March 2014
Leadership Updates
Olga Giswold, Jana Moore, Benjamin White, Pauline Carpenter, and Ruth Roberts-Kohno

Olga Griswold

Jana Moore

Benjamin White

Pauline Carpenter

Ruth Roberts-Hohno

Dear Colleagues,

We are very pleased to bring you a special collaborative edition of the Applied Linguistics and International Teaching Assistant Interest Section newsletter. We thought that combining our efforts would grant us all a great opportunity to become familiar with colleagues across Interest Sections and to exchange ideas. By drawing on each of our Interest Sections, we have been able to pull together a substantial issue with a number of research-based articles which present new thoughts and provide insight for the challenges that face researchers and teachers alike.

In our first featured article, Timothy Farnsworth discusses several oral assessments currently used for ITA screening and provides practical suggestions on how these assessments can be used by ITA program coordinators. Greta Gorsuch reports on some of her recent research on discourse intonation, discusses challenges for ITAs’ development of this skill, and suggests some instructional implications. Hye Ri Stephanie Kim and Innhwa Park qualitatively examine prospective ITAs’ performance on an oral assessment, focusing on the use of effective classroom communication strategies. Finally, Lucy Pickering puts forth a conceptual model that presents ITA training as an example of conversational involvement and inspires another way to approach ITA training.

In addition to these featured articles, our Grad Student Corner offers a glimpse into some ITA perspectives of their experiences participating in their institutions’ ITA programs. Although we hear from ITAs from only a few institutions, we hope this section will provide a brief introduction to the ITA student population. For those of us who are experienced ITA professionals, these ITA attitudes, expectations, and perspectives offer an opportunity to reflect on our own practices. For those of us who may not work with the ITA student population, their voices can still speak to us about how to improve our teaching and research styles to meet the needs of our learners.

This issue also serves as our last newsletter before our national TESOL convention. We are looking forward to seeing you all at this year’s annual convention in Portland, Oregon. For information on sessions, including Academic Sessions and InterSections, please see the ITA leadership update and the  AL leadership update in this newsletter.

During the convention on Thursday, all Interest Sections will be conducting an open Business Meeting. The Applied Linguistics IS, which is celebrating its 40th year, will meet at 6:45 in room B117 of the Convention Center. The International Teaching Assistants IS will meet in room C121 of the Convention Center. Please come join your colleagues as we take some time to get to know each other better and discuss the recent developments and future directions of our groups.

Finally, we’d like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you and goodbye to our editors who are leaving us. Olga Griswold will be leaving her co-editorial position with AL Forum this March, passing the torch to Ben White of Marshall University. Jana Moore will continue as an experienced and masterful AL Forum co-editor. And Pauline Carpenter and Ruth Roberts-Kohno will pass on the ITA IS newsletter duties to Sarah Emory of Carnegie Mellon, who will serve as editor, and Mary Jetter of the University of Minnesota, who will serve as editor-elect. We welcome those coming in and wish you a good year.

We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it all together.

Best regards,

Olga Giswold, Jana Moore, Benjamin White, Pauline Carpenter, and Ruth Roberts-Kohno
ALIS and ITAIS Editors