Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL.org) is a professional organization that endeavors to ensure excellence in English language teaching. Teachers in the field enjoy perks with a TESOL.org membership.

TESOL.org has affiliates located in regions around the world. These TESOL.org affiliates offer networking, professional development activities at the local, state/provincial, and/or national levels, and publications.

Caribbean and Central American Regional ASCOPI of Colombia, Dominican Association of Teachers of English, Honduras TESOL, MEXTESOL (Mexico), Panama TESOL, Puerto Rico TESOL, VenTESOL (Venezuela)

Midwest Regional Illinois TESOL/BE, Indiana TESOL, Kansas TESOL, Michigan TESOL, Mid-America TESOL (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska), Minnesota TESOL, Wisconsin TESOL

Pan-Asian Conference Korea TESOL, JALT (Japan), Thai-TESOL

Rocky Mountain Regional Arizona TESOL, Colorado TESOL, Intermountain TESOL (Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming), New Mexico TESOL

Southeast Regional TESOL Alabama-Mississippi TESOL, Carolinas TESOL, Georgia TESOL, Sunshine State TESOL (Florida), Kentucky TESOL, Louisiana TESOL, Tennessee TESOL, Virginia TESOL

Southern Cone Regional ARTESOL (Argentina), BRAZ-TESOL (Brazil), TESOL Chile, FENAPIUPE (Ecuador), Paraguay TESOL, Peru TESOL, URUTESOL (Uruguay)

TriTESOL BCTEAL, Oregon TESOL, WAESOL (Washington State)

TESOL.org membership fees vary. A membership does not include membership to regional TESOL.org affiliates, nor does membership with a TESOL.org affiliate include membership in the worldwide TESOL.org membership.

Dues/Subscription

Cost

Individual Membership

US$95

Global Individual Membership+

US$40

Global Electronic Membership+

US$25

Full-time Student Membership*+

US$33

Retired Membership*+

US$55

Part-time Employment Membership*+

US$65

Joint Household Membership*+

US$130

TESOL Quarterly added subscription

US$50

TESOL Quarterly electronic only access for global electronic members

US$25

* Subject to approval upon application.
+Not eligible for early renewal discounts due to already reduced fees.

TESOL.org holds conventions each year and the 2008 convention was in Denver, Colorado, USA. The TESOL.org worldwide calendar of events is here, which includes affiliate events. The plethora of exhibits at TESOL.org conferences provide the opportunity to meet and share experiences with other professionals -- it's a great way to network and keep up to date on the trends in the industry.

TESOL.org conventions host many publishers in the field who are eager to present their latest books available for purchase. Regional affiliates also hold conferences, and although they are not as large, they cater more specifically to individuals working within those regions. They also enable members to attend conferences at lower cost and save on travel.

Informative presentations abound at the conventions and cover a wide range of topics such as publisher workshops, teaching techniques in a multitude of areas, teaching different age groups, utilizing authentic materials, Generation 1.5, teaching different skill areas and much more. TESOL.org conventions are a relatively an easy way for professionals to stay connected and to get a snapshot of areas they may be unfamiliar with and may want additional information on in a short, efficient period of time. The presenters often reference useful sources to instruct atendees.

TESOL.org membership includes a free subscription to Essential Teacher, the organization's quarterly magazine. Inside are articles written by professionals, often focused on specialty topics. Essential Teacher is another way the field keeps its finger on the TESOL.org pulse.

Finally, TESOL.org members can select interest sections and groups choosen based on a member's specific interests and concerns as an ESOL (ESF/EFL) teacher. Examples include Intercultural Communication, Teaching Young Learners, and Computer Assisted Language Learning. This service allows teachers to connect with other professionals in their field. Once involved, questions and answers are exchanged and ideas shared.

With both the on-line career center and access to real recruiters and school director at the job fair at the conventions, TESOL.org is a way to find out about job opportunities. Itís a great resource for teachers and schools alike.

Following is a reprint of TESOL's publication describing itself:
 
TESOL Ė Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages-is the acronym that refers to the professional association, the profession, and the field itself.

Incorporated in 1966, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL), is a global association for English language teaching professionals headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. TESOL encompasses a network of approximately 60,000 educators worldwide, consisting of more than 14,000 individual members and an additional 45,000 educators within the 100 plus TESOL affiliate associations. TESOLís mission is to ensure excellence in English language teaching to speakers of other languages.

To engage its members and colleagues in ongoing discussion of current issues, ideas, and opportunities in the field of English language teaching, TESOL publishes two serials: TESOL Quarterly, a scholarly, refereed journal; and Essential Teacher, a magazine offering articles of interest to teachers across the profession. Books, professional papers, and other resources on a wide range of theoretical and practical topics sustain sound professional development. TESOL's electronic resources include an extensive Web site, a survey of employment opportunities (Placement E-Bulletin), a newsletter with timely links related to the field (TESOL Connections) and the TESOL Resource Center, an online platform where members can access and share teaching resources.

TESOL's annual convention and exhibit, held in March or April in North America, is regarded as the foremost professional development opportunity for practitioners and other English language teaching professionals. Each year, more than 6,500 participants gather for this 3-day event, which offers full-length papers, workshops, poster sessions, colloquia, demonstrations, plenary speakers, product exhibitions, and networking opportunities. In addition to the convention and exhibit, TESOL conducts professional development symposia, workshops, virtual seminars and online sessions throughout the year for participants around the world.

The field of TESOL is a multifaceted academic discipline and profession with a distinct pedagogy that requires specialized training. That someone speaks English does not by itself qualify that person to teach it, especially to those who are learning English as an additional language. TESOL focuses on how to use English as a world language and how to understand and become acquainted with the various cultural practices of English-speaking people.

English language educators work all over the world in various contexts in the public and private sectors. English as a second language (ESL) teachers work with nonnative English speakers in countries where English is the dominant language, as in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States; English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers work with English learners in countries where English is spoken as an additional or foreign language, such as Japan and Saudi Arabia.

ESL and EFL teachers work with nonnative English speakers at all levels of the education system: primary, secondary, higher, and adult education in community colleges and community-based programs. There has also been an increased interest in the specialized area of English for specific purposes (ESP), which focuses on language skills required for certain academic fields as well as business and vocational settings (e.g., engineering, medicine, philosophy).

 
For more information:
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.
700 South Washington Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-4287 USA
Tel. +1 703-836-0774
Toll free 888-547-3369
Fax +1 703-836-7864
 
A PDF copy of this document is found on the TESOL.org site, here.  Used by permission.
 
Whether a new or seasoned teacher in the ESOL field, TESOL.org is well worth a look.