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Professional Development Special Issue: June 2020
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From the President: TESOL Brings Learning to You
by Deborah J. Short

This month’s edition of TESOL Connections focuses on professional development (PD), a key area for our personal growth as educators. You may recall that in TESOL’s The 6 Principles for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners, the final principle is “Engage and Collaborate within a Community of Practice.” It encourages us to both receive and contribute to professional learning.

What is the purpose of PD? Simply, to learn. To learn more about what interests us; what makes us better educators, administrators, and leaders; and what enables us to provide the best possible instruction and programming for our English learners.

Most of us have attended colleges, universities, and/or graduate schools, which are formalized types of professional learning. Many of us have participated in workshops and courses for our jobs, which are less formal but nonetheless required. What TESOL offers is something more flexible and even adventurous. We get to explore topics that we are interested in or curious about—to deepen our knowledge, build on existing skills, and learn new ones. We have more control. And one thing our association does well is PD! TESOL offers incredible variety for the more informal type of learning; it’s easy to find PD or print resources that fit our needs, budget, and schedule. Just as choice motivates our learners, it motivates us as well.

It was really disappointing that we had to cancel the Denver 2020 Convention. More than 4,500 of us would have attended the biggest professional learning event of our year. How wonderful it would have been to have had the “chore” of deciding which sessions to attend and when to visit the exhibit hall or the TESOL bookstore. But we still have the opportunity develop our knowledge base virtually through two major upcoming events and a plethora of webinars and courses.

Suppose you have questions about policies, like “How will budget cuts affect my program?”, “What can I do to ensure my school continues to develop my students’ English skills through distance learning?”, and “How can my affiliate have some influence on our ministry of education?” Then join us for the Virtual Advocacy Summit, 22–24 June 2020, where policymakers and advocates will share their tips and expertise with us.

Suppose you want to know more about teaching young English learners, designing a student-mediated English for specific purposes curriculum, improving pronunciation among healthcare workers, or starting a creative writing course. Maybe you need tips for teaching grammar, analyzing a corpus database, or conducting speaking assessments. Or perhaps you want to learn about the latest tech tools for online teaching. Then join us at the Virtual Convention, 16–18 July 2020 for live keynotes, recorded sessions with live Q&As, real-time chats with publishers, and online hangouts where you can socialize and network with new and old friends.

Suppose you have a new position and will be working with English learners who have learning disabilities; we have a course for you. Do you want to know how to train your teachers with The 6 Principles®? We’ll soon have a self-study program. Want a TESOL certificate? Sign up on our website today. Whether it is a virtual seminar on action research or a set of lesson plans in the TESOL Resource Center, TESOL has a wide and multifaceted assortment of opportunities.

And finally, suppose you want to further develop your leadership skills. Why not take the ultimate step and submit your application for one of our elected positions? Consider joining us on the Nominating Committee, the TESOL Board of Directors, or as president-elect if you have already served on the board. I can promise you on-the-job PD with capable mentors and dedicated colleagues.

A true advantage of our association is that many of these PD options are available at no or low cost to members. Even nonmembers can join us for our casual and complimentary myTESOL Lounge Live sessions to ask questions about English language teaching and share ideas. Participating in PD can be refreshing and reflective, inspiring and intellectually stimulating. So why not engage and learn with us?

Deborah J. Short, PhD, is TESOL International Association president (2020–2021). She directs Academic Language Research & Training, LLC and provides professional development on academic literacy, content-based ESL, and sheltered instruction worldwide. She has led numerous research projects related to English learner education, codeveloped the SIOP Model, and served as series editor for several 6 Principles books.

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Table of Contents
TC Homepage
Speaking and Listening Strategies for Job Interviews
Communities of Practice in Online Learning
ESL Teacher Leadership: Delivering Professional Development
Generating Coteaching Solutions to Benefit Students
From the President: TESOL Brings Learning to You
Association News
Job Link
Bilingual/Dual Language Teacher; Little Elm ISD, Little Elm, Texas, USA

ESL/ELL Teacher for SY 2020-21; DC Public Schools, Washington, DC, USA

Teaching Professor in TESOL Certification Course; Sookmyung Women's University-TESOL, Seoul, South Korea

Want to post your open positions to Job Link? Click here.

To browse all of TESOL's job postings, check out the TESOL Career Center.

Upcoming TESOL Dates
1 May–19 July 2020
Applications open for the TESOL Teacher of the Year Award

15 June 2020
Expression of Interest Form Deadline for TESOL Board and Nominating Committee  

19 June 2020
TESOL/JALT Virtual Symposium on Mind, Brain, and Language Education 

22–24 June 2020
TESOL Virtual Advocacy & Policy Summit

29 June–26 July 2020
Separating Difference From Disability With ELLs

6 July–13 December 2020
TESOL Certificate: Developing an Online Teaching Program 

13 July 2020
Applications due for TESOL Core Certificate Program 

16–18 July 2020
TESOL Virtual Convention & English Language Expo

Worldwide Calendar of Events

Find conferences and events related to the field of English language education


TESOL Connections is the newsletter of TESOL International Association
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

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