESOLANZ,

It is true what they say about America: Everything is bigger and better, especially when it comes to an annual ESOL conference that in 2007 included over 1,200 colloquia, demonstrations, Discussion Groups, exhibitor sessions and papers, and 8,000 participants.

Affiliate Delegate
Being selected as the TESOLANZ affiliate delegate to the conference brought a range of privileges and responsibilities. Tuesday included a Leadership Luncheon for affiliate delegates, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., sponsored by ADMIDEAST. We were addressed by the outgoing TESOL President Jun Liu. He thanked us for our work around the world and across the sectors. A constant theme of all affiliate sessions was continuing expansion internationally. There are 98 international affiliate groups, and it was obvious throughout that TESOL continued to encourage a relationship with the English language teaching world beyond the United States.

This session was followed by an Affiliate Leaders' Workshop, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Denise Murray, a past president of TESOL, presented "Affiliate Leaders in a Changing World" which examined the new challenges faced by professional associations in a globalized world, in which members have conflicting demands on their resources. These challenges are especially acute in organizations such as TESOL that rely on volunteers to lead and manage and on relatively unpaid members and potential members to financially support the organization. After this talk, delegates chose one of the following breakout sessions: "Interacting and Collaborating Between NNS and NS Leaders Within and Across Organizations," "Engaging Affiliate Leaders in Advocacy Activities," "Affiliate Newsletter for Changing Times," and "Strategies and Challenges in Accessing Funding for Professional Development and Further Education in Other Countries."

The Marketing Affiliates and Membership Recruitment session included a lively discussion lead by Californian, Arabic, and Mexican delegates. Key issues raised were as follows:

  • Some state TESOL conferences build the cost of membership into the fee of the conference.
  • Some regions gave free membership for the first year but found that many did not renew their membership for the second year.
  • ACTA (Australian Council of TESOL Associations) instituted a usage fee to be paid by any university that uses its journal articles for teaching purposes. They raised $18,000 doing this. This was their first year as members of TESOL.
  • Many groups asked publishers to sponsor those who had recently written an ESL book to attend their conference. Some groups had speakers sponsored by embassies as well.
  • I mentioned TESOLANZ research grants and payments back to chapters/branches. Both of these ideas seemed to spark a lot of interest.

On Thursday, the Affiliate Assembly was held. Twelve sector leaders read their annual report with a strict time limit on the presentation and question time. The only motion that stimulated a lot of discussion was from the Second Language Writing Interest Section, which wanted TESOL to regulate its dates, usually in early April, so that CCCC members could attend both conferences. This resolution was defeated. Another recurring theme was encouraging delegates to join the TESOL Board of Directors and the nominating committee. They were very proud of the international representatives on these panels.

Conference Theme: Tides of Change
The conference began in earnest on Wednesday. The sheer size of the operation took some getting used to over the four days, but the extensive program worked well, and the participants' enthusiasm levels appeared to wane only at the 7:30 a.m. events on Saturday. The daily program ran from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The usual length of presentations was 45 minutes although some colloquia and plenary sessions ran longer. For the record, I attended 25 sessions. The highlights were

