Live From TESOL 2014: Day 3: The Learning Goes On!

Elena Shvidko is blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for her posts!

Once again, greetings from Portland!

Today is the third day of the convention, and it seems like the energy is not fading away!  There are so many interesting sessions going on, and I wish I had time for all of them! At the same time, it’s great to stay busy and feel a part of this lively and stimulating event.

Yesterday, I had a chance to attend the TESOL town meeting, and I was impressed by the dedication of the TESOL leaders—the convention organizing committee and the board of directors.  I could feel their great care about the TESOL members and the organization in general.  They are certainly putting much effort into making the TESOL International Association a welcoming, growing, and successful organization.

I also attended the open meeting of the Second Language Writing Interest Section where we discussed the overall well-being and development of the SLW community, as well as set some goals for further growth.  Once again, I was impressed by the desire of the steering committee of this interest section to engage the members of the community into the activities of the interest section.  It’s good to know that we have such thoughtful and motivated leaders who aim at developing and strengthening our organization and helping us contribute to it with our knowledge, skills, and experiences.

The exhibitor hall is once again amazing!  Various publishers, English teaching companies, and language testing organizations provide a plethora of products, services, and professional development opportunities.  Just like in the previous years, these organizations are well represented at the convention.  And it occurred to me that they seem to largely attract the TESOL audience with their products and information.  Each time I went to the exhibit hall, I could observe lively interactions between the representatives of the publishing companies and the convention attendees.  One of the attendees shared with me: “I love exhibitors!  There are such a variety of publishers and English teaching companies at the convention.  It’s also great that we can buy the books right here and with a nice discount!”

I had a chance to ask a few convention attendees about their impressions and experiences they have had for the past a couple of days, and I came to realize that the convention has been a great success!  One graduate student, who is attending the convention for the first time, shared:

I really like the sessions about publishing.  For me, as a graduate student, it’s helpful to learn about different journals in the field and explore various possibilities of publishing my work.  I think TESOL is doing a great job at helping graduate students who are at the beginning of their career like myself.

Another graduate student commented: “I met several scholars whose work I admire.  This convention provided me with an excellent opportunity to expand my network.” I cannot agree more!  This is certainly what I personally like about these conventions—learning from the prominent scholars by not only attending their presentations and workshops, but also by interacting with them in informal conversations.

I hope that those who are at the convention now are enjoying the experience as much as I am.  For those of you who did not have a chance to come to Portland this year, please stay with us and let us know what you would like to learn about this convention, and we will try to provide you with the information.

About Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko
Elena is a doctoral candidate in second language studies in the Department of English at Purdue University. She received her master’s in TESOL from Brigham Young University and has taught various ESL classes both in academic and community settings. Currently, she is an instructor of first-year composition courses at Purdue University. Her academic interests include second language writing, multimodal interaction, interpersonal aspects of language teaching, and teacher professional development.
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