Hello, ESPers worldwide!
The TESOL 2014 International Convention & English Language Expo is taking place from 26–29 March in Portland, Oregon, USA! How do you get the most out of the convention?
My suggestion is that you conduct a personal needs assessment and determine two things:
- What do you want to learn?
- How do you want to connect?
Next, you should do three things:
- Search the conference program. (Look for ESP-IS sessions.)
- Check out the organizational meetings. (Look for the time and place of the ESP-IS Open Meeting.)
- Check out the Academic and InterSection sessions. (Look for ESP-IS sessions.)
At the annual TESOL convention, I always try to attend the ESP-IS Open Meeting and the ESP-IS Academic Session. There are also InterSection sessions jointly conducted by the ESP-IS and another IS. This year, I noticed that there were 31 sessions listed as ESP sessions including one IATEFL session with Jeremy Day and incoming TESOL ESP-IS chair, Kristin Ekkens.
Finally, get involved! I had been working as an ESPer in Japan for many years before I came to a TESOL convention for the first time. (I had been to JALT and CATESOL events but not to a TESOL convention.) Before attending my first TESOL convention, which was in New York City, I had learned that the TESOL ESP Interest Section was recruiting candidates for the position of English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) Representative. I wanted to connect with other TESOL ESPers so I nominated myself for the EOP position and was fortunately elected in NYC. Two years later, when my term as an EOP Representative ended, I was elected as chair-elect of the TESOL ESP-IS. Three years later, after fulfilling my responsibilities as immediate past chair, I was asked to serve on the TESOL Board of Directors’ Governance Review Task Force. As a member of the GRTF, I will be busy at TESOL 2014.
In regard to getting involved, be sure to drop by the ESP-IS booth at the convention where you will most likely meet one of the ESP-IS leaders. My understanding is that there will be information at the booth about the ESP-IS Academic Session, Open Meeting, and InterSection sessions. The ESP-IS booth is supposed to be closed during those key sessions and meetings so all ESPers can attend.
For me, TESOL is a place where you have global adventures! It is really up to you what kind of adventures you create for yourself. I want to participate in a TESOL adventure year-round, not just at the convention, so I look for and/or create such opportunities.
TESOL 2014 is a great place for starting a new adventure! I hope to see you there!
All the best,