proSOL provides numerous resources and opportunities for teachers to develop as professionals in the field. One of my favorite resources offered is interest sections (ISs). As it says on the TESOL website, interest sections “offer members a supportive community of practice where they can share insights or solicit guidance on the professional issues that arise every day.” I’ve been a member of the Second Language Writing Interest Section (SLWIS) for several years now, and I truly appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this great community of second language writing teachers and scholars. The interest section provides lots of resources—for research, teaching, professional support, and networking. In today’s blog I’d like to share some of the resources that this interest section offers to its members.
Our regular online publication, SLW News, offers its readers various materials for professional development: articles, short reports, discussions on different issues related to second language writing, teaching, research, and administration. Some of the newer sections of the newsletter include “Graduate Student Spotlights,” which features current graduate students in the field, and “Member Profiles,” in which we publish interviews with prominent scholars in the field. Recent profiles include interviews with Tony Silva, Icy Lee, and Paul Kei Matsuda.
The newsletter editorial board welcomes submissions from researchers and classroom practitioners, so if you have things to share, consider publishing in our newsletter.
Our email list, which is available to IS members only, offers a place to ask questions and discuss issues in second language writing. We often have engaging discussions on various topics, and I appreciate valuable opinions of other members of the interest section, as they always give me new perspectives and stimulate my thinking.
Our interest section has regular online discussions about topics in second language writing, often led by notable figures in our field. Recent online discussion topics have included second language writing assessment (led by Dr. Deborah Crusan), feedback (lead by Dr. Dana Ferris), and writing effective summaries (led by Dr. Ann Johns).
SLWIS has an active Facebook page, which is open to the public. It has more than 5,000 Facebook followers. Some of the resources that you can find on this page include calls for proposals, job announcements, recent book releases, announcements of upcoming conferences, and other updates in the field. Overall, it’s a great way to stay connected with other second language writing professionals.
Social Gatherings at Annual TESOL Conventions
Every year, at the annual TESOL convention, we have a social gathering, commonly known as the Friends of Second Language Writing social. This event is a great opportunity to meet and socialize with established scholars in an informal setting, make new connections, visit with old friends, and enjoy the lively and vibrant community of TESOL professionals.
Serving on the Steering Committee
Another opportunity to get involved in the interest section is by serving on the steering committee. SLWIS offers other leadership opportunities as well: chair, community manager, member-at-large, newsletter editor, and secretary. Serving on the interest section steering committee is a great way to participate in the life of TESOL International Association and support its professional growth by sharing your leadership skills and participating in the IS academic and social activities. This is my third year serving as a community manager in this interest section, and I feel blessed to work with this wonderful professional team.
If you have questions about joining SLWIS, please feel free to email me (Elena Shvidko, community manager) or our current chair Ryan Miller.