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TESOL to Host Summit in 2017 on the Future of the ELT Profession

by David Cutler | 10/17/2016
Alexandria, VA (17 October 2016) – As the demand for English language teaching and learning continues to grow globally, many questions must be answered: What are the qualities of a competent English language teacher? What role should English play in a multilingual global society? What policies should be in place to prepare the future generation of second language speakers? What are the myths currently driving those policies? What role should research play in this new environment? These are some of the key questions that will be addressed at the Summit on the Future of the TESOL Profession.

Hosted by TESOL International Association, this groundbreaking event will take place on 9–10 February 2017 in Athens, Greece. The Summit will showcase 12 respected and innovative thought leaders from six continents, whose ideas will challenge common misconceptions and will help re-envision a future grounded in equity, inquiry, and professionalism. The Summit is intended to generate a strategic conversation around four major themes: Futurology, English in Multilingualism, Reimagining English Competence, and The Profession as Change Agent.

The Chair of the TESOL Summit is Professor Emeritus Denise Murray of Macquarie University. "The use of English around the world has increased dramatically, bringing both opportunities and challenges for individuals, governments, and English language educators,” said Professor Murray “To meet the challenges and broaden opportunities, the TESOL profession needs to examine its knowledge base, values, and the diverse contexts of English language teaching. Through this examination the profession can ensure a more inclusive, collaborative approach for English language education in the 21st century."

The Summit will feature an invited in-person audience of 200 industry leaders from around the world who influence English language education policy and practice. These Summit Delegates will hold high-level strategic discussions, facilitated by the speakers, about what it means to be an English language professional. They will also help create a roadmap for countries and institutions seeking to upgrade or reform their language education policies.

In an effort to make this landmark event truly global, TESOL professionals and stakeholders from around the world will be able to participate online and live-stream the Summit. Online discussions will open prior to the event on 1 December 2016 and will continue through May 2017.

The Summit will ultimately produce a framework for the future of the TESOL profession that will guide policy, practice, and research. Stakeholders will be asked to commit to this vision, and TESOL will release a number of publications addressing the necessary changes at the 2018 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in Chicago, Illinois, USA. 

TESOL President, Dudley Reynolds of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, highlights the importance of an event of this nature. "At a time when educational decision-makers everywhere need a principled understanding of the language competencies required for both global and local success, the TESOL Summit promises to provide significant insights into both the content and delivery of effective language teaching. This understanding can be best developed through a deep-dive conversation with people who have their finger on the pulse of education around the world. For me, this is what the Summit offers, and why I’m excited to participate with other thought leaders from across the educational spectrum.”

TESOL gratefully acknowledges the following organizations that have lent their support to this initiative: British Council, U.S. Department of State, National Geographic Learning, Oxford University Press, Center for Language Learning at the University of Missouri, and Carnegie-Mellon University-Qatar.
Download a copy of the full press release