  • "From ESL to Harvard: An Immigrant's Perspective," Mawi Asgedom's plenary. Mawi was a very inspirational speaker. He had the audience laughing and crying as he related the trials and tribulations his family went through after they resettled in the United States in the mid-1980s from wartorn Ethiopia, having first spent three years in a Sudanese refugee camp. Mawi was seven when he first arrived. A story that has etched itself in my memory involved the family driving around town. His mother kept strictly to the main roads and stayed away from the motorway. However, one day she inadvertently drove onto a motorway onramp. She stopped the car at the end of the ramp and the family waited while dad went to get help. Three hours later, he returned with the police who eventually closed the ramp and allowed her to drive the wrong way down the ramp away from motorway terror. Mawi said the most important thing about his new country was peace. He did well in high school and was offered university scholarships to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. After graduating from Harvard, he related how he went back to thank the only boy from his third-grade class that invited him to a birthday party. He told the boy's mother that it was the first time since arriving in the United States that he had been affirmed as a person. Mawi now spends his time encouraging young students to do their best through an organization he has set up. He has published his memoirs in the book Beetles and Angels.
  • "Sheltered Instruction Program Design for High School," presented by Sharyl Ferguson, Montwood High School, Texas.
  • "Negotiating Language Learner Identities in Changing Times" by Bonny Norton, University of British Columbia (CLESOL 2008 plenary speaker). This was a Spotlight Session, which meant that the speaker was videotaped for the TESOL Web site. There were 33 of these sessions in the program.
  • "Best Practices in Content Instruction," a demonstration by Lindsay Spooner and Nancy Batchelder, Fairfax Country Public Schools.
  • "Language, Creativity, and Classrooms," Ronald Carter's plenary, was an entertaining session. Ronald argued that ESOL classrooms should not ignore the creative and fun use of language. "I Am the Walrus" by the Beatles was analyzed as an example of creativity. The song played as the talk ended.
  • "Six Strategies for Adolescent Academic Literacy Development," a demonstration by Deborah Short, Center for Applied Linguistics, Nancy Cloud, Rhode Island College, et al.
  • "Differentiating Instruction for English Language Learners," a demonstration by Paul Boyd Bathstone, California State University-Long Beach, U.S.
  • "Reopening Contacts With the ACTA (Australian Council of TESOL Associations)." Executive contacts between ACTA and TESOLANZ will hopefully lead to greater collaboration.

New Zealand ESOL practices at both a classroom and national procedural level stack up extremely well against the many U.S. and international situations I was privileged to hear. At one point, I asked the group at a primary/secondary literacy presentation why no one mentioned government resources or Web sites. This brought instantaneous derisive laughter from the group. I explained that things were different in Aotearoa and told them about TKI, ESOL online, and so on. I forgot about some minor differences between New Zealand and the United States as well: When I gave the Web site,, I dictated "n zed." Hands shot up and confusion reigned about the last letter. Then I remembered where I was: "Oh, I mean n zee." Two Canadians behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, "We knew what you meant, don't worry."

If you are interested in further information about the sessions, please e-mail me

The Changing Face of Teaching and Learning EFL

The following presentation was scheduled for the Affiliate Colloquium on March 21. Because of travel difficulties, Mr. Lambon was not able to deliver his presentation, so it is printed below.

Justice Bukari Lambon, American Language Center, American Embassy, Chad,

Teaching and learning English can be more effective if it is tailored to a strategic need. In most African countries, particularly in Chad, there are three principal reasons why people learn English:

  • For academic purposes (to pass an examination)
  • To get a job or promotion
  • For communication (business)

This paper will highlight how each of these reasons has championed EFL in Chad and learners' attitudes to promoting EFL in Chad.

English for Academic Purposes

According to the Chadian Program Book, EFL should be taught in schools to promote businesses with neighboring English-speaking countries. It further mandates high school students to study English, referred to as a langue vivante. But how does the academic curriculum reflect this objective?

In a typical Chadian English class, English is taught using a grammar translation method. Learners are rated on their ability to translate words from English to French. They are therefore taught to transfer words into the brain and into the hand and not from the brain to the mouth. The impression created is that English is a classroom subject and not a language to be used outside the confines of the classroom.

The consequences are:

a. Learners are not encouraged to explore the practical use of English language. They depend strictly on what the teacher writes on the blackboard.

b. Words that have multiple meanings pose problems to students when used in a different context.
Example: I am a student of the Chamber of Commerce becomes "I am a student of the room of commerce."

Only two skills are tested on the examination: writing (copying) and reading comprehension. Listening and speaking are conspicuously not included in the curriculum. Until 2003, students were tested orally only after failing the written examination, which was often too difficult to pass because they were not trained for it. The exam was later eliminated after the national education service noticed that examiners were taking bribes from students. There were no standards to follow in testing students' oral ability, so questions were basically centered on how much they could pay.
These days, a good number of Chadian students travel abroad to further their education, mostly to the United States, Canada, Nigeria, and Ghana. These ambitious students know that they must attend interviews in English in order to obtain visas. Especially for the United States and Canada, which require TOEFL, students are obliged to master all four language skills to get visas to travel, if for no other reason.

