​Call for Proposals: Master's Student Forum

2017 Master's Student Forum
TESOL 2017 International Convention & English Language Expo
Seattle, Washington, USA
Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The 2017 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo includes a forum for full-time and part-time students enrolled in graduate programs leading to a master's degree in TESOL (or related fields) at any institution of higher learning. Students who are working toward a degree (during fall 2016) are invited to submit a proposal for the Master’s Student Forum. (Important Note: Doctoral students should submit proposals to the Doctoral Research Forum.)

This year 25 poster sessions and 45 paper presentations and demonstrations will be accepted. You may submit one presentation or poster abstract as first author.


All proposals must be submitted online by 5:00 pm ET, 14 October 2016.

Types of Proposals

You may submit proposals for presentations or poster sessions.

Presentations (15 min. with 3 min. Q & A) will be considered in the following categories:

Completed Study:
 Reports on an entire study and should include information on the underlying principles, gaps in research, participants, methods, and results. Handouts and audiovisual aids may be used.

Study in Progress: Presents an original study that the presenter is currently conducting. It should include information on the underlying principles, gaps in research, participants, and methods. Handouts and audiovisual aids may be used.

Demonstration: Shows a technique for teaching or testing. The presenter should spend no more than 5 minutes explaining the theory underlying the technique. The presenter provides handouts and may use audiovisual aids.

Teaching Workshop: Focuses on activities, techniques, or teaching aids for the ESL or EFL classroom. Handouts and audiovisual aids may be used.

Poster Session (1 hr.): Allows for short, informal discussions with other participants while the exhibit is on display. The exhibit should be self-explanatory. Posters can display research, teaching tips, curriculum development ideas, and many other areas of interest.

The poster is presented on a large (4 ft. by 8 ft., 1.22 m by 2.44 m) display board. Your poster should be no larger than that size and your poster should only be on one sheet. Your poster should include
  • title
  • name and institutional affiliation of the presenter(s)
  • contact information
  • brief text with clearly labeled photos, drawings, graphs, or charts
No other audiovisual equipment is allowed. Exhibits are set up during the lunch hour before the session and dismantled immediately after the session. Poster presenters are required to be available with their posters during the session.

Adjudication Process

Submitted proposals will be refereed by master’s degree students at the host university, Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and the host institution elect.

Factors Affecting Selection

Balance: To ensure that the Master’s Student Forum brings together individuals from a variety of institutions and backgrounds, the Forum Program Committee seeks balance in
  • range of topics
  • interests covered
  • proposal’s relevance to the needs of TESOL graduate students
Quality of proposal summary: Summaries should
  • clearly state the proposal's purpose
  • be succinct
  • be appropriate to the type of session proposed
  • show the proposal's significance for the intended audience
  • indicate the quality of research (if relevant)
  • show evidence that the presentation will be well prepared
You may submit only one presentation or poster abstract as first author.

Factors Disqualifying a Proposal

Your proposal will be disqualified if it
  • promotes commercial interests
  • is not completed according to the guidelines outlined in this call
  • is not received by the deadline (30 September 2016)

Responsibilities of the Presenter

  • Register for the forum. Registration for the Master’s Student Forum is free and you do not have to be registered for the TESOL conference to participate.To register, just select the Master's Student Forum on the convention registration form.
  • Notify all co-presenters about the status of the proposal. When two or more people are presenting, the presenter listed first is responsible for notifying the others.
  • Do not change the conceptual content of your session once it has been accepted.
  • Bring a power cord for your computer and an adaptor (if necessary).
  • Support the other presenters by participating in all forum activities.

How to Submit Your Proposal

To ensure that your proposal is considered, please follow these steps. Proposals that do not follow these guidelines will be disqualified.

Proposals must be submitted online and must include
  • proposal title
  • presenter’s full name
  • presenter’s institutional affiliation
  • city
  • state or province
  • country

Title Guidelines

The title should
  • not exceed 7 words. Each part of a hyphenated compound counts as one word.
  • accurately reflect the presentation content.
  • be clear to the intended audience.
  • not have a colon or quotation marks
  • capitalize all major words.
Sample titles:
  • Participants' Perspectives on In-Service Teacher Training (7 words)
  • Web Sites for Teaching U.S. Popular Culture (7 words)

Abstract Guidelines

The proposal must include an abstract. The abstract will appear in the Master’s Student Forum Program, and attendees will use it to decide whether to attend your presentation, so it should be carefully written and proofread. The abstract should
  • not exceed 50 words
  • be written in the third-person present tense (e.g., “The presenter begins by . . . and she . . .”)
  • not refer to published works
  • be carefully edited and proofread
  • be written to draw the most appropriate audience to the presentation
  • spell out any acronym(s) used in the title
Sample abstract: This paper reports on research conducted to determine how best to develop language learning strategies. The participants were EFL learners in a Southeast Asian nation. This research compared the natural development of strategies among students in traditional classrooms with the effects of specific instruction in strategies and their use.

Proposal Summary

Prepare a 250-word summary of the presentation content. Only the referees will see the proposal summary; it will not appear in the program. The summaries will be blind reviewed, so please do not use the presenter name(s) or institution(s) in your summary.

Your proposal summary should include
  • proposal title
  • proposal type (Demonstration, Completed Study, Study in Progress, Teaching Workshop, Poster Session)
  • designated interest area (see below)
  • audiovisual equipment needs

Proposal Summary Guidelines

The proposal should
  • not exceed 250 words. Longer summaries will be disqualified.
  • not include names of the presenter(s) or institution(s)
  • clearly state a purpose and point of view
  • include supporting details and examples
  • contain evidence of current practices and/or research
  • refer to published works
  • select an appropriate format for the presentation (e.g., Demonstration, Study in Progress)
  • use a variety of techniques (e.g., activities, visuals)
  • indicate that a presenter can cover the material in the allotted time
  • be carefully edited and proofread

Summary Content Based on Proposal Type

Completed Study or Study in Progress: synopsis that includes central idea and supporting evidence

Demonstration or Teaching Workshop: central purpose and description of what will be demonstrated

Poster Session: main ideas to be presented and description of the visual display

Designated Interest Area

You must select one area, and your choice must match the interest area listed in the summary.
  • Adult Education
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Assessment/Testing
  • Bilingual Education
  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning
  • Content-Based instruction
  • Curriculum/Materials Development
  • Discourse/Pragmatics
  • English as a Foreign Language
  • English as an International Language
  • English for Specific Purposes
  • ESL in Higher Education
  • ESL in Primary/Secondary Schools
  • Grammar
  • Integrated Skills
  • Intensive English Programs
  • Intercultural Communication
  • International Teaching Assistants
  • Materials Writers
  • Reading/Literacy
  • Refugee Concerns
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Sociolinguistics/Culture
  • Sociopolitical Concerns
  • Speaking/Pronunciation/Phonology/Listening
  • Specific Language Groups
  • Teacher Education
  • Technology in Education
  • Vocabulary/Lexicon
  • Workplace/Business English
  • Writing/Composition


To present at the 2017 Master’s Student Forum, you must register. To register, select the Master's Student Forum on the convention registration form. Registration is free, and you do not have to register for the TESOL convention to attend. Registration opens in September.


If you have questions about the proposal process, please contact the TESOL Master’s Forum.