SLWIS Newsletter - October 2016 (Plain Text Version)
In this issue:
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
This year, SLWIS enters its 12th year as an interest section. Like it has for many of you, the SLWIS has become my home within TESOL, and it is truly an honor to serve as your chair for the 2016–2017 year. I look forward to a great year of idea sharing and intellectual discussion with the SLWIS community!
First, I would like to give an update following the convention in Baltimore last April. Our SLWIS meetings and special sessions were well attended this year. Our academic session focused on the role of genre in teaching writing, and we were fortunate to have noted scholars in this area, including Christine Feak, Ann Johns, Ahmar Mahboob, and Luciana de Oliveira. We also had three InterSections: one with the Higher Education IS and Intensive English Programs (IEP) IS on aligning writing objectives in higher education across IEPs, first-year writing, and content classes; one with the Refugee Concerns IS and Adult Education IS on teaching writing to adult low-literacy students; and one with Secondary Schools IS on preparing high school students for various postsecondary writing demands. A number of long-standing SLWIS members contributed to these sessions, including Gena Bennett, Colleen Brice, Nigel Caplan, Betsy Gilliland, Ditlev Larsen, and Nancy Overman.
In addition, planning for the 2017 convention in Seattle is well underway. Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal. SLWIS received 278 proposals, which is an increase of 41 proposals from last year. Each proposal was reviewed by three or more reviewers, many of whom were SLWIS members. The number of slots we are allotted in the program is based on the number of proposals submitted to our IS, so it is important for SLWIS members to continue to submit proposals for various types of presentations. For the 2017 convention, we were allotted 53 program slots in addition to 18 poster sessions.
Research- and practice-oriented sessions remained the most popular this year (together representing 75% of SLWIS submissions), making these the most competitive categories as well. We also received a number of strong workshop, panel, teaching tip, and dialogue (a new type for this coming year) proposals. The overall acceptance rate was approximately 26%, although acceptance rates for dialogues and posters were higher. Thank you to everyone who submitted and/or reviewed proposals!
For those who are planning on attending the 2017 convention in Seattle, I would like to encourage you to apply for travel funding from TESOL. Each year, TESOL awards more than US$50,000 in scholarships and grants to enable members to attend the convention. Of course, the annual convention is not the only way to be involved in SLWIS, and this year we will continue our efforts to make SLWIS a year-round interest section. Some of the ways to be involved in the IS outside the convention include:
There are also opportunities to join the IS leadership. Our outgoing chair, Silvia Pessoa, will be facilitating the election process this year, and I would encourage anyone who would like to become more involved in the IS to nominate yourself for open positions.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of the contributors to this issue of the SLW News and congratulate the editorial team on another great issue. The newsletter plays an important role in the IS, and I thank you for all of the work you put into making it such a useful resource.
SLWIS Chair, 2016–2017
Ryan T. Miller is an assistant professor in the English Department at Kent State University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in L2 reading and writing, SLA, and language teaching methods. His research investigates development of discipline-specific writing skills, genre knowledge, and dual-language involvement and support of reading and its subskills.