Other programs that require good levels in all four skills are the:

  • Trans Saharan Undergraduate Program
  • Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • Fulbright Francophone/Lusophone Junior Staff Development Program
    Fulbright Francophone/Lusophone Junior Staff Dev. Enhancement Program

English to Get a Job or Promotion

The most compelling reason for a Chadian to learn English as a foreign language is for getting a job. Thanks to oil, many investors from the Americas, Europe, and Asia have come to Chad. These foreigners, who do not speak French, often employ Chadians to run their activities. Because their administrative language is English, they employ people who already have a communicative English level, even for jobs as guards, cleaners, and cooks. What matters is not the applicants' level of education or any certificates earned but how they can express themselves in English. Employers believe it is easier to train a person to do a job than train someone to speak English. After being recruited, most are sent abroad for professional job training.

The long-standing armed conflict in Sudan, which forced hundreds of thousands of refugees from Sudan to settle in Chad, consequently attracted dozens of humanitarian nongovernmental organizations from the international communities to Chad to give assistance to the ailing. Once again, niches for English-speaking Chadians were created to work at refugee camps. Medics, engineers, drivers, translators, nutritionists were all required to possess good communicative English.

For Business

It is worth mentioning that the oil-centered economic revolution has afforded Chadian businessmen golden opportunities to transact business with other companies from around the globe, most notably Malaysia, Nigeria, the United States, China, and Qatar. As the presence of these countries keeps mounting, efforts have been made to break barriers and build mutual understanding among themselves. English language is the primary means of doing so!

My interviews with 10 Chadian businessmen about the connection between their employment situation and English revealed that lack of English is responsible for their failures. They further expressed that in business, NO ENGLISH IS NO TRUST. They are always found wanting when they receive phone calls from their partners, even those from Arabic countries. Chadian Arabic is not spoken in any Arabic-speaking countries.

Petty traders in the markets across Chad such as tomato sellers, fishmongers, peanut sellers, and other foodstuff dealers also have their stories to tell. My interviews with 50 traders showed that the most successful of them were those who could speak some English. One could not maintain a foreign client (who buys their commodities in bulk) without saying, "How are you? I am fine!" The interviews also revealed that 13 out of 16 of those who could speak English were those who fled to neighboring Anglophone countries such as Nigeria and Cameroon during the conflicts.

Taxi drivers were not left out of the show. In my interactions with 30 hotel taxi drivers in N'djamena, I found that 3 out of 15 20- to 35-year-olds and 9 out of 15 36- to 50-year-olds spoke English.

Seven out of 9 of those who could speak English in the latter group of 15, 36 to 50 years old, were once refugees in Nigeria, Sudan, or Cameroon and so learned English unintentionally. The remaining 21 taxi drivers picked it up over time as they frequently came into contact with English-speaking foreigners who hired their services.

Who We Really Serve

The American Language Center, which is the biggest English language institution in Chad, houses about 500 learners a term. It comprises civil servants, students, businessmen, employees of organizations, and so on. When I questioned 200 of them in January 2007, the following percentages of respondents said "yes" to the questions below:

1. Want a visa or refused a visa? 86
2. Failed an interview for lack of English? 28
3. Change a job or want promotion? 60
4. Need a job or promised a job or in probation? 30
5. Need English for business? 34

The Givers' Responsibility

For any effective teaching and learning, it is important for ELTs to know who their learners are and what they are coming for. This information helps us carefully select what to teach and how to teach it. Topics for discussions should reflect student interests to enable learners to talk or contribute. Topics on marriage, crime, and politics were seen to be most efficient. Group or pair work would be better if cultural setting is taken into consideration. My experience shows that learners interact well with people they trust or know.

Challenges and Constraints

1. A lack of skilled teachers poses the biggest challenge to promoting the English language. Most educators do not have the required skills to teach all four language skills, especially speaking, listening, and reading.

