TESOL Rock Stars

Running into one of your favorite English language researcher, author, or publisher at TESOL is similar to experiencing an earthquake for the first time!  You feel as if this couldn’t be happening. What should you do?  Your heart starts pounding! Should you ask them for an autograph?  Do you allow yourself to check out their accessories? Or do you just eavesdrop?

At my first TESOL event in Vancouver (1992), I ended up in the elevator with Carolyn Graham, singer and songwriter of the Jazz Chants series. I was thrilled!  I’m 5’10 and she was taller than me. She was regally dressed and carried herself as royalty.  I think all I did was say hello.  Nowadays, her voice fills my head when I think of California: “The coast of California is a beautiful site.  Tall trees, tall trees, big tall trees!”

The other TESOL “rock star” that I encountered had the presence of a regular guy.  I went to hear Dr. Stephen Krashen speak.  He’s not a musician, but he’s still rocks!  I’ve been a big fan of his research since my MA TESOL studies of his theories on language acquisition.  After I heard him speak, I left and went to the airport.  Then I saw him at the airport bar.  I wouldn’t have recognized him if I hadn’t just seen him speak.  This time around, I was braver and went to talk to him.  He was very cordial.

So tell me who your TESOL “rock stars” are.  I’d love to hear about any encounters past or present.  Maybe we could arrange a “swarm” using Twitter and all converge on your ELL idol sightings  during the conference.  I thought that I would blog about something humorous this time, since my last post was so serious.  Next post will be serious again, I promise!

Your Convention Blogger,

Sandra Annette Rogers

About Sandra Rogers

Sandra Rogers
Mrs. Rogers has a master's in TESOL, as well as the TESOL certificate in the Principles and Practices of Online Teaching. Currently, she's enrolled in a doctorate program for instructional design. She has a K-12 bilingual (Spanish) teaching certificate from California. Her areas of expertise are in bilingual education, culture, language acquisition and development (BCLAD), reading, quality assurance, and technology. She's active in the CALL-IS of TESOL and volunteers to provide free professional development for the Electronic Village Online (EVO). Mrs. Rogers spends her days scoring the TOEFL and TOEIC online for ETS. Additionally, Sandra founded a nonprofit charity to help job seekers find employment utilizing social media as a career tool. Find her on twitter @teacherrogers to learn about tips on integrating technology into the classroom.
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15 Responses to TESOL Rock Stars

  1. Sandra Rogers Sandra Rogers says:

    By the way, I got to see Carolyn Graham again!

  2. María Irene says:

    Dear Sandra,
    For us here in South America, it would be almost impossible to have the “rock stars” you mention if TESOL didn’t exist. For our Venezuela TESOL conventions, publishers, the American Embassy and the British Council in our country have provided us the opportunity of having some stars like Diane Larsen-Freeman, David Nunan, Tom Robb, James Dean Brown, Lidia Stack.

    What a wonderful organization TESOL is.

  3. Dale says:

    Sand, you’re right about TESOL rock stars. I also met Stephen Krashen at a conference and asked him to sign a book. He was and is an awesome ESL researcher.

    • Dale,

      I apologize for not responding until now, as I was busy during the convention and then time got away with me. Anyhow, regarding Krashen, his work is the foundation of my teaching philosophy and not singularly to SLA. For example, I integrate his affective filter theory into adult learning behavior for instruction other than language, as well.

      You can read more about my teaching philosophy on my e-portfolio: http://teacherrogers.wordpress.com/my-teaching-philosophy/

  4. Pingback: I was selected to blog for the 2011 TESOL Convention! « TeacherRogers' Blog

  5. Grazzia says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Since my first TESOL convention in 2007 I have found several of my idols: like Betty Azar, whose book was the first grammar book I used to teach, Diane Larse Freeman, whose series are impressive, innovative and so dynamic when used in teaching. I have had them autograph copies of books I bought and that I use in class and have even had pictures taken with them. These are people I look up to and I aspire to be like them in the future.

    • Sandra Rogers Sandra Rogers says:

      Grazzia,

      I’m a fan of Ms. Azar and Ms. Freeman, too. You’re very brave to ask for autographs and photos. Good for you!

  6. Sandra,
    You definitely named two of mine. I would also have to say that meeting David Crystal one day would also be fabulous. Great post!
    Andrea

    • Sandra Rogers Sandra Rogers says:

      Andrea,

      Yes, indeed! I have had his book, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, on my shelf for years. I just found his blog.

    • Jeff says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more! Since my first TESOL cvineotnon in 2007 I have found several of my idols: like Betty Azar, whose book was the first grammar book I used to teach, Diane Larse Freeman, whose series are impressive, innovative and so dynamic when used in teaching. I have had them autograph copies of books I bought and that I use in class and have even had pictures taken with them. These are people I look up to and I aspire to be like them in the future.

      • Jeff,

        Glad you found this article from last year; it’s one of my personal favorites.

        I’m a big fan of the Azar grammar series, too. I’ve never seen Betty present, but I attended a session with Diane before.

    • Masayuki says:

      Dear Sandra,For us here in South America, it would be almost sbmoisiple to have the rock stars you mention if TESOL didn’t exist. For our Venezuela TESOL conventions, publishers, the American Embassy and the British Council in our country have provided us the opportunity of having some stars like Diane Larsen-Freeman, David Nunan, Tom Robb, James Dean Brown, Lidia Stack. What a wonderful organization TESOL is.

  7. Ayanna Cooper Ayanna says:

    Hi Sandra,
    TESOL continues to host opportunities for us to run into “rock stars”. This past June I participated for the first time in TESOL Advocacy Day at the Nations Capital. There were about 30 representatives from TESOL affiliates nationwide. It was great! At dinner I ended up sitting directly across from some one I admire and whose website I had visited several times for resources. I was sitting across from Judie Haynes! We had started a conversation about working with teachers and she just introduced herself. She said, “Hi, I’m Judie Haynes” and extended her had for me to shake. I was thinking to myself, wow THE Judie Haynes is right here. There is noting like have the opportunity to meet and network with leaders in the field. I’m counting down til TESOL 2011!

    • Sandra Rogers Sandra Rogers says:

      Ayanna,

      Thanks for sharing! How fun for you. I’m not familiar with the work of Judie Haynes but will definitely look into it.

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