I have always dreamed of attending the TESOL convention and presenting a paper at the august gathering. It is almost a mela ( a fair) for English language professionals to engage, enrich, and empower their understandings and expertise. My dream of attending the conference this year has turned into reality because I have become a part of the convention.
I am happy for two reasons. First, I am serving as one of seven TESOL Ambassadors for TESOL 2017. It is a good opportunity for me to share my experiences with my fellow participants. It also provides an occasion to connect with like-minded people from all over the world. Everyday at the convention, I get to know at least one new friend, and TESOL has made this possible. Second, I am presenting a paper titled “Building Social Responsibilities Through Critical Pedagogy in ELT Classrooms.” I will present on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 10:30 am–11:15 am in Grand Ballroom B.
This discussion will be useful, I think. I will be talking about how I have helped my students develop their critical consciousness. The pedagogy that I use helps my students become socially responsible citizens who are able to question the ongoing social injustices of the society they live in.
Around 6,000 ELT professionals will be attending TESOL 2017 from all nooks and corners of the world. I am extremely happy to be a member of the TESOL community and to be there. The TESOL convention is one of the few places where we can discuss our interests and get to know the emerging trends in English language teaching around the globe. Researchers come to share their groundbreaking research, and others come to share their everyday teaching practices. And this kind of gathering rarely happens with this many ELT professionals.
Why am I coming from Nepal, a distant country, to attend TESOL 2017? First, I will be able to meet hundreds of ELT professionals in person, people whose work I have been reading for a long time. I will also be able to meet new friends and talk about future collaborations.
Second, I have always wanted to attend conferences with people on the same wave length sharing ideas about different issues in our professional community. TESOL 2017 gives me a chance to learn about new developments and research in English language teaching. The convention allows us to attend to dozens of sessions. I am sure that I would not have this chance if I remained in my own country.
Third, my experience at the convention will benefit my friends and students in Nepal. I will carry back all the memories and the golden moments to share with my colleagues. I will also implement the new teaching practices that I have learned. Attending TESOL 2017 will ultimately empower myself, my colleagues, and my students.