October 1996 - Meeting of TESOL professionals of West Virginia was held at Marshall University in Huntington and chaired by West Virginia University to discuss the possibility of establishing a TESOL affiliate in West Virginia. A cooperative letter to Governor Caperton was drafted at the meeting encouraging the state government to make ESL instruction available to all the children with limited English proficiency (and their families) living in West Virginia. As a result of the organized effort, over $100,000 was appropriated by the legislature for ESL funding and a new coordinating position was created in the State Department of Education to improve ESL learning and teaching conditions in West Virginia public schools.
January 1997 - Results of a survey of TESOL professional in West Virginia (which was distributed at the meeting in October) showed wide-support for establishing a TESOL affiliate in West Virginia for the following reasons: 1) Promote professional development within the ESL field; 2) Encourage standards for ESL instruction, professional preparation and employment; and 3) Act as a voice for ESL teachers and learners within business, government and the community at large.
April 1997 - Meeting of TESOL professional of West Virginia was held at the West Virginia Foreign Language Conference in Charleston. A proposal was made to establish a formal organization to advocate for ESL teachers and learners in West Virginia. It was also proposed that as as a first step a founders' committee be established on behalf of the members to create the organization.
Fall 1997 - Officers of the Founders Board of the West Virginia ESL Professionals were nominated and selected by a vote of the membership. It was the task of the Founders Board to draft the WVTESOL Constitution and organize the 1st Annual WVTESOL Conference. The Founders Board would also serve as the Executive Board for WVTESOL during 1998-1999. Jerry Bicknell was elected to serve as the first president of WVTESOL.
March 1998 - The WVTESOL Constitution was presented to the membership in March at the 1st Annual WVTESOL Spring Conference held at Marshall University Graduate College in South Charlestion. The theme of the 1998 conference was "Meeting the Future Now" and the keynote speaker was Ms. Emily Gomez with the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C.. Ms. Gomez is one of the authors of ESL Standards for Pre-K-12 Students, published by TESOL, Inc..
May 1998 - The WVTESOL Constitution was officially ratified with a majority vote by the membership
April 1999 - 2nd Annual WVTESOL Spring Conference at Salem-Teikyo University. The theme of the 1999 conference was "WVTESOL: Setting an Agenda for Action" and the keynote speaker was Charles Amorosino, Jr., Executive Director of TESOL, Inc..
April 2000 - 3rd Annual Spring Conference at Buckannon-Upshur High School. April 2001 - 4th Annual Spring Conference at Mt. de Chantal Academy in Wheeling. Linda Yoder, Fulbright recipient from Salem International University, was the plenary speaker.
April 2002 - 5th Annual Spring Conference at Fairmont State College, Fairmont. The plenary speakers were Dr. Xiao-Ming Yang and Dr. Huaxin Xu. They spoke about their recently published book, Errors of Creativity: An Analysis of Lexical Errors Created by Chinese ESL Students.
March 2003 - 6th Annual Spring Conference at Regional Education Service Agency (RESA), Region III, Dunbar, South Charleston; assistance from the WV Department of Education Adult Education and Workforce Development English Language/Civics Project. The theme of the conference was "Leave No ESOL Learner Behind" and the keynote speaker was Donna Moss, Program Associate, National Center on ESL Literacy (NCLE), Washington, D.C.
March 2004 - 7th Annual Spring Conference at Salem International University, Salem. The theme of the 2004 conference was "Connecting Across Culture" and the keynote speaker was Terri Lapinsky, Former Peace Corps Chief Program and Training Officer.