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.
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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 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 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.
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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 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 Materials Writers Interest Section (MWIS) is a Community of Practice dedicated to the discussion of the development and use of EFL/ESL materials, in any format. MWIS provides a network for materials developers that helps them by answering questions they have about materials, their development, their relationship to research and avenues for publication. As all educators and researchers are to some extent materials writers who have to make decisions about evaluating, adapting, supplementing, and rearranging materials, MWIS reaches out to all TESOL members involved in materials development, which may involve teachers, authors, researchers, editors, developers, designers, programmers, program administrators and others involved in materials development.
The TESOL Pre-K–12 Interest Section supports the millions of children worldwide from non-English-speaking backgrounds in Pre-K–12 settings with a need to acquire fluency in English. Pre-K–12 also supports the professionals charged with the responsibility of assuring that these children receive the necessary ESOL instruction to enable them to function effectively in English both interpersonally and academically. It complements TESOL’s Mission and Strategic direction because the Pre-K–12 Interest Section values professional learning and engagement. We want to reach more TESOL educators and provide more professional learning opportunities. We want to make sure that members have a positive experience and are represented at all TESOL professional learning offerings. We would also like to see the resources of TESOL more actively used.
The Program Administration Interest Section (PAIS) addresses the special needs of ESOL program administrators at all levels and in all fields. PAIS is committed to the support and development of professional and ethical program administration by administrators and teachers in English Language Programs regardless of type, setting, geographical location, or size. Program administration refers to every aspect of a program’s development, operation, and management. Program administrator refers to any person involved in those areas. PAIS aims to provide those involved in the administration of English Language Programs with opportunities for growth, understanding and professional development.
The Reading and Vocabulary Interest Section (RV-IS) informs teachers, materials writers, curriculum designers, test developers as well as those who set educational policy for language programs about recent advances in our understanding of the process of learning to read, acquiring vocabulary and the process of reading itself. RV-IS aims to promote research in these areas as well as action plans for promoting better reading and vocabulary practices among stakeholders. The Interest Section is not just a forum where TESOL members can share their expertise and insights internally; it also strives to reach beyond the current TESOL membership, forming liaisons with other associations and governmental agencies concerned with the promotion of reading, vocabulary and literacy. We aim to leverage our shared expertise to provide professional development opportunities, to advocate for sound guidelines, and to promote excellence in reading, vocabulary and literacy education worldwide.
The Refugee Concerns Interest Section (RCIS) is an international association of educators working to advance the quality of English language teaching of English as an additional language to people from refugee backgrounds. The RCIS seeks to do this by complementing the professional development, advocacy, and research provided by TESOL International Association.
The Second Language Writing IS (SLWIS) exists to facilitate interaction among TESOL members who desire to further the teaching and research of second language (L2) writing in different contexts and settings, including ESL and EFL. We aim to define issues and standards in ESL/EFL writing by discussing many issues in the field of L2 writing and establishing standards by which to evaluate ESL/EFL writing materials and applications. We work toward TESOL's mission and strategic direction by disseminating information regarding ESL/EFL writing, maintaining communication between members, and serving as avenues for the exchange of research, theory, materials, and approaches pertaining to ESL/EFL writing. We also work toward generating an understanding of L2 writing with TESOL members and organizing and coordinating L2 writing sessions with other interest sections as well as organizations outside of TESOL. Lastly, we aim to foster L2 writing research activities among our members and with other TESOL members.
The Social Responsibility Interest Section (SRIS) supports and develops members engaged in integrating language teaching, research, and training with social responsibility, world citizenship, and awareness of global issues such as peace, human rights, and the environment. The SRIS promotes social responsibility within the profession to advance social equity, respect for differences, and multicultural understandings through education.
The Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section (SPLIS) focuses on all aspects of oral/aural skills in English language teaching. We work to increase educators’ awareness of the importance of oral/aural skills for English learners of all ages, from early childhood through adult. We help educators recognize the role of spoken English in second language development, social well-being, and academic success. We support educators in all settings to help learners improve their pronunciation and listening skills. We encourage research and scholarship, disseminate information, develop teaching materials, and advance teaching tools and methods.
TESOL’s Supporting Students With Disabilities Interest Section strives to promote a better understanding of the unique challenges of English learners with learning differences and find ways to enhance their learning environment. Suggested topics for this eGroup include, but are not limited to, resources for teachers, administrators, and students; teaching and advising approaches and techniques; differentiating LDs and SLA processes; learning styles; as well as perceptions and treatments of disabilities in various cultures.
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The Teacher Educator Interest Section (TEIS) is a professional network of teacher educators who seek to advance the quality of English language teacher preparation and in-service teacher professional development through collaboration in a broad spectrum of scholarly activities.