President's Message

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I am honored to serve as ITBE President for the 2013-2014 academic year, and I am humbled at the prospect of filling the shoes of our previous Presidents. We all know the challenges of teaching English Language Learners, and each year we make the choice to embrace those challenges. We recognize the important role we play in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages and in bilingual education. This calendar year proves to be no exception.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our new members and to thank all those who have been members for a while. All of us have a common goal: the strengthening, at all levels, of instruction and research in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages and in bilingual education through the promotion of scholarship, the dissemination of information, and advocacy, in cooperation with other groups and organizations having similar concerns.

This is a very special year for ITBE, as we will celebrate our 40th Annual Convention. Our theme, "Milestones in Learning: ITBE Forty Years On," reminds us that we have a strong foundation that will help us continue growing in the future. This is a year to celebrate and to acknowledge all those professionals who have served our students in many capacities. Our Convention Chair, Debbie Sternecky, and Convention Committee are already working hard to make this an excellent event. All of us are very excited about it.

Apart from the annual convention, we have many exciting projects for this year, including our Fall and Spring Workshops, our newsletter, ITBE LINK, which will change its format to be published online, a new Early Childhood SIG, and much more. We also have a great team of professionals on our board, who work closely together to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Your role as member is also vital to the association, and I would like to invite you to participate and get involved. There are many and simple things you can do, such as writing an article for ITBE Link (we love to hear your stories), helping in planning any of the events (either the workshops or the convention), attending any of our monthly board meetings, or simply spreading the word about our organization. Also, if you have some suggestions regarding issues that we should focus our energies on for this school year, please forward them to me at Your input would be most welcome.

I welcome you to our website and invite you to take a look at who we are, the issues that are important to us, and the goals we are committed to achieving as we strive to ensure that English Language Learners in Illinois are provided a high quality education.

I look forward to the challenges in the coming year, and I am very excited about this great opportunity.

Miguel Fernandez, Ph.D.
President, Illinois TESOL-BE
The ITBE Link - Summer 2013

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