EFLIS Newsletter

EFLIS News, Volume 7:1 (April 2007)

by User Not Found | 11/07/2011


In This Issue...

Leadership Updates

Letter From the Chair

Jane Hoelker, jhoelker@gmail.com

Dear Colleagues,

The 41st International TESOL Convention took place in Seattle from March 21st–24th (Tuesday–Saturday). Some leadership training sessions and Pre-Conference Institutes start the convention for many on Monday and Tuesday. Once again our community reunited to share teaching techniques, debate approaches to education, and renew friendships.

You can contribute in many ways to the English as a Foreign Language Interest Section (EFL IS) throughout the year and at the convention. The EFL IS has one of the largest memberships of all the interest sections, representing approximately 1/8 of all TESOL members, and continues to grow!

The 42nd International Convention is scheduled from April 2–5th in New York City! Mark that date on your calendar. Come and participate in the EFL IS-sponsored meetings and sessions in New York City and connect with your EFL IS colleagues at the following sessions and meetings. The Open (Business) Meeting is open to all members and the officers encourage you to attend and meet your colleagues at the meeting. The schedule of meetings and EFL IS-sponsored sessions will be posted on the e-list prior to the convention.

In addition to the above sessions and meetings at the convention, there are a number of ways that you can get involved in the EFL IS.

  • Contribute ideas and questions to the e-list on the TESOL, Inc. website (TESOL website, Communities, EFL IS; Orlando Rodriquez, elist manager)
  • Make suggestions for the webpage
  • Submit an article to the e-newsletter (Jane Hoelker at jhoelker@gmail.com)
  • Volunteer to read proposals from May to June (Sally Harris at ssh@nwc.edu)
  • Volunteer to spend a few hours at the EFL IS booth at the Convention
  • Volunteer to lead or co-lead with another IS and InterSection (Sally Harris)
  • Submit a proposal for the convention
  • Volunteer to moderate the e-list (currently filled)
  • Volunteer to serve as webmaster (currently filled)

Many EFL IS members consider presenting at the annual TESOL, Inc. Convention. The EFL IS receives about 240 proposals for the convention, which about 30 volunteers read. The acceptance rate varies between 25–40%, depending on the space available at the site. The general call for proposals for papers, workshops, demonstrations and colloquia generally runs from January to June 1st each year for the following year's convention, but check the website for the latest information. Deadline for the poster and the video theater sessions is around August 15th (August 15, 2007 for the 2008 convention). Contact the Video IS Chair for information on the video theater sessions; the possible topics and rationale for the production of the video presented vary greatly.

Each IS may offer a number of special academic or focused sessions such as Discussion Groups. For example, a couple of years ago I participated in a Discussion Group with several language teaching professionals from around the world. To prepare better for the onsite event, we organized a pre-conference online course on our topic (Global English) as part of the program of the Electronic Village (another professional development opportunity for you). Thus, the initial exploration of our topic online from January to March enriched the continued discussion onsite and in person at Long Beach. Consult with the EFL IS leader for more information on how to participate in these special academic or focused sessions. Deadlines vary.

Job search workshops are also held in conjunction with the annual convention and range from 1-3 hours in length. Topics are related to career issues for TESOL professionals. Deadlines vary.

TESOL offers online workshops using either WebCT or Blackboard. A few years ago, for instance, I participated in the online course, Leadership Development Program Certificate, with language association and institutional leaders from many nations.

Pre- and Postconvention Institutes (PCIs) are four- and six-hour intensive workshops that offer practical, in-depth continuing education at the convention. Lecture is kept to a minimum and participant involvement is maximized. Professionals (teachers, teacher educators, researchers, program administrators, materials and curriculum developers) who have extensive experience in providing in-service programs and consulting for educational organizations might consider this opportunity.

