Paul Kei Matsuda

Back from TESOL

I just came back from TESOL.

I finished my term as a member of TESOL Quaterly Editorial Advisory Board. I really enjoyed working with Carol and Suresh, and with other board members. The Committee to Internationalize TQ, which I inherited from Dwight, seems to have served its purpose, especially with Suresh in the leadership and with a number of highly qualified board members from various parts of the world. I hope the trend will continue even after Suresh completes his term.

I'm glad to report that TESOL is getting better in some ways. Last year, I spent most of the conference (other than the board meeting and my presentations) trying to get TESOL to stop publishing discriminatory ads in the program book and to revise the policy that banned little children from the convention. This year, both problems had been solved. Chuck, the Executive Director, even stopped by to say hi to my daughter. I want to thank TESOL President Elliott Judd and others for making these important changes.

Board members also seemed to be speaking their minds more freely compared to a few years ago, when TESOL suddenly decided to discontinue TESOL Matters and TESOL Journal and replace them with Essential Teachers. (I encountered a cynical board member, but I want to believe it was the problem of this particular individual and not of the entire organization.)

The talk of the conference this year was that the Board of Directors decided to resurrect TESOL Journal. It will be an online-journal--to avoid competition with Essential Teachers, I was told--but it's still good to have the theoretically-informed pedagogical journal back in business so TQ can continue to be a first-rate research journal.

Another piece of good news is that Second Language Writing Interest Section, which was approved last year, is now up and running. Christina Ortmeier-Hooper and Jessie Moore Kapper did an excellent job in organizing the activities for the premier year. My personal high point was when Christina told me that now she understands why I handed over this huge responsibility to her. She now knows a lot of people and how TESOL works.

The bad news is that, since TESOL and CCCC are scheduled to take place at the same time for the next two years, I will have to choose one or the other. Since I'm still chairing the L2 writing committee at CCCC, I'll probably have to attend CCCC.

I'll be leaving for CCCC on Tuesday.

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Last update: January 6, 2008