April 2023
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2023-2024 Chair
: Naashia Mohamed

Building on the valuable work on developing critical perspectives and adopting humanizing approaches, our focus for the year ahead will be on exploring the intersections of multilingualism, equity and identity. We’d like to unpack these concepts and their connections to counter deficit discourses and adopt culturally sustaining pedagogies as an integral aspect of education at all levels. We’d like to invite scholars and practitioners from different parts of the globe to lead webinars and online workshops to enrich our thinking and practice. We also envisage engagement with the wider community through social media.

Naashia Mohamed is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her work contributes to understanding how school and society can adopt culturally sustaining approaches to empower linguistically marginalised children, youth, and families to achieve greater social equity.

2022-2023 Chair: Zhongfeng Tian

Call for Inputs on a new name for the B-MEIS Newsletter, Multilingual Connections, previously named Bilingual Basic

The Bilingual-Multilingual Intersection Section (B-MEIS) of TESOL International is seeking your input on a new name for our Newsletter. We believe that the current name, Bilingual Basic, does not capture multilingual individual’s and children’s dynamic and multimodal (trans) languaging practices as well as the critical role of bilingual education in their lives, we invite you to suggest a name change for The B-MEIS’s newsletter that will bring us closer to reflect and articulate the community’s key values, priorities and goals.

We have continued to examine the intersections between equity and assessment for multilingual learners in our collective effort to move towards inclusive assessment practices. To this end, Ching-Ching Lin, Zhongfeng Tian and Clara Bauler co-hosted a joint panel discussion with NYS TESOL, featuring “Should We Expand or Diminish the Role of Assessment for Multilingual Learners?” This panel was inspired by this article by Dr. Margo Gottlieb published by the Center for Applied Linguistics, and aims to unravel the complexity of this issue through juxtaposing diverse perspectives in practitioner friendly terms and making recommendations on future directions. We have invited four panelists (Dr. Laura Ascenzi-Moreno, Dr. Luciana de Oliveira, Dr. Jamie Schissel, and Dr. Aída Walqui) to share their research and experience in this area.

Furthermore, faced with the evolving TESOL landscape (e.g., a growing need for more humanizing practices that value multilingual learners’ local realities and funds of knowledge in TESOL teaching and learning) situated in today’s changing world (a series of social and political events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice movements, and global migration and refugee crisis), we believe that it is more important than ever to cultivate space for criticality and critical perspectives in TESOL as a means to fight for social, racial and linguistic justice. Therefore, we launched a webinar series “Cultivating Critical Language Awareness in TESOL” which features three emerging and early career scholars’ work, with one webinar per month from January to March 2023. The details of their talks are:

LEADERS, 2022-2023

Chair: Clara Bauler

We have been inquiring about what it means to language and what the implications could be for more inclusive, flexible and just teaching and assessment practices in our language-related fields and communities of practice. We started with promoting critical and reflective conversations that would shift the perspective from language as an object to language as a verb. The #LanguageIsAVerb campaign held by our @TESOLBiMulti Twitter social media account in October 2021 became a platform for us all to involve the larger communities, teachers, students, parents, and other interested individuals to advocate for the naturalization of multilingualism in all of its varieties and potentials. #LanguageIsAVerb received contributions from people all across the globe, joining us all with the common goal of fighting linguistic discrimination and affirming multilingual ways of being, knowing and doing. More events and details can be found here.

LEADERS, 2021-2022

Chair: Ching-Ching Lin

As the pandemic uncovered, exacerbated, and challenged flawed social structures and enduring racial hierarchy, it has also opened up opportunities for us to engage in constructive dialogue and meaningful action to advance social justice. Reflecting on the role language plays in responding to cultural and linguistic diversity, we tapped into multilingual education as a resource for pushing empathy, building heritages and pursuing equitable courses of action. Within the B-MEIS leadership, we have made it as our goal to explore diverse ways of constructing criticality as communities of practice in the field of multilingual education and beyond.

B-MEIS Monthly Webinars

Mission Statement Refresh
: We revised the IS’s mission statement to reflect and demonstrate its commitment to multilingualism as a tool to advance and promote justice, equity and diversity. We invited the public to comment on a draft mission statement before finalizing it:

  • Support: The purpose of the Bilingual-Multilingual Interest Section (B-MEIS) is to support and promote all multilingual learners' linguistic repertoires and multiliteracy skills as fundamental to the acquisition of a second or additional language.
  • Elevate: The IS believes that additive and dynamic approaches must be endorsed and implemented in educational institutions in the interests of students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Sustain: The IS supports the opportunity and right of all individuals to develop, construct and maintain a diverse range of cultural, linguistic, and literate repertoires of practice. inequitable power relations in society and empower minority students to use their own
  • Transform: The IS works to foster collaborative relations of power and address repertoires of practice.
  • Interest Section Sessions with other Interest Section at the upcoming Virtual TESOL 2021 Convention
  • B-MEIS Academic Session: “Centering and Normalizing Diversity and Equity in Multilingual Education”, 25 March, 2021 at 3:00 AM (EST).
  • B-MEIS/EFL Intersection Session: “A Glocal Framework for Literacy Curriculum in EFL/Multilingual Classrooms”, 27 March, 2021 at 3:00:00 PM.
  • NNEST/SLW/B-MEIS Intersection Session: “Affirming Multifaceted Identities in TESOL", 25 March, 2021 at 6:00 AM (EST).

LEADERS, 2020-2021
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