In addition to the international convention, TESOL academies & symposia offer an opportunity to present. These focus on the challenges of the field such as increasing effectiveness as a teacher, curriculum planner, computer specialist or ESL resource specialist. These intensive weekend workshops (Friday-Sunday) are usually held from June to August in the United States or at similarly convenient times overseas. Since 2002 several academies and symposia have been held overseas in the UAE, Senegal, Turkey, Thailand, Korea, Brazil, China and Italy. In 2007 two symposia will be held overseas;
one in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 12th and one in Ukraine on October 26th.

To join the EFL IS, register as a member of TESOL, Inc. Then tick off the EFL as your choice for your free Interest Section on the membership form. For further information, contact jhoelker@gmail.com.

Really looking forward to seeing you in New York City next April!



The Common European Framework and TESOL Language Proficiency Standards

Aysegul Daloglu, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, daloglu@metu.edu.tr

What Is the Common European Framework?
The Common European Framework (CEF), published by the Council of Europe, is a document that aims to provide a basis for the elaboration of language syllabi, curriculum guidelines, examinations, and textbooks across Europe. The document describes what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication, and what knowledge and skills they have to develop for this effective language use. Cultural context in which the language is set is also included in this description. In addition, the Framework defines levels of language proficiency.

What Is the Purpose of CEF?
In Europe, language learning and teaching is receiving greater emphasis because of the increased importance placed on mobility, international communication combined with respect for identity and cultural diversity, and access to information. To achieve these aims, language learning is viewed to be a lifelong task that is to be promoted and facilitated throughout educational systems. The main purpose of CEF, therefore, is to provide a sound basis for the recognition of language qualifications. To accomplish this goal, it serves as a guide in the planning of language learning, language certification, and self-directed learning.

Levels of Language Proficiency in the CEF
The language proficiency descriptors in the CEF are an interpretation of the classic proficiency division of basic, intermediate, and advanced.

Basic User: A1 and A2
Basic user at A1 level can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type; can introduce him- or herself and others; can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he or she lives, people he or she knows, and things he or she has; and can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Basic user at A2 level can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance; can communicate regarding simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters; and can describe in simple terms aspects of his or her background, immediate environment, and matters in areas of immediate need.

Independent User: B1 and B2
Independent user at B1 level can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, and so on; can deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken; can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest; and can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

Independent user at B2 level can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics; can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party; and can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Proficient User: C1 and C2
Proficient user at C1 level can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts and recognize implicit meaning; can express him- or herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions; can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes; and can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors, and cohesive devices.

Proficient user at C2 level can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read; can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation; and can express him- or herself spontaneously, very fluently, and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

These six levels are viewed in three main domains: understanding, speaking, and writing. The domain of understanding is further divided into the domains of listening and reading; and the domain of speaking is further divided into the domains of spoken interaction and spoken production. (For more information, please refer to www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/CADRE_EN.asp).

Levels of Language Proficiency in the TESOL PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards
Levels of language proficiency in TESOL standards (www.tesol.org), like the descriptors in the CEF, form a developmental progression and consist of five levels; for each of these five levels, language is described as receptive language and productive language:
1. Starting up
2. Beginning
3. Developing
4. Expanding
5. Bridging over

At the starting-up level, English language learners comprehend pictorial or graphic representation of the language of the content areas and produce words, phrases, or memorized chunks of language. At the beginning level, when presented with one- to multiple-step commands, directions, questions, or a series of statements with visual and graphic support, learners can comprehend high-frequency language related to the content areas and produce oral or written language with phonological, syntactic, or semantic errors that often impede the meaning of the communication. At the developing level, when presented with oral or written, narrative or expository descriptions with occasional visual and graphic support, learners are able to comprehend high-frequency and some specific language of the content areas and produce oral or written language with phonological, syntactic, or semantic errors that may impede the communication but retain much of its meaning. At the fourth level, which is the expanding level, when presented with oral or written connected discourse with occasional visual and graphic support, learners comprehend specific and some technical language of the content areas while producing oral or written language with minimal phonological, syntactic, or semantic errors that do not impede the overall meaning of the communication. At the bridging-over level, which is the highest proficiency level described, when presented with grade-level material, learners can comprehend the technical language of the content areas and produce oral or written language approaching comparability withthat of English-proficient peers (for more information, please visit:www.tesol.org/s_tesol/sec_document.asp?CID=1186&DID=5349).

