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Call for Proposals

The 6th Annual Graduate Student Forum at The 40th Annual TESOL Convention
Tampa, Florida, USA
Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Eligibility to Submit a Proposal

Full-time and part-time students enrolled in graduate programs leading to the master's degree in TESOL (or related fields) at any institution of higher learning can take part in the Graduate Student Forum, either as presenters or as participants. (Please note that there is a similar but separate forum for doctoral students).

Types of Proposals

Proposals for three types of presentations are being solicited: papers, demonstrations, and poster sessions.

A paper (15 minutes) is an oral summary, with occasional reference to notes or a text, which describes or discusses something that the presenter is doing or has done in relation to theory or practice. Handouts and audiovisual aids may be used.

A demonstration (15 minutes) shows, rather than discusses, a technique for teaching or testing. No more than 5 minutes is spent explaining the theory underlying the technique. The presenter provides handouts and may use audiovisual aids.

A poster session (1 hour) allows for short, informal discussions with other participants during the 1-hour time period that a self-explanatory exhibit is on display. The exhibit is presented on a large (4' x 8') display board that includes a title; the name and institutional affiliation of the presenter(s); and a brief text with clearly labeled photos, drawings, graphs, or charts. No other audiovisual equipment is allowed. Exhibits are set up during the lunch hour before the session and dismantled immediately after the session.

Deadline for Submitting a Proposal Extended

All proposals must be submitted by November 20, 2005. Proposals may be submitted online using the Online Submission Form. If you do not have access to a computer, send your proposal to the following address:

Graduate Student Forum Proposal

ATTN: Erica N. Wolicki

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Department of English and Foreign Languages

3801 W. Temple Ave.

Pomona, CA 91768

Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard with the title of the proposal on it for acknowledgment of proposal receipt. Please do NOT submit duplicate proposals.

Adjudication of Proposals

Submitted proposals will be refereed by graduate students at the host universities (California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, Bilkent University, and Seattle Pacific University). If you have any questions about the 6th Annual Graduate Student Forum, please contact Erica N. Wolicki at

Factors Affecting Selection

The Graduate Student Forum is intended to bring together individuals from a variety of institutions and backgrounds; therefore, an important factor in proposal selection is program balance. In adjudicating proposals, the Forum Program Committee will seek such balance in (a) range of topics, (b) level of expertise, (c) interests covered, (d) professional and geographic distribution of the participants, and (e) relevance of the proposal to the needs of graduate students in TESOL.

Another important factor is how well the proposal summary is written. Summaries should possess (a) clarity of purpose, (b) succinctness, (c) appropriateness, (d) significance for the intended audience, (e) an indication of the research quality (if relevant), and (f) evidence that the presentation will be well prepared.

Because institutional travel funding for many graduate students is contingent upon their presenting a session at the convention, the Forum Program Committee will accept only one primary presentation per presenter. Otherwise, if a presenter takes up more than one spot on the forum program, others may be prevented from attending the TESOL convention.

Factors Disqualifying a Proposal

Proposals will be disqualified if they

  • promote commercial interests
  • are not completed according to the guidelines outlined in this Call for Participation (e.g., the summary exceeds one page)
  • are not received by the deadline of November 20, 2005

Responsibilities of the Presenter

Notify all copresenters about the status of the proposal. When two or more people are presenting, the first presenter is responsible for notifying the others.

Register for the forum and the TESOL convention. TESOL is unable to reimburse program participants for expenses.

Do not change the conceptual content of your session once it has been accepted.

Bring enough handouts for your room size, which will be indicated in the proposal acceptance message.

Participate in all the activities of the entire Graduate Student Forum from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Steps in Submitting a Proposal

Proposals that do not follow these steps are automatically disqualified.

1. The proposal must include an abstract that will appear in the Program Book if the proposal is accepted. Participants in the forum will use the abstract to decide which presentations to attend. Make sure the abstract has the following information in the upper left corner: (a) title, (b) presenter’s full name, (c) institutional affiliation, (d) city, (e) state/province, and (f) country.

Title Guidelines:

(a) accurately reflects the content

(b) is clear to the intended audience

(c) has no colon in the title

(d) is limited to seven words. Each part of a slashed or hyphenated word counts as one word. Do not use quotation marks. Capitalize all major words. Examples: (1) Participants' Perspectives on In-Service Teacher Training (seven words), (2) Web Sites for Teaching U.S. Popular Culture (seven words).

Abstract Guidelines:

(a) does not exceed 50 words

(b) is written in the third-person present tense (e.g., "The presenter begins by ... and she/he ...”)

(c) avoids all references to published works

(d) is carefully edited and proofread

(e) is written to draw the most appropriate audience to the presentation

(f) spells out any acronym(s) used in the title

Sample Abstract: This paper reports on research conducted to determine how to best develop language learning strategies. The participants were EFL learners in a Southeast Asian nation. This research compared the natural development of strategies among students in traditional classrooms with the effects of specific instruction in strategies and their use.

2. Prepare a one-page summary of the presentation content. Only the referees will see the proposal summary; it will not appear in the Program Book. Make sure your proposal summary has the following information in the upper left corner: (a) title, (b) type of presentation (i.e., paper, demonstration, poster session), (c) designated interest area, (d) content area, and (e) audiovisual equipment needs.

Proposal Summary Guidelines:

(a) is limited to one 8 1/2" x 11" (21.5 x 28 cm) page. Longer summaries are disqualified.

(b) is typed: double-spaced, dark, and readable

(c) does not include names of the presenter(s) or institution(s)

(d) presents a clearly stated purpose and point of view

(e) includes supporting details and examples

(f) contains evidence of current practices and/or research

(g) uses appropriate format (e.g., paper, demonstration)

(h) uses a variety of techniques (e.g., activities, visuals)

(i) indicates presenter can cover the material in the allotted time

(j) is carefully edited and proofread

Proposal Summary Content:

(a) paper: synopsis that includes central idea and supporting evidence

(b) demonstration: central purpose and description of what will be demonstrated

(d) poster session: main ideas to be presented and description of the visual display

Registering to Attend or Present at the Forum

To attend the 6th Annual Graduate Student Forum, you must register for the TESOL 2006 convention. Although there is no extra forum registration fee for students registered for the TESOL convention, registration is still required because space limits attendance to 160 participants. To register, fill out the registration form and send it to the address below. Registrations must be received by March 7, 2006.

Graduate Student Forum Registration

ATTN: Erica N. Wolicki

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Department of English and Foreign Languages

3801 W. Temple Ave.

Pomona, CA 91768