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The TESOL Fund Our Future Campaign: Empowering Tomorrow’s Educators 

by Juliet Mason |

In March 2023, then president of TESOL International Association, Joyce Kling, announced the Fund our Future campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to focus on TESOL’s future and put TESOL’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access into action by making membership more accessible to educators around the world. The goal of the campaign was to provide complimentary memberships to individuals for whom membership is unattainable. The idea was sparked by board member Mawa Samb. In the first year, the program raised US$4,722 from 45 individuals and provided 65 complimentary memberships to individuals from 15 African countries. 

To share with you the program’s impact, I asked receiving participants in Cameroon to share what this TESOL membership has meant to them and how it has benefited their students. 

Meli Loyem Veronica Rita, an English language teacher for 5 years, has found through that her TESOL membership she uses a more “affective and emotional approach in her teaching process. This change has resulted in my students being more active participants in class and building resiliency to the circle of life.” 

Mispa Mua Mbi, a secondary and high school teacher in a rural community in the Yaounde region, stated she “increased her understanding of using technology in the ELT classroom.” Mbi was so inspired that she volunteered to review proposals for the TESOL 2024 International Convention and Expo, and is signed up to review for TESOL 2025. 

TESOL member Chindo Fiona Fulae and students.

Even experienced educators have benefited from a TESOL membership. Chindo Fiona Fulae states that her membership in English language associations, including TESOL, has helped to “broaden her understanding of different teaching approaches and improve her teaching and communication skills.” Fulae teaches English as a second language, English as a foreign language, and English literature to students ranging in age from 10 to 21 years old. 

Caroline Linyor Tata, a veteran educator, states that she “found resources that improved her teaching practices and helped her become a resource for her fellow teachers.” Tata has seen an improvement among her students and higher exam scores. She shared that she “is a different, better, and more confident educator since being a TESOL member.” 

Nicoline Chaavus, a 15-year veteran teacher working at the Bilingual High School in Etou-Ebe, Yaounde, states “I am perfecting my presentation skills and hope to one day present at the TESOL international convention.” Chaavus continues, “the opportunity to exchange best practices and to promote strategies and methods that are more adaptable to our learners’ environment is improving learner outcomes and allowing me to help my learners be creative thinkers and life-long learners.”

TESOL member Eyong-Tiku Eyong-Ewubhe and students.

Eyong-Tiku Eyong-Ewubhe, a teacher-trainer and pedagogic inspector with the Ministry of Secondary Education in Cameroon, has long followed TESOL activities online. Eyong-Ewubhe uses the tips he’s learned by engaging with other TESOLers while in the classroom and in student-teacher training in his English Lesson Planning classes. 

The benefits these teachers express and the way they are sharing with colleagues exemplifies the reason Joyce Kling felt this was more worthwhile than honoring past activities with a President’s award. Kling said, "I am honored I was in the position to bring this idea to life, but more important to me are the wonderful educators who are able to benefit from TESOL membership and their students who are positively impacted." The way the learning from one membership is being cascaded to many and the improved student outcomes are great examples of the ripple effects one membership can have. Kling noted, “maybe one of these students will be among the next generation of English language educators!"

In future years, TESOL will be expanding the program to additional countries and hopefully raising additional funds to be able to continue this effort. You can support this program by making a donation to the TESOL Global Membership Fund.

About the author

Juliet Mason

Juliet Mason, CAE, is TESOL International Association’s head of operations. Juliet earned her BS in business communications from the University of Maryland, University College, a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government, and her certified association executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives. Throughout Juliet’s career, she has focused on building member value and community within associations. 

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