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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 2020 TESOL Teacher of the Year

by David Cutler | 01/28/2020
TESOL International Association and National Geographic Learning, a division of Cengage, are pleased to announce that Neda Sahranavard, a lecturer and academic coordinator at the University of California, Irvine and adjunct faculty at South Orange County Community College District in California, USA, will receive the 2020 TESOL Teacher of the Year Award. The award, which is open to teachers at all levels, honors exceptional English language teaching. Sahranavard will be recognized at the opening keynote session of the 2020 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, 31 March – 3 April in Denver, Colorado, USA.
Neda Sahranavard
An educator for more than 17 years, Sahranavard decided to become a teacher while juggling her undergraduate studies with caring for her two small children. Discussing the professors who influenced her future career in teaching, Sahranavard recalled, “[they] opened my world and would change my life dramatically. They guided me in learning English and embracing English literature. Through them, I explored my potential and became confident of what I was doing with my life. I hope I am the teacher that my own professors showed me.”

After completing her doctoral coursework at the Islamic Azad University in Tehran, Iran, Sahranavard moved to the United States where she completed her dissertation while teaching at Santa Ana College and the University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing  Education. Teaching at the community college and university levels in Iran and the United States granted Sahranavard a wealth of experience as she was able to educate students from a wide range of socioeconomic, ethnic, linguistic, racial, and religious backgrounds. 

While describing her philosophy as a teacher, Sahranavard noted, “I aim to keep the best interests of my students at heart. I believe that responsive and helpful communication is the pillar of teaching effectively. I always teach in context and work to create a seamless progression from one subject to another.” 

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 2020 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo; and a cash award of US$1000. 

National Geographic Learning will present the award to Sahranavard at the TESOL International Convention, where she will deliver a presentation titled “Re-Conceptualizing the Teaching of Academic Reading/Vocabulary: A Multilingual Reader-Oriented Approach.” Her session will report on classroom-based studies in the use of a reader-oriented approach for teaching academic reading/vocabulary to multilingual students. 

For more information on Neda Sahranavard, please see the Teacher of the Year feature in the January issue of TESOL Connections.

Download a copy of the full press release here