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Press Room

Welcome to TESOL's Press Room, where members of the press and news media can find information and the latest announcements from TESOL International Association. For interviews and questions on TESOL press releases contact David Cutler, director of advocacy and outreach.

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TESOL News and Press Releases

TESOL and National Geographic Learning Announce 2019 TESOL Teacher of the Year

by David Cutler | 03/01/2019
Alexandria, VA (1 March 2019)TESOL International Association and National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage, are pleased to announce that Tünde Csepelyi, an ESOL educator at Sparks High School in Sparks, Nevada, USA, will receive the 2019 TESOL Teacher of the Year Award. The award, which is open to teachers at all levels, honors exceptional English language teaching. Csepelyi will be recognized at the opening keynote session of the 2019 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, 12–15 March in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Csepelyi began her work as an educator in Hungary, teaching geography and history before immigrating to the United States. Though she spoke no English when she arrived in the United States, Csepelyi aspired to become a teacher in her new country. After six years of hard work to become proficient in English, and overcoming obstacles, such as being told her accent was “too heavy” during her first job interview, she achieved her goal. Her path towards becoming a teacher in the United States has greatly influenced the way she views teaching her students. “Whatever I bring to the classroom serves this purpose: to help my students achieve a full life in the US where they speak the language and are educated, so they have access to their dream careers. I want them to have choices. My immigrant life completely changed when I was finally able to teach,” noted Csepelyi.

Csepelyi continued to explain, “The experience I have gained over the years as an immigrant inspires me as a teacher to build relationships with students and their parents. I feel that what I do is not even teaching. I want my students – adults or children – to find their inner peace in their new country through my support, coaching, and okay, teaching.” As a nonnative English speaker and immigrant, Csepelyi embodies TESOL values and is a perfect example of TESOL International Association’s global presence and connectivity, and represents the knowledge and expertise that our members bring to the classroom every day 

The recipient of the TESOL Teacher of the Year Award receives a one-year membership in TESOL International Association; a selection of TESOL publications valued at US$250; complimentary registration, travel, and accommodations for the 2019 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo; and a cash award of US$1000. The award recipient will also deliver a presentation at the TESOL International Convention.

National Geographic Learning will present the award to Csepelyi at the TESOL International Convention, where she will deliver a presentation titled “Am I Teaching Well?” The presentation will explore ideas and tips for self-evaluation by TESOL educators, and will also present important information on connecting with students and advocating on their behalf outside of the classroom.

For more information on Tünde Csepelyi, please see the Teacher of the Year feature in the March issue of TESOL Connections.

Download a copy of the full press release