Yesterday, I co-chaired a discussion on how innovative English language partnerships could better connect to and scale resources for English language teachers and learners worldwide.
Jointly hosted by the U.S. Department of State and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), our roundtable took place during TESOL's 2012 annual convention in Philadelphia. We invited 25 representatives from select commercial, non-governmental, academic, and governmental organizations to help us officially launch the TESOL-State Public-Private Partnership Consortium.
The demand for English language teaching is expanding rapidly around the world. Foreign governments, universities, and businesses need proficient speakers more than ever. U.S. Embassies from Brazil to Malaysia increasingly field requests for more English language learning and teaching resources.
Already, English programs run by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) are among the State Department's most sought-after and widely recognized public diplomacy tools. We work hard to ensure our programs are the best in the world, but given the scale of this work, we can't do that alone.
Working closely with partners in the industry and around the globe, we can more effectively expand and improve our English teaching programs overseas. The Department of State, TESOL, and other key English language teaching stakeholders will enhance our collective outreach and impact, thanks to this partnership. Also, through TESOL's network, we will also be able to connect more teachers and students to each other and to private and non-profit groups, foreign governments, and our wealth of online resources.
Today, we focused on building projects around tight business models, ensuring sustainability, and weaving two-way exchange into our projects. Some fantastic ideas came out of our discussions. The reception to our relationship with TESOL was deservedly positive at the Convention, and everyone in ECA is excited to be collaborating on the new and evolving projects that our connection with TESOL makes possible.
Follow the rest of this year's TESOL conference in the coming days with the Twitter hashtag #TESOL12. If you're in Philadelphia, I highly recommend you check out some of the convention programs that the State Department is hosting.
And, of course, I'd love to hear your ideas to improve English teaching -- connect with me via @aereli on Twitter!