Representativeness and Development of Leaders in Korea TESOL
Language teacher associations (LTAs) often face challenges in terms of leadership continuity and representativeness. While leadership development and turnover are issues facing all voluntary groups, these are particularly challenging in EFL contexts where a significant proportion of the membership may not be permanent residents. Korea TESOL (KOTESOL) is typical of one of the varieties of TESOL teacher associations where expatriates comprise the majority of members and leaders. This retrospective, descriptive, and document-based case study analyzed representativeness of leaders through the gender, nationality, workplace, and education of leaders and members across two decades, as well as the continuity (retention) and development of leaders across the organization’s leadership ranks. Important considerations for diversity and representativeness include identification and role of stakeholders and members through demographic analysis, as well as organizational history and culture. No less important is enabling diversity and representation, which might be addressed through term limits, representatives from natural constituencies and interest groups, and awareness of the need for a broad-based leadership. This examination of Korea TESOL during the period 1997–2017 finds that while levels varied across time, substantive representation is in place, although numerous improvements can be made.
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