Through new events and a new partnership, the TESOL International Association is expanding its presence in China.
Working with 21st Century English Education Media, TESOL International Association—which serves professionals teaching English to non-English speakers—aims to bring more events and resources to the English teachers and learners in China.
“We have seen over the years in many different countries there is a demand and interest in English language teaching. China has been an area of interest for many years, and really we’ve seen that demand increase rapidly,” said John Segota, CAE, associate executive director for public policy and professional relations. “And so this is an opportunity for TESOL to be able to connect with and work more closely with English language teachers and English learners in China.”
While TESOL has had an ongoing relationship with 21st Century, the new agreement will formalize the partnership and offer more opportunities for reaching potential members in China. “This is an opportunity to really build on that past, but also try to enhance it for the future,” Segota said.
After hosting events in China with universities and education groups, TESOL felt the push to provide more resources for the teachers there. Through the partnership, it will develop a symposium, to be held next year, focused on the English teaching profession. The three-day event will host panels, speakers, and opportunities for dialogue for attendees. TESOL is also working to design research-driven, intensive workshops for English language teachers based on its online certificate course, which is a graduate-level course in teaching English.
In addition, 21st Century will sponsor regional and local English language teaching conferences with support from TESOL, and the association will have a regular presence at 21st Century’s annual English speaking competition for English learners in China. “We really want to be able to share the resources that we provide,” Segota said.
As part of the agreement, 21st Century will help identify 2,000 new potential global members for TESOL. Segota explained this is particularly helpful as interest in the organization expressed by many international professionals, often through Facebook, doesn’t necessarily translate into an increase in members. “We’re hoping that working more closely with a partner in China can help encourage more English language teachers and others to engage with the association,” he said.
Lastly, the two organizations will continue working together on new ways to provide support to the English teaching community in China. “TESOL and China Daily 21st Century share similar interests in advancing English language teaching in China,” Executive Director Christopher Powers said in a press release [PDF]. “We look forward to a very productive and wide-ranging relationship with China Daily 21st Century for years to come.”