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Learn from these esteemed experts in English language teaching! 

All listed times are in U.S. Eastern Time.

Drew S. Fagan
11 April, Thursday, 6:00 – 7:30 a.m. ET

Equity-Driven Leadership in TESOL: Reconciling Perception, Expectation, and Need

Drew S. Fagan is an internationally distinguished scholar, educator, and advocate for multilingual learners. His professional philosophy is that for multilingual learners to be successful, all stakeholders connected to these learners must come out of their siloes and collaborate. As such, his scholarship and advocacy interweaves higher education and P-12 academes inside and outside of TESOL, departments and ministries of education, state- and federal-level policy makers, governmental agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. He put this philosophy into practice as the 2022-2023 President of the Maryland TESOL Association.

Educators of multilingual learners, whether they be ESOL or non-ESOL teachers, assistant teachers, counselors, specialists, etc, have been grappling on the ground with relatively sudden changes to the global educational landscape due to the pandemic, social injustices, and war (to name a few). It is apparent, though, that leaders and leadership across educational settings have not advanced in sync. Whether a teacher leader, department chair, principal or dean, program director, superintendent, or members of departments/ministries of education, leadership standards, expectations, and assessment tools have remained the same to an extent, leaving many educators on the ground stuck between addressing real-time change with their multilingual learners and status quo demands. Taking a grass-roots/bottom-up perspective on change, and drawing from the field of transformative leadership, this interactive session asks attendees to consider what they think leadership in the field of TESOL currently entails, reflect on what they would like for it to entail in relation to global changes, and collaborate (both leaders and those affected by their leadership) on practical solutions to promote equity-driven leadership in our field in a 2024 world.

Suhanthie Motha
11 April, Thursday, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. ET

What Might a Decolonial English Language Teaching Practice Look Like?

Suhanthie Motha, Associate Professor, University of Washington; research includes decolonizing ESOL and teaching English in a responsible and ethical way.

Almost 20 years ago, in her 2006 article titled “Decolonizing ESOL,” Suhanthie Motha asked herself and all participating in the TESOL industry to grapple with the ways in which our practices magnify the historical legacy of colonialism. In her upcoming 2024 keynote talk, Motha will look back over recent decades and ask questions about possibilities for decolonial (ELT) today. ELT continues to serve as an effective conduit for propagating colonial harm, embedded in a contemporary context of inequitable global racial power and forms of knowledge production and transmission that are steeped in colonial reasoning. These enduring imprints are indelibly but invisibly woven throughout our language practices, pedagogies, relationships, and the social and institutional spaces we are immersed in. Engaging with difficult questions, Motha asks: What does it mean to craft a decolonial TESOL practice? The word “decolonization” carries different understandings in different contexts, with a range of possible consequences. How do we make sense of these competing and sometimes conflicting meanings? What does it mean to constitute a TESOL practice that seeks to work in opposition to the profession’s colonial and therefore racist roots? How can we think about decolonization in ways that support us in learning from and honoring without appropriating local and indigenous knowledges? How can we defy persistent attempts to integrate decolonization into academia’s neoliberal agenda, which would render it meaningless? (Chen & Lin, 2023). Motha draws on examples from actual teachers seeking to craft decolonizing pedagogical practice across a variety of contexts and class populations.

Harry Kuchah
12 April, Friday, 6:00 – 7:30 a.m. ET

From the Classroom to the Professional Community: Leadership as (Be)coming

Harry Kuchah is Associate Professor of Languages, Social Justice and Education at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK. He has been a consultant on different aspects of language policy and practice for the Council of Europe and the British Council. Harry was recognised as one of TESOL International Association’s ’30 up-and-coming Leaders’ in 2016. He is Past President of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) and Chair of the British Council English Language Advisory Group.

In this interactive session, I will invite participants to share stories of inspiring teachers as a basis for reflecting on what it means to be a leader. Participants will then be encouraged to share personal accounts of leadership experiences beyond the classroom and to listen to stories of Teacher Association with the view of identifying and reflecting on key features of leadership within our profession. Weaving critical moments from my own personal journey through TESOL leadership into the discussions, I hope to be able to inspire current and future leaders to step up and make the next move in enhancing our profession.

Khanh-Duc Kuttig
12 April, Friday, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Continuing Professional Development: It's Not a One-Size Fits All Affair!

Khanh-Duc Kuttig is an EFL instructor and teacher educator and current Chair of TESOL’S Professional Development Professional Council. Her research interests lie in teacher research, classroom discourse and grammar teaching. She is currently a doctoral student at the Heidelberg University of Education.

To provide high-quality language instruction, TESOL practitioners need to engage in continuing professional development (CPD) throughout their entire career. However, not all CPD is effective and teachers sometimes can feel disappointed by the CPD they’ve undertaken. In this talk, we will explore what effective CPD is, and how we can identify CPD that helps us grow as teaching professionals.

Keynotes From Tampa

Virtual attendees will be able to access keynote recordings from the in-person convention! Recordings of these sessions will be on the virtual convention platform. 

  • Tara Roberts, Diving With a Purpose: Preserving Heritage and Challenging Assumptions
  • Shelley K. Taylor, Our Stories Informing Our Theories: Preparing, Persevering, and Envisioning
  • Kass and Cornelius Minor, To the Newest Among Us: A Love Letter to What We Do and to Whom We Serve


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