2. A unified and a contextual curriculum to guide teaching throughout the country is not even on the Ministry's agenda. Teachers therefore tend to consult any book written in English. Most of these books are considered abstract and are therefore not applicable in our situations. Names of people or even cities are enough to confuse learners.

3. Perturbation due to conflicts and lack of security has not allowed consistent learning. And for fear of being harmed or even killed in conflicts, teachers refuse postings outside N'djamena, especially to the north where rebels usually control areas.

4. Unfavorable living conditions and strict immigration laws have discouraged qualified teachers from neighboring countries such as Cameroon and Nigeria from staying and teaching the English language.


The purpose of this discussion is to expose the genesis and the motivation of, as well as the realities behind, the growing demand for English language speakers in francophone Chad. This discussion will remind English educators of their role in, and social responsibilities regarding, this awakening.

Position Paper on Teacher's Rights

The following position statement supporting basic rights of teachers was published in March of 2007. It is reprinted here for your information and use, as it is relevant to teachers worldwide.

Affiliate Updates

KOTESOL 2006 International Conference Report
Advancing ELT: Empowering Teachers, Empowering Learners

The 14th annual Korea TESOL International Conference was held on October 28 and 29, 2006, at Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul, South Korea. A committee of nearly 50 KOTESOL members, led by Conference Chair Allison Bill, and nearly 150 student volunteers, welcomed over 900 attendees through the doors. Their hard work and personal sacrifices were greatly appreciated!

There were 12 invited speakers and close to 200 academic and commercial presentations, including our first ever Young Learner Zone. With about two thirds of our speakers not based in Korea, coming for the weekend from as far away as Mexico, Iran, Algeria, and Malaysia, this was a truly international event, the biggest annual ELT event in Korea. An Employment Center was also available for our members looking for jobs in Korea.

Our three plenary presentations were given by Andy Curtis (sponsored by TESOL/KOTESOL), Jack Richards (OUP), and Nina Spada (OUP). Our nine featured presentations were given by Susan Barduhn (SIT/KOTESOL), Chris Candlin (Mcquarrie/KOTESOL), Liying Cheng (Queen's University, Canada), Melanie Graham (Pearson Longman), Marc Helgesen (Pearson Longman), Chris Kennedy (University of Birmingham), Ritsuko Nakata (OUP), Susan Stempleski (OUP), and Gillian Wigglesworth (AEI/KOTESOL). We appreciate all of our organizational partners and those who sponsored our conference and our invited speakers.

The 15th KOTESOL International Conference is scheduled for October 27 and 28, 2007, again at Sookmyung Women's University. We currently have confirmation from H. Douglas Brown, Jane Willis, and 2006-07 TESOL President Jun Liu as invited speakers.

30th Annual Sunshine State TESOL Conference
Carmen A. Morales-Jones, Outgoing President and Affiliate Liaison,

Sunshine State TESOL of Florida recently held its 30th annual conference in West Palm Beach, Florida. Plenary speakers included internationally renowned Dr. Jim Cummins, Drs. Yvonne and David Freeman, and Dr. Janis Andrews, West Area Superintendent of the Palm School District.

The conference was a huge success with over 100 refereed sessions from which to choose. Five hundred eighty conference attendees filled the breakout rooms and were challenged and inspired by presenters from Florida and beyond. Topics ranged from enriching students' oral language and using lyrics beyond filling gaps to hidden biases in English tests and promoting dual language programs.

The ballroom housed over 50 publishers and vendors who as usual displayed and shared the latest educational materials to assist English language learners in oral language development and literacy. In addition they were very generous in donating materials for our raffle events.

At the networking luncheon, members were welcomed by Dr. Ana Meehan, director of Multicultural Education of the Palm Beach County School Board. Following her welcome remarks, two local individuals, Sr. Rachel Sena and Ms. Yvette Gioannetti, were honored with the SSTESOL Advocacy Award. They were honored with this award for their advocacy efforts on behalf of the Mayan community in the greater West Palm Beach area. These two women's total commitment to the Mayan community has impacted the many facets of the lives of those who they serve. Their accomplishments include creating a family literacy program for teaching literacy in Canjobal/Spanish and English and influencing the visitation policies in the Palm Beach County jail system as well as preventing a young Mayan girl from spending her life in prison for a crime she had not committed.

