TESOL 2014 for ESPers Worldwide!

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

The TESOL 2014 International Convention & English Language Expo is taking place from 26–29 March in Portland, Oregon, USA! How do you get the most out of the convention?

My suggestion is that you conduct a personal needs assessment and determine two things:

  1. What do you want to learn?
  2. How do you want to connect?

Next, you should do three things:

  1. Search the conference program.  (Look for ESP-IS sessions.)
  2. Check out the organizational meetings. (Look for the time and place of the ESP-IS Open Meeting.)
  3. Check out the Academic and InterSection sessions. (Look for ESP-IS sessions.)

At the annual TESOL convention, I always try to attend the ESP-IS Open Meeting and the ESP-IS Academic Session. There are also InterSection sessions jointly conducted by the ESP-IS and another IS. This year, I noticed that there were 31 sessions listed as ESP sessions including one IATEFL session with Jeremy Day and incoming TESOL ESP-IS chair, Kristin Ekkens.

Finally, get involved! I had been working as an ESPer in Japan for many years before I came to a TESOL convention for the first time. (I had been to JALT and CATESOL events but not to a TESOL convention.) Before attending my first TESOL convention, which was in New York City, I had learned that the TESOL ESP Interest Section was recruiting candidates for the position of English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) Representative. I wanted to connect with other TESOL ESPers so I nominated myself for the EOP position and was fortunately elected in NYC. Two years later, when my term as an EOP Representative ended, I was elected as chair-elect of the TESOL ESP-IS. Three years later, after fulfilling my responsibilities as immediate past chair, I was asked to serve on the TESOL Board of Directors’ Governance Review Task Force. As a member of the GRTF, I will be busy at TESOL 2014.

In regard to getting involved, be sure to drop by the ESP-IS booth at the convention where you will most likely meet one of the ESP-IS leaders.  My understanding is that there will be information at the booth about the ESP-IS Academic Session, Open Meeting, and InterSection sessions. The ESP-IS booth is supposed to be closed during those key sessions and meetings so all ESPers can attend.

For me, TESOL is a place where you have global adventures! It is really up to you what kind of adventures you create for yourself. I want to participate in a TESOL adventure year-round, not just at the convention, so I look for and/or create such opportunities.

TESOL 2014 is a great place for starting a new adventure! I hope to see you there!

All the best,


About Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight (PhD in Linguistics, MBA, MPIA) is an associate professor in the Department of International Communication (International Business Career major) and has also been working in the Career Education Center of Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. In the TESOL ESP Interest Section (ESPIS), he has served as chair and English in occupational settings (EOS) representative, and he is currently the ESPIS community manager. He was also a member of the Governance Review Task Force (GRTF) appointed by the board of directors. In addition, he has been a TESOL blogger in the area of English for Specific Purposes (ESP). He has more than 30 years of professional experience working for private, public, and academic sector institutions including Sony and the Japan Patent Office. His doctoral research on leadership communication (i.e., discourse) as a basis for leadership development was under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Christopher Candlin and Dr. Alan Jones.
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