TESOL stands for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. If you’re an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher or if you’re an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher, you should definitely attend at least one TESOL convention.
I’ve attended several and I learned quite a bit at each one. If you’ve been teaching for a while, you might even be able to make a presentation at one of the conventions.
TESOL was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. Their mission is "to develop and maintain professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide.”
TESOL conventions are held in March or April of each year. They are held in major cities throughout the United States. However, there may be a local TESOL convention held near you even if you’re residing outside of the U.S.
If you’re in need of materials, check out the TESOL bookstore. They have information on assessment, classroom practices, curriculum development, professional development, and technology. You should be able to find all sorts of products that will help you teach English.
TESOL also produces some very interesting publications:
- TESOL Quarterly (TQ)
- TESOL Journal
- TESOL Connections – a biweekly e-newsletter
- Essential Teacher
- Placement e-Bulletin –job listings
TESOL is more than just meetings and publications though. It’s a place to find everything about learning English. There are even materials for the actual English language learners. Some of their special interest sections are:
- Applied Linguistics
- Bilingual Education
- Computer-Assisted Language Learning
- English for Specific Purposes
- International Teaching Assistants
- Refugee Concerns
And there are tons more. TESOL is urging the local governments to establish effective programs for teaching English. TESOL has also been monitoring the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In addition, TESOL is involved in establishing the policies at universities for admitting students who have limited English proficiency.
If you’re tasked with teaching English, you will want to access the TESOL website to learn more about the issues involved in teaching in primary, secondary, higher education, and adult classes. For each of these areas, TESOL has pre-set standards with instruction for teachers on how to use the standards.
For those teachers who are about to travel to a foreign country to teach English, you’ll be relieved to find that TESOL offers documentation and tips on how to set up English language teaching programs.
If you're actively teaching ESL or EFL, you'll definitely want to check out our reviews of the best sites to Learn English online. You'll find lots of fellow English teachers and tons of materials you can use right away to help you, and your students.
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