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Tri-TESOL Conference

Reflections on the Tri-TESOL 2011 Conference – ESL Without Borders

Without question, the Tri-TESOL 2011 Conference was a remarkable success. Judging by the post-conference feedback, as well the hundreds of smiling, happily engaged professionals milling about the event, this was a conference that was appreciated by all. Calls are already being made for our next Tri-TESOL and it will certainly NOT be another 15 years before we join our colleagues to the south.

This event achieved far more than anticipated. Of course, with 873 registrants, 3 brilliant keynote speakers, 215 workshops, dozens of publishers, and the collective energy of 3 professional associations, we had a lot going for us. However, as our Conference Chair, Ron Belisle, pointed out,

“one of the huge unseen benefits of this conference was the 3 associations developing a deeper relationship of trust and cooperation. This will definitely benefit our profession in the future.”

The Tri-TESOL 2011 brought BC TEAL members in touch with so many peers they don’t usually associate with. The result was a great deal of sharing and learning that only comes from reaching beyond our usual boundaries. Interesting enough, we selected a conference theme to intimate this. ESL Without Borders was meant to encourage the sharing of knowledge and as mentioned, attendees were transported well past the usual limits of a local conference. The “trust and cooperation” we initiated will continue to echo positive tones for those who attended the Tri-TESOL and the resounding effects will reach beyond those individuals to further nurture all members of the 3 Professional Associations, as well as the learners they serve.

I wanted to express a special thanks to all who helped plan and prepare for the Tri-TESOL. I am also grateful for the effort made by our BC TEAL Members who traveled to attend and present at the conference. With the collective energy of over 80 BC TEAL members, the atmosphere of professionalism and integrity that our association contributed to was inspiring to be a part of.

Looking forward, BC TEAL will continue to promote our profession and our members’ interests. As we carry out special projects, such as the creation of our fantastic new website, and Regional and Annual Professional Development Conferences, as well as the 2012 TESL Canada Conference, we need more members to engage and do their part to assist. I hope you will consider taking up a role on a TEAL Committee, presenting at a local or regional conference, submitting an article to our Newsletter, etc. There are so many ways to make your mark and I encourage you to do so. There is a leader in every one of us, and as professionals, we each have a voice and something to offer our peers. Why not take that first step and see what you can do? You may surprise yourself.


Michael Galli
The Association of BC Teachers of English as an Additional Language



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