Christian English Language Educators Forum (CELEF)

The annual convention of TESOL International Inc. includes opportunities for groups of TESOL members who share particular interests to create a forum and, after an approval process, present an academic session and/or roundtable discussion. The Christian English Language Educators Forum (CELEF) is organized by TESOL members, using the communication network of CELEA.


Academic Session - Teaching and Learning English in Difficult Circumstances

ELT professionals work in a variety of difficult circumstances, including low-resource settings, politically or religiously repressive societies, regions suffering from violent conflict or classrooms serving refugees. Presenters explore the challenges of working in these situations, drawing on research, their Christian faith, and good ELT practices. (Sharry Andrews, Facilitator) 

Ms. Tarun Kumari Kharbamon, English and Foreign Languages University, Shillong Campus, Meghalaya, India

Esther Bettney, Communidad Educativa Evangélica, Honduras

R. Michael Medley, Eastern Mennonite University 


Academic Session - Religious Belief and Professional Practice: Exploring Borders and Building Bridges

Elfrieda Lepp-Kaethler, Providence University College, Manitoba

Bradley Baurain, Briercrest College, Saskatchewan (Facilitator)

Michael Lessard-Clouston, Biola University, California


Academic Session - Teacher Renewal Through Research and Reflective Practice

Christian ELT professionals find renewed energy that sustains and transforms their work through research and reflective practice.  This session explores how we experience renewal by reachingto our strengths, relating sensitively to students of different faiths, and collaborating with colleagues to integrate research in peacebuilding and ELT.


Mark Honegger, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, USA

Morgan Nash, The English Language School, Oklahoma city, USA

Michael Medley, Eastern Mennonite University, USA (Facilitator)

Cheryl Woelk, Saskatchewan Intercultural Association, Canada

Roundtable Discussion - Sustenance and Renewal in a Changing and Demanding Profession

No one enters this profession hoping to become burned out, cynical and discouraged.  Take a break and explore personal practices and community connections that can keep our passion alive and our spirits fed as we work to meet our students’ complex needs.  We can’t live by curricula and standards alone! (Jan dormer, Facilitator)


Academic Session - Harmonizing Faith and TESOL

TESOLers are concerned about harmony in both our classes and our professional practices. This CELF academic session focuses on harmonizing faith and TESOL, as panelists present qualitative research and reflect on best practices in diverse contexts in America, Asia, and online.  Come hear about challenges and successes in this area.

Ludiya Darmiyati, Wesley International School, USA

Kari Dyrli Hermeling, Messiah College,USA

Michael Lessard-Clouston, Biola University, USA (facilitator)
Richard Robison, Azusa Pacific University, USA

Roundtable Discussion - Cultivating Ethics and Respect in the Classroom

We all want to be ethical and respectful, but in our cross-cultural contexts, it can be easy to miss nuances of the ways that respect and ethics are perceived by different students.  Share research and teaching practice for making our classrooms just as respectful as we want them to be. (Nancy Ackles, Facilitator)


Academic Session - Developing Ethical and Respectful Minds: Research and Practice

We all want to be ethical and respectful, as Howard Gardner’s 2010 plenary urges, but in the multicultural contexts within which we work, the way to be either is not always obvious.  Panelists present qualitative research and concrete program practices for developing into the teachers we want to be.

Nancy Ackles, USA  (Facilitator)

Kathryn Bartholomew, Seattle Pacific University, USA

John Liang, Biola University, USA

Nancy McEachran, Seattle Pacific University, USA

Mark Van Ness, Portland Community College, USA

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