#TESOL17 Proposal Hacks

I know that March 2017 seems like a long ways away, but our national professional organization, TESOL, has a proposal deadline coming up June 1.  With that in mind, here are some upcoming action items for the 2017 TESOL convention in no particular order:

  1. They are accepting reviewers right now. The review window is mid-June to beginning July. You do not need to be a member to be a reviewer (I could be mistaken). Here’s the TESOL reviewer application (5 min. to complete).
  2. They are accepting proposals right now. The hard deadline for this June 1. Call is located at TESOL proposal application.
  3. If you do submit a proposal, it’s critical to follow the Proposal Rating Rubric that’s included in the Call for Proposals. Even proposals that looked really good can receive lower ratings using the rubric. Have a colleague rate your proposal using the rubric.
  4. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) get the number of slots in the final program proportionate to the number of proposals they receive (or at least this is factored into the equation). Smaller SIGs want you to fill out **multiple** proposals = 3, 4, 5… in order to get more slots in the final conference program. Submissions are double blinded, so no one sees that you put in multiple proposals. Second Language Writing is one of the most competitive SIGs to get an accepted proposal. All things being equal, a proposal with 2+ presenters will get priority over a single presenter. The overall acceptance rate is +-27%.
  5. You can always submit proposals and then rescind if accepted and unable to attend. You must let them know you rescind, however, or else you’ll be blacklisted from the conference for several years (no idea how long exactly-but I quote “years”).
  6. Organize a group review of proposals before submitting. ESL teachers are notorious sticklers for perfect grammar. Once in the trenches of drafting, it’s hard to pull yourself far enough away from your proposal to catch those errors! Take advantage of a second pair of eyes!
  7. Here’s a presentation on crafting a TESOL proposal.
  8. Follow the proposal rules. Follow the proposal rules. Follow the proposal rules.
  9. You must refer to the current literature or at least reference key catch phrases/terms in order to indicate you’re current with the major arguments or trends in your area of interest. They’re looking for 1-2 citations in the proposal (not abstract).
  10. Keep that title catchy! It’s what gets folks into your presentation!
  11. The SIG is the place to be if you’re wondering what the hot topics in your area are. Read the newsletters and follow their online conversations. When you’re at the conference, go to the SIG meetings – seriously, crash them. They don’t have to be your primary. Why? It’s where they discuss next year’s topics and this is useful information to have.
  12. The Electronic Village (EV) is a great way to showcase your work in a less-formal environment that invites conversation and sharing of information. The EV call comes out later in the year. Think about submitting a proposal to the EV if you have a successful project you’re working on (I’ve heard from a good source that Mobile Project Based Learning is trending.).

Hope to see you all in Seattle! Erin