March 1, 2018
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Mg. Florentina de la Cruz de Pelaez, President, Peru TESOL Association. Trujillo, Peru
Peru TESOL Association proudly celebrates 25 years as an affiliate of TESOL International Association. This silver anniversary is an opportunity to recall the challenges, the commitment, and the successes of Peru TESOL Association and its membership.
It was roughly thirty years ago that initial discussions about forming a TESOL affiliate in Peru gained momentum. Peruvian English teachers and Peruvian universities had successfully organized local conferences focusing on teaching English in Peru. These smaller regional conferences took place throughout our country—in coastal cities, the highlands, and the jungle. Local conferences focusing on pedagogy were also offered through the Instituto Británico and the Instituto Cultural Peruano-Norteamericano, often with participation of experts in TESOL sponsored by the British Council and the Fulbright Commission. 
The concept of a truly national organization moving beyond regional boundaries presented many challenges cemented in Peru’s geography. Another challenge was, and continues to be, the diversity of contexts in which quality English instruction is offered in Peru– from pre-schools to universities, from private tutoring groups to language institutes. Finally, as in many countries, economic constraints presented obstacles to potential membership supporting a national organization. 
The Peru TESOL affiliate was formally launched on February 22, 1991 at Sophianum School in Lima, Peru, where a Constitution Committee was chaired by Professor Liliana Núñez-Aguirre, At that initial organizing convention, the Pro TESOL Committee, comprised of English teachers from all over Peru, met with the purpose of establishing a TESOL chapter affiliate and affirmed its commitment to the mission of TESOL: to advance the quality of English language teaching through professional development, research, standards, and advocacy. In 2014, in order to best conform to national regulations, our affiliate’s name was officially changed to Peru TESOL Association. 
The Peru TESOL Association is overseen by a Board of Directors, dedicated volunteers representing different regions of Peru. With its strong commitment to fiscal responsibility, the Board ensures efficient management of funds as it engages institutional collaborators to underwrite some costs. Registration fees for a three-day convention hosted in a public or private educational institution, which generously donates classroom and auditorium space, are consistently low and have remained the same since our first conference in 1991. 
Every year, the signature event organized by the Peru TESOL Association Board of Directors is the Annual Convention – always held on July 31, August 1 and August 2, following the Peruvian Independence Day national holiday. The Peruvian Ministry of Education and prestigious universities from across Peru continually provide essential infrastructure. Moreover, the support of TESOL International, other TESOL affiliates, the British Council, the Fulbright Commission, the U.S. Embassy in Peru, Australian Education International (AEI), and several book publishers with offices in Peru, has proven invaluable. 
The success of the annual convention is largely a result of the enthusiastic collaboration of Peruvian English teachers who are presenters and participants. These Peruvian teachers are joined by colleagues from abroad, making the Convention a truly international event. Our international participants hail from Asia, North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, as well as from neighboring countries in Central and South America. Particularly noteworthy is Peru TESOL Association’s longstanding collaboration with Georgia TESOL (USA), which annually supports a member of Georgia TESOL who speaks at our annual conference. Arabia TESOL and Penn TESOL East also enjoy a strong collaboration with the Peru TESOL Association, as evidenced by regular speaker participation by their members and other support.  
Speakers from abroad spend a day prior to the convention on a local tour. Our visitors always commend Peruvian friendship and hospitality as well as the high academic quality of the convention. With a spirit of professional collaboration, our many national and international presenters do not charge or receive compensation for their expert participation. Some participants come year after year in order to share their experiences and to collaborate as we all work to enhance professional development opportunities for teachers of English in Peru. 
The Peru TESOL Association rotates the locale of the annual convention, as the Board of Directors strives to reach all English teachers in the country. Convention participants arrive via all modes of transportation—car, motorcycle, airplane, bus, and even Amazon River barge! Each year, while some Peruvian English teachers may find the convention close at hand, others spend three or more days traveling over mountains, deserts, or rivers in order to enhance their professional development. Their dedication of time and financial resources is an inspiration to our Board of Directors and to our presenters. 
Each year on the final day of the convention, Peru TESOL Association holds a popular raffle drawing, awarding prizes donated by our institutional collaborators. Peru TESOL Association funds a much coveted grand prize: financing one fortunate Peruvian English teacher's round trip transportation and hotel to the following year's convention.  
In order to accommodate the needs of attendees and to address the requirements of the Peruvian Ministry of Education for a certified 200-hour in-service training course, the Peru TESOL Association has established procedures to enable participants to achieve national professional development standards. The requirements include submission of a written project, such as one focusing on classroom-based research. Dr. Karen Jogan, our liaison abroad, chairs a committee of TESOL professionals with advanced degrees. The committee evaluates and rates participants’ research projects, and recommends best practices to be disseminated through the Peru TESOL Association’s e-newsletter. Those attendees who submit a quality project receive both an official certificate of attendance authorized in accordance with regulations of the Peruvian Ministry of Education, as well as Peru TESOL Association’s recognition inscribed in the following year’s convention bulletin. Most importantly, the research by and for Peruvian teachers speaks to the relevance of successful approaches and strategies implemented in Peru, while also addressing an important research-focused element articulated in the mission of TESOL. 
Nefdy Falconi, a past president and convention chair, is one of the founding members of the organization. She states: “For me, the Peru TESOL Association has provided an incomparable opportunity to meet and collaborate with colleagues from throughout our entire country, to travel to most regions in Peru, and to improve my own personal and professional development. I hope that future leaders and members of Peru TESOL Association will continually reaffirm that our Association is and always has been motivated as an organization focused on service to other English teachers. We are here to serve our colleagues.” Her values are shared by the thousands of Peruvian Teachers of English as well as by the teachers of TESOL from abroad who have been engaged in the annual conventions, which we are proud to highlight. 
Peru TESOL Association continues making history among Peruvian English Teachers. Our unfaltering and successful track record of Annual Conventions has served our membership throughout Peru. Peru TESOL Association convention venues have changed each year, to reach Peruvian English teachers in all regions of the country; conventions have been held in major cities along the coast, in the Andean highlands, and in the Amazon region. In 2018, we are very proud to be organizing our upcoming TWENTY- SIXTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, which builds on the strong foundation of our previous national conventions. 
2018: The 26th Annual Convention
Theme: “Creating Student Connections” 
Convention Chair: Lic. Elisa Gonzales Mera 
Held in: Iquitos, Loreto, from July 31st to August 2nd, 2018 
Convention Venue: Universidad Científica del Perú. 
 For further information about Peru TESOL Association, including all the past conventions and our upcoming convention in the Amazon region, we invite you to visit our website
Florentina de la Cruz de Pelaez is a foreign language teacher graduated from the National University of Trujillo, La Libertad. Peru. She worked at the Catholic Language Centre in Trujillo and Federico Villarreal University. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology in Education.
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