TESOL Member Moment celebrates our members’ achievements and contributions to the field of English language teaching.
Alexander Lopez Diaz
TESOL Global Member
English Language Teaching Specialist, Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Why are you a TESOL member?
Being a TESOL member has allowed me to broaden my view of what happens within English language teaching. It has also connected me to other professionals who work in very similar positions to me, and who are eager to help through TESOL online forums. Additionally, my membership at TESOL has helped me see the professionalism in our field both globally and locally.
What has been your most significant achievement in or contribution to the TESOL field?
As a program coordinator, I help novice teachers with professional development and individual coaching in our English program. Despite just being 22, using my TESOL member network, education, and applied linguistics training, I have been impacting Dominican Republic’s ELT field, one teacher at a time. I lead workshops in institutes about more effective and sound educational practices that result in more communicative, learner-centered classes. My faith, age, and position sends an invitation to young people like me to work hard and thrive. I want to live by that motto; professionalism, passion, quality, and excellence have no age.
I like your positive spirit. Keep up the good work. I am in the opposite situation, retirement age, but still with many interests in the field. My most current interest is teaching writing to secondary students and post-secondary students. Looking for more research on that.
Hi Debra, I’m an English teacher in Italy. Teaching writing is one of my weaknesses. Have you got suggestions on that? I know already some books, however, you might have some good insight on that to share.
I will share what I’ve used and I’m constantly learning. I recently did a lesson (several days) on writing an expository essay for newcomer students who had some very basic English writing skills. I found some text passage samples online, had the students mark up them for key elements, i.e. thesis statement, supporting reasons, transitions, conclusion. Then I gave them a prompt, “Why is it sometimes necessary to take a chance or a risk?” This was followed by a series of graphic organizers (GOs) to help them identify their thesis and related sources of information (how does one decide what to write? what are their life experiences related to this prompt? what have they read? who do they know?) which lead to their supporting reasons, separate GOs for their supporting paragraphs, conclusion and introduction (yes, this was done at the end vs. beginning). After they write all these pieces, they review, revise, and input as one essay. What I’ve learned is to use mentor texts, passages with similar writing, have them study the texts, then provide graphic organizers and sequence out the steps of writing. I also have them talk about what they’ve learned at the beginning and end of each lesson. I.E. “I learned how to use transition words in my writing.” Danling Fu, who has written on ELLs and writing, says that for secondary students, reading and writing go together to build up language.