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Elliot Judd Outstanding Teacher Award


Whereas, throughout his extraordinary career, Elliot Judd exemplified the characteristics of an exceptional educator and demonstrated outstanding commitment to the field of TESOL, ITBE has established a memorial award in his honor.

The purpose of the award is to honor an ITBE member who demonstrates the qualities exemplified by Elliot Judd: outstanding teaching, dedication to the professional field of TESOL, as well as a commitment to the professional development of colleagues.

About Elliot Judd Judd joined the Linguistics Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1979, after receiving his BA, MA and PhD from New York University.  He developed the master’s program in TESOL at UIC and was its popular director for almost 30 years.

Perhaps Elliot’s greatest legacy is his insistence on the professional status of TESOL as a field, with knowledge, standards, authority, and influence.  When he began his career, TESOL had little professional status and there were few opportunities for career development.  Children with limited or no English proficiency were often thrown into classes with other children to sink or swim. Non-native speaking adults might find a night class taught by a well-meaning, but usually untrained individual at a community center.  Gradually, through the efforts of dedicated professionals like Elliot, the field began to develop a knowledge base and high quality preparation programs. His tireless and passionate promotion of the field, and the teachers and the learners in it, was a life-long commitment. 

Elliot was an influential member of international TESOL, acting as its president from 2005-2006, as a member of the Executive Board, as Chair of the Annual Convention, and as Director of the Summer Institute.  He was a member of ITBE since its early days, serving the association in many capacities and encouraging countless new teachers to join and become active in their state professional association. 

Elliot was the founding editor of the TESOL Journal, a publication dedicated to the interests of classroom teachers.  He co-edited several books, and wrote numerous articles and book chapters.  Much in demand as a speaker, he gave plenary presentations, papers, and workshops on every continent.  His academic work focused on the socio-political factors that have shaped American language policy, both past and present, especially in the teaching English to immigrants. He frequently wrote and spoke out against English-only policies that abrogate the rights of non-English speakers and was a champion of the linguistics rights for speakers of all languages. 

For all his dedication to the institution of TESOL, Elliot was, at heart, a teacher, utterly devoted to his students. At UIC alone, he mentored close to a thousand students. He instilled in these new teachers a respect for that knowledge, authority, and influence which has come to characterize the profession.  And they, in turn, have passed on what they learned from him to thousands of their students.  Many Illinois ESL and Bilingual educators were fortunate to have been taught by Elliot Judd.

Elliot passed away on December 9, 2008, after a three-year battle with cancer. Soon after his death, the ITBE Executive Board established the Elliot Judd Outstanding Teacher Award in his honor.
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Know an Amazing ESL or Bilingual Ed. Educator? 

ITBE is accepting nominations for the AY2023 Elliot Judd Outstanding Teacher Award. This award honors English language learning professionals who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to our profession with outstanding teaching, dedication to the professional field of TESOL and/or Bilingual Education, as well as a commitment to the professional development of colleagues.
Please consider nominating a colleague who you feel has made a contribution to English language learning in our state. There are many ways in which people have served and continue to serve our field, and the Award Committee is eager to see how our colleagues have helped ELLs, their communities, and their learning environments. The ITBE Board is more than happy to receive nominations from educators from diverse teaching and learning environments.

The award will be conferred at the 2023 ITBE Convention on February 24, 2023. Plaque and a monetary award of $100 will be mailed out to the recipient.  
For nomination, please complete the Elliot Judd Outstanding Teacher Award nomination form:
For more details please send an email to
All nomination documentation must be received by Friday, December 23, 2022. 

Past Recipients
Kristin Lems, National Louis University (2021) 
Maria Muñoz, Hoffman School, Glenview School District 34 (2019)
Dr. William Stone, Northeastern Ilinois University (2018)
Catherine Porter, Illinois Resource Center (2016)
Dr. Theodora Helene Bofman, Northeastern Illinois University (2015)
Catherine Caldwell, Southern Illinois University (2014)