EFLIS Newsletter

EFLIS News, Volume 6:2 (March 2006)

by User Not Found | 11/07/2011


In This Issue...

  • Leadership Updates
    • Letter From the Chair
    • A Word From the Coeditor
  • Articles
    • A Day in the Life
    • On the Other Hand: Reusing Your Lesson Plan
    • What You Can Contribute to the ELFIS
    • Language: A Power to Be Claimed
    • Classroom Idea Exchange
  • Announcements and Information
    • Bulletin Board: Announcements & Information
    • About This Community

Leadership Updates/p

Letter From the Chair

Ulrich Bliesener, U.Blie@t-online.de

Dear Colleagues,

Tampa is only a few weeks away now, and I am looking forward not only to visiting Tampa and its countryside (they say that the city and the environs are worth visiting), but also to meeting you all. I do hope that you will all be able to attend. It is sad when colleagues who have sent in a proposal for a presentation and have it accepted, in the end have to cancel their visit because they can’t get the necessary funds. I know for a fact that some of you will not be able to come to the Tampa Convention just because of that. I assure you that we will be thinking of you!

Working as the chair of EFLIS for the past year has been a pleasure, though at times I wondered how I would be able to meet the many deadlines and fulfil the many tasks the TESOL Head Office has charged the IS chairs to execute. I am sure most of you have not noticed much of what is going on behind the scenes. But I can assure you that a lot has been going on the past year.

The job was made easy by so many of the EFLIS members, and I want to send out a warm thank you to all those who helped me be an acceptable EFLIS chair. First of all, I must thank the many proposal readers. I know reading proposals is quite a responsibility. I myself had 127 proposals to read, assess, and rate. On the other hand, I learned a lot. I was pleased to see the richness of ideas and the quality of the proposed contributions to the Tampa Convention. I must also thank all those who came forward to lead a Discussion Group. I feel that these Discussion Groups are very valuable as they allow for a very intensive exchange of ideas. Out of the meetings at San Antonio a number of more comprehensive proposals were developed that now form part of the Tampa program. I must also thank the previous EFLIS chair, Jane Hoelker, for her manifold advice (She is a wizard in running anything within TESOL! We should make her president one of these days!); Sally Harris (whose advice based on many years of experience in TESOL is invaluable), and, last but not least, Brad Baurain, who has an excellent hand when it comes to turning my miserable British English into readable American English and who has developed the EFL Newsletter into one of the best within TESOL.

I am sure there are many things I could have done better. I would have liked to have closer contact with you all. But I need your help to do this. You must write to me (or the new EFL chair). Some of you have done so and I have always responded immediately and put forward your concerns and suggestions to be shared with the rest of us so that they become fruitful for further discussion. And I wished, also, that I had been able to encourage more of you to run for an office within the EFLIS. There are many jobs besides the positions of chair and newsletter editor. Besides, it would help make the burden less heavy for the few who have volunteered to take on responsibilities. Remember, TESOL is your organization and the EFLIS is your family. If all of us, not only a few, contribute, we could make a great show.

All the best! See you at Tampa.

A Word From the Coeditor

Jane Hoelker, jhoelker@qf.org.qa

Dear EFLIS Friends,

Tampa is just around the corner and our TESOL community will converge once again. Everyone is looking forward to collecting teaching tips, as many handouts as possible, and new connections. It’s the 40th anniversary of the annual TESOL convention and the program offers many exciting sessions—too many for some participants, in fact. Some say they find navigating around the conference difficult. Some say that by the time they can find their way around the site, the conference is over. Here is a great tip on getting the most out of your conference.

To locate a specific session by content, title, or presenter, visit http://www.tesol.org/planner. Click the “Planning your Itinerary” link in the Program Planner section. Use the Advanced Search button if you are looking for a specific topic, presenter, or title. For additional session information, go to the TESOL home page at www.tesol.org. In the box entitled “Convention 2006,” click the fourth link, “Session Information.” Information on Sessions, PCIs, and Handouts are available in PDF format to download and print.

The TESOL convention is one of the most rewarding and inspiring experiences of my year and I am sure of yours, too. Last year more than 7,600 ESL and EFL professionals from 96 countries attended the San Antonio, Texas, convention in March. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in more than 900 sessions given by 1,674 presenters. Ever wonder what the statistics on attendees’ institutional and instructional levels are? Of those attending, 16.70% were from pre-K-elementary schools, 10.37% from middle schools, 12.55% from secondary schools, 23.64% from 2- and 4-year colleges, 13% from graduate or postgraduate, and 23.74% were other. Whatever your professional and personal background, you will find someone interested in your experiences and insights, either to share similarities or to compare differences. Join the TESOL community!

Hope to see you in Tampa!



A Day in the Life

Jane Hoelker, jhoelker@qf.org.qa

Lisa Harshbarger is serving as a Regional Language Officer in the former Soviet Union. Jane Hoelker took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.

Jane Hoelker : How did you get started in the field of EFL?

Lisa Harshbarger : I first started teaching Advanced Beginner Listening and “Intercom” in 1982, in Indiana University’s Intensive English Program.. I was a doctoral student in linguistics at the time (the theoretical side of the department), and needed money to pay bills. I found the work interesting enough to switch to the applied side of the department after a semester of teaching.

Hoelker : You are serving as a Regional English Language Officer, or RELO. Can you give a brief history of how the position of RELO was started?

Harshbarger : From what I understand, United States Information Service (USIS) had a large number of direct English teaching programs throughout the world; each of these programs had an American director. As drawdowns began in the 80s, many of these directors were absorbed by USIS as experts on English teaching, and eventually the position of Regional English Language Officer was established. When USIS became a part of the State Department, the RELOs came along, too.

Hoelker : Over what countries do your responsibilities extend? Are these countries similar? Different?

Harshbarger : I work with English teachers, English teaching associations, inservice teacher-training institutes, and ministries/boards of education (when possible) in