Many educators around the world create their national association to bring together those teachers and administrators engaged or interested in the teaching of English as a second (ESL) or foreign (TEFL) language. These associations / organizations are most of them affiliated to TESOL International. The prominent goal of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) around the world is ‘to encourage mutual support and make opportunities available for professional development for their members, with the view point of improving the teaching of the English language in their countries. On July 17 & 18, 2016, about 45 educators and administrators from different educational sectors; primary, middle, secondary and tertiary, both state and private schools, teacher-trainers and student-teachers met in a two-day workshop in Algiers to plan the establishment of TESOL Algeria. Right from the beginning, it was made clear that TESOL Algeria is a professional, non-profit organization concerned with the teaching of English as a foreign language throughout the country. It is an organization that is run by volunteers who contribute towards their continuous professional development which must be in line with national goals and aspirations.
During the two-day workshops on ‘New Frontiers in Teaching: Envisioning TESOL Algeria’, the participants representing all the regions of the country demonstrated great interest in the establishment of TESOL Algeria where all educators –at all levels- can meet to facilitate the sharing and exchanging of ideas and keeping abreast of new development in the teaching of English as a foreign language.
Laura (Patch) El Shafei and Omar Abouelazm, English Language Fellows in Algiers made it clear in their inaugural speech and presentations that TESOL is an inclusive organization that is open to all educators with the spirit of sharing TEFL practices in Algeria and around the world. The presentations “What English should I Speak?” and “Promoting Social Responsibility through Global Education”- though different in themes- raised the participants’ awareness about different aspects of the teaching and learning English to speakers of other languages.
Professor Mohamed Daoud, the guest speaker from Tunisia, shared with the audience the experience of TESOL Tunisia. His inspiring presentation was on “Continuing Professional Development and Community Building through Teacher Association Development”. Alexander Lewko, on the other hand, shared the Nile experience and its positive impact on the Egyptian educators. The two presentations helped the participants understand better the mission of a national TESOL association and the challenges its members may face.
Mustapha Louznadji, a high school supervisor and teacher-trainer, delivered two interrelated workshops: 1) “Differentiation” based on Carol Ann Tomlinson, and 2) “Critical Thinking” based on Paul and Elder framework. The aim was to raise ELTs’ awareness that it is high time we implemented Differentiation and Critical Thinking in our classroom in order to enhance the teaching of English as a foreign language.
Last but not least, a discussion panel led by Mohamed Daoud, Abdelaziz Benkhaddoudja, Kheira Mezough and Samir Bounab gave the opportunity to the participants to ask questions and voice their opinions about many educational issues and those related to TESOL Algeria.
Before the closing session, Tahar Yahiaoui, the Country Director of Berlitz gave a very important informative presentation about the different steps for the establishment of a national association in Algeria. This presentation followed by some questions paved the way to the voting for the TESOL Planning Team Leaders. The elected Planning Team Leaders are: Mustapha Louznadji and Noureddine Yaddaden are the Co-Chairs, Kheira Mezough is the Media Specialist, Tahar Yahiaoui is the Government Liaison and Nabila Boukri is the Member at Large. They all hope to work collaboratively for the establishment of TESOL Algeria, an association that seeks to develop in its members from all sectors of education the highest standards for teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Since their election, the Planning Team leaders have started meeting officials for the founding of the association, and have decided to hold an extraordinary assembly for the election of the executive committee that will run TESOL Algeria legally once approved by the Ministry of the Interior.
Till then, the planning team leaders are working hard to reach their goal: the establishment of TESOL Algeria.
Reported by Mr.M.Louznadji