THE TESOL GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING EFL Professional Teaching Standards DEVELOPED BY NATALIE KUHLMAN & BOŽANA KNEŽEVIĆ About These Guidelines TESOL International Association developed these guidelines

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THE TESOL GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING EFL Professional Teaching Standards DEVELOPED BY NATALIE KUHLMAN & BOŽANA KNEŽEVIĆ About These Guidelines TESOL International Association developed these guidelines for postsecondary institutions, government agencies, ministries of education, and other entities charged with developing professional teaching standards in an EFL context. TESOL encourages teachers, administrators, policy makers and anyone else who needs these guidelines to use, adapt, and distribute them freely. As the authors point out, In these guidelines for developing EFL standards, TESOL International Association uses its resources both human and material, accumulated knowledge, and experience in the field to create a new document, the sharing of which, and not exportation, is perceived as a positive result of globalization rather than of linguistic, cultural, academic, or educational imperialism. It is the result of TESOL International Association s continuous work in the creation of teaching and learning standards. For more information on TESOL International Association, please visit TESOL s website at or contact This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, please visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA. TESOL International Association 1925 Ballenger Ave. Suite 550 Alexandria, VA Table of Contents Part 1. Assumptions and Values to Guide the Creation of Standards for Quality English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Teaching... 2 Part 2. The Standards Package... 4 The Theoretical Framework... 4 Organizational Formats for Standards... 4 Standards... 7 Performance Indicators... 7 Standards Use... 8 Assessment and Evaluation... 9 References and Glossary The Standards Package Part 3. Process for Standards Development Decisions Evaluating Existing Standards Adapting Standards Creating New Standards Creating or Adapting Standards: The Step-by-Step Process Summary of Steps Part 4. Adapting Existing Standards in International Contexts Albania Ecuador Egypt Summary for the Three Countries Part 5. Conclusion THE TESOL GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING EFL PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS 1 01 as Assumptions and Values to Guide the Creation of Standards for Quality English a Foreign Language (EFL) Teaching The globalization of society and the dynamic role of education in it have given impetus to the development of this document. The globalization of society and economy are manifested in increasing mobility, introducing multicultural and multilingual diversity within national borders and consequently within the student and teacher population. Today s societies thus place challenging demands on teachers, who are confronted with complexity in their practice. How do these demands align with competencies that teachers have or need to acquire or develop? One way to comply with the demands would be to define the competencies and develop standards that can make teacher evaluation a successful process. Evaluation of competencies, demonstrating that teachers are prepared for these challenges, is inconceivable without a clearly defined and agreed upon reference point: standards. In this section, we briefly address some assumptions (beliefs or ideas) about the nature of how one acquires knowledge (epistemology). Or, in other words, what it is we mean when we say that something (knowledge) exists, and what we mean when we say that we know something. We briefly discuss what knowledge, theoretical and practical, is needed for a teacher to be able to teach EFL, and how knowledge is created in a second or additional language. EFL teaching is a multifaceted activity; it has several dimensions, and it must rise to the challenge of its enhanced responsibilities. First and foremost, the responsibilities are educational but also social: to teach students to respect people of different cultural backgrounds, for example. It is the educational, social, and cultural milieu in which at least two languages and cultures meet the language and culture of the students and of those who use the target language (English, in this case). EFL teaching is thus a complex endeavor. It is, however, beyond this document to discuss how culture or cultural segments affect and shape teachers beliefs and, vice versa, how one s teaching reflects those beliefs in different cultures. Additionally, it is beyond this document to discuss how basic epistemological or ontological beliefs about culture (be it foreign or domestic) change in the process of teaching and learning a language. But just passing on general information about the target culture and stereotype models is no longer sufficient. The context in which a foreign language is taught and learned has changed. It is characterized by mobility, migration, and diversity. Multilingual and multicultural aspects of EFL should thus be integrated into teacher education programs and should be further fostered and promoted as a value in EFL and teacher education classrooms. Multilingualism, multiculturalism, and diversity in the center of education present a challenge for EFL. They are changing the role (and identity) of the EFL teacher. As a result, education authorities need to provide quality training and integrated programs that offer knowledge (theoretical and practical), understanding, values, and subject specific and generic competences (intercultural being one of them). Another challenge and an identified need for a multilingual, multicultural, and information and communication technology-driven society is a shift from a monolingual to a multilingual paradigm (Canagarajah & Wurr, 2011). Given all that, a new platform for teaching a foreign language in a multicultural, multilingual (a society/community 2 THE TESOL GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING EFL PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS dimension), and plurilingual (an individual dimension) society is needed. Multilingualism and multiculturalism need to be embedded in the concept of educational values, and this embedding will present a challenge for language education and for the creation of standards for quality EFL teaching. TESOL International Association (TESOL) encourages respect for diversity, multilingualism, multiculturalism, and individual language rights. The association advocates for the profession and the rights of teachers be they native or nonnative