It is a great pleasure to welcome you back for another issue! This winter edition of ETAS Journal comes with an eclectic array of articles sourced from the hard work, research, and creativity of various colleagues in the ELT profession. Apart from the outstanding quality of these writings, perhaps the most noteworthy – and to me, personally gratifying – aspect of this collection is the geographically-expanding sources of our contributions. Besides the diversity of their ELT backgrounds and specializations, the authors included in this collection come from at least 13 ethnic backgrounds, representing at least a dozen countries, providing clear evidence not just of a thriving ELT community worldwide, or of the varied language learning environments beyond our borders but, importantly, of ETAS Journal’s own sojourns into new lands and returning with the gifts of its journeys.
In this issue, we continue the tradition of presenting writings that provide insights into some of the most pertinent issues affecting English language teaching and learning. Notably, the most dominant theme reverberating through the pages of this collection is teacher training. In Teaching as a self-renewing vocation, F.S. Bolin (1987) writes: “As teachers we are creators and bearers of meaning. Our work is to empower students to find their own personal meaning. But we cannot do that year after year without attending to our own meaning making and empowerment” (p. 229).
Recognizing the critical role of training and support for both new and experienced teachers, this issue gathers together in a Special Supplement a wide range of perspectives addressing the question, Why is teacher training and development important? A compelling mix, the selected and invited works in this collection focus on specific issues (bilingualism, pragmatics, and the need for teachers to be technologically adept), triggering fresh ideas about innovative English pedagogy, new insights into key issues that are emerging and are of contemporary interest, and new ways of conceiving and engaging the field of English language teaching.