October 12, 2018
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AFFILIATE REPORTS
HELTA HONDURAS TESOL 4th ANNUAL CONFERENCE: EMPOWERING LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES THROUGH COLLABORATION
Grazzia María Mendoza Chirinos, HELTA Honduras TESOL, Tegucigalpa, Honduras & Ulrich Schrader, Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Grazzia María Mendoza Chirinos

Ulrich Schrader

This year, 2018, has been a special year indeed for HELTA Honduras TESOL with a series of firsts during the annual events hosted by our newest strategic partner, Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana (UNITEC, Laureate International Universities). We give special thanks to its rector, Dr. Marlon Breve.

a) The First TESOL Academy was hosted in Honduras in collaboration with TESOL International Association, on July 11-12, 2018 in Tegucigalpa with four, two-day professional development training sessions with a total of 185 participants in attendance. The 10-hour intensive workshops covered the following topics: K-12 Methodology with Dr. Holly Hansen-Thomas; CALL in Various Scenarios with Dr. Susan Gaer; Grammar: Theories and Methodologies with M.Sc. Gabriel Maggioli; and Teachers in Action Research, with M.Sc. Kia McDaniel. The participants were actively involved in intensive hands-on work during the sessions. Dr. Luciana de Oliveira, TESOL International Association President opened the Academy with a plenary and closed with a session making connections among all the work resulting from these two days of training, as well as reflecting on the importance of the work being done in the ELT field in Honduras.


HELTA - TESOL Academy

b) This was first time a TESOL International President, Dr. Luciana de Oliveira, who also happens to be the first Latin American TESOL President, (a double honor) was part of the annual event which established a milestone and set up high expectations for the future. It also meant international recognition for the work done during the last four years in Honduras which has included increasing awareness of the need for more training in the field and the understanding that these needs are being addressed by securing quality training and providing professional development events.

c) This was the first time HELTA Honduras TESOL hosted representatives from all over Latin America for the 14th Biennial Central American and Caribbean Basin Regional TESOL Conference during the 4th Annual Conference. Close to 600 participants attended the joint conference from July 13-14 with 60 (40 international and 20 Honduran) presenters giving over 90 presentations including the following: plenaries, panels, workshops, demonstrations and lectures. Participants came from all over Honduras: The Bay Islands, La Ceiba, Trujillo, El Progreso, San Pedro Sula, Copan, Santa Rosa de Copan, Gracias, Lempira, Santa Barbara, La Esperanza, Choluteca, Valle, Comayagua, Siguatepeque, Olancho and, of course, Tegucigalpa. There was also ample representation of student-teachers from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras and from the Regional Centers of Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán. We wish to thank the US State Department for providing extensive support, not only for funding the presenters’ participation and attendee scholarships, but also for providing presentations by Regional English Language Officer Frances Westbrook and English Language Fellow Kati Casto.


HELTA - 4th Annual Conference

Latin America TESOL Affiliates Regional Group

At the 14th Biennial Central American and Caribbean Basin (CA&CB) Conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from July 13-14, 2018, hosted by HELTA Honduras TESOL, representatives from 9 TESOL Affiliates and from 2 other countries in the region met to discuss the future of the CA&CB TESOL Affiliates Regional Group. The first conference was held in Puerto Rico in 1990 and a formal agreement was signed with TESOL officials in 1994 which recognized and established the CA&CB group (also sometimes referred to as the Northern Cone) for the northern half of Latin America and the Southern Cone for the southern half.

For the last 28 years the CA&CB group has met biennially in one of the member countries, hosted by the English Teacher Association which is a TESOL affiliate. The CA&CB group became more active again in 2010 at the 10th conference in Cancun, Mexico, and the regional group has become stronger than ever playing a significant role in bringing together like-minded ELT professionals in the region.

Aside from the biennial convention, there has been inter-affiliate and inter-regional collaboration on panels at TESOL International conferences during the last three years, reflecting the entire Latin American geographical-cultural region. An initial series of webinars through VenTESOL, EFLTalks and the EFLIS have also been instituted and English language teachers throughout Latin America have participated.

In addition to the CA&CB TESOL Affiliate countries (Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) representatives from Guatemala and El Salvador were also present at the 14th conference. As special guests, representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and Peru took part as well. Brazil was indirectly represented by Luciana de Oliveira, current TESOL International Association President. Ecuador, Belize and Cuba were invited, but representatives were unable to attend.

At the CA&CB dinner-meeting Saturday evening after two full days of the conference, those present agreed to look into the possibility of fusing the group with the Southern Cone group and forming a unified Latin America TESOL Affiliate Regional Group. This new group would extend from Argentina and Chile in the extreme south to Mexico and Puerto Rico in the extreme north and include all of the countries and islands of the Caribbean.

All of these countries share a common Iberian cultural heritage through two distinct main languages (Portuguese and Spanish). The common denominator of the group which strengthens and empowers collaboration, however, is the pursuit of excellence in English language teaching and learning across all geographical and political boundaries in the Latin American region.

The CA&CB group will be working on the formation of this new expanded regional group during the next two years in preparation for the 15th CA&CB Regional TESOL Affiliates Conference in Bogotá, Colombia. This is a very appropriate venue for the first conference of the expanded Latin America TESOL Affiliates Regional Group since Colombia lies where South and Central America connect. An organizational meeting will also be held by interested parties at the TESOL Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in March, 2019.

The CA&CB group will be sending updates about the formation of this group through the TESOL Affiliate News, the CA&CB Facebook page and the website https://cacbregionaltesolgroup.wordpress.com


HELTA - Latin American Team

Bios:

Grazzia María Mendoza has two Master Degrees, one in International Education and a second in TESOL. She is a US State Department Alumna, recognized for project development for teachers’ professional growth. She has worked in the TESOL field for 26 years. Her research interests include Competency Based Language Teaching and Methodological Improvements for Professional Development.

Ulrich Schrader has a Master’s Degree in TESOL from the University of the Americas in Mexico City. He was actively involved in Mexico TESOL for over 40 years. His main interest is maintaining humanistic education principles in an ever-increasing technological classroom. He is Incoming Chair of the Affiliate Network Professional Council.

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