On Friday night, a salsa instructor, Ms. Middy Garcia, sponsored by one of the SSTESOL board members, Dr. Rashid Moore, delighted all who attended with "Salsa 101." Assisted by a DJ, all danced and enjoyed a splendid time.

Tennessee TESOL Sets Its Course After Leadership Retreat
Judy A. Cleek, TNTESOL President,

On February 2-3, 2007, the TNTESOL Executive Board attended a Leadership Training Conference in Nashville conducted by Dr. Neil Anderson of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Dr. Anderson, a widely known and respected leader in TESOL, focused on strategies for developing leadership within the affiliate organization.

Using the analogies of the four useful "scopes"—the telescope, microscope, gyroscope, and kaleidoscope—Dr. Anderson provided TNTESOL Executive Board members with the tools to understand the organization's past, to assess the present, and to plan for the future. The creation of a timeline of the affiliate's 29-year history allowed board members the opportunity to view the organization's growth and development. Dr. Anderson then asked board members to create a S.W.O.T. analysis, which revealed TNTESOL's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Identifying these aspects of the organization provided a basis for action.

As a result of Dr. Anderson's seminar, Tennessee TESOL, as an affiliate of TESOL, is now engaged in writing its history in preparation for the celebration of its 30th anniversary in 2008. Committees have been established to address issues of concern revealed by the S.W.O.T. analysis. Clearly, the leadership seminar provided the impetus for action, action that allows all Executive Board members to develop their leadership skills and to motivate and empower other members to become more involved in the organization in ways that will make TNTESOL a stronger, more active arm of TESOL.

Giddy up to Galveston
TexTESOL State Conference, October 25-27, 2007
Carolyn Ho, TexTESOL IV President,

The five affiliates of Texas will gather at the Galveston Island Convention Center this year for the annual state conference. The planning committee has confirmed exciting and resourceful speakers and presenters with topics ranging from dual language instruction to today's master teacher. Three preconference institutes will provide hands-on training. Topics include adult education retention by Gretchen Bitterlin and Donna Price; lesson planning to engage learners by Jeff Mohamed; and strategies for accelerating literacy skills and content learning of ESL students by Jo Guzman. In addition to the institutes, the conference also features renowned scholars and authors as plenary and featured speakers. Among them are Randall Davis, Keith Folse, Irene Schoenberg, Dorothy Kauffman, and Lynn Diaz-Rico.

As always, the highlight of the conference is the energizing and inspiring presentations by ESL educators across the state. Indeed, TexTESOL affiliates look amongst their members at regional conferences to identify the best presentation. The best of the best will be sent to the state conference this year, where one ultimate "best of" presentation will be selected to attend the TESOL convention in 2008.

TexTESOL IV board members using a wall talker room
at Cy-Fair College for conference planning.

Join us at the Galveston Beach in October and take home useful ideas and activities for your class! The conference hotel is The Hilton Galveston Island Resort Hotel, just steps away from the Convention Center. A tour of NASA and Kemah Boardwalks is also available on October 25 at a special conference rate. To download the Call for Proposals and Registration Form, please go to our Web site at If you need more information, you can e-mail Martin Loa or Carolyn Ho at

Galveston is waiting for you. See you in October!

Yakut TESOL News 2006-07
Judith Elliott, Senior English Language Fellow,; Larissa Olesova, President,; and Elena Zakharova, Newsletter Editor,

Yakut TESOL, a TESOL international affiliate, was set up in September 2002 thanks to the efforts of teachers from the department of foreign languages at Yakutsk State University. The affiliates started with 50 members—English teachers, mostly from higher education; now it counts up to 200 members, from elementary schools up through professional development organizations. The affiliate has organized several activities for its members since its establishment in 2002, including the first international conference, The Perspectives of Bringing Technologies Into Education (June 2004); spring workshops in 2005 and 2006; the fall conference Innovative Strategies for Technology and Writing in the Classroom (September 2006); and the English Summer Camp for Youth (July 2006).