speakers (TESOL, 2006) and teachers association to exist (TESOL, 2007). TESOL fosters means and ends in education in general, and in English language teaching and learning in particular. However, beliefs must be evident in actions, verified by actions, and examined and evaluated from time to time. Evidence of need should be added to an assumption or a belief to convert it into knowledge. As part of its mission to advance professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide, TESOL International Association has developed standards for various aspects of English language teaching. Starting with the ESL Standards for PreK 12 Students (1997) through the TESOL P 12 Professional Teaching Standards (2010), TESOL has developed, published, and revised standards for students, teachers, and programs in various sectors including elementary and secondary education in the United States, teacher preparation, and adult education. The association has also published standards on the use of technology for English learners (TESOL, 2011) and English language teachers and best practices for workplace language programs. Through the development of these standards and related volumes, TESOL has leveraged the knowledge of the field to advance educational outcomes for students and to advance the expertise of English language teachers. In these guidelines for developing EFL standards, TESOL utilizes its resources both human and material, accumulated knowledge, and experience in the field to create a new document, the sharing of which, and not exportation, is perceived as a positive result of globalization rather than of linguistic, cultural, academic, or educational imperialism. It is the result of TESOL International Association s continuous work in the creation of teaching and learning standards. How this document resonates depends on the needs of diverse contexts. And guidelines is the key word in understanding and implementing it. The document suggests, does not mandate, parameters for adapting or creating standards that meet the needs of a global society but also takes into consideration local policies, ministries of education, universities, professional associations, and nongovernmental agencies (NGOs). However, neat solutions are neither easily found nor are they within the scope of this document. In other words, this document will neither have the lure of the panacea to guarantee success, nor will it represent a pandemic threat to the local context and academic freedom (Phillipson, 2009). In Part 2, these guidelines move to the Standards Package, which introduces the theoretical framework and organizational formats for standards, the performance indicators as well as the methods of assessment and evaluation, followed by the references and glossary. Part 3 provides the step-by-step process of creating standards, and Part 4 provides examples of the processes of EFL teaching standards development in Albania, Ecuador, and Egypt. Part 5 provides a summary and conclusions. References Canagarajah, A. S., & Wurr, A. J. (2011). Multilingual communication and language acquisition: New research directions. The Reading Matrix, 11(1), Phillipson, R. (2009). English in higher education, panacea or pandemic? Angles of the English-Speaking World, 9, TESOL International Association. (1997). ESL standards for pre-k 12 students. Alexandria, VA: Author. TESOL International Association. (2006). Position statement against discrimination of nonnative speakers of English in the field of TESOL. Retrieved from org/docs/pdf/5889.pdf?sfvrsn=2 TESOL International Association. (2007). Position statement on the role of teacher s associations in education policy and planning. Retrieved from pdf/10040.pdf?sfvrsn=2 TESOL International Association. (2010). TESOL P 12 professional teaching standards (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author. TESOL International Association. (2011). TESOL technology standards. Alexandria, VA: Author. THE TESOL GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING EFL PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS 3 02 The Standards Package When all of the aspects of standards are put together, they form the core of a package that can be used in the process of developing a standards-based teacher preparation program that will be discussed in Part 3. The following forms the standards package core: 1. The Theoretical or Conceptual Framework: 1 The theoretical framework, goal, and/or mission statement, usually based on the research that the program, ministry of education (MOE), or national government accepts as the foundation for its teacher education programs (see Figure 1). 2. Organizational Formats for Standards: The domains or principles that will be used to organize the standards, the larger umbrella, including a supporting justification for each domain and/or principle. 3. Standards: The standard itself, either a specific or general statement that outlines an aspect of what the teacher needs to know or be able to do within that domain or principle. 4. Performance Indicators (PIs): The standard, typically, is then broken down into PIs. Sometimes the PIs are broken down into even smaller elements. 5. Standards Use: The identification of the difference between a program based on standards and one that is based on a collection of courses, and deciding which to use. 6. Assessment and Evaluation: How it will be decided that standards have been met, often through the use of PIs to create rubrics, and the use of portfolios. 7. References and Glossary: A list of references that support the standards, and a glossary so that all those who use the package have a common understanding of key concepts. The Theoretical Framework The theoretical (or conceptual) framework supports the goal. It provides the guiding structure for the standards, and represents the vision and direction of stakeholders. While it is usually stated at the beginning of a standards document, it is also infused throughout. Basing this framework on current research in the area and reading such studies recently done will better prepare those who will create or adapt the standards by providing the background knowledge needed to produce the standards and, possibly, ideas of how to approach the task. Examples of such literature reviews include the one done by TESOL when revising the TESOL P 12 Professional Teaching Standards (2010) and another by Richards (2011). For the Standards for ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults (2008), background papers commissioned by TESOL are included that provide the theoretical framework that ground and support the standards. Organizational Formats for Standards In general, there are two approaches to standards development: a principles-based and a domains-based approach, the domains being the more common. Perhaps a simple way to explain the difference between a principles-based and a domains-based approach is to look at them as being abstract and concrete, respectively. They can also be seen as two sides of the same coin: A principles approach may be more conceptual, and a domains one more specific and practical. For example, the first Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) has as a principle: 1 The terms theoretical and conceptual are used interchangeably in this document. 