SIGs Handbook

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS’ (SIGs’) HANDBOOK

TESOL Turkey SIGs

1.1.Definition of SIGs and their Role in TESOL Turkey

SIGs are entities formed by TESOL Turkey members to pursue goals consistent with the Association’s mission to advance the quality of English language teaching by contributing to the sustainable quality of teacher education and in-service professional learning in Turkey through collaboration, open exchange of practice, research, standards, and advocacy, and thus, add value to TESOL Turkey membership . SIGs are part of TESOL Turkey’s structure and operate within the parameters of TESOL Turkey’s policies and regulations.

1.2.Purpose of SIGs

The purpose of SIGs is to create various platforms where members who share interest in a particular area related to English Language Teaching work together on a specific set of concerns, collect and disseminate information on the specialty, and exchange opinions as well as expertise through opportunities such as;

  • a) an annual online newsletter,
  • b) a Pre-Conference event at the TESOL Turkey Annual Conference,
  • c) a biennial SIG Conference,
  • d) monthly workshops or seminars,
  • e) working groups for research, and development.

2.Definitions

Words and phrases in this handbook have the following meanings.

Handbook : This handbook last updated and issued by TESOL Turkey’s Board of Directors on 05/10/2021 that will serve as TESOL Turkey Special Interest Groups’ Bylaw

TESOL Turkey : The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Association established in Turkey pursuant to Law No. 5253 on Associations

SIGs : TESOL Turkey’s Special Interest Groups

The [proposed] Bylaw : The bylaw of each Special Interest Group

The [proposed] budget : The budget of each Special Interest Group

Its mission statement : The mission statement of each Special Interest Group

Members : Members in good standing of TESOL Turkey who have joined or are willing to join one or more of the SIGs

Executive Committee : The executive committee of a SIG

Board of Directors : TESOL Turkey’s Board of Directors

Ordinary or extraordinary general meetings : An ordinary or extraordinary general meeting of the members of a SIG convened by the Executive Committee of the SIG to be held in person, on paper or online in accordance with its bylaw

Coordinator/Joint Coordinators : The Coordinator or Joint Coordinators of a SIG

Treasurer : The Treasurer of each SIG

Events coordinators : Members of the Executive Committee of a SIG designated to coordinate one or multiple SIG event(s)

SIG’s Pre-Conference event : A one-day event held on the day before TESOL Turkey’s Annual Conference

Annual membership fee : A SIGs annual membership fee collected from each member determined by the Executive Committee with approval from TESOL Turkey’s Board of Directors

3. Establishment of a SIG

SIG may be proposed by any TESOL Turkey member in good standing as long as the area of specialty is relevant to the mission and goals of the Association. To propose a SIG, the proposer sends a proposal to the Board of Directors. The proposal must include:

  • a) the name and scope of the SIG;
  • b) its mission statement;
  • c) the proposed Bylaw;
  • d) the proposed budget for the first year's operation;
  • e) the names and signatures of minimum ten (10) members –in good standing- willing to join the SIG;
  • f) the names and bio-data of the proposed officers of the SIG's Founding Executive Committee (for each position specified in the proposed Bylaw);
  • g) a letter from each member of the proposed SIG's Executive Committee affirming that the person is an active Member of TESOL Turkey and willing to serve if appointed.

The Board of Directors will not consider a proposal until all of the above requirements are met. A SIG is created upon the approval of the majority of the Board of Directors (three of the five members) and governed by a set of bylaws which defines the activities and executive committee of that SIG.

4. Membership and Membership Fees

SIGs are open to those who are TESOL Turkey members. All members of a SIG must pay dues as determined by the Executive Committee of the SIG with approval from the Board Directors.

5.Decision-Making in SIGs

Decisions shall be taken in a democratic way at ordinary or extraordinary general meetings. TESOL Turkey will be notified of any such meeting not less than one (1) month in advance and shall have the discretion to send an observer.