The fall conference Innovative Strategies for Technology and Writing in the Classroom was held September 21-24, 2006, in the city of Yakutsk, Yakutia (Northern Siberia, Russia). Featured speakers Dr. Briget Gersten (English Language Officer, U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia), Dr. Charles Hall (USA), and Judith Elliott (EFL Fellow, USA) attended the conference. They met with Dr. Eugeniya Mikhaylova, the vice prime minister of Yakutia; Mrs. Vera Sidorova, vice minister of foreign affairs of Yakutia; and Anatoli Alexeev, the president of Yakutsk University. More than 100 English teachers participated in the event thanks to a grant provided by the English Language Office of the U.S. Embassy in Russia; the grant covered travel, transportation, and accommodations at the conference. Longman representative Olga Kochenkova and the director of Books Distribution Company Britannia Millennium, Valentin Parkhomenko, from Novosibirsk (Western Siberia, Russia), ran workshops, presented new EFL books, and organized book lotteries. (For more about the conference, visit

The Yakut TESOL Spring Conference 2007 Tides Across the Cultures was held April 7-10, 2007, in the city of Yakutsk, Yakutia (Siberia, Russia). Over 100 teachers and faculty members from different organizations and parts of Yakutia participated in the annual spring conference. This year more teachers from rural schools and remote places took part in the event in spite of melting snow and ice on roads after a long winter and in spite of busy weeks preparing children for final state exams.

The conference participants attended workshops and presentations by Senior English Language Fellow Judith Elliott and the director of Publishing House Titul, Moscow, Alexey Konobeyev. Also, some Yakut TESOL members presented their own innovations and research in the field of EFL/ESP. They participated in group work activities analyzing techniques and developed lesson plans that they could take back to use in their own classrooms. In addition, Judith conducted a seminar on Books in a Box and donated these books to Yakut TESOL on behalf of the English Language Programs. "Topics on Intercultural Communication" was the plenary session by Dr. Elliott. As usual, Yakut TESOL offered a variety of opportunities to its members: They could learn the practical ways of integrating new technologies into teaching EFL, they could watch videos and discuss movie content and ways to implement it into their classrooms, and they could sing songs while enjoying the English poetry and music.

Yakut TESOL conference participants received certificates of attendance, participated in book lotteries, and won interesting teaching tools. The lottery materials were provided for free by the English Language Office of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Participants from a wide geographical region were able to participate in training seminars to view the latest materials and techniques. With more Books in a Box donated to the Yakutsk TESOL library, teachers from the Sakha Republic will have the opportunity to use these new materials in their university and high school classes. You can read more about the conference at

Yakut TESOL: English Summer Camp for Youth 2006
Larissa Olesova, President,

What do you think when someone mentions summer camp for youth? Of course, the first things that are likely to come to mind is children everywhere, busy days, activities, games, organized meals, beaches, and so on. But who usually organizes summer camps for youth? What is the usual schedule of activities? I suspect that the kind of summer camps you are thinking of are quite different from the camp that Yakut TESOL held last summer at the base of Petropavlovsky Secondary School in the Ust-Maya region.

The English Summer Camp for Youth 2006 was organized by the alumni of the U.S. Department of State Exchange Programs (FLEX, UGRAD, JFDP, IV, Fulbright, Open World, and SUBIT). The alumni are students from Moscow and Yakutsk, independent translators, secondary school teachers, and faculty of Yakutsk State University.

The English Summer Camp for Youth was organized with the aid of a grant from the English Language Office of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and Project Harmony in Moscow. The grant covered EFL materials (books, CDs, videos, games), travel expenses for counselors and teachers, medical insurance, and salaries. The other expenditures—for food, staff salaries, stationery, sports equipment, transportation, museums, camping, swimming, and so on—were covered thanks to the support of Svetlana Nikitina, head of Ust-Maya Regional Administration of Education and Albina Vinokurova, the director of Petropavlovsky Secondary School.

Children who were from the Ust-Maya region (Zvyozdochka, Solnechny, Yugoryonok, Eldikan, Ezhansy, Ust-Myl, Ust-Maya, and Petropavlovsky), were in 7th Form (grade) to 11th Form. These children, who were from families with low-incomes, single parents, or disabled parents, took part in the camp for free. All the children spent the whole day having 30-minute English classes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They studied everything - English grammar, U.S. history, computers and Internet use, drama, English songs, and English conversation - through games. The children sang English songs, memorizing the words every day with Elena and they played grammar and vocabulary games with Zarmena or by themselves without teachers' help. They followed Eberhard's (University of Berkley) instruction, imitated the speech of the professional interpreter, Yana, investigated American history with Alyona, and prepared events with their counselors, Sardana, Dashas, and Tanya. They had opportunities to work on ecology with Kostya, through ecological games, lectures, and camping.

In addition to studying, the children had English activities with different types of events from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day, including: Miss and Mister Summer Camp, grammar contests, karaoke contests, sports competitions, and drama contests. Also, breakfast, lunch, and dinner were provided each day. If you are interested in camp materials (lessons, event plans, etc.), visit the following Web site:


Call for Nominations for Member A

The Affiliate Leadership Council has four voting members: the past chair, the chair, the chair-elect, and member A. The bulk of the ALC's work is done from January to June.

The member A position requires a four-year commitment. Member A will move to chair-elect the following year, become the chair during the third year, and serve as the past chair during the fourth year of service.

Interested candidates must be a TESOL member in good standing for at least five years and be a past president of an affiliate. They must have attended at least two annual TESOL conventions in the past five years and be familiar with the TESOL organization. Familiarity with TESOL is demonstrated by strong service to TESOL or a TESOL affiliate with the past five years. Such service includes active leadership in an affiliate organization; active membership in a TESOL Standing Committee, task force, caucus, interest section, special project; or past service on the Affiliate Council.

Member A responsibilities include the following:

  • Work closely with the chair throughout the year
  • Engage in regular communication with the ALC
  • Be responsible for gathering newsletter articles for The Affiliate News, a bi-annual electronic affiliate newsletter
  • Be responsible for the affiliate booth
  • Be responsible for writing the minutes when necessary

The nomination committee (NC) encourages self-nomination from current and past affiliate leaders. If you are interested or if you would like to nominate someone, please send a brief statement regarding the candidate's qualifications, experience as a leader, and reasons for interest in service to Lisa Harshbarger, chair of the NC, at by November 15, 2007. In the statement, please

  • cite the candidate's experience in TESOL (e.g., interest section, affiliates, standing committees),
  • describe the candidate's professional responsibilities and experience as they relate to serving TESOL, and
  • comment on the candidate's interest and motivation for service.

Call for Participation

Submit your articles, announcements, and photos for the next issue of The Affiliate News!

Submission deadline for spring 2008 issue: October 29, 2007

Send submissions to Donald Weasenforth at

What's in it for you?

  • Publicity for your affiliate
  • Inclusion of publication on your résumé
  • Useful feedback for you and your affiliate
  • Satisfaction of supporting TESOL and the field in general

What types of submissions are appropriate?

  • Showcases of affiliates' accomplishments
  • Updates on affiliate conferences/workshops
  • Affiliates' vision for the field
  • Insight into issues affiliates are facing
  • Discussions of collaboration with other affiliates
  • Discussions of local educational policy/change as it affects affiliates
  • Reports on or requests for information about organizational development
  • Discussions of governance issues affiliates are addressing
  • Photos of affiliate members, conferences, and other events

New TESOL Affiliate

The Affiliate Leadership Council would like to welcome the English Language Teachers’ Association (ELTA) of Serbia as TESOL’s 96th affiliate. ELTA is the largest national English language teachers' association in Serbia and was founded in 2003 after the merger of two teachers' associations.

ELTA’s office is located in Belgrade, Serbia and is supported by the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Republic of Serbia, the United States Embassy, and the British Council.

For more information, visit ELTA’s Web site at: