About TESOL’s Elementary Education Interest Section (EEIS)
TESOL’s Elementary Education Interest Section (EEIS) was established at the 1977 TESOL convention in Miami, Florida, in the United States. When the TESOL Legislative Assembly decided to create three new groups (Elementary, Secondary, and Higher Education), the TESOL Executive Board asked Fay Pallen and Nancy Dunetz to serve as chairs. They accepted the responsibility and helped the group (changed to IS in 1982) to stabilize. In 1984, with the acceptance of EEIS Governing Rules, the section changed its name to EEIS to reflect more clearly its scope of interest and its constituency (pre-K-8).
EEIS offers the Swap Shop, IS hospitality rooms/areas, and annual IS Convention Guides that highlight specific program offerings. A special book/author session focusing on children’s literature, started in 1984, has become an annual program feature. In 1987, an historian was appointed to develop the IS’s archives, containing a full set of newsletters, program guides, minutes of meetings, and other pertinent documents.
Accomplishments since 1992 include the formation of new committees and task forces to enhance the work of the IS and to increase involvement of its members. The four committees are Hospitality, Art, Sociopolitical Concerns, and Special Projects. The five task forces are Research, Membership, International Concerns, Special Education, and Literacy. These groups joined two others, the Editorial Board and Nominating Committee, already in place.
Statement of Purpose
EEIS has adopted the following statement of purpose, as set forth in the Governing Rules: Throughout the world there are millions of children who enter school (pre-K-8) with a need to acquire fluency in English. As the professionals charged with the responsibility of assuring that children from non-English-speaking backgrounds receive the necessary ESOL instruction to enable them to function effectively in English both interpersonally and academically, we have come together in this interest section with the following objectives:
- to foster recognition of English as a second or other language (ESOL) as an academic discipline in elementary education
- to document the manner in which children are being educated in English
- to serve as a vehicle of communication for ESOL educators in elementary education
- to educate the public, government officials, and other educators on the need for ESOL instruction at the elementary level, the nature of such instruction, and the need for hiring qualified people to deliver such instruction
- to develop and establish standards of achievement and performance of students
- to stimulate relevant research in the field
- to stimulate development and adaptation of appropriate materials at the elementary level
- to assure an adequate pool of qualified personnel by encouraging more programs for professional development
- to advocate the training and certification of ESOL elementary teachers
- to make the organization more responsive to the needs of ESOL in elementary education