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April 2022 - Year 24 - Issue 2

ISSN 1755-9715

Encouraging Local Material Writers

Jorge Torres Almazán is 2022 TESOL Nominating Committee member. He has taught EFL for more than 20 years. Jorge has been a presenter at TESOL, IATEFL, BBELT, MexTESOL & IP International Conferences. He is member of U. S. Alumni Global Community and founder of TESOL Tampico Talks  Email:                             



Four times a year, MexTESOL publishes the MexTESOL Journal, an open-access publication. It publishes articles dealing with both practical and theoretical topics of interest to the EFL teacher. It is indexed by Latindex and has recently been included in SCOPUS. For more than forty-five years, the MEXTESOL Journal has been one of the most prestigious publications of its kind in our country and around the world. However, in the last 15 years hardly any of the contributors is Mexican or teaches in Mexico. Few topics of the articles are relevant to ELT in Mexico. (Davies 2021)

In March 2019 in a meeting with MexTESOL president, I proposed the creation of a new and different option. A publication dedicated to Mexican contexts. Our goal, to increase participation and involvement from colleagues teaching in Mexico in ways that value and give experienced teachers voice and publishing opportunities. After a few meetings with the Board, we established a 7 member-committee and a special collaborator. The members of the committee are teachers from 5 different states in Mexico. We decided to name it MEXTESOL Press. It would be a collection of successful, activities, exercises, and games in classrooms in Mexican contexts.


Call for participation

For issue 1 numbers 1 & 2 the subtitle was “I Teach: Games & Activities for Mexican Contexts”. Contributors share self-created activities, traditional games, adaptations from commercially available games, and other kinds of materials for students to practice and learn language skills. We were surprised by a member of the committee when he volunteered to work on the design of the posts and publication cover. He is not only a teacher, but an excellent graphic designer. The call for contributions was open in May 2019.


Inviting teachers to contribute.

We used different platforms to encourage and invite teachers to contribute; MexTESOL International Convention, local chapters events in more than 10 different states, social media, and Newsletter. I had recently attended the TESOL Convention, there I met Geoffrey Butler who presented “From practice to publication: Guiding teachers and graduate students”. I really enjoyed it and asked Geoffrey for permission to replicate the workshop in Mexico. He generously shared the workshop material and references and told me I could edit if he was recognized as the author. I did and included some information to fit my context. I presented the workshop two times in my city and another at the MexTESOL International Convention.


Response & selection

By August 2019 and we had more than 80 proposals sent by contributors from 17 states in Mexico. Everything seemed to be working. The committee selected 35 proposals from 30 different contributors. We sent the acceptance letters, we had the cover, and possible sponsor for the printed edition. The national office worked on the process to obtain the ISSN and copy rights. Due to a spelling mistake we had to re-submit our request. We did it early 2020. Unfortunately, the lockdown due to the pandemic stopped the process. We were able to get the copyrights late 2020.



Finally in January 2021 MEXTESOL Press was released, it was distributed via Newsletter to more than 12,000 teachers in MexTESOL´s contact list, social media, and through local chapters. Contributors were sent the digital copy, a badge, and a nice certificate. They were so exited to see their contributions published. Most of them publishing for the first time. The second volume was ready in July same year. Ruth Petzold, RELO for Mexico and Central America, was so kind on commenting on our important mission. Dawn Wink from a community college in New Mexico, U. S. also commented on how practical the activities are. As a result, our contributors and many other teachers are now more enthusiastic about publishing.


International reach

I had the opportunity to showcase MEXTESOL Press at the TESOL Affiliate Network webinar 2021 “Affiliates Standing up for Advocacy” and at the TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit 2021. We also sent an application to the ELTons 2021 on the Local Innovation category, which focuses on resources or project innovating to meet specific, local needs, within local, national, or regional contexts around the world. We made it to round two. One more reason for us and contributors to feel recognized and valued.



This has been my first experience leading a project like this. I have to say that stress, joy, satisfaction, and more were there during the process. I am sure we will see many of our contributors publishing somewhere else. Now they know they can produce and share materials that help others become better teachers and writers. As for me, well I think writing is becoming meaningful, I may say it is now part of my passions.



Butler, G. & Kurth, L. (2019). From practice to publication: Guiding teachers and graduate students. TESOL CONVENTION, ATLANTA GEORGIA, U. S. A.

Davies, P. (2021, November 30) The Way of the World. Retrieved from


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Tagged  Various Articles 
  • Teacher Burnout: The Elephant in the Room
    Carol Griffiths, North Cyprus

  • Encouraging Local Material Writers
    Jorge Torres Almazán, Mexico

  • Together We Stand: Collaboration Within And Across Teachers’ Associations
    Beatrix Price, Hungary