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TESOL and National Geographic Learning Announce 2021 TESOL Teacher of the Year

by David Cutler | 02/05/2021
TESOL International Association and National Geographic Learning, a division of Cengage, are pleased to announce that Khanh-Duc Kuttig, an educator at the University of Siegen in Siegen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany will receive the 2021 TESOL Teacher of the Year Award. The award, which is open to teachers at all levels, honors exceptional English language teaching. Kuttig will be recognized during the virtual 2021 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, 24– 27 March.

Kuttig decided to focus on a career in English language teaching while completing her undergraduate studies and working part time as a teacher. “After I graduated, I was an adjunct lecturer at various universities. I did an MA in TESOL and from there, I just grew from being a lecturer who taught everything to finally finding an area of specialization that I really enjoy,” Kuttig recalled of her career path in the TESOL profession. 

While describing what excellence in teaching means to her, Kuttig noted, "Students and teachers are individuals, not numbers in a system. We need to reach every student possible, accompany them on their learning journey and always deliver the best class or course possible. We should strive to do the best we can always. When a teacher does not strive for excellence, she is no longer motivated to reflect on her practices, implement new methods, or make positive changes to her teaching."

Kuttig’s latest accomplishments certainly embody her belief in excellence. As part of a program within her university, she mentors and teaches refugees who were trained as teachers in their home countries, but would like to teach in German schools. In addition to her work with refugees, Kuttig has worked with local primary and secondary schools to improve the language learning skills of young learners. She established an English club where her university students work to improve the English language skills of young learners and during the COVID-19 pandemic has consulted with a secondary school to develop language learning materials suitable for remote learning. 

The recipient of the TESOL Teacher of the Year Award receives a 1-year membership in TESOL International Association, a selection of TESOL publications valued at US$250, a complimentary registration for the virtual 2021 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, and a cash award of US$1,000. 

National Geographic Learning will present the award to Kuttig at the virtual TESOL International Convention, where Kuttig will also deliver a presentation titled “Classroom Language Skills: Developing Preservice Teachers’ Language Proficiency.” 

For more information on Khanh-Duc Kuttig, please see the Teacher of the Year feature in the February issue of TESOL Connections. For the latest updates and schedule of events for the virtual 2021 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, please visit the Convention website