August 2021
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Thomas Bieri, Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan

Dear ReadVoc Readers,

I would like to start by thanking you, our readers, for taking an interest in our newsletter, and I hope that this also means you have joined the Reading and Vocabulary Interest Section (RV-IS) in TESOL. We are trying to build an active community of practice for people with a professional interest in second language reading and vocabulary and welcome your participation.

I would also like to thank our editors, Doreen Ewart and Christy Williams, for putting this newsletter together. They have gathered and reviewed submissions and put together a coherent package of short readings that it is hoped will in some way help you in your professional development and practice.

I would be remiss not to take this opportunity to publicly thank our Past Chair, Tom Robb. Tom was very instrumental in getting the RV-IS up and running in TESOL, stepped up to be the inaugural Chair, and continues to be heavily involved in keeping us moving forward. Without his contributions, there almost certainly wouldn’t be an RV-IS, and even if there were it would be much less than what it is. As I have taken up the mantle of Chair, I can hardly hope to be half as active and energetic in contributing as Tom is.

Speaking of contributing, our steering committee has been meeting virtually and exchanging emails, and we are focused on trying to bring you professional development events (virtual and face to face) throughout the year. People are volunteering their time and efforts to make these happen, and I would like to encourage you to do two things. One, please participate when they happen, whether it is a summer webinar or our sessions at the International Conference next March. Two, please speak up with ideas, particularly ones you are willing and able to help facilitate. This is a community of practice, and as such all members of the community can and should contribute to making it as vibrant and active as possible.

While I am strongly committed to this Interest Section being a community of shared practice, and feel I have no special status other than a willingness to serve as Chair, it might be appropriate just to tell you a little about who I am. While I grew up in Michigan and did my BA in Women’s Studies at UC Berkeley and worked for a few years at a women’s college, my whole teaching career has been outside the USA, mostly in Japan, where I am now an Associate Professor and coordinate a small Business English program within the Department of Business Administration. I started my professional volunteer and leadership activities in JALT, which included a few years as Coordinator of the Extensive Reading Special Interest Group and a year on the Board of Directors.

I will close by saying that I hope that you will enjoy reading this newsletter, and look forward to hearing from you in myTESOL.


Thomas E. Bieri

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