CEF Level Descriptors and TESOL Proficiency Standards
When the CEF level descriptors and TESOL proficiency standards are compared, the main difference is in the number of levels employed in the scales. TESOL standards describe five main levels of language proficiency, whereas CEF descriptors describe three main levels. In the TESOL proficiency standards, how the learner progresses from one level to the next is more apparent. Another difference is that CEF level descriptors reflect the traditional view that four language skills form the four main domains of language teaching. Although the skills of speaking, listening, and reading constitute the domain of "understanding," speaking and writing are viewed as language skills that require specific focus. TESOL proficiency standards, instead of focusing on the language skills, describe receptive and productive language. The performance definitions describe what the learners can comprehend and produce in English. Despite these differences, both scales create a reference point and a common language to describe English language proficiency levels for English language teaching professionals worldwide.

English As a Foreign Language: Rethinking Teachers’ Professional Development

Andrea Clemons, University of Southern California, aclemons@usc.edu


As teacher-scholars examine the successes and failures of approximately 85 years of formal training for teachers of English as a foreign language (Kreidler, 1987), this paper revisits the issues involved in those discussions and urges the continued cooperation of educators and sociolinguists to work together to revise the education of ESL and EFL professionals. After a brief review of what scholars have contributed and of the historical and political reality of local and global language teaching environments, I suggest more critical awareness-raising in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) courses and programs is needed to better understand and better prepare diverse teachers of English, especially the increasing number of international NNES teachers being prepared in the United States. By using both a macro and micro lens, teacher educators can better account for the interconnectedness of language, language teaching, and language teacher identity within the larger sociopolitical arena of globalized teacher training.

TESOL and TEFL as well as strategic foreign language programs are receiving worldwide attention, in part because of the great population shifts that occurred over the past several generations and the impact of English as the language of the global market. In the United States, post-9/11 educational language policies in the Homeland Security Education Act (2002) and Title VI of the reauthorized Higher Education Act (2004) highlight how the force of post-9/11 values and circumstances elevates global English language teaching needs in a new context of national security and global competence and an educational structure that supports higher education programs for international students (Clemons, 2004).

In the United States, many ESL teacher preparation programs aim to prepare teachers to teach all students. The notion of teacher as advocate, on the other hand, "depends on teachers' and administrators' opportunities to learn, experiment and adapt their ideas to their local context" (Darling-Hammond, 1997, p. 214). In the context of change efforts in the EFL field, no one would argue against the desire for teachers to teach all students, but we should also problematize difference differently, as a reality and a construct for teachers of EFL.

Arguably, the groundwork for this dialogue is already established in professional discourse. For instance, TESOL and the Chinese government have worked to implement performance standards focused on local needs and contexts (TESOL, 2006). At a roundtable discussion dedicated to teaching English as a foreign language at the 2006 National TESOL Conference in San Antonio, one line of dialogue by Chinese EFL teachers concerned why EFL was so underrepresented in terms of conference presentations and discussion, despite the fact that NNES teachers were the largest constituency of English teachers worldwide (Shaw, 2006). In a 2003 ESL Miniconference, past TESOL President Neil Anderson engaged several EFL professionals in an exchange of professional and personal views with his proposal that we begin seeing ESL and EFL as more similar than different (Scott, 2003). In a recent newsletter of the TESOL EFL Interest Section, the interest section chair, Jane Hoelker, explained how the expanding field of EFL is impacting teaching, teachers, and society in South Korea, China, and the Philippines, among other countries:

In South Korea, a heated debate continues about early English learning as the government seeks to teach English to first and second graders and private tutoring costs place a strain on family budgets. In China, 1,500 teachers fear for their job, because of low scores on the language proficiency test. In the Philippines, companies complain about the low English ability of recent new hires. High-proficiency English teachers go overseas for better-paying jobs (though often of a lower status); this exodus threatens the troubled economy . . . (Hoelker, 2006, p. 1)

