August 12, 2019
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Ana María Rocca, Argentina TESOL (ARTESOL), Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Since its foundation, ARTESOL’s mission has been to improve the quality and value of professionalism in English language teaching in Argentina. Having developed in many aspects as a TESOL affiliate over thirty-two years, one of ARTESOL’s main objectives has been to work on a federal strategic plan that allows for constant updating of knowledge through the permanent network between local professionals and those from other countries.

Reaching out to ELT teachers from different cities throughout Argentina is one of the main characteristics of this plan. A path that turned out to be always successful in this respect has been to celebrate ARTESOL local conferences in different Argentine provinces, inviting national and private educational institutions to be the venue for this event. It is one of the biggest challenges the organization faces as the city of Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, looks more attractive not only for tourists but also for professionals from all over the country as well as from other countries.

Looking back on history allows us to see that out of thirty-one ARTESOL conventions, there were near twenty conferences held in cities outside Buenos Aires. This initiative strengthened the organization by bringing about permanent, collaborative work between ARTESOL and many other associations in the ELT field. Its visibility grew sharply in almost all regions of the country. Many Argentine ELT professionals show a strong interest in understanding the organization’s mission as a TESOL affiliate. In every local conference, there is always a plenary presentation on TESOL/ARTESOL matters where aspects and missions of both associations are discussed.

This year ARTESOL convention, “Navigating towards the future: meeting the challenges in EFL” was held on May 10-11, in the province of Misiones, in the northeast of Argentina. This province is very well known for its natural beauty but mostly because the famous Iguazú Falls are located on the border of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná.

The convention was a big success, but it was through a strong collaborative work with Universidad Católica de las Misiones (UCAMI) that this dream could come true. The University Authorities paved the way to this dream. They helped ARTESOL in every aspect concerning the organization of the event. Hospitality and friendliness were the engines that made all of us feel at home.

The event was endorsed by the General Council of Education from Misiones Province and the Private Teaching Provincial Service from Misiones (Servicio Provincial de Enseñanza Privada de Misiones),and, as it has happened since ARTESOL was founded, the United States Embassy in Argentina helped ARTESOL in the organization and implementation of its annual convention.

There was a plenary session on “Teaching and testing speaking in the classroom” conducted by India Plough, assistant professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) at Michigan State University on Friday, then on Saturday India chose to be part of the concurrent sessions and carried out a workshop on “Creating communicative activities to build grammar”.

There were four highlighted sessions conducted by prestigious specialists from the United States and Argentina: Kenneth Richter, who presented on “Repertory grids: Creating an inventory of teacher beliefs”; David Williams, who dealt with “Preparing students for success in the 21st century”; Susana Tuero, Claudia Borgia, Carlos Machado, Marina lópez Casoli, and Eliana Berardo, explained the complex and cognitively demanding activity writing a good text is, “Helping EFL students develop their writing skills”; and María Susana González, Ana Otero, and Ana María Rocca presented a model of academic text reading “Reading comprehension of different academic text genres”.

Professionals in the ELT field from all educational levels conducted a total of twenty-three concurrent presentations in four categories: research papers, demonstrations, workshops, and poster sessions.

The collaborative work developed by ARTESOL and Universidad Católica de las Misiones resulted in the signing of a four-year agreement by which both organizations committed to developing a joint work of cultural, academic, technological and of service collaboration and reciprocal assistance. It is important to notice that in terms of professional development, the agreement also allows for joint community service for the ELT community in Misiones or in any other part of the country.


Ana María Rocca has served Argentina TESOL from different positions on the Board, and presently is a member of ARTESOL’s Advisory Council. Until October 2018, she served on the TESOL Affiliate Network Professional Council and is an ESL/ESP teacher at Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her research interest is focused on Adult Education and Intercultural Communication.

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