How to Set Up A SIG

» What exactly is a SIG?
A SIG stands for a Special Interest Group

» What is the role of a SIG?
A SIG attempts to encourage professional development and the exchange of ideas within a specialist area of English Language Teaching.

» What is the structure of a SIG?
There should be a general Coordinator who will work with a Central Committee and, depending on its size, with a much looser outer-circle Committee (its local representatives). The Coordinator should report through a member of the Advisory Council who will act as a link to the BRAZ-TESOL Executive Board.

» How to set up a SIG
As BRAZ-TESOL is a non-profit association, members, Committee members and Coordinators shall not be remunerated.
iv.1 Teachers or school directors/coordinators interested in setting up a SIG should contact other colleagues in their area of interest for a meeting to elect its Coordinator and Central Committee in order to organize and lead SIG events. To obtain approval, a letter should be sent to the BRAZ-TESOL Executive Board, addressed to the Central Office in São Paulo, declaring the group's intention of forming a SIG.

iv.2 The Coordinator and the Central Committee should then establish an annual SIG Plan of Action which must be submitted to the BRAZ-TESOL Executive Board by January 1st of the year preceding the realization of the plan, for comments, suggestions and approval. This plan should include:

The number of events, suggested months, types of events (mini- courses, seminars, workshops, etc.) to be organized by the group.
(Two months before the event) The time and location of such events and the fee to be charged OF those participating.
Any other short-term project or mid-term projects of the group.
How the Coordinator and Central Committee see the possibility of fund raising and sponsorship.
After each SIG event, a report, including a financial update, should be sent to the BRAZ-TESOL Executive Board.

» Central Issues
v.1 All SIG members must be BRAZ-TESOL members.

v.2 SIG events are especially for members of BRAZ-TESOL, but with the approval of the BRAZ-TESOL Board, special registation fees may be established for non-members.

v.3 BRAZ-TESOL members should show their interst in SIGs when joining BRAZ-TESOL or renewing membership.

v.4 In order to guarantee an active role of the SIGs in the BRAZ- TESOL National Conference, a SIG Coordinator may be invited to be a member of the Organizing Committee.

» General Policies
vi.1 BRAZ-TESOL provides help in the setting up and support of SIGs in the following ways:

• By offering financiual support up to the sum of R$500,00 in the first year of the SIG after its Coordinator and Central Committee have submitted a proposal and a provisional Plan of Action.

• By keeping the SIGS informed about their funds by means of bi-annual statements sent to SIG Coordinators.

• By allowing SIGs to use their funds not only on the occasion of events promoted by the SIGs, but also throughout the year to cover ordinary expenses such as support materials for SIG meetings.

• By providing free publicity and information space in the BRAZ-TESOL Newsletter.

• By providing secretarial support through the BRAZ-TESOL secretary.

• By encouraging membership of SIGs in various ways.

• By allowing SIGs to have rooms in which to meet at BRAZ-TESOL Conferences and/or other academic events.

• By holding pre-convention events to be run by SIGs before the bi-annual Conventions.

• By nominating a SIG link to mediate between SIGs and BRAZ-TESOL Board. The role, prerogatives and responsibilities of the SIG link should be made clear to SIG Coordinators.

vi.2 The BRAZ-TESOL Membership form should be modified so as to include the list of SIGs available, with boxes for members to tick indicating their choice. This would facilitate control of SIG membership numbers. SIG Coordinators should be informed of these numbers and the names and addresses of interested parties on a regular basis.

vi.3 The receipt of all documents sent to the BRAZ-TESOL Board by SIG Coordinators are to be acknowledged and replied to in writing.

These guidelines were written by Camilla Dixo Lieff and Maria José Gomes, approved by the BRAZ-TESOL National Executive Board and updated at a general SIG meeting on September 26, 1998.