TESOL's Response to Changing Trends in TEFL

According to Hoelker (2006), TESOL's response to global changes in TEFL includes a call for book proposals on native English speaker issues in TESOL and two TESOL virtual seminars available free to "global individual" members (p. 1). These steps, along with attempts to infuse "diversity" in national teacher education standards by NCATE and rhetoric around internationalizing the curriculum in higher education (as with the Higher Education Act), are positive but incomplete efforts toward engaging different inservice and preservice TEFL professionals differently. Teacher education standards in TESOL education range from somewhat ambiguous to apolitical. For instance, the national TESOL organization established five primary domains for teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESOL). As Figure 1 shows, these domains include language, culture, instruction, and assessment. All of these domains intersect in the domain of professionalism.

Figure 1. Domains of TESOL teaching standards.

Source: TESOL, 2004b

Notably, no agreed-upon set of standards is promoted for teaching English as a foreign language. With TEFL, as with TESOL education, the issues of multiple identities as they manifest the intersection of ethnic identity, gender, and social class need to be explored and legitimized in order to comprehend what it means to be part of a dynamic English language teacher education program (Park, 2004). I argue that with the increasing numbers of international NNES teachers coming to the United States for TESOL and TEFL training and the huge number of NES teachers and trainers working in other countries, we need to push collectively for more formal and informal exploration of the multiple professional identities and experiences intersecting in the TEFL field, especially in initial teacher education programs.


Figure 2. Proposed TEFL education standards

Currently, there are no national standards for the education of EFL teachers in the United States, although certain countries (China) have been working to develop their own. This gap highlights the complex interrelationship of domestic and international language teacher education issues that is still often unnoticed in U.S.-based TESOL/TEFL programs-namely the need to "glocalize" or combine global and local perspectives. Even some of the "best" TESOL/TEFL programs in the country do not clearly represent the way in which homogenous program standards and heterogeneous professional needs interact on local and global planes. Reports from international studies of language diversity and education note how domestic education policies, international laws, and other structural arrangements have changed as they interpret and absorb globalization differently, according to their own vantage points and histories (Corson, 2001; Skutnabb-Kangas, 1999; Vavrus, 1990). And while I agree with Ramanathan's (2002) claim that TESOL programs reflect the politics of the departments in which they reside, remarkably the majority of these master's programs differ only slightly in their core curricula and missions, irrespective of student demographics.

Outstanding TESOL/TEFL programs should be able to absorb and engage dynamic changes in the professional climate of ESL/EFL teaching, as well if not better than centralized policymakers can. In fact, several domestic K-12 teacher education programs could serve as models of dynamic organizational change in a climate of rapid political and demographic shifts that are impacting teacher education. As a starting point for future dialogue and professional development, I recommend that re-envisioned, "glocalized" TESOL and TEFL programs should
o Offer courses that foster the flexibility to move from teaching ESL/EFL to managing international programs and advocating for diverse urban communities;
o Provide academic and social settings that engage the valuable knowledge and constructive potential that students bring with them to the classroom;
o Better develop and promote the unique positionality of their students within the linguistically and educationally diverse field of preexisting national and international networks of universities and their research centers;
o Engage students and faculty, curriculum development, and resources with the challenges of domestic and international education, of which English language acquisition and development is a critical part;
o Recruit and cultivate diverse students committed to specializing in ESL/EFL instruction and capable of educational leadership in urban communities in this country and abroad; and
o Be represented by diverse international and domestic faculty who are technical experts in their field and have a commitment to cross-cultural development and accountability to international communities.


Editor's note: Please contact the author for any gaps in these references. The need to e-publish this newsletter before the convention meant there was no time to correct a few minor omissions and errors. Thank you.

Clemons, A. (2004, January). Post 9/11 educational language policy. The Multilingual Educator.

Corson, D. (2001). Language diversity and education (pp. 114-141). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). The right to learn: A blueprint for creating schools that work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hoelker, J. (2006, July). Leadership updates. Global Neighbors: Newsletter of TESOL's EFL Interest Section 6(3). Retrieved September 30, 2006, fromhttp://www.tesol.org

Kreidler, C. (1987). ESL teacher education. ERIC Digest. Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Language and Linguistics. Retrieved October 1, 2006, from http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-927/esl.htm

Park, G. (2004, March). A call for preparing teachers: TESOL standards for NNES teacher candidates. TEIS News 19(2).

Ramanathan, V. (2002). The politics of TESOL education. New York: Routledge Falmer.

Robertson, R. (1995). Globalization: Time-space and homogeneity-heterogeneity. In M. Featherstone, S. Lash, & R. Robertson (Eds.), Global modernities(pp. 25-44). London: Sage.

Scott, R. (2003, December). ESL and EFL: Same or different? Raucous talk on JALTALK Listserv. 2003 ESL Miniconference Online. Retrieved September 25, 2006, from http://www.eslminiconf.net/dec2003/eslefl.html

Shaw, N. (2006, March). Teaching English as a Foreign Language table. Applied Linguistics Forum. Retrieved March 28, 2006, fromhttp://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/article.

Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (1999, August). Linguistic human rights - Are you naive or what? TESOL Journal, 8(3), 6-11.

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. (2004a). TESOL critical issues survey. Retrieved May 15, 2005, fromhttp://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/bin.asp?CID=4&DID=2600&DOC=FILE.PDF

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. (2004b). TESOL standards domains. Retrieved September 9, 2006, from www.tesol.org.

Online Educational Comics Launched for ESOL, Literacy Programs

Bill Zimmerman, author and journalist, WmZ@aol.com


When I was a young boy, the best time of the week was Sunday mornings when my father got up early to shop and brought back home jelly donuts and an armload of newspapers with their glorious color comics section. The comics were paradise to me—I'd spend the morning going over each strip, following the adventures of my favorite characters, looking at the beautiful illustrations, and trying to spell out the words and stories in the balloons. This is how I began to read.

I never gave up my love of comics and throughout my career as a newspaper editor and author have worked with closely with cartoonists to draw in readers to the written words I offered. Now, I have just launched a new Web site—www.makebeliefscomix.com—where people of all ages can create their own comic strips and, in doing so, practice their language skills and have some fun along the way.

My thinking is that by giving students a choice of fun animal and human characters with different emotions—happy, sad, angry, worried—and blank thought and talk balloons to fill in with their written words, they will be able to tap into their creativity to tell stories and create their own graphic stories.

Our best educators understand that playing is learning. Teachers can use this comic strip game to encourage youngsters to practice language, reading, writing, and communication skills. For those who teach young and old how to read and write or to learn English as a second language, an online comics site can be an invaluable tool in achieving these objectives. For example, a teacher could put together a comic strip with characters and blank thought or talk balloons, print it out, and ask students to fill in the balloons with words and narration. Better yet, a student can choose his or her own characters and develop stories alone or with a partner.

Some ideas for comic strips: Make believe that your animal characters can talk to each other or read each other's thoughts. They can joke and have great adventures together. Or, imagine they could tell a beautiful love story. How would it go? How about a comic strip retelling a favorite fairy tale?

How about a comic strip in which a character writes a poem or sings a song to another? Or make believe a character could say magic words to heal all people. What are the words your character would use? How about a comic strip in which characters throw the most fun party in the world? Where would it be? Whom would you invite? Or, maybe your party turns into a disaster. What happens?

Or, what if your characters could be bold and brave for a day? Just what great deeds would they do? Make believe your character could pass on a message to another, and that character passes the message on to another, and so on. How would the original message keep changing?

After completing each comic strip, students can print it out and color and create their own comics library, or e-mail the strip to a friend or relative. They can also use the comic strip to create personalized greeting card stories for family and friends and to celebrate special times in their lives. Wouldn't you like to receive one on your own birthday or when you're in need of cheering up?

I hope you will try out makebeliefscomix.com with your students and send me feedback on the experience of creating comic strips.

