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PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR TESOL PRACTITIONERS AND TEACHERS OF ESL LEARNERS
Rosie Antenucci, ESLE / ACTA / DECS
Jenny Barnett, University of South Australia
Karen Adams, University of Adelaide
Andrea Harms, APAPDC / ACTA
DECS: Department of Education and Children's Services
ESLE: ESL Educators (ESL teachers association, South Australia)
ACTA: Australian Council of TESOL Associations - national body for state associations
APAPDC: Australian Principals' Associations Professional Development Council
QTP: Quality Teacher Project
ACTA has engaged in the development of teacher standards through its state associations, particularly ESLE (SA) Inc, since 2002. In 2004, this project was supported through funding from QTP.
In August 2004 there are two sets of nine standards, each based on a set of 27 more specific standards. The personnel and the processes to see through the ongoing development of the Standards are also in place. This includes the development of academic publications with regards to these Standards, which will identify their theoretical and research bases and locate this work in the academic field.
To gain teacher involvement and awareness of the development of these standards at a national level, a range of workshops and a survey of over 100 teachers have been conducted and journal articles have been written and published in state association journals.
Survey: the results of a survey of over 100 teachers has informed the development of the Standards
Draft Standards: two sets of standards have been developed
Case studies: three case studies have so far been developed and placed on the website
Literature search: an annotated literature review on teacher standards has been completed.
Academic papers: Karen Adams co-writing with Jenny Barnett will undertake the writing of articles in Australian Journals: Prospect - national refereed journal largely for TESOL academics and teachers of adults; TESOL In Context - national refereed journal for TESOL teachers in all sectors and academics.
Consultation through a workshop process, seminars, consultation meetings and survey with a diverse and national range of stakeholders including:
Feedback on the Standards was incorporated into the redrafting of the Standards.
Responses from ESL teachers
From ESL teachers:
Although probably aimed mainly at school ESL teachers, it has given me good ideas with reference to the education environment in the university - principles approach to be similar.
We know what we are on about but the department needs to select ESL teachers based on merit especially in school choice and principals need to appreciate ESL teachers / understand / support the needs of ESL students.
A useful framework which will hopefully give a better understanding to the system etc of what we do - I think it's about time.
From non ESL teachers:
I thought the work you have done here is v. interesting and I have looked at it closely because a lot of it describes standards for Languages teachers too. Hope you don't mind if we consider your format at STASA?
From ACTA (section: from ACTA)
Yes, generally very positive, especially with the scope for using as a PD tool with ESL teachers, and for whole school PD. We have a 40% ESL level in the NT with very high levels of first phase Indigenous learners, so all teachers must be able to implement ESL strategies and develop ESL informed programs. Our Indigenous population is tipped to double in the next 20 yrs, so it's crucial to get all the help we can. Our ESL teams are also under threat of being mostly replaced with "Accelerated Literacy" teams.
As a result of this work we are well underway in being able to present TESOL as a cohesive and substantial field. This will be to the advantage of the teachers themselves, to help to define their role and to advocate for their role and for strategies which will improve outcomes for ESL students. ACTA will use the developed standards to lobby for appropriate preparation of teachers in undergraduate courses. ACTA will also use the standards for recognition of the TESOL field at a state and national level, particularly in relation to recognising the need for qualified / experienced TESOL teachers and ensuring that adequate professional development is available in the areas identified by the Standards.
another ACTA initiative