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November 2022
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TESOL ELevate 2022: Raising the ELT Bar
by Gracie Allely

More than 900 English language professionals from more than 20 countries came together for TESOL ELevate (2022 October 18–19). ELevate was an engaging and interactive online event with sessions facilitated by English language teaching experts.

About ELevate

The virtual event held 16 synchronous sessions on critical areas in the field, including

  • student-centered learning,
  • advocacy and social justice,
  • newcomers and students with limited or interrupted formal education,
  • family engagement, and
  • trauma-informed practices.

Participants joined sessions via Zoom, and the event was hosted on TESOL’s Canvas platform.


Participants started each day together in the main room. Day 1 started with a discussion between Debbie Zacarian and Diego Boada to engage on what motivates us as educators and to help us dig into existing challenges and explore opportunities ahead. On Day 2, all the participants came together to explore advocacy from the local and personal to the national and global levels. The discussion was guided by the issues the participants identified in an advocacy survey. As a group, ELevate participants examined the shared themes and became energized in their advocacy.

After the kickoff, each day, participants got to choose which sessions they wanted to participate in. All the sessions were recorded, enabling attendees to watch any session they missed and access the session materials on the ELevate Canvas page.

Participant Takeaways

More than 96% of participants said that they found ELevate to be a great experience and would recommend attending next year!

Here are some of the key takeaways that participants shared with us:

“I have learned how to start class with interesting warmer activities. Especially for the different aged and second language students.”

–Bolororgil Galsan (Mongolia)

“I will use the information from Dr. Manuel Gomez Portillo’s presentation, ‘Culturally Responsive Family Engagement: Amplifying the Voices of Diverse Families.’ I work as a third-grade EL teacher. Our staff could benefit from analyzing the case studies.

"Minimal contact does not mean that the parent does not care about their child’s success. Our district sends out weekly messages to smartphones. Expecting every household to have a smartphone with an unlimited data plan is unrealistic. We need to send home printed notices in multiple languages to reach all families.”

–Kathy Lanette Cohran (USA)

“I have learned about TESOL's 6 Principles for engaging young learners and I’m going to use the activities and principles when delivering training to teachers on how to teach young learners.”

–Heba Khalil (Egypt)

“I learned that teaching online can be as interactive as face-to-face teaching. I have learned from the instructors that break-out rooms are a perfect way to include group work in online teaching and learning.

"I also loved the fact that the workshops were dealing with contemporary topics…I acquired the necessary skills and solutions handed down to us by the TESOL ELevate instructors.

"Thank you TESOL ELevate!”

–Catherine Nansobya (Uganda)

“Some sections were cozy and familiar, while others were genuine eye-openers. For instance, the talk by Mary Romney on incorporating diverse English into listening material. I’ve been using audio materials recorded by non-native speakers for nearly a decade, yet during the talk, I realized that open-minded as I am, I still strived to choose the talks with speakers whose accents were as close to the [received pronunciation] and/or [standard southern British] as possible. It was a revelation to me. Now I plan on changing that to raise my students’ awareness of the variety of Englishes and to boost their cultural and linguistic tolerance.”

–Aida Rodomanchenko (Russia)

Learn More

To learn more about this year’s TESOL ELevate presenters and their workshops, visit the TESOL ELevate website.

Download this article (PDF)

Gracie Allely has taught K–12 ESL internationally for more than 10 years. She completed her master’s degree in English language learning at the University of North Dakota (UND) and is currently completing her educational doctorate in educational leadership at UND. Allely is an experienced teacher educator, program developer, and curriculum designer. As the TESOL Education associate director, Allely manages TESOL’s professional learning offerings and virtual events as well as develops new courses.

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Table of Contents
TC Homepage
Easy as Apple Pie: Teaching Idioms
Placing Identity at the Epicenter of Socially Just Classrooms
Using Music to Make Student Learning Outcomes Fun
TESOL Board Connect
TESOL ELevate 2022: Raising the ELT Bar
Association News
Job Link
Open Rank Faculty Position in English Language; The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, the People’s Republic of China

FSE TEFL Advisors; Fulbright Taiwan, Taiwan

ESL Instructor; The American University of Iraq-Baghdad, English Language Academy, Iraq

Clinical Assistant Professor in Writing and Multilingual Education; New York University, Liberal Studies, New York City, New York, USA

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Upcoming TESOL Dates

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7 November
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TESOL: Training for Trainers

16 January
26 February 2023
Supporting English Learners With Exceptional Needs

21–24 March and 3–4 April 2023
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