April 6 to 8 NOVA ESL faculty represented the College at the TESOL 2016 International Convention and English Language Expo in Baltimore. The TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo takes place in a different North American city each year, drawing more than 7,000 English language educators from around the world.
Alongside more than 90 organizations and institutions, from government organizations such as the U.S. Department of State English Language Programs and the British Council, to institutions including the University of California San Diego English Language Institute and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, to publishers like Pearson ELT and National Geographic Learning, NOVA’s booth received hundreds of visitors and many compliments on its attractive appearance and giveaways. NOVA giveaways included pens and pencils and green-and-gold-wrapped chocolates. The College’s 50thAnniversary banner attracted a lot of attention as well, as TESOL is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Organizers of the booth from the Alexandria Campus brought a wealth of information about the College and about the Alexandria Campus in particular, including information on NOVA’s ESL programs, visas, placement testing, guaranteed admissions and the Honors Program. The booth was staffed by faculty from the Alexandria and Manassas campuses.
While the stated purpose of this endeavor was to reach out to teachers and advisors of potential NOVA students, the experience was so much more. Dozens of well-qualified professionals indicated interest in adjunct positions. Teachers from local high schools and adult education programs in Washington, D.C., Fairfax, Falls Church and Stafford, Virginia, had questions about ESL programs at NOVA.
Representatives from Peace Corps, NAFSA, the State Department English Language Fellows program and TESOL stopped by to talk about their initiatives and how NOVA can be involved. A visiting scholar from Penn State also dropped by to talk about professional development. Representatives from a cross-section of the globe – Brazil, the Canary Islands, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Mongolia, Panama, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, to name a few – stopped by to learn about NOVA and to take information home for prospective students.