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TESOL Recognizes Jim Cummins with 2018 Presidents’ Award

by David Cutler | 04/24/2018
TESOL International Association is pleased to announce that Jim Cummins was honored with the 2018 TESOL Presidents’ Award. Honorees of the award are individuals or organizations outside of TESOL that have demonstrated a commitment to English language instruction and education. Cummins accepted the award from TESOL President Ester de Jong during the President’s Keynote Session at the 2018 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in Chicago, Illinois, USA. 
Jim Cummins is a professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on literacy development in educational contexts characterized by linguistic diversity. In numerous articles and books he has explored the nature of language proficiency and its relationship to literacy development with particular emphasis on the intersections of societal power relations, teacher-student identity negotiation, and literacy attainment. 

Commenting on the selection of Cummins to receive this esteemed award, de Jong noted, “Jim Cummins’s scholarship has paved the way for assets-based and dynamic approaches to working with bilingual learners from minority backgrounds. His work revolutionized bilingual education and has greatly contributed to our understanding of bilingualism and classroom practices that affirm students’ linguistic and cultural identities. His research shows how classrooms that are constructed along collaborative, rather than coercive, principles empower learners and support their success in school.” 

After being named the 2018 Presidents’ Award honoree, Cummins said, “It is an extraordinary honor and privilege to receive the TESOL President’s Award especially in light of the powerful impact that TESOL has had over more than 50 years in promoting social justice through language education. From the beginning, TESOL recognized that language use and language learning are always embedded in broader patterns of relationships between people and social groups. Few, if any, professional or academic organizations can claim greater impact in harnessing research evidence to promote both effectiveness and equity in language policies and instructional practices for both children and adults in countries around the world.”