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Professional Development for ESL Teachers

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

You love learning more about the latest trends for teaching English as a Second Language. So that you keep up-to-date in regards to professional development, this lesson will provide you with a basic guide.

Personal and Professional Growth

You are very excited about your future career as an English as a Second Language teacher. This means that you are always open to learning more and keeping updated in the field. This is a great personal quality you possess because your willingness to learn shows you want to be the best teacher possible. Of course, this personal quality benefits your professional growth as well because you will get to advance in your career. Here are some basic sources of professional development available for ESL teacher candidates like you.

Keep in mind this tip.
learners

Experience and Research-Based Knowledge

Sandy is an ESL teaching candidate. She is currently attending a local certification program in the state of Colorado and is going to finish soon. