What Irks You at Work? Can TESOL help?

From Amy Pascucci – TESOL EIC Chair:

Checklist, Lists, Business, FormTo streamline communications and enhance efficiency, the TESOL International Association is refining its organizational structure. As part of this restructuring, the Employment Issues Standing Committee (EIC) has been asked to provide advice to the TESOL Board of Directors on how best to continue addressing work-related issues of English language teachers worldwide, including those of Nonnative English Speaking Teachers.

To provide the best information possible to the Board, the EIC is sending out a survey of TESOL members. This survey will have two primary goals: first, to better understand ESL and EFL teachers needs throughout the world, and second, to gather input on how TESOL as an organization can continue to address these needs under the new administrative structure.

We in the EIC hope you will take a few minutes to complete this important survey. The survey will remain open until August 15.  If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please email EIC chair Amy Pascucci at amykpascucci@gmail.com.



Happy birthday, TESOL!

Birthday, Rainbow, GreetingNext year TESOL International Association will celebrate its 50th birthday! The association has lots of activities planned for the yearlong 50th anniversary celebration in 2016. Here are some ways you can participate.


4 ways TESOL professionals can contribute to the celebration prep:

  • Submit nominations for the TESOL 50 at 50, a list of 50  people who have made a significant contribution to the TESOL profession within the past 50 years
  • Submit nominations for the TESOL 30 Up and Coming, a list of 30 people who represent the next generation in research, teaching, publishing, and leadership. These emerging leaders will shape the future of both the association and the profession for years to come.
  • Submit a TESOL Success Story, a brief story that recognizes a teacher or student who made an impact or against all odds, is thriving as a second language learner. Selected stories will be featured in TESOL Connections, English Language Bulletin, and other online publications in 2016.
  • Submit a TESOL Milestone on the Interactive Timeline


The submission deadline for the 50 at 50 and 30 Up and Coming lists is 21 August 2015. The complete lists will be announced in January 2016. The milestone and success story submissions are ongoing throughout the year.


For more information on the planned activities, please contact Barry Pilson(bpilson@tesol.org).


Success Stories, Anyone?

As part of its 50th Anniversary celebration, TESOL International Association wants to recognize and share teacher and student success stories. Your stories show the impact that TESOL teachers can have on their students and the impact that students can have on the world.

Selected stories will appear on the TESOL 50th Anniversary website and in TESOL Connections,the English Language Bulletin, and other TESOL publications. Some story authors may also be asked to do a blog post, or TESOL may ask to interview subjects and writers for a feature or podcast.

Teacher Stories

Do you have a story about a student that, against all odds, is thriving as a second language learner? Or maybe a teacher who teaches an at-risk student population? Please share it!

You might tell a story about

  • a student who was special in some way
  • overcoming  resource challenges
  • teaching at-risk populations
  • working in challenging contexts (e.g., war zones, remote areas, etc.)
  • teaching students with limited formal education
  • students  overcoming  personal challenges

Student Stories

Did you have a teacher, without whom you might not be teaching today? Or a teacher that made the difference for you as a second language learner?
You might tell a story about

  • the impact of English on your life
  • the impact of a teacher on your English
  • challenges that learning English has helped you overcome
  • how you learned or discovered English

How to Submit Your Story

Submitted stories should be 500 words in length. Include a photo if possible. Submission of a photo gives TESOL permission to use it. The deadline for story submission is 1 August 2015.


The Wonderful World of Teaching Online

imagesTeaching happens in a classroom. Right? Well, with the ever-evolving technological age the definition of a “classroom” has been changing.

No longer do you need to wait in traffic, find a parking spot, spill your coffee, or trip over the sidewalk on your way to class. Teaching can happen just about anywhere at anytime. Most recently I have found myself teaching English at my dining room table in the wee hours of the morning to students in China.

People all over the world want to learn English for a variety of reasons. Luckily with the internet these needs can be filled with a click, loading screen, and headphones. Simple right? Well, it is a bit more complicated than that.

Over the past months, I have experienced many adventures and misadventures of teaching English online. Every class starts with a large cup of medium roast coffee, a mostly sharpened pencil, under-eye circles, and the overwhelming excitement of speaking with my students.

Everyday is different. Every class is different. Every student is different.

I know I am preaching these statements to a community of teachers who see these differences every day. But there is something special about teaching online. The unpredictability, freedom, ability to scaffold a class to just one student, cultural exchange, and community development that is created over the virtual strings of the internet.

I have no set age group or language level that categorizes my students. There is only one commonality, the desire to learn English.

Teaching English online is similar to teaching English in a traditional classroom. Teachers have to know their students, plan lessons, present effective lessons, and reflect. There are many other important steps in-between but you get the picture.

Depending on where your traditional classroom is, you might have to worry about satisfying students who pay for classes; this is a similar phenomenon to teaching online.

The major difference is that I am talking to a MacBook Air computer screen. I do not have a whiteboard to clarify meaning, but I have the internet full of pictures. I do not have the ability to share tactile teaching materials, but I can share my computer screen with my students.