4 THE TESOL GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING EFL PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS FOUNDATIONS LANGUAGE Language as a system Language acquisition and development CULTURE Culture as it affects student learning PROFESSIONALISM ESL research and history Professional development, partnerships and advocacy APPLICATIONS INSTRUCTION Planning for standards based ESL and content instruction Implementing and managing standards based ESL and content instruction Using resources and technology effectively in ESL and content instruction ASSESSMENT Issues of assessment for ELLs Language proficiency assessment Classroom-based assessment for ESL FIGURE 1. TESOL P 12 Teacher Education Program Standards (TESOL, 2010, p. 19). The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2011, p. 1). This principle would be equivalent to the language domain in the TESOL P 12 Professional Teaching Standards (TESOL, 2010). The Principles Approach Mahboob and Tilakaratna (2012) discuss principles as a theoretical framework for setting policy. Mahboob and Tilakaratna also present several principles that are needed for successful program implementation that should be used when constructing standards. These include collaboration, relevance, evidence (standards created based on sound research), alignment (with the policies and practices of a country, ministry, etc.), transparency (easily understood, without jargon), and empowerment (takes into consideration the outcomes expected from learning English, such as economics and education). A different kind of principles-based approach is embodied in the work of a blue-ribbon panel formed by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2010). For example, two of NCATE s ten principles are Clinical preparation is integrated throughout every facet of teacher education in a dynamic way, and Candidates learn in an interactive professional community (p. 5). These principles would lead to standards on clinical practice and on professionalism and be part of the TESOL Instruction and Professionalism domains. The Domains Approach A domains approach focuses on general categories. The standards under each domain and the performance indicators (or elements) provide the specificity. Based on current research, TESOL (2010) identified five domains that are needed to prepare English teachers. The five domains are Language (foundation domain) Culture (foundation domain) Instruction (application domain) Assessment (application domain) Professionalism (at the intersection of all the domains) THE TESOL GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING EFL PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS 5 Commitment & Professionalism Language Proficiency Assessing Student Learning Instructing Planning Identity & Context Learning standards. Surrounding student learning in two concentric circles are the eight standards for ESL/EFL teachers of adults. Collectively, these eight standards represent the core of what professional teachers of ESL and EFL to adult learners should know and be able to do. Although the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (Council of Europe, 2001) does not include standards per se, they organize the framework of reference essentially by domains. These include 1. Structure (how a teacher preparation program is organized) Practices Content Knowledge, Abilities, and Disposition FIGURE 2. Model of Standards for ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults (TESOL, 2008, p. viii). There are a total of eleven standards within the five domains. These are visualized in Figure 1 as intersecting circles because each is dependent on the others. The national teacher education accreditation agency in the United States, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE), identified four domains from which standards should be created: Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge, Learning Environments, and Professional Knowledge. TESOL s Language and Culture domains would fit under Content Knowledge, whereas Instruction and Assessment would fit under Pedagogical Knowledge, with Professionalism included in Professional Knowledge. Learning Environments might include standards from any of the five TESOL domains. The CAEP categories are just a different way of organizing the information. TESOL s Standards for ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults (2008) does not explicitly identify domains; however, its eight performance-based standards are grouped into two categories that in essence serve as domains: Practices; and Knowledge, Abilities, and Dispositions. As illustrated in Figure 2, student learning is the central concern for all teachers, and therefore occupies the center of these teaching 2. Knowledge and Understanding (similar to TESOL s Language and Culture domains, and CAEP s Content Knowledge) 3. Strategies and Skills (similar to TESOL s Instruction domain and CAEP s Pedagogical Knowledge) 4. Values (included in TESOL s Professionalism domain) Beginning in 2003, a group came together in the People s Republic of China to create materials for language teachers, resulting in two sets of standards. This project was developed collaboratively by with McGraw-Hill Education, TESOL, the National Foreign Language Teaching Association, scholars from the China Basic Foreign Language Education Research and Training Center, and staff of the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (Agor et al., 2005). They organized the standards under eight domains which, again, have similarities to the others already cited: 1. Knowing Students 2. Appreciating Attitudes 3. Planning, Delivering, and Reflecting on Instruction 4. Constructing Knowledge of Languages, Language Learning and Critical Thinking 5. Exploring and Applying Culture 6. Assessing Teaching and Learning 7. Connecting Beyond the Classroom 8. Expanding Professional Horizons Although these domains appear very different from those in the first two examples, they are different only in the way that they organize essentially the same information, as are the principles appro
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