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Program Standards/Accreditation

The following are the TESOL professional standards used to guide program curriculum design and the assessment of candidates.  Each domain has a rubric which can be used to evaluate candidate portfolios and performance in the ESL practica and internship.

Domain 1:  Language & Learning

Standard 1.a. Language as a System: Candidates demonstrate a conscious understanding of the English language as a linguistic system as well as a tool for social and cognitive functioning; this includes knowledge of English phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics and semantics.  Candidates demonstrate a high level of competence in helping ELLs as they acquire English language and literacy skills for social, professional and/or academic purposes.

Standard 1.b. Language Acquisition and Development: Candidates understand and apply theories and research in language acquisition and content development to support their ELLs’ English language and literacy learning and/or content‐area achievement.  They also demonstrate the ability to inform their teaching practices through the study of cognitive and social learning research and theories and the use of inquiry into specific teaching contexts.

Domain 2: Culture

Standard 2. Culture as It Affects Student Learning:  Candidates know, understand, and use major theories and research related to the nature and role of culture in their instruction. They demonstrate understanding of how cultural groups, cultural processes and individual cultural identities affect language learning and school achievement and use this knowledge to construct learning environments that support ELL’s cultural identities, participation in meaningful social communities, language and literacy development, and/or academic area achievement.  They are able to use this knowledge to inquire into and document a specific cultural context for ESL teaching in terms of institutional structure and norms, curriculum and assessment, teaching “best practices” and the backgrounds and needs of students.

Domain 3: Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction

Standard 3.a. Planning for StandardsBased ESL and Content Instruction:  Candidates know, understand, and apply concepts, research, and best practices to plan classroom instruction in a supportive learning environment for ELLs.  They plan for multilevel classrooms with learners from diverse backgrounds using standards‐based ESL and/or content curriculum.

Standard 3.b. Implementing and Managing Standards‐Based ESL and Content Instruction:  Candidates know, manage, and implement a variety of standards‐based teaching strategies and techniques for developing and integrating English listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Candidates are knowledgeable about curricular options and are able to create and use both language and content objectives. 

Candidates understand that classroom teaching involves relationship building with (and among) learners and are skilled in creating productive and supportive classroom relationships. Candidates support academically oriented ELLs access to the core educational curriculum by teaching language through academic content. 

Standard 3.c. Using Resources and Technology Effectively in ESL and Content Instruction: Candidates are familiar with a wide range of second language curricular approaches and standards‐based materials, resources, and technologies, and choose, adapt, and use them in effective ESL and/or content teaching.

Domain 4: Assessment

Standard 4.a. Issues of Assessment for English Language Learners:  Candidates demonstrate understanding of various assessment issues as they affect ELLs, such as accountability, bias, special education testing, language proficiency, and accommodations in formal testing situations.

Standard 4.b. Language Proficiency Assessment:  Candidates know and can use a variety of standards‐based language proficiency evaluation instruments to show language growth and to inform their instruction. They demonstrate understanding of assessment instruments for identification of ELLs, placement, and reclassification of ELLs.

Standard 4.c. ClassroomBased Assessment for ESL:  Candidates know and can use a variety of performance‐based assessment tools and techniques to inform instruction in the classroom.

Domain 5: Professionalism

Standard 5.a. ESL Research and History:  Candidates demonstrate knowledge of history, research, public policy, and current practices in the field of ESL teaching and apply this knowledge to inform teaching and learning and demonstrate leadership on these issues in their institutions and professional communities;

Standard 5.b. Professional Development, Partnerships, and Advocacy:   Candidates take advantage of professional growth opportunities and demonstrate the ability to build partnerships with colleagues and students’ families, serve as community resources, and advocate for ELLs. Candidates demonstrate the characteristics of a “reflective practioner,” through inquiry into their own teaching practices.  Candidates are able to use supervisory and student feedback and their own inquiry and reflective practices to provide a respectful and supportive classroom setting and inform and improve their teaching practices. 

Standard 5.c.:  Professional Code of Ethics:  Candidates should strive toward excellence, recognize the importance of the pursuit of truth, nurture democratic citizenship, and safeguard the freedom to learn and to teach.  Candidates should believe in the worth and dignity of each human being and in educational opportunities for all.  Candidates should strive to uphold these ethical responsibilities to students, parents, and the education profession. (Adapted from the “Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky School Certified Personnel”)