NWP, the ELL Leadership Team and TESOL

Okay, I will try to think this through in a written manner. I am trying to envision the NWP fitting into TESOL – what format that would take. First, TESOL is comprised of many different Interest Sections. They include ESOL in Elementary Education, ESL in Secondary Schools, English for Specific Purposes, English as a Foreign Language, Second Language Writing, Materials Writers, ESL in Higher Education, Applied Linguistics, Intensive English Programs, Refugee Concerns, Speech, Pronunciation and Listening, Teacher Education and a few others, all specifically focused on some aspect of teaching English to speakers of other languages.

There are also several caucuses, which are based on more social concerns, such as Christian Educators in ESOL, Part time workers in ESOL, LGBTF, International Black Professionals and Friends in TESOL, Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL and TESOLers for Social Responsibility. In addition, presentations fall into any one of numerous types, such as a workshop (1 hour 45 minutes), paper (45 minutes), Colloquium (1 Hour 45 MInuters) and so forth – there are about nine different types. If it is not chosen for one of these, there are four other categories you can choose to designate as a Plan B. These include Discussion Groups, Reports, Poster Sessions and Hot Topic Panels.

When you submit a proposal to present at TESOL you decide which Interest Section it fits in (members of the IS will referee the proposal), which 1 – 3 content areas it fits, what type (time frame and format) fits your presentation, what grade level it will be appropriate for and if it applies to any of the caucuses. You write an abstract of the proposal and include bio info about all the presenters in the application. It is refereed by members of the Interest Section who decide if it meets the needs oR fits the theme of next year’s conference. Proposals are due June 1 for the following year’s conference, so there isn’t much time to think about it after this year’s meeting is over.

So, to have an NWP strand for next year’s conference would probably involve submitting a number of proposals to different Interest Sections, all with the NWP name included in the title. Or would we submit a number of proposals to one Interest Section? Without actually having established ourself with TESOL, I don’t think we would just start an Interest Section. Judy and I tried to think this through today and didn’t arrive at a clear idea. I’m trying to think of how it is done with NCTE and of course I have no idea. I just know there are several NWP sessions every year at NCTE. I wonder if the two organizations (NCTE and TESOL) are structured differently, or if I just don ‘t know enough about either of them to be able to figure this out clearly. (I suspect this is the issue.) I hope this information is useful to those of you who are more thoroughly informed about the workings of these things than I am.

Speaking of the presentations themselves, I can think of several I have seen done by ELL Leadership people which would be excellent for this conference. This definitely merits futher discussion as soon as possible because of the early deadline for presentation proposals.

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