Let me begin with an anecdote. My teaching career started when I was 18 but without any experience. During my initial days as a teacher, I had no idea what all those teaching methods—CLT, learner-centered, task-based—meant, and, thus, chiefly employed methods that my teacher had used when I was a student. I was totally unaware of all the latest developments in teaching and learning contexts in terms of teaching methodologies and pedagogical approaches to address the needs and challenges of the changing contexts.
I realized the need to enhance my teaching skills, however, only after being associated with a TESOL affiliate, Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) and attending its annual international conference. After joining TESOL as a Global Professional member, I had an opportunity to attend the 2014 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in Portland, which was, indeed, a long-awaited and much anticipated dream-come-true event for me. My first-time attendance at TESOL left an indelible impression on me.
Now, as one of the TESOL 2018 Ambassadors, I have three ways in mind to fulfill my responsibilities: Networking, Volunteering, and Inspiring Others.
Since TESOL hosts an annual international convention every year with more than 6,500 attendees, 1000 education sessions, and 150 exhibits, TESOL for me is an ideal place for global professional development. As always, I will be looking forward to meeting like-minded professionals: teachers and teacher-educators from around the world with whom to share and exchange ideas on classroom teaching practices and research issues. Meanwhile, I will also have a unique opportunity to learn about the latest teaching and research issues in the field of TESOL. I am sure those attending or presenting at the TESOL convention will benefit from professional networks that will enhance their teaching career and professional growth.
As an ambassador, I will be actively engaged in volunteering at convention registration, bag and certificate distribution, the TESOL-IS booth, and other events. I will also provide information about TESOL and the benefits of being associated with the world’s largest English language teacher’s association and professional network, and I will share my TESOL convention experience with TESOL professionals before, during, and even after the convention. What would interest me most would be to welcome first-time attendees and share my experience as to what they can expect and how they can get the most of their convention attendance.
TESOL has significantly enhanced my teaching career and professional growth. It has been one of the best professional development platforms for me as a TESOL professional. My purpose this year as a TESOL Ambassador has not only been to benefit myself but also to inspire other TESOL professionals from across the globe. I will help TESOL professionals engage with TESOL and encourage them to attend education sessions they’re interested in so that they will gain knowledge of current trends in TESOL. I will also encourage them to gain international exposure through professional networking with like-minded professional from around the world.
Madhukar K.C., a graduate in ELT from Kathmandu University, is a dedicated EFL professional with wide experience in teaching K-12 English classes for more than a decade. He has also worked as a teacher trainer and supervisor. His areas of interest include using literature in the language classroom, content-based language teaching, nonnative-English-speaking (NNES) teacher professional development, NNES teachers’ role and identity, World Englishes, and English as an international language. He has presented at the TESOL, IATEFL, and NELTA conferences.