Presidential Beginnings: My First 100 Days

In my first 100 days serving as president of TESOL International Association, I have already had several opportunities to see the amazing work we collectively engage in, as an association and as professionals in the field, and I have seen how much our work matters.

April and May provided opportunities to speak at conferences. Conversations with participants reinforced the increased complexities of our work and sociopolitical realities that shape our profession every day. These themes echo our discussions at the TESOL Summit in Greece earlier this year, and I look forward to continued dialogue about our changing profession and the implications for our Association.

June was a month for collective action. The Research Symposium in Monterey, organized by TESOL and the International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF), provided an opportunity for professional development by sharing our experiences with systematic inquiry into our practices. Participants left the symposium with new questions, new tools, and a new network of those engaged in similar inquiry.

I was also fortunate to be part of the annual TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit that took place in Washington D.C., 18–20 June 2017. Through presentations by leading experts and hands-on workshops, more than 100 attendees prepared for their visit with House and Senate representatives to advocate for equity and excellence in education for English language learners. This event is one of our many efforts to be a strong and consistent voice for our profession and our learners. It was a powerful example of our commitment to advocacy for policies and practices that reflect the current realities and understandings about English language teaching and learning, in the United States and around the world.

Finally, these first 100 days have also included introducing TESOL’s new executive director, Christopher Powers, to the world of TESOL International Association. Coming out of the world of international education, Chris understands the value of multilingualism and how it affords us to access new worlds, perspectives, and experiences. He has extensive leadership experience and I am glad he chose to come to TESOL. In the video below, Chris explains why he is so pleased to be part of our community.

I hope to use the TESOL President’s Blog this year to highlight our collective accomplishments and engage in a dialogue about future directions of the field and the Association. I welcome your input and suggestions, and I would like to hear about your accomplishments. Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments and feel free to send me an email!


About Ester de Jong

Ester de Jong
Ester de Jong is president of TESOL International Association (2017-2018). She is also a professor in ESOL/bilingual education and the director of the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida, where she teaches courses in bilingual and bicultural education and in curriculum, methods, and assessment for English learners. Her research focuses on two-way bilingual education, language-in-education policy, and mainstream teacher preparation for bilingual students.
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3 Responses to Presidential Beginnings: My First 100 Days

  1. Hello,
    I am an EFL teacher. Through the courses offered by TESOL Association and British Council, I try to improve my teaching and research skills. Thank you for your help.

  2. David Ross says:

    One issue that will have to be addressed is the apparent decline – in some cases precipitate drop – in international student enrollment in US colleges and universities, a decline which, if it continues, will ooze a serious threat to the kinds of an important sector o of the TESOL membership.

  3. Fatou Kine Ndiaye says:

    Greetings and suggestions
    Dear President,
    Congratulations on reaching the 100 days in SUCCESS with us.
    It was a great pleasure to being in touch with you and taking part of the last convention in Seattle, Washington as a presenter, an affiliate and a poster fair presenter.
    I am from Senegal. I was part of a group of teachers from eleven countries granted by the TESOL Access Exchange Program to participate at the TESOL17 CONVENTION. The program was financed by the U.S Department of State and was a first-time in most of our countries. We had a four-day program about Educational Techonology in Detroit, Michigan before taking part of the convention. It was a real experience to network with such amazing experts to enhance our profession
    . For the upcoming TESOL we submitted a collective proposal to share our Detroit and TESOL experiences. Most of us are teachers from developing countries and can afford the travel fees. By any chance if our proposal was accepted I would like to suggest you to help us be part of the next convention through one of your other grants, to discuss our Detroit-TESOL experiences and show how we have continued to get in contact to exchange classroom teaching tips and their outcomes.


    Fatou Kine Ndiaye from Dakar, Senegal
    English Teacher at Grand-Yoff Middle School
    Coordinator of the English Cell at Grand-Yoff Middle School

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