TESOL Member Moment celebrates our members’ achievements and contributions to the field of English language teaching.
TESOL New Professional Member
PhD student at Georgia State University
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Why are you a TESOL member?
Being a TESOL member in Vietnam and the United States is a privilege for me. I have never imagined that I could have learned and grown so much since I started involving myself with service, research, and writing with/for/by/about TESOL members. I am interested in expanding global conversations with teachers, students, and educators regarding the issues of race and gender in TESOL. While serving in TESOL, I have learned that I need to unlearn fixed knowledges from the textbooks so that I am able to continue this work, aimed toward decolonizing and queering mindsets in my teaching, research, and service. In addition, I found joy in serving TESOL because I have learned so much from great scholars that I only read in peer-reviewed journals. The scholars in the TESOL field are so welcoming, supportive, and critical, which motivates and pushes me to think beyond my deficit lens.
I appreciate TESOL for creating a global platform for me to continue learning, growing, and rethinking my research and teaching trajectory. I can continue to serve marginalized populations from this platform, especially the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, among other sexualities) community, moving forward. Further, I particularly love the community of practice in TESOL where each member has taught me to think differently, especially a special thanks to Dr. Gertrude Tinker Sachs, Dr. Luis Javier Pentón Herrera, friends in TESOL’s Social Responsibility Interest Section (SRIS), TESOL’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Trans (LGBT) Professional Learning Network (PLN), and GATESOL. That is the beauty of the community of practice in TESOL, for which I am eternally grateful.
What has been your most significant achievement in or contribution to the TESOL field?
During my service at TESOL, one of the most important contributions was to cocreate a critical, accepting, and equitable space for all voices and identities to be heard, seen, and visible. As a 2020 TESOL Convention ambassador, I was able to connect with different scholars to engage in online discussion, despite the global pandemic. As an SRIS co-chair and an LGBT PLN chair, wonderful colleagues and I were able to cobuild a dialogic space across disciplines and interest sections and PLNs in TESOL.
For example, we had two panels presenting the topics of identities, gender, and sexuality at the 2021 TESOL Convention. As an invited speaker, I have used the power of public speaking to connect and empower a community of scholars locally and internationally (e.g., Harvard University, Georgia State University, Podcast with Brill/Sense). Recently, I am honored to continue to share my work with queer students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) in the 2021 TESOL ELevate event so that we all can support this overlooked population. I am excited, humbled, and willing to be part of the historical moment to work with TESOL to build a better world for all.