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!