"Teaching Grammar Communicatively" - Anestin Chi @ TESOL Convention 2022
Fulbright TEA alumna, Open Dreams Program Facilitator and multiple award winner, Chi Anestin Lum, in the month of April 2022 took part in the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International Convention at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo, brought together thousands of attendees, offered professional development and networking opportunities to English Language educators from around the world.
Anestin’s participation at this year’s international convention was made possible by The Betty Azar Travel Grant for Practicing ESL/EFL Teachers. The grant support the professional development of ESL/EFL teachers by making it possible for more teachers to attend the annual TESOL convention (https://www.tesol.org/enhance-your-career/tesol-awards-honors-grants/convention-travel-grants-scholarships/professional-development-travel-grant-for-practicing-esl-efl-teachers). Anestin is the first Cameroonian to have won The Betty Azar Travel Grant for Practicing ESL/EFL Teachers.
Anestin did not just attend the convention; she did project the voice of the Cameroon English Language teaching community through an enriching research presentation captioned Teaching Grammar Communicatively: How the Situational Approach Helps. In this paper, Anestin captured findings of her action research, exhorted teachers to shift from an over-focus on rules and discussed ways of making grammar instruction less challenging and more engaging for learners. Anestin’s presentation has been featured as one of the most read in TESOL’s post-convention newsletter (https://tesolconvention.evareg.com/speakers).
Anestin took full advantage of the convention and also volunteered to make other attendees’ experience worthwhile. As Mahatma Gandhi puts it “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. Anestin understands that “we rise by lifting others” (Robert Ingersoll). From checking-in other volunteers to registration bags distribution and assisting in teaching tips theaters, she volunteered all the way.
Anestin also had the opportunity to join the US Department of State English Language Programs to celebrate 60 years of the English Teaching Forum, a quarterly journal supporting the teaching of English around the world through the publication of innovative, practical ideas (https://americanenglish.state.gov/forum).
Anestin was also privileged to discover the faces behind the Online Professional English Network (OPEN) courses and the firstname.lastname@example.org team and was featured on the American English magazine cover page.
Prominent amongst other meaningful connections engaged is that with Giselle Barreto Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Second Lady, who shared her story going from an invisible immigrant to an advocate for Pennsylvania residents through community enrichment initiatives. At the heart of Barreto Fetterman’s advocacy is her experience as a former undocumented immigrant. She is proud to be an immigrant, even though she still faces instances of prejudice from those in the community. Her story has been featured as one of the most read in TESOL’s post-convention newsletter (https://tesolconvention.evareg.com/speakers).
This year’s hybrid Convention hosted more than 10,000 participants from around the globe, with more than 600 in-person sessions and 200 virtual sessions (TESOL’s post-convention newsletter). As a first time attendee, Anestin says the experience was enriching indeed and she looks forward to impacting her learners, English Language teachers and her community at large, upon return.
As the curtains close on this year’s edition, all eyes are now turned towards Portland, Oregon, USA.