Leadership, Mentoring and Transformation in Language Teacher Associations: A Tripartite Dialogue
Language teacher associations (LTAs) offer structures, spaces, tools and opportunities at the nexus of educational research, practice and advocacy. These bodies have the unique potential to advance individuals’ professional lives as well as to spearhead systemic transformative changes in the spaces where these individuals work. The current chapter is a tripartite dialogue piece among three different generations of TESOL professionals (or “TESOLers”) from diverse ethnolinguistic and professional backgrounds whose career trajectories intersected thanks to the Leadership Mentoring Program (LMP) offered by the TESOL International Association, the largest international LTA focused on promoting excellence in ELT. The contributors, originally from Argentina, Brazil, and Turkey, draw on their professional experiences and interactions within and beyond the TESOL International Association’s LMP to illuminate the dynamic shift in their roles as a result of their participation, to discuss the notion that the two-way mentoring process played in their growth as TESOL professionals, and to reflect on the role that LTAs can play in promoting the professional growth and leadership development of their members. Ultimately, this chapter aims to provide directions both at the micro level, focusing on individuals who are or aspire to be a part of programs like the LMP, and the macro level, focusing specifically on LTAs (and more generally on professional associations) that currently have or envision to create programs similar to the LMP.
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