A journalist and prize-winning newspaper editor, for many years Bill Zimmerman created an interactive, syndicated Student Briefing Page for Newsday newspaper to teach young people about current events. It was nominated twice for a Pulitzer Prize. At Newsday, Bill also created a series of comic books to teach history and current events to young readers. Bill also has written 16 books aimed at helping people find their writers' voices. They are featured on his other Web site:www.billztreasurechest.com. His work has been featured on the Today Show and PBS's acclaimed Ancestors series as well as in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today and such magazines as Family Circle, Parents, Esquire, Business Week, and Essence.

Day in the Life: Johanna Katchen

Johanna Katchen, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, katchen@mx.nthu.edu.tw

How did you get started in teaching EFL?

When I was a child, nearly everyone's grandparents spoke "broken English"; they had all been immigrants primarily from either Italy or the various Slav regions known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire when they left. We saw the whole range of possibilities, from illiterates who could speak two and even three languages (one of my grandfathers) to the educated who had had to take menial jobs because of their immigrant status (my other grandfather). But all of them aimed to make a better life for their children—and did. Many people came to my literate grandfather, who was mostly self-taught, to help them with all sorts of problems, linguistic as well as personal.

Though my degrees are in Slavic languages (MA) and linguistics (PhD), EFL seemed to be the perfect complement and a very natural thing to do, so during my graduate work, I also did all the coursework and internship in TESL/TEFL. In my dissertation I compared American and Taiwanese TAs' strategies in dealing with student questions, and that topic probably led to my being hired the following year by National Tsing Hua University (NTHU). Yet somehow I'm still doing what my grandfather did.

What have been the most rewarding and difficult aspects of teaching over the years for you?

The most surprising was the nomination by my students for the excellent teaching award in 1991, and that year the awards were presented by then—President of Taiwan Lee Teng-hui. That was really exciting.

In general, working with students and seeing their successes is the most rewarding. Equally rewarding is when former students who are now teachers write and say something like, "I remember we did X in your class and I tried it with my class and it works. I tell my students Dr. Katchen taught us this way and I learned it from her."

I must be very fortunate because I cannot honestly say there are any really difficult aspects of my teaching situation.

What do you think is unique or interesting about your current teaching/education post?

I have been teaching at the same national university since 1985, meaning I am a civil servant in Taiwan. The language is Mandarin Chinese, though in the past few years we have been moving (slowly) toward being a bilingual university. Until 2 years ago, one had to have a Republic of China (Taiwan) passport to be a department chair (and I was safe from that appointment!). However, after the rule change in August 2006 I was named department chair and had to take up the responsibility with my minimal Chinese—and all administrative meetings are conducted in Chinese. But nearly all professors have studied in the United States and thus I can conduct department meetings in English as well as speak in English at university—wide administrative meetings, and so far my Chinese colleagues have been very understanding and helpful. So despite this being my 22nd year at NTHU, there are always new and exciting challenges.

On the basis of your experience, what advice would you give to young teachers just entering the profession?

It's a wonderful profession. You wouldn't be in it if you didn't like people in all their diversity. You meet the most wonderful people, from students with great potential (and it's your job to bring that out) to professionals who do so much often with so little. They say we don't do it for the money, but you can make a decent living, especially in East Asia where they are hungry for English instruction and cram schools abound. If you are a native speaker of English with an appropriate degree and take a position outside your home country, you'll have the adventure of your life.

Can you summarize your personal philosophy of teaching? How has it changed or developed over the years?

I really can't remember how I felt when I taught ESL in the United States, when I was a beginner, but now I would say it's all about love. I am fascinated by the diversity among individuals, by the great potential in each of those students in front of me. It doesn't matter so much if they don't excel in my course (though I hope they can pass it) as long as they develop self-confidence and the desire to do the best they can at whatever they do.

What is a good day for you?

When there are no disasters. Or when there are problems but there are ways forward to solve them.

What is a bad day for you?