All members of a SIG shall have a vote in any ballot conducted within a SIG.

  • 1.Save the Founding Executive Committee, all following Executive Committees of SIGs – to be approved and appointed by the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors – shall be elected with the votes of the simple majority of the members of the SIG (50% +1).
  • 2.Any vote to remove a member of the Executive Committee shall require a majority of two-thirds (2/3) of the total number of members.
  • 3.Amendments to be made to a SIG bylaw must be proposed with the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the SIG members, and approved by TESOL Turkey’s Board of Directors.
  • 4.A resolution to dissolve a SIG shall also require the votes of a two-thirds (2/3) of the members.

5.1. Establishment of Executive Committees

An Executive Committee normally comprises between 3 to 7 members depending on the number of its members.

5.1.1. Founding Executive Committees

Members of founding Executive Committees must be members of TESOL Turkey in good standing and approved by TESOL Turkey’s Board of Directors.

The term of office of each member of the founding Executive Committee shall be not less than two (2) and not more than three (3) years. Following completion of an initial term, any member of the founding Executive Committee may stand for election for a second term.

5.1.2. Executive Committees Thereafter

SIG Executive Committees shall be elected in a democratic way. Only current members of the SIG in good standing, who have been members for one year or more, may stand for election to the Committee of that SIG. Candidates for all executive positions must also be members of TESOL Turkey in good standing. The elected Executive Committee is appointed by TESOL Turkey’s Board of Directors.

Following completion of an initial term, any member of the Executive Committee may stand for election for a second term. A member of the Executive Committee may not stand for further election having served two (2) terms until at least one term has elapsed.

5.2. Duties and Responsibilities of the Executive Committee

Each Executive Committee must have a Coordinator or Joint Coordinators and a Treasurer.

5.2.1. SIG Coordinator/Joint Coordinators

The SIG Coordinator or Joint Coordinators are primarily responsible for:

  • 1.ensuring that the mission and activities of the SIG are in line with the TESOL Turkey’s goal to advance the quality of English language teaching;
  • 2.coordinating and monitoring the activities of the members of the Executive Committee;
  • 3.scheduling and holding Committee Meetings and General Meetings;
  • 4.maintaining regular contact with TESOL Turkey to ensure that the Board of Directors are updated on the SIG’s activities before they are announced and publicized;
  • 5.ensuring that requests to the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors are submitted on time;
  • 6.keeping the minutes of SIG Executive Committee meetings and SIG General Meetings, and sending these to the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors;
  • 7.creating opportunities for members of the SIG to work together, to collect and disseminate information, and to exchange opinions as well as expertise;
  • 8.managing the budget;
  • 9.working with other SIG Coordinators to create mutual development opportunities.

5.2.2. Treasurer

The Treasurer is primarily responsible for:

  • 1.preparing an annual budget in consultation with the SIG Coordinator or Joint Coordinators;
  • 2.submitting the annual budget to the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors for approval;
  • 3.working in close collaboration with TESOL Turkey’s Treasurer to manage the SIG’s finances;
  • 4.working with the SIG Coordinator/Joint Coordinators and events coordinators to prepare conference and event budgets;
  • 5.overseeing expenses;
  • 6.submitting the previous year’s year-end figures to the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors and presenting these figures to the members of the SIG at the General Meeting.

5.2.3. Other Members of the Executive Committee

Other responsibilities of the Executive Committee include:

  • 1.managing acceptances, resignations and terminations of members;
  • 2.keeping members of the SIG informed of upcoming events and the calendar for these;
  • 3.using the social media extensively for promotion purposes and to disseminate information related to the SIG;
  • 4.cooperating with TESOL Turkey’s Promotion Professional Council to ensure that the SIG webpage on the TESOL Turkey website is updated;
  • 5.collaborating with other SIGs for mutual research opportunities;
  • 6. organizing monthly workshops or seminars;
  • 7. preparing the annual online newsletter;
  • 8.organizing the SIG’s Pre-Conference event at the TESOL Turkey Annual Conference;
  • 9.setting up working groups for research and development;
  • 10.organizing the biennial SIG Conference.

