USIA and TESOL: Cooperating Worldwide

Fostering and Using Networks

Every year, the U.S. Information Agency helps the TESOL organization (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) reach out to the world of English language professionals. Much of this cooperation takes place in conjunction with TESOL's annual convention, which was held this year in Seattle, Washington, from March 17 to 21. USIS played an important part in supporting the theme of  TESOL '98 -- "Connecting Our Global Community" -- by making it possible for many professionals in the EFL global community to connect with their international colleagues.

For example, grants were made to 30 EFL professionals to travel to Seattle to attend the convention. Some combined the trip with visits to various American academic institutions. It was, for some, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see directly what is being done in EFL in the U.S. and to share their own experiences and research. Following is the list of USIA grantees to TESOL '98:

Bangladesh
- Hamidur Rahman, Dhaka University
Brazil

- Athina Arcadinos Leite,  Associacao Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos da Bahia
- Maria Helena Medrado, Associacao Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos da Bahia
- Lucia de Aragao,  Uniao Cultural Brasil-Estados (Unidos),  Sao Paulo
- Sonya Godoy, Uniao Cultural Brasil-Estados (Unidos),  Sao Paulo
- Gloria Deblim, Uniao Cultural Brasil-Estados (Unidos ), Sao Paulo
- Jose Olavo Amorim, Colegio Bandeirantes

Costa Rica
- Rossina Bolanos, Ministry of Education,
- Leonor Cabrera, Ministry of Education
- Maria Eugenia Flores, Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano
Egypt

- Mounira el Tataway, Alexandria University
Ethiopia

- Gebrehim Simon, Addis Ababa University
Hungary

- Judit Sarvari, Technical University Budapest
Indonesia

- Professor Doctor Retmono, Semarug Teacher Training Institute
Israel

- Valerie Jakkar, English Teaching Association of Israel
Malaysia

- Fatimah Hashim, University of Malaya
Morocco

- Nadi Alaoui, Lycee Chawki
- Hassan Boustani, Ministry of Education
Philippines

- Encarnita Balayon, De La Salle University
- Maria Luz Vilches, Ateneo de Manila University
Russia

- Tamara Mungalova, Pedagogical University (Khabarovsk)
- Vyacheslav Shvaiko, American-Bashkir Intercollege
Senegal

- Pierre Claver Pouye, Ministry of National Education
Slovakia

- Magda Bila, Presov University
Jana Beresova, Trnava University
South Africa

- Claire du Plessis, SATESOL
Thailand

- Suchada Nimmannit, Thai TESOL
Wanpen Tubtimtong, Chulalongkorn University
Turkey

- Aydan Ersoz, Gazi University
- Zeynep Iskenderoglu Onel, Baskent University,
- Zeynep Camlibel, Bosphorous University
Uzbekistan

- Malik Hodjaev, Uzbek Teachers of English Association
- Jamilya Gulyamove, Uzbek Teachers of English Association

TESOL President Connects with Audiences in Latin America

In one of her last addresses as president of TESOL, Mary Ann Christison discussed the applications of brain-based research to second language education during a convention plenary that was televised live to Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Following her address, Dr. Christison answered questions from the international audience, which numbered more than two-hundred. Some of the participants are involved in brain-based research themselves, and they reported that the program was very informative and useful in terms of EFL methodology. The two-hour broadcast from the TESOL convention was arranged by Worldnet, the television service of the U.S. Information Agency, and was hosted by Worldnet's Jim Bertel.

TESOL Talks Live to the Middle East

TEFL professionals at the convention "connected" with colleagues in Cairo and Jerusalem during a telephone conference call set up by USIS and moderated from Seattle by Jan Miller, the Regional English Language Officer based in Amman, Jordan. It was the first such live link-up between Egyptian and Israeli interlocutors. During the one-hour session, participants discussed the cultural component of EFL teaching, including habits and expectations, educational systems, and textbooks. The objective was to highlight the importance of cross-cultural and professional training for teachers, to overcome stereotypes in EFL settings, and to demonstrate how conference calls can be used as a teaching tool.

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