TESOL Ambassadors are English language professionals and students who have agreed to share their Convention experiences with other attendees. Cheryl Casapao Matala, English Instructor in Manila, the Philippines, is a 2021 TESOL Ambassador.
The TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo is one of the most prestigious events worldwide. It is the most awaited convention and language expo, attended by thousands of professionals, particularly English language educators. It is my second time attending the said event. But last year was different from the previous event since the unexpected pandemic occurred.
Although the event does not happen in a face-to-face setting, the virtual communication was an incredibly wonderful experience. I enjoyed listening to various plenary talks, keynote speakers, and advocacy presenters who are experts in their field of specializations. I acquired new knowledge and skills, which I can use in my teaching career. Also, I listened to presentations relevant to the present need in society that must be heard and understood. This year was the second time that the Virtual Convention happened. But these key takeaways grabbed my attention:
- “The importance of striving for a dream”
- “Believe in something. Even it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.”
These two statements from the keynote speakers help me to believe in myself more. I remember the times that I was still clueless about this event. But luckily, I did not only gain understanding of what it is; instead, I got more involved in the organization, which is now really close to my heart. I am forever grateful to the sponsorships and grants for their continuous support and immense generosity. It was only a dream that turned into a reality. I only believe in something even in the slightest way that I can. The impossible will become possible if we exert an effort and focus on our primary goal and objectives in life, leading to success.
Moreover, the virtual event is an application of the teaching forum to the teaching-learning process and a research application that is essential to the pedagogies of the educational system. Hence, we all have differences: cultures and experiences from different parts of the world. Let us all emphasize how important it is to live in a world that allows us to continue growing and learning. Let us also understand the different frameworks of a diverse society. We need to be culturally responsive.
Truly, TESOL International Association is the best avenue because it provides a unique convergence of networking, a great learning experience, and fun-filled conversations that improve your personal and professional development. Thus, let us connect and reconnect as the Convention provides ample opportunity to become a better individual, an excellent educator, and a lifelong learner.