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TESOL Award Recipients Top Banner

The Mary Finocchiaro Award for Excellence in Unpublished Pedagogical Materials 

Who's Eligible?

Any TESOL member in good standing.


This award was created in 1987 in honor of Mary Finocchiaro, a noted educator, author, and TESOL president (1970-1971), to recognize a TESOL member(s) who has achieved excellence through the development of practical pedagogical materials not currently under consideration for publication.


US$500 and a complimentary TESOL convention registration.

Evaluation Criteria

Pedagogical materials must be original, innovative, directly applicable to ESL/EFL teaching, and appropriate for the teaching context within which they have been implemented. Materials specific to English language learning can consist of written texts, oral passages, or multimedia applications. All submissions must contain implementation guides, such as directions or lesson plans. Additionally, the submission must contain a description of and rationale for the design and use of the materials. The work is evaluated for

Pedagogical innovation
  • Similar materials are not already popularly used
  • Materials represent something new and unique in the field of ESL/EFL teaching
  • Materials represent a practical application of current research about language features or teaching methodology
Relevance to the classroom context
  • Rationale incorporates a clear indication of language level and target population
  • Materials are based on needs analysis of the described population
  • Materials are appropriate for the described population
Clarity and successful use
  • Writing in the materials is clear and stylistically appropriate
  • Directions in the materials (for teachers and/or learners) are clear
  • Materials have been “road-tested” -used at least one cycle (unit, semester, term, etc.)
  • Materials have been edited or improved based on teacher reflection and student feedback
Download the evaluation rubric.

To Apply

To complete the application process, you will need the following information:
  • an anonymous copy of the material (no more than 50 sample pages)
    • include links to any online materials or materials posted online (access to Dropbox files or other file-sharing services)
    • include examples of anonymous student work as appropriate
    • include clear implementation guide and any teacher notes (sample lesson plans, course overview, etc.)
    • include plan for assessment
  • an anonymous statement (1000 words max) describing the following:
    • the rationale or theoretical basis
    • the target population and language level, including age of the learners, or any special features of the institution or language learning context
    • innovative qualities of the materials, how the materials incorporate current research in TESOL
    • reflection on previous use of materials in classroom and how student feedback/reflective practice informed any changes
    • if applicable, any other pertinent information including coauthors or other collaborators and the extent of their involvement in the project
  • eligibility checklist affirming that your materials have not yet been submitted for publication or that your materials are not currently under consideration for publication 

Application Deadline

Open for applications soon.   

Apply Now

2022 Recipient: Amy Sherman

amy_headshot  Amy Sherman is an instructional specialist for Arlington Public Schools (Virginia) in the Office of English Learners. Previously, Amy taught English at schools in Japan, Maryland, and Virginia. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Virginia. 

Past Recipients

View a list of past recipients. 


Please contact TESOL Awards.