Dr David Nunan

Dr. David Nunan received the James E. Alatis Award for Service to the field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at the 2015 TESOL International Convention in Toronto, Canada. The award was named for Dr. James E. Alatis, a charter member of TESOL International and a champion of TESOL teachers and their professional needs. Dr. Alatis, who passed away on Feb. 28, 2015, served as TESOL's first executive director from 1966 to 1987, when TESOL first established this service award.

The James E. Alatis Award honors one association member each year who has demonstrated “a genuine and long-lasting vision of what TESOL is and can be; the ability to combine professional and administrative roles in TESOL organizations; the ability and desire to represent and promote TESOL; and efficiency, personal dynamism, and good cheer.” This honor is given annually to one of 12,000 educators, researchers, administrators, and students representing 156 countries who comprise TESOL International, the world’s largest language teaching organization. Of the award recipients over the past 10 years, four are professors at Anaheim University: Dr. Denise Murray (2006), Dr. Kathleen Bailey (2007), Dr. MaryAnn Christison (2012), and now Dr. David Nunan (2015).

David Nunan is a world-renowned applied linguist and author of numerous groundbreaking textbooks such as Syllabus Design published by Oxford University Press and The Learner-Centred Curriculum published by Cambridge University Press. In 1996, he broke new ground for the TESOL community when he developed the first Master of Arts in TESOL degree program to be offered online and in real time. Dr. Nunan constantly challenges himself and his TESOL colleagues to use their online classroom time for discussion and interaction between the students and professor. His belief that teachers cannot do the learning for their students has turned him into a staunch advocate for the learner-centered online classroom. He puts the power in the hands of the learners.

Dr. Nunan continues to play an instrumental role in what has become one of the most successful TESOL programs in the United States and beyond, and he is now supported by 15 world-renowned linguists who make up the faculty at Anaheim University's Graduate School of Education.

In addition to receiving his award, Dr. Nunan presented at the 2015 TESOL Convention. He headlined a colloquium on “Exploring Professional Confidence in ELT Teacher Education Content Area,” gave a symposium on “Language Learning Beyond the Classroom,” and offered ideas for developing vocabulary and language structures in “Childhood is an Adventure – and Learning Can Be, Too.”