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James E. Weaver

James E. Weaver spent most of his professional career in New York City, but he worked for several years as a testing specialist at Georgetown University’s Department of English as a Foreign Language.  During his Washington years, Jim was active in WATESOL. In 1981, he and Christine Meloni co-chaired the Fall Convention and were responsible for setting up the committee system of convention planning, which WATESOL has used ever since.  They also began the tradition of awarding certificates of appreciation to convention team members and other deserving individuals.

An avid believer in the value of service, Jim also worked to establish WATESOL’s three service awards: The TESOL Service Award (for WATESOL members who have given distinctive service to TESOL), the Public Service Award (for non-ESL people who have contributed in some way to the field; and the WATESOL Service Award (for WATESOL members who have given outstanding service to the organization), which was renamed in Jim’s honor following his untimely death from AIDS in 1984.

The Jim Weaver Scholarship for Professional Development was established in Jim’s honor in 1985.


J. Michael O’Malley

J. Michael O’Malley served in many capacities in the ESL arena.  He worked for the Department of Education’s National Institute of Education, taught at the University of Hawaii, was a senior researcher with InterAmerica Research Associates in McLean, and directed Georgetown University’s Evaluation Assistance Center - East, which provided technical assistance on ESL and bilingual program evaluation to school districts in the eastern half of the US.  At the time of his death from cancer in 1998, he was supervisor of Assessment and Evaluation for Prince William County (VA) Public Schools.

Michael’s research included national surveys of services for LEP students and ESL teacher qualification, studies on language learning strategies, and the development of a theoretical framework relating his research to cognitive models of learning.  He co-authored three books: Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition (with Anna Uhl Chamot; Cambridge, 1990); The CALLA Handbook: Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (with Anna Chamot; Addison-Wesley, 1994); and Authentic Assessment for English Language Learners: Practical Applications for Teachers (with Lorraine Valdez Pierce; Addison Wesley Longman, 1996).  Michael was also a co-author for two textbook series: ScottForesman ESL: Accelerating English Language Learning (1997), and Building Bridges: Content and Learning Strategies for ESL Students (Heinle & Heinle, 1997), as well as numerous articles and book chapter.  He and Anna Chamot conducted workshops around the country on the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA), an instructional model integrating curriculum content, academic language focusing on literacy, and explicit instruction in learning strategies.  Insights gained from classroom teachers who attended these workshops resulted in The CALLA Handbook: Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (Addison Wesley Longman, 1994).

Michael was very active in both TESOL and WATESOL. He was known among his colleagues for his passion for objectivity and rigor, his insights and creativity, and his wit and charm.  The J. Michael O’Malley Action Research Grant was established in his honor in 1998.


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