When I am reminded of a deadline that I either forgot about or never was told or overlooked because the announcement was in Chinese—and the deadline is today at 5 p.m. Even worse—the deadline is tomorrow but the solution is more complex, and thus I have all night to worry about it and not sleep well.

What are your current professional interests and pursuits (courses, research projects, conferences, publications, etc.)?

My life has really changed since becoming the department chair, and those issues take up the bulk of my time on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I am committed to TESOL and will serve until 2010 on the Interest Section Leadership Council. My primary IS is Video and Digital Media and I'm always interested in how new developments can help our students learn English more enjoyably and efficiently. I really love teaching the AV Methods course for our MA in TEFL program and supervising theses in this area.

What are your goals, hopes, ambitions, and dreams for the EFLIS? What would you like most to tell the members?

The best day will be when there is no longer any need to have an EFLIS—that is, when, within TESOL, EFL is no longer seen, in linguistic terminology, as the marked form, no longer something out of the ordinary.

Announcements and Information


Any information you would like to announce on this Bulletin Board should be submitted to the editor, Jane Hoelker, at jhoelker@gmail.com.

Do you want to get published? Go to TESOL's Web site, www.tesol.org, and click on "Publication" and then "For Authors." There you'll find a Call for Submissions to a new book on NNEST issues, as well as a Call for Submissions to a new 13-volume Classroom Practice series.

Submissions to Global Neighbors are always welcomed. Here are the guidelines and relevant information for contributors:

Day in the Life. EFLIS members teach in a tremendous variety of contexts and settings. Share your experiences and knowledge with us! If you wish, this can be done as an e-mail interview with one of the editors-just contact us at the e-mail addresses listed below. 400-800 words.

The Other Hand. If you have a strong opinion on a burning issue, this is the place for you. Tell us what you think! This column might also feature excerpts from responses to issues or questions raised on the e-list. 400-800 words.

Classroom Idea Exchange. What has worked in your classroom? Describe the activity or technique in a short and practical manner. 200-400 words each.

We continue to accept submissions of

  • Articles. An absolute maximum of 2,000 words.
  • Conference reports. If you have been to a professional conference recently, write up what stands out in your mind about the experience, sessions, speakers, or setting. 200-600 words.
  • Book/resource reviews. These might be formal notices, but they can also be more subjective or conversational recommendations. 300-600 words.

Submissions are accepted throughout the year and may be edited for reasons of space, correctness, or clarity. Deadlines for contributions to our planned quarterly issues are officially March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1.

Please e-mail submissions to the editor, Jane Hoelker, Academic Bridge Program, Qatar Foundation, Qatar, jhoelker@gmail.com.

About This Member Community


TESOL's English as a Foreign Language Interest Section facilitates idea exchanges on global and specific EFL/ESL issues; brings together professionals who have had or intend to have EFL/ESL experiences in different countries; provides an international network for teaching positions and professional interests worldwide; and encourages standing committees and other ISs to address relevant international concerns.

The EFL Interest Section Web site is http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=301&DID=1806.

The EFL Interest Section e-list, EFLIS-L, may be joined by signing up at www.tesol.org/getconnected. Message archives may be read by subscribers athttp://lists.tesol.org/read/?forum=eflis-l.

The purpose of the EFLIS Newsletter is to keep EFLIS members in touch with the EFLIS leadership and to share ideas, experiences, opinions, and information of mutual professional and practical interest through articles, columns, and brief announcements. The primary audience for the newsletter is teachers and teacher educators outside North America at all levels: K-12, two- and four-year institutions of higher learning, adult education, English for specific purposes courses, and foreign language centers.

Contact information for EFLIS leaders:
Chair and Newsletter Editor: Jane Hoelker, jhoelker@gmail.com
Immediate Past Chair: Ulrich Bliesener, U.Blie@t-online.de
Chair-Elect: Sally Harris, ssharris@nwc.edu, sponselharris@aol.com
Webmaster: Gabriela Kleckova, gabriela_kleckova@yahoo.com
E-list Manager: Orlando Rodriguez, orlandor@adinet.com.uy