This website uses cookies. A cookie is a small piece of code that gives your computer a unique identity, but it does not contain any information that allows us to identify you personally. For more information on how TESOL International Association uses cookies, please read our privacy policy. Most browsers automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you can opt out by changing your browser settings.

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education to Open 2011 TESOL Convention (March 2011)

For Immediate Release

TESOL Contact: John Segota
 Tel. 703-518-2513

Alexandria, VA (March 2011)—Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL), the global association for English language educators, announces U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana will be the opening speaker for the 45th Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit, to be held March 16–19, 2011, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Considered the premiere event on English language teaching worldwide, the TESOL convention features education sessions and experts on a broad variety of topics, including language testing and assessment, technology in language learning, bilingual education, and standards. Under the banner "Examining the ‘E’ in TESOL," the 2011 TESOL convention will showcase more than 1000 education sessions presented by speakers from more than 25 countries. In addition, the convention will feature one of the largest exhibitions of its kind in the world, with over 100 exhibitors offering some of the finest products and services for English language educators and their classrooms.

Assistant Secretary Meléndez earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude in sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles and her PhD from the University of Southern California, where she specialized in language, literacy, and learning. She has served as superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District (Calif.) and has been recognized frequently for her educational leadership, including being named as an Outstanding K–12 School Leader & Distinguished Partner for Educational Excellence by California State Polytechnic University at Pomona in 2005 and as Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bilingual Directors Association in 2003. As the opening speaker, Dr. Meléndez will discuss the national vision for cradle-to-career education reform in the context of serving English language learners.

Key highlights of the 45th Annual TESOL Convention & Exhibit include

  • K–12 Dream Day, a special 1-day event for teachers in elementary and secondary education that will provide interactive, practice-oriented sessions which focus on concrete ways to increase student engagement and achievement from preschool to high school.
  • Dr. Rosalinda Barrera, Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director, Office of English Language Acquisition, discusses new initiatives and priorities of the U.S. Department of Education designed to improve services and learning outcomes for English learners.
  • The Association of Binational Centers of Latin America (ABLA) receives the 2011 TESOL Presidents’ Award.
  • Special presentations co-sponsored by TESOL and other academic associations, including
    • English Language Learners Achieving Academic Success in Mathematics, co-sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and TESOL
    • Why Common Core Implementation Requires Academic Language Expectations, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers
  • The Electronic Village, a special venue to explore technological resources for language teaching and learning in the classroom and online. Highlights include the latest in multimedia learning, access to Internet-based resources for language instruction, and presentations on handheld hardware devices.

TESOL gratefully acknowledges its Global Partners Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Heinle Cengage Learning, and Franklin Electronic Publishers, its Platinum Partners Education Testing Service–ETS, and all its other partners for their support of the 45th Annual TESOL Convention & Exhibit.

More details on the 2011 TESOL Convention & Exhibit, including an Advance Program, are available online at

Members of the media can register for the convention either in advance or on site. To register in advance, visit the online press room at, where more press releases and information about presenters and sessions are available. To register on site, please visit the Press Desk in the Registration Area of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Founded in 1966, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) is a professional community of educators, researchers, administrators and students committed to advancing excellence in English language teaching for speakers of other languages worldwide. With more than 12,000 members representing 156 countries, TESOL fosters the exchange of ideas, research and peer-to-peer knowledge, and provides expertise, resources and a powerful voice on issues affecting the profession. Through professional development programs, its International Conference, special interest groups and publications, TESOL engages tens of thousands of professionals to collaborate globally and create a world of opportunity for millions of people of all ages who want to learn English.

More Resources:
  • National Teacher of the Year to be Featured speaker at 2005 TESOL Convention (March 2005; PDF)
  • TESOL Donates Over 1,100 Books at Convention Book Drive (July 2005; PDF)
  • TESOL to Honor Chilean Minister of Education (March 2006; PDF)
  • Press Information for the 41st Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit
  • TESOL “Spanning the Globe” in Seattle, March 21–24, 2007 (February 2007; 93 KB PDF)