September 2014
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THE NNEST OF THE MONTH BLOG: AFTER 9 YEARS AND 100 INTERVIEWS, STILL GOING STRONG!
Terry Doyle, Eugene, Oregon, USA.

We are happy to report that the NNEST of the Month blog has two new members: Geeta Aneja and Madhukar, K. C. Geeta is a third-year PhD candidate in educational linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Madhukar is an English instructor for English the Access Microscholarship Program, a U.S. Department of State/U.S. Embassy program implemented in partnership with Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA). You can get to know Geeta and Madhukar better by reading interviews of them in the May, 2014 (Geeta) and June, 2014 (Madhukar) blogs at http://nnest.blog.com/

We are also at present updating the face of the NNEST of the Month blog website and revamping the visuals. We welcome volunteers to help us with this project.

The work of this blog is a group effort. Each month one of us is responsible for creating and posting an interview. But we welcome suggestions on who to interview, and we would be happy for any readers to send us questions for interviewees. And, of course, we invite all readers to send comments after they have read the interviews.

If you are new to the NNEST Interest Section of TESOL, you might not know about the purpose and the history of the NNEST of the Month blog. The purpose of this blog is to provide another way for people interested in NNEST, World English, and English as an international language (EIL) issues to read about these issues as discussed by professors and advanced graduate students who are doing research and teaching classes related to these issues, or administrators who are sensitive to NNEST applicants of positions for teaching English. Guessing that many of our readers are young NNESTs or nonnative MA TESOL students, we ask questions which encourage the interviewees to explain how they dealt with problems of confidence and identity when they were younger and establishing themselves as teachers or professors. Reading our blog interviews is also a way for young scholars and teachers of all ages to learn about the latest research related to NNEST, World English, and EIL issues, so we ask interviewees questions to elicit information about their recent research and to provide references to the latest research. However, we try not to make our interviews too academically heavy, so we try to keep a balance between questions about interviewees’ research and those about their everyday lives.

The NNEST of the Month blog is 9 years old. This June, we posted our 100th interview! Amir’s interview of Enric Llurda was the very first interview, posted on 25 August 2005. Chia-Ying took over the role of interviewer in May 2006, and she posted interviews for the next year. Then Ana Wu took over the duties of the blog, and she transformed our blog into the state-of-the-art form you see today. Not only did Ana begin to interview such leaders in the field of linguistics and applied linguistics as Noam Chomsky, Henry Widdowson, Claire Kramsch, Robert Phillipson, Tove Skuttnab-Kangas, George Braine, and Suresh Canagarajah, but Ana also started to ask very insightful questions based on the interviewees’ published articles and books.

For 4 years, from April 2007 to March 2011, Ana did all the work of the blog including searching for interviewees, reading the published work of these interviewees, writing insightful and perceptive questions, editing and proofreading the interviews, and finally posting them. She did this each month for 4 years without missing a single month! That’s 47 straight months without a break! After a perusal of these interviews, you can see that their quality is indeed very high.

Our procedure for choosing new interviewers is rather formal. People who want to volunteer are asked to submit a sample of their writing, such as a published article or a paper written for a class. Then we have a group “interview” using Skype with the applicants.

The next edition of the NNEST Newsletter will feature articles by the interviewers of the NNEST of the Month blog. We hope you will be interested in learning more about our blog then.


Terry Doyle was an ESL instructor at City College of San Francisco for over four decades. After retiring to Oregon in 2013, he remains interested in NNEST and EIL issues and hopes to contribute more to these fields. He has been an NNEST of the Month blog team member since 2008.
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