50 Year Timeline

The interactive timeline highlights important milestones of TESOL's first 50 years. Have an important milestone to share? Using the form to the right, submit your milestone for consideration.

1960s

  1. 1966

    TESOL Was Founded

    1966

    TESOL Was Founded

    18 March 1966, TESOL was born. Image from the very first TESOL Newsletter announcing the founding of the organization.

  2. 1969

    TESOL Signs Agreements With First Affiliates

    1969

    TESOL Signs Agreements With First Affiliates

    TESOL was first affiliated with New Mexico TESOL, followed later that same year by California TESOL. 

1970s

  1. 1967

    1st TESOL Annual Convention

    1967

    1st TESOL Annual Convention

    The 1st TESOL Annual Convention was held on Miami Beach, Florida USA.

  2. 1971

    5th TESOL Annual Convention

    1971

    5th TESOL Annual Convention

    The 5th TESOL Annual Convention was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. 

  3. 1974

    First Five Interest Sections Are Established

    1974

    First Five Interest Sections Are Established

    The first five interest sections are established: Adult Education IS, Applied Linguistics IS, Bilingual Education IS, English as a Foreign Language IS, and Intensive English Programs IS.

  4. 1974

    8th TESOL Annual Convention

    1974

    8th TESOL Annual Convention

    The 8th TESOL Annual Convention was held in Denver, Colorado, USA and the theme was "Bienvenido Todo El Mundo."

  5. 1974

    TESOL Offers Travel Grants

    1974

    TESOL Offers Travel Grants

    TESOL partnered with the Asia Foundation to ​offer the first travel grants to students attending the TESOL convention. 

  6. 1978

    12th TESOL Annual Convention

    1978

    12th TESOL Annual Convention

    The 12th TESOL Annual Convention was held in Mexico City, Mexico. 

1980s

  1. 1981

    15th TESOL Annual Convention

    1981

    15th TESOL Annual Convention

    The 15th TESOL Annual Convention was held on Detroit, Michigan, USA.

1990s

  1. 1990

    Interest Section Newsletters Debut

    1990

    Interest Section Newsletters Debut

    TESOL Interest Sections start publishing newsletters.

  2. 1998

    First TESOL Academy

    1998

    First TESOL Academy

    TESOL holds its first academy program in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

  3. 1999

    Online Professional Development

    1999

    Online Professional Development

    TESOL begins offering online professional development opportunities.

2000s

  1. 2002

    TESOL Symposium

    2002

    TESOL Symposium

    TESOL holds its first symposium in San Diego, California, USA.

  2. 2003

    Interest Section Newsletters Now Online

    2003

    Interest Section Newsletters Now Online

    The TESOL Interest Section newsletters move from traditional print to an online format.

  3. 2003

    TESOL International Symposium

    2003

    TESOL International Symposium

    TESOL holds its first international symposium in Rome, Italy. 

  4. 2005

    First Virtual Seminar

    2005

    First Virtual Seminar

    TESOL holds its first virtual seminar.

  5. 2006

    International Academy

    2006

    International Academy

    TESOL holds its first international academy program in Seoul, South Korea.

  6. 2009

    TESOL Co-Sponsors Global English Language Spelling Competition

    2009

    TESOL Co-Sponsors Global English Language Spelling Competition

    TESOL and Franklin Electronic Publishers entered into a partnership from 2009–2012 to sponsor English language spelling competitions around the world. Working together with TESOL’s affiliates, 'SpellEvents' took place in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, South Korea, Mexico, Italy, Senegal, Spain, Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

2010s

  1. 2011

    TESOL Regional Conference

    2011

    TESOL Regional Conference

    TESOL holds its first regional conference in Doha, Qatar.

  2. 2016

    TESOL 50th Anniversary

    2016

    TESOL 50th Anniversary

    TESOL celebrates its golden anniversary with a year-long celebration.

2016