I cannot say if I like teaching online better than teaching in a traditional classroom. To me, they are two different entities under one umbrella—teaching. For new professionals in the field trying to gain teaching experience or for long time TESOL professionals looking to diversify their resume, teaching English online is a great and unpredictable journey.


Stephanie Brown is NNETESOL’s publisher’s liaison. She’s also behind our latest push on social media. Check us out on facebook!

Help revise National Board Certification

You may be interested to know about how your members can help shape the future of National Board Certification. As you may be aware, the process for achieving certification isbeing revised. These changes will retain the rigor while making certification accessible to more teachers and incorporating the latest research on best practices in teaching.

To help validate the proposed changes, we must recruit thousands of teachers in most subject and developmental areas across PreK-12 to participate in the field tests. The Content Knowledge field tests have started on April 20 and run throughAugust 1. We would greatly appreciate your help in ensuring we recruit the required number of teachers for this component in particular. Click here for more information and the link to sign up.

The field tests offer a rare chance for teachers across the country who may be considering certification to experience the revised assessment, which are more flexible, affordable and efficient. In addition, the National Board is pleased to be able to offer three incentives for participation in the Content Knowledge field test:

  • Participants who complete any portion of the Content Knowledge Phase II field test will be entered into a drawing for a $3,000 award! For a complete list of sweepstakes rules click here.
  • The choice of receiving a $25 Gift Card to either Amazon.com or Powell’s Books upon successful completion of each online testing appointment.
  • Additionally, participants may be eligible to receive up to two Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
  • Finally, all participants will receive a letter of commendation from the National Board.

Thank you in advance for your support. As always, we are always interested in hearing of ways to support your work.


Best regards,


Andrea Hajek, NBCT | Director of Educator Engagement

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

1525 Wilson Blvd., Suite 700 | Arlington, VA 22209


O: (703) 465-8868 | C: (703) 217-6929


October SLIFE Institute in Vermont



The link above is for a flyer that advertises an October institute on Students with Limited or Interrupted Schooling (SLIFE). Registration is starting now…
Confused about SLIFE?

Here’s an explanation from the Michigan ELT blog:
English language learners (ELLs) are students learning English as a second or additional language.  There is a neglected and growing subpopulation of ELLs, who, in addition to lacking English language proficiency, also lack basic literacy skills and grade-level content knowledge. Equally important, this population has not (fully) participated in Western-style education, making them generally unfamiliar with classroom behaviors and pedagogical practices that high school teachers take for granted their students will know and understand. Moreover, SLIFE have cognitively different ways of understanding the world around them. All of these factors, combined with the fact that SLIFE frequently hold cultural values, beliefs, and assumptions that are often at odds with those of mainstream U.S. education, leads to “cultural dissonance” when they try to participate in the school system. – See more at:http://blog.press.umich.edu/elt/2012/08/16/michigan-authors-andrea-decapua-and-helaine-w-marshall-talk-extensively-about-slife-and-malp-part-i-of-ii/#sthash.bDFtQFfd.dpuf

TESOL Advocacy Summit June 21-23



21–23 June 2015


Hilton Crystal City, Arlington, VA  – minutes from Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

Why Should I Attend?

By attending the TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit, you will

  • learn from experts and insiders about the latest federal education policy
  • enhance your leadership skills with hands-on advocacy training
  • share a powerful message with your members of Congress
  • join your colleagues from across the United States to make a difference

In short, you should attend to make a difference!

See the Top 10 Reasons to Attend according to past participants – See more at: http://www.tesol.org/events-landing-page/2015/03/13/2015-tesol-advocacy-policy-summit#sthash.ZrwaJBXF.dpuf

$ for Research!

TESOL just posted an announcement for a call for research proposals —projects that partner classroom practitioners with administrators and/or outside researchers are highly valued.  Full details on the website above.  Proposals are due July 15.

Deadline for Proposals is May 15

The deadline for submitting proposals for our November conference is next week!

Come share your ideas with your colleagues! DEADLINE IS MAY 15!!!

NNETESOL invites proposals for our upcoming conference on November 7th. Please consider sharing your expertise with your fellow colleagues and present at our annual NNETESOL Conference. Please submit a proposal application at our conference page. http://www.nnetesol.org/annualconference/

When: Saturday, November 7th

Where: University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH

Proposal Deadline: May 15, 2015


Please peruse our grants page for a list of grants and awards given by NNETESOL.  http://www.nnetesol.org/grants/

Hope to see you at the November conference. For more information about NNETESOL please visit our website.



Cynthia Reyes

President-Elect NNETESOL


Deadline extended for TESOL task forces

TESOL International Association is now accepting applications for volunteers to serve on two new task forces: the Affiliate Task Force and the Interest Section Task Force.

The task forces are charged, respectively, with conducting research on affiliate organizations and knowledge-based member communities, then reporting back to the Board of Directors on possible models and structures for these programs within the association.

The deadline is has been extended to 4 May 2015.

For more information, please read the full call for volunteers.

– See more at: http://www.tesol.org/news-landing-page/2015/04/16/tesol-seeks-volunteers-for-two-new-task-forces#sthash.tWUWFCy1.dpuf

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