September 8, 2014
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2014 Affiliate Workshop
Tina Howlett, Past President, Judy Hobson, Past President, ARKTESOL

Best Practices: Leadership Responsibilities, Roles and Relationships


  • Invite speakers that appeal to a wide audience.
  • Involve students in conferences and meetings to seek active participation in event organization.
  • Provide consistency in conference location by contracting with a reputable convention center location.
  • Book your convention site location for 2–3 years in a row, so that your affiliate has time to dedicate to other initiates.
  • Seek a venue such as a university that could provide a cost-free location for events.
  • At the conference, provide a rich academic program, a balanced exhibit area, and a social/cultural event.
  • Provide “clock hours” for professional development for K–12 instructors.
  • For your conference planning group members, provide a handbook with specific roles and responsibilities.
  • Skype conferences.
  • Seek sponsors who can provide financial support to pay for the costs of conference fees such as lunches, dinners, etc.
  • Provide a large annual conference that would move to different locations throughout your state or country.
  • Provide one miniconference (December) and one annual conference (May).
  • At your annual conference, hold a “special event” to increase new membership.
  • Have a raffle for a “free conference registration and hotel package deal.”
  • Offer a free cultural event.
  • Offer a discount for members.


  • Survey members annually and discuss the findings at board meeting (using SurveyMonkey, etc.).
  • To increase membership, create a section on the website for “Benefits of Membership.”
  • Develop “board member benefits” such as providing funds to attend state, regional, or national conferences.
  • At your annual conference, provide a booth for your affiliate to promote and discuss member benefits.
  • Members receive monthly communication from the state affiliate communications chairperson.
  • Provide 1 free year of membership for new ESL-endorsed/licensed teachers.
  • Dedicate a specific month each year for a “new membership” drive.
  • Include “membership fee” in the conference registration, when applicable.
  • Provide an “open house” and invite nonmembers to participate for the first open meeting each year.
  • Appoint a member to be in charge of an “interest section” and set up monthly or quarterly interest section workshops or meetings.
  • Allow each member to choose one primary interest section.
  • Elicit the help of your current members to recruit one new member by word of mouth.
  • To attract new members, have a drawing for a few free affiliate memberships.
  • Host four general meetings each year that are open to all members.
  • Divide your affiliate into two separate affiliates, K–12 and university + other.
  • Establish a strong and clear line of communication with members.
  • Offer a “lifetime membership” fee.


  • Provide mini-grants. Recipients report back by writing a summary of their grant-funded project/activity for the affiliate newsletter.
  • Offer travel grants.
  • Offer one or more graduate student awards/scholarships.
  • Offer a student award that would be presented at the state conference.
  • If funding is available, increase the amount of your travel grants and scholarships.
  • Award scholarships to high school students who are current or former ESL students.
  • Provide awards, scholarships, and grants “for members only.”
  • Establish criteria on how to provide “seed money” for regional representatives to set up meetings and engage members across the state or country.

Website/Historical Data

  • Scan past information such as agendas, board minute meetings, and so on to post in an archival section on the affiliate website.
  • Use an online membership database that is connected to the affiliate website.
  • Create an area on your website for institutional history.
  • Provide quarterly “lesson plan sharing” in a newsletter or website format.
  • Purchase software to link membership and conference registration information to your affiliate website.
  • Post all conference information on your website.
  • Create a “members only” entry site with a section for online discussions, messages, an online journal, and so on.
  • Seek sponsors who can provide financial support to pay for the costs of conference fees.
  • Appoint a website manager who is responsible for keeping the website updated.
  • Create an e-newsletter.


  • Appoint a member as a lobbyist to get involved at the state level.
  • Hire a lobbyist at the state level.
  • International affiliates seek U.S. Embassy or British Council sponsorships, meet together, and update the website with any new information.
  • Reach out by sponsoring an “English by radio” program
  • Affiliates could make contributions to local groups who support Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the "Dreamers", a demographic profile of immigrants who might benefit from the Obama Administration’s DACA, and so on.
  • Establish one advocacy initiative each year and elicit support from your members.
  • Affiliates could provide funding for Dreamers to attend leadership training sessions.


  • Offer monthly workshops (events) for teachers.
  • Offer at least one event/program per year for each group that is represented in your affiliate (elementary, secondary, higher education, literacy councils, etc.).
  • Get involved with other local associations with similar missions.
  • Offer credits for professional development.
  • Select a broad range of board members with various backgrounds/expertise.
  • Encourage your members to publish in a TESOL-related journal. Present their published work at the annual convention.
  • Provide speakers who travel throughout the state, region, and country and offer professional development opportunities for teachers at workshops.
  • Promote the TESOL International conventions.
  • Increase your affiliate exposure by setting up a Facebook and Twitter account.
  • Provide a newsletter or journal that is distributed to your affiliate members.
  • Request embassy grants to attend conferences.
  • Design surveys to find out the needs of your members.
  • Form a connection with your local affiliates and TESOL International.
  • Establish an investment fund for financial stability.
  • Solicit articles from conference presenters for publication in an affiliate journal.
  • Set up chapter meetings that could reach and support members who live in various locations.
  • Collaborate with the Ministry of Education.
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2014 Affiliate Workshop
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