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justification toolkit

Justification Toolkit

The Value of Attending the 2015 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo

As an English language educator, you value attending the TESOL convention. The current economic downturn has caused many school districts, governments, and other organizations to slash travel and education budgets. To obtain the financial support you need from your employer, you will likely have to justify your attendance. To help you, TESOL has prepared the following resources.

General Information

As the largest convention focused exclusively on English language teaching for speakers of other languages, the 2015 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo is the best place to get professional development in the field. Every year, more than 6,000 English language teaching professionals take advantage of this opportunity.

The 2015 TESOL convention offers more than 800 sessions (over 30,000 hours of learning) for attendees to choose from. You can attend as many sessions as you want, including plenary sessions and invited speaker sessions, and if you register by 15 January 2015, the member rate is only $330 ($560 nonmembers). Over just four days, you can learn about the latest research in the field, current best-practices, and even pick-up a lesson plan or two, and you will have numerous opportunities to network with colleagues.
Download the convention brochure (PDF)

Talking Points

Here is a list of talking points that should help you get the approval you need.

•    With more than 800 sessions to choose from and the expo hall, it’s like getting an entire year’s worth of continuing education in just 4 days.
•    The knowledge and training that you will bring back to your job is a return on the investment.
•    You can share your new knowledge and training with your colleagues. This way, everyone in your workplace can benefit from your attendance.

To help you make your presentation, you can use the following resources:
o    Keep the handouts from the sessions you attend.
o    Access the TESOL Resource Center (TRC) for quality video of all plenary sessions.
o    Show greeting videos from other attendees on TESOL’s YouTube Channel.
o    Show photo highlights from TESOL’s Facebook page.
o    Access online convention recordings. These are audio-synchronized, downloadable MP3 files, available 24 hours a day for your convenience.

You can get CEUs for attending the convention. TESOL partners with a local institution every year to get you CEUs for the Pre- and Postconvention Institutes, K-12 Day, Adult Ed Day and even the convention sessions. This argument is especially powerful if you are required to get a certain number of CEUs each year.

•    Remind your supervisor that there will be major and exclusive discounts on publications and other useful products from TESOL and other companies exhibiting at the convention.
•    Find a colleague who will cover for you during your time out of the office. Your supervisor will appreciate your initiative and will see you as very responsible.
•    By arriving early you can take advantage of full and half day preconvention workshops or K-12 Day and Adult Ed Day for a small additional cost.

Ways to Save

Although your attendance at the convention can be seen as an expense, you can show your supervisor the different ways you can help minimize the costs. Here are some ways you can save:

•    Consider sharing your hotel room with another attendee. TESOL will offer an online system to help you find a roommate.
•    If you become a member for $98 you can get the member registration rate of $330. The nonmember registration rate is $560, so you’ll save $132—and you’ll get TESOL Member Benefits throughout the year, which includes free webinars.
•    Get a co-worker to attend the convention with you (up to 4) and if you register by 15 January 2015, his/her registration will be $310. That’s a $20 savings.
•    Are you a student? If you qualify for the Student Membership, your dues would be $35 and your registration would be $145. You’ll save $380 off the nonmember rate or $248 off the member rate. Visit the membership page to see if you qualify for student membership.
 •    TESOL offers a discounted rate for a group of five or more attendees from the same institution. Each registration will be $295 if everybody is a member. That’s a $35 savings for each registration.

Expenses vs. Benefits

Justification Letter for Your Supervisor

Remember: You should be ready to answer any question that your supervisor may have. After you provide all the necessary information to your supervisor, he/she will assess the information before making the decision. Your supervisor’s decision will likely depend on the information you provide and how well you sell the benefits of attending the convention. Good luck!