2024 Award Nominations Now Open

Kiara Kim, Learning and Development Assistant, TESL Ontario

Nominate Now: Recognize Excellence in TESL for 2024

As we prepare for the TESL Ontario 2024 Annual Conference: Navigating New Routes in Language Education, it’s time to spotlight the leaders who are making a significant impact in the TESL community. One shining example is Gonul Turkdogan, the 2023 recipient of the Sparks of Excellence Award. Gonul’s journey since receiving this prestigious award offers a glimpse into the profound impact and inspiration these accolades can bring.

Insight from Gonul Turkdogan – 2023 Sparks of Excellence Award Recipient

Key Highlights of My Journey Since Receiving the Award

“Since being honoured with the Sparks of Excellence Award last year, one of the most significant highlights has been the opportunity to meet with fellow instructors, share innovative teaching methodologies, and network with leading TESL professionals.”

Impact of the Sparks of Excellence Award

“The Sparks of Excellence Award has profoundly impacted my personal and professional life. Personally, it has boosted my confidence and reinforced my passion for teaching. Professionally, the award has enhanced my credibility and visibility within the TESL community, leading to new relationships and collaborations. It has also provided a platform to voice my ideas and advocate for innovative approaches in language education. This recognition has motivated me to continuously strive for excellence and push the boundaries of traditional teaching methods.”

Aspirations and Future Goals in the TESL Field

“Looking ahead, my aspirations within the TESL field include developing inclusive and adaptive teaching strategies that accommodate diverse learning needs. I aim to leverage technology-enhanced language learning to integrate more digital tools into the classroom effectively. This award has inspired me to pursue these goals with greater determination, knowing that my efforts are valued and recognized. Additionally, I hope to expand my role as a mentor and leader, fostering a supportive community for TESL professionals.”

Advice for Aspiring Educators in the TESL Community

“For aspiring educators or individuals in the TESL community, I encourage you to stay curious and passionate about learning. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and remain open to new teaching methodologies and technologies. Remember that the impact of your work extends beyond the classroom, shaping the lives of your students in meaningful ways. Seek out mentors, engage with the TESL community, and continuously reflect on and improve your practices. Your dedication and enthusiasm can spark excellence in your students and in the field of TESL as a whole.”

Why Nominate?

The TESL community is made up of a vast population of innovative and inspiring thought leaders. These are educators who go above and beyond, who eagerly share their knowledge and skills with colleagues and students and professionals who are keenly invested in learner success and professional excellence.

TESL Ontario’s annual recognition awards allow us to celebrate these members and volunteers for their extraordinary contributions to the TESL profession, and the remarkable advancements they bring to English language education in Ontario and beyond.

Recognizing exceptional educators through awards like the Sparks of Excellence acknowledges their hard work, inspires their peers, and uplifts the entire ELT community. By nominating a deserving candidate, you help foster a culture of excellence and innovation in language education.

How to Nominate

If you know an outstanding leader who has made a remarkable contribution to the TESL field, now is the time to nominate them for the 2024 Awards. The nomination process is straightforward:

  1. Identify a deserving candidate who exemplifies the nomination criteria for the:
    1. Sparks of Excellence Award or
    1. Distinguished Contribution Award.
  2. Gather relevant details and supporting materials that highlight their achievements and impact, including one nomination letter and one letter of support.
  3. Submit the nomination form by September 9, 2024.


Celebrate the extraordinary contributions of TESL educators by participating in the 2024 award nominations. Let’s continue to inspire, recognize, and promote excellence within our community. Nominate a colleague, mentor, or educator today and be a part of their journey toward greater accomplishments.

For more information on how to nominate and the criteria for our awards, visit our official website.

Kiara Kim is the Resource Development Assistant at TESL Ontario for summer 2023. She is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, Mississauga, with an HBSc in Anthropology. Throughout her undergrad, she worked actively within university programming and various community research projects in fields of anthropology of health, historical archeology and English language education. She is looking forward to furthering her intersecting interests in research and education.


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