Connect With TESOL Through Your Interest Section

A great way to connect with others at TESOL is through your interest section.  TESOL has 21 interest sections (ISs), which are groups within TESOL that connect members based on professional areas of interest. The ISs referee proposals and other events for the annual convention, publish periodic e-newsletters, and many have web areas, and host electronic discussion lists (e-lists). In many ways, these groups are the grass-roots heart of the association, and they do a lot of the heavy lifting in preparation for the convention.

Every IS (which were once called special interest groups or SIGs) holds an open business meeting during the convention. This year they’ll be held Thursday evening from either 5-5:30 or from 6:45-8:15. While these meetings can be somewhat business-like and administrative in nature, they are a great place to network and make contacts with others in the association who share your interests and concerns. ISs are also a great place to volunteer and get involved with your professional organization at a grass-roots level.

If you can’t make the IS open business meeting, you can stop by the TESOL Bookstore in the exhibit hall. Each IS has a table with a staff member who can answer all your questions about the IS.

You can find a list of TESOL’s  interest sections and the time and location of their meetings in the Convention Program Book on p. 9. You can learn more about each IS on TESOL’s web site. Some of the ISs also have tables with information on them where you can meet members and learn more about the work of the ISs. Look, too, in the program for the academic sessions and discussion groups that the ISs sponsor.

Connect with your peers and get involved with TESOL through your interest section! You’ll meet some great people, make valuable contacts, and have a great time!

About Joe McVeigh

Joe McVeigh
Joe McVeigh works independently in the field of English language teaching as a consultant, author, and teacher trainer. For over 25 years he has taught at universities in the United States, including the California Institute of Technology, the University of Southern California, and the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. He has lived and worked in countries including China, India, Chile, the United Kingdom, Hungary, and Saudi Arabia. He has taught students from more than 50 countries. He is co-author with Ann Wintergerst of Tips for Teaching Culture: Practical Approaches to Intercultural Communication (Pearson Longman) and a co-author with Jennifer Bixby of two books in the Q: Skills for Success series (Oxford University Press). In addition to writing and consulting, Joe speaks at conferences and workshops, and maintains a blog and website on issues of interest to teachers of ESL. You can also find him on Twitter: @JoeMcVeigh. Joe is a past chair of TESOL's Intensive English Programs Interest Section and served on the TESOL Board of Directors from 1995-1998. He lives with his wife and son in Middlebury, Vermont, USA.
This entry was posted in TESOL Blog, TESOL Convention Blog and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Connect With TESOL Through Your Interest Section

  1. Hi there Joe, this is a great opportunity for me to update myself of new approaches, ideas or techniques in TESOL/TESL. I’ve always been interested with the teaching of English through Literature but somehow the scope of Literature is pedagogically small here, in Malaysia. I am currently trying to promote authentic local literature (Borneon Literature, East Malaysia) to be incorporated in the Malaysian English Syllabus.

  2. Joe McVeigh Joe McVeigh says:

    I agree completely, Sand. The ISs are a great place to meet potential mentors, Some of my earliest connections at TESOL were through the Materials Writers Interest Section, then later I had a leadership role as Chair of the Intensive English Programs IS. I learned a lot from the CALL folks, too. TESOL (the association) can sometimes seem like a huge organization. For me, the ISs bring it down to a personal level.

  3. Joe,

    As you know, I’m always extolling the virtues of the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) interest section. The CALL members are like my guardian angels, who virtually assist me in both my personal and professional endeavors. I think all of the TESOL interest sections compose our community of practice. The American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) defines a community of practice as, “A network of professionals with shared interests, knowledge, and expertise.” This definition definitely applies to our interest sections. Furthermore, within each group, we have active members who will go to great lengths to help out newcomers.

    • Katia says:

      I agree completely, Sand. The ISs are a great place to meet ptaoneitl mentors, Some of my earliest connections at TESOL were through the Materials Writers Interest Section, then later I had a leadership role as Chair of the Intensive English Programs IS. I learned a lot from the CALL folks, too. TESOL (the association) can sometimes seem like a huge organization. For me, the ISs bring it down to a personal level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>