The 9th Annual Affiliate MATE TESOL Conference for Teachers of
English as a Foreign Language was held August 22–23, 2013, at Robsi
Hotel, in Miragoane. The conference was held with the full support of
the Office of Public Diplomacy of the U.S. Embassy in Haiti and hosted
about 80 participants from throughout the country. The conference theme
was “Teaching English as a Global Language: Constraints and Successes.”
Its principal objective was to focus on promoting and understanding of
the impact of the English language in an era of changing global economy
and technological development.
MATE TESOL Conference 2013
In the opening remarks, Yvenie Massolas greeted everybody and
announced Mr. Jean Frantzy Italien, the founding father of MATE TESOL
Haiti, who kindly welcomed the participants through a wonderful speech,
highlighting the importance of English teaching in Haiti. Mr. Italien
reminded the teachers of English of their responsibilities to the future
We had the privilege to have among us Dr. Rosa Aronson, the
executive director of TESOL International Association. In her
presentation, Dr. Aronson discussed the topic “Global Trends in English
Teaching” by focusing on five aspects of global change and how these
mega trends affect the English language teachers and their classroom
experiences. She shared her practical experience on the essential
strategies to overcome challenges in the classroom.
Dr. Rosa Aronson, Executive Director of TESOL
International Association, and Jean Frantzy Italien, President of MATE
TESOL, at the MATE TESOL Conference 2013
Immediately, Mrs. Rose-Lourdes Elysee, professor at Quisqueya
University, one of the most prestigious universities in Haiti, addressed
a problem: working with large classes. She took a very high-level look
at the challenges that Haitian teachers and students are confronted
with: inappropriate infrastructure, insufficient learning materials,
limited support, and overcrowded classrooms. She suggested a few
strategies in order to reach learning objectives.
Mr. Hervé Francois Alcindor, the president advisor, engaged
participants in pronunciation and phonology activities, during which he
shared practical ideas for teaching pronunciation effectively in class.
He also pointed out that pronunciation is important for successful
English language speaking.
On Friday the 23rd, Dr. Aronson concluded her next topic,
“Teaching Against the Odds,” and she raised some pertinent questions.
She showed her interest to see the future of MATE. She was very happy to
thank the dignitaries, leaders of MATE TESOL Haiti, Jean Frantzy
Italien and Jean Francois Vilmenay. In Dr. Aronson’s first time visiting
Haiti, she promptly saw the challenges of MATE members. She left the
audience with a quote from Malala Yousafzai (July 12th speech at the
United Nations): “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can
change the world. Education is the only solution. Education
Finally, Dr. Renaldy Fabien, professor at Inlingua Institute in
Florida, presented “Global English and Community Advancement.” From
that theme, he developed a topic to show the participants the importance
of a good teacher and advocated that a teacher is a good leader. Dr.
Fabien took an example from the Haitian story where he talked about
Bookman as a teacher and a leader who lead the Haitian slaves to get
In conclusion, President Italien announced next year’s MATE
TESOL Conference in late June and the 2014 TESOL Annual Convention and
Exhibit in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. He gratefully
acknowledged the support of MATE members, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti,
TESOL International, IATEFL, Monrovia Foundation for Haiti, Belinda
Braunstein, CATESOL, and also thanked all the participants. The
delegates reported that the conference was a great success.