6.Financial Responsibilities and Sponsorships

TESOL Turkey has limited funds and endeavors to keep expenditure as low as possible. Each SIG receives an annual membership fee from each member. This fee is determined by the Executive Committee with the approval of the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors.

If SIGs wish to seek sponsorship from commercial organizations for help with their events and activities, they need to first contact the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors for approval to ensure that the sponsorship does not compromise TESOL Turkey.

7.Use of the TESOL Turkey Logo

Posters, newsletters and other printed material prepared by SIGs as well letterheads used by each shall bear the TESOL Turkey logo. This logo cannot be smaller than the SIG logo.

8.Notifications, Requests and Complaints/Grievances Sent to TESOL Turkey

8.1.Notifications

In the case of workshops and seminars, SIG Executive Committees shall inform the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors of the nature and scope of the event at least fifteen (15) days before the event is scheduled to take place. In the case of the annual Pre-Conference Event and the biennial SIG Conference, this notification shall be done thirty (30) days before the conference date.

8.2. Requests

Requests for support (financial or otherwise) and/or approvals for projects, scholarships and similar opportunities shall be submitted to the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors at least fifteen (15) days before a response is required. Similarly, material to be uploaded to the SIG webpage shall be submitted to the relevant member of TESOL Turkey’s Promotion Professional Council (15) days before it is expected to appear on the webpage.

8.3. Complaints and Grievances

TESOL Turkey encourages members of SIGs to resolve issues amongst themselves. However, if the Executive Committee is unable to effectively resolve the grievance within fifteen (15) days, TESOL Turkey shall be officially notified of the problem and establish a committee of three (3) independent TESOL Turkey members to investigate the issue in question and propose a solution. This committee shall report directly to TESOL Turkey’s Board of Directors in writing within thirty (30) days following its appointment. The final decision as to how the issue will be resolved will be made by the Board of Directors and conveyed to the Executive Board within ten (10) days following the receipt of the committee’s report.

9.Review Cycle

The Board of Directors will conduct a review of each SIG at least once every three years to affirm that the SIG continues to function in line with its mission, that the Executive Committee complies with the SIG Bylaw and policies, and that the SIG members continue to support it. These reviews can be used as a basis for removals and dissolutions.

9.1. Removal of Members of the Executive Committee

The TESOL Turkey Board of Directors shall have the right to remove any member of the Executive Committee for good cause. Failure to comply with the TESOL Turkey’s Constitution, Bylaws, or the rules of procedure as well as failure to adequately carry out the prescribed duties of office shall be grounds for removal from the Executive Committee.

In the event of a proposed removal, the TESOL Turkey Board of Directors shall provide written reasons to the member of the Executive Committee and allow the member to make representations in opposition to the removal.

Members of a SIG may propose a motion to remove any member of the Executive Committee for good cause. Such a proposal must be made to the Executive Committee in writing and clearly state the reasons for the proposed removal, these being failure to comply with the TESOL Turkey’s Constitution and/or Bylaws, and/or the rules of procedure as well as failure to adequately carry out the prescribed duties of office. Any vote to remove a member of the Executive Committee shall require a majority of two-thirds (2/3) of the total number of members. The Executive Committee shall immediately inform the Board of Directors of any such proposed motion upon receipt of the written proposal.

9.2. Dissolution of a SIG

Any SIG may be dissolved by the Board of Directors if its activities are considered harmful to TESOL Turkey and/or it shows no sign of existence for one year (e.g. the Coordinator cannot be reached or reports no activity).

With a two-thirds vote majority, the members of a SIG may decide to dissolve the SIG. In such an event, the Executive Committee shall notify TESOL Turkey as soon as reasonably practicable before proceeding with dissolution.

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