The "Nonnative" English Speaker Teachers Interest Section (NNEST-IS) serves as a space for critical dialogue relating to the personal-professional lived experiences of teachers who position themselves, and/or are positioned, as "nonnative" English-speakers. The Interest Section seeks to contribute to the cultivation of a nondiscriminatory professional environment for all TESOL members, through the production and promotion of scholarship, opportunities for scholarly dialogue and professional development, and active participation in and beyond TESOL.
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The Adult Education Interest Section (AEIS) strives to provide teachers with the resources, knowledge, and skills to ensure that high-quality instruction is available to adult English learners throughout the world so that they are empowered to achieve their goals.
The Applied Linguistics Interest Section (ALIS) promotes research in all areas of language use, particularly research that contributes to our understanding of language learning and teaching. This Interest Section aims to promulgate knowledge derived from such research among its members, among the broad membership of TESOL, and among the population at large. ALIS draws on linguistics as well as sister disciplines in psychology, sociology, education, and other areas in an attempt to address real-world, language-based issues pertinent to English language teaching.
The arts have a long history in TESOL, where they’ve been used to engage students, develop creativity and deepen language learning. Drawing on a wide range of artistic traditions (drama, music, visual art, multimedia, dance, film, puppetry, poetry, storytelling and more) and broader conceptualizations of creativity in the classroom, the Arts and Creativity PLN creates a space for TESOLers to reflect on the role of the arts in language teaching and to share teaching practices that integrate the arts and develop students’ creativity.
Assessment affects every aspect of instruction and educational practice. The Assessment Issues Professional Learning Network (PLN) provides a platform for discussion on such aspects of assessment as traditional vs. alternative, standards-based, standardized, high-stakes, etc. In line with the TESOL International Association’s goals and strategic planning, the Assessment Issues PLN strives to increase TESOL members’ knowledge, tools, and resources to enhance their expertise and practice in testing practices and expand TESOL's capacity for members’ professional learning opportunities. Dissemination opportunities through the Assessment Issues PLN will increase access to research in assessment theory and practice, both in hosting researchers and practitioners in conference presentations and in encouraging publications with assessment issues as their focus. The Assessment Issues PLN has as its ethical core the promotion of integrity in assessment guided by best practices in fairness and transparency, seeking to improve current testing praxis to provide academic access to the core curriculum and protection for individual English learners’ language rights.
The purpose of the Bilingual-Multilingual (B-MEIS) is to support and promote primary languages and literacies as fundamental to the acquisition of English as a second or additional language. The IS supports the opportunity and right of all individuals to develop and to maintain proficiency in their mother tongues and to become proficient in more than one language. The IS believes that additive and dynamic approaches must be endorsed and implemented in educational institutions in the interests of students from diverse backgrounds. The relationship formed between additive institutions, educators, and students and their families is then one of empowerment and trust. The IS, has historically collaborated with related organizations, such as La Cosecha, and New York State TESOL (NYS TESOL), forming lasting linkages and will continue these traditions as B-MEIS. Through annual, individual and collaborative, research, teaching, and policy-making, members innovate, teach, and advocate, year-round, within and across the field and political institutions.
The Black English Language Professionals & Friends (BELPaF) Professional Learning Network (PLN) exists to enhance the professional growth and development of ESOL professionals of color and to support the needs of ESOL students of color and their teachers. The BELPaF PLN is inclusive in nature and welcomes the participation of all who are interested in issues affecting students and teachers of color worldwide.
The Career Path Development Professional Learning Network (PLN) is committed to addressing professional development throughout members' careers. This PLN will promote intentional efforts to build member career paths. Focusing on professional excellence, the Career Path Development PLN will provide new resources for teachers in search of direction throughout their careers.
The Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS) exists to facilitate interaction among members of TESOL who desire to further the teaching of ESL, EFL, and languages in general through the medium of CALL.
The English as a Foreign Language Interest Section (EFLIS) exchanges ideas on global and specific EFL/ESL issues, bringing together TESOL members with interests and experiences in different countries, and provides an international network on employment and professional interests worldwide.
The English for Specific Purposes Interest Section (ESPIS) exists to serve the needs of those teachers, program developers, consultants and researchers who are interested in the design and delivery of courses for individuals with identifiable academic and professional/occupational goals. These courses may be for students in specific graduate and undergraduate disciplines or technical skills training, or for people working or preparing to work in business, industry, government or other places of employment. A PowerPoint created by ESPIS leaders and displayed on the ESPIS homepage clarifies how ESP is conceptualized in the ESPIS.
The Environmental Responsibility Professional Learning Network (PLN) recognizes that environmental issues frequently affect different groups of people differently. Marginalized populations disproportionately suffer from negative consequences of environmental destruction. Raising awareness of environmental injustice is thus a necessary component to respecting diversity and human rights. The Environmental Responsibility PLN believes that empowering students with the knowledge and resources they need to face current and future environmental problems is a core responsibility of all educators. We also believe that all organizations --- including schools and language programs ---have a responsibility to do their part in maintaining a healthy environment. The purpose of the Environmental Responsibility PLN is to bring together English teachers, program administrators, and other English language professionals interested in environmental issues. By serving as a place for TESOL professionals to exchange ideas in this area, we seek to advance professional expertise.
The purpose of this Professional Learning Network (PLN) is to provide a platform where members can explore the role of personal faith in ELT. Canagarajah (2009) noted that “social and philosophical trends have led to a point when … the spiritual cannot be kept out of the mainstream. Also, we live in a time when the personal finds a legitimate place in the academy” (p. 15). Accordingly, in this PLN, participants from different faith backgrounds will discuss how their faith influences their teacher identities and pedagogical practices, and learn from each other’s diverse perspectives. For that large segment of the TESOL community who are also members of various faith communities, faith is an essential element of personal identity, and hence of teacher identity. This PLN thus supports TESOL’s mission to advance professional development through supporting integrated teacher identity. It also supports the strategic objective to expand the variety of professional learning opportunities.
The Global Education PLN covers a broad, diverse range and exchange of content and activities, based on the emerging academic field of Global Education, focusing on professional development related to high-quality instruction of ESL/EFL, relevant to the needs of learners worldwide in the twenty-first century. A relatively new interdisciplinary field of degree and certificate study in universities and colleges around the world, global education is flourishing as a significant area of research, teaching and learning that is being incorporated into curriculum in many contexts and at all levels of instruction, from primary school to higher education.
The Higher Education Interest Section (HEIS) advances effective English language instruction, promotes professional standards and practices, influences and supports policies of TESOL and other associations, determines needs in the field and initiate projects to meet such needs, and considers all other matters relevant to ESL in higher education.
The Intensive English Programs PLN addresses issues related to curriculum design and implementation, assessment, teaching standards, and research relevant to teaching English primarily to nonnative international students attending intensive and semi-intensive programs related to regular academic study.
The Intercultural Communication Interest Section (ICIS) addresses the ever growing needs of language teachers who must engage in intercultural communication even when they are teaching in their home countries. For the ESOL teacher who faces a classroom of students from different language and cultural backgrounds, or the TEFL teacher who has to adapt to a new cultural environment, ICIS provides teaching methods, reflective discussions, and online/in-person sessions that can help these professionals be more effective in the classroom.
The International Teaching Assistant Interest Section (ITAIS) is an innovative and vibrant professional community advancing the quality of English language instruction for ESL/EFL graduate students preparing to teach classes in their fields using English at American universities. ITAIS advances TESOL’s Mission and Strategic Vision by offering professional development throughout the year, producing high-quality publications, developing standards for ITA Program administration and pedagogy, and advocating for ITAs in addition to ESL/EFL speakers in higher education. The ITAIS provides a variety of professional learning opportunities that incorporate relevant research and development throughout the year both online and in person through webinars and regional and national conferences dedicated to ITA issues.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Friends (ILGBTQF) Professional Learning Network (PLN) is a global community of English language education professionals who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or "Friends." We are practitioners and academics, producers and consumers of educational research, who affirm and respect the diverse sexual and gender identities of English Language students, teachers, and teacher trainers by seeking to foster learning environments free of bigotry, prejudice, and violence. Our work manifests TESOL International Association’s commitment to non-discrimination and aligns with its core values. It fulfills TESOL’s mission of advancing the quality of English language teaching in a number of ways, including advancing the availability of knowledge about the experiences of LGBTQ educators and students through research; developing resources and tools to enable TESOL members to engage in advocacy for LGBTQ educators and learners; incorporating relevant research into TESOL professional training and teaching materials; and providing a positive member experience for TESOL members regardless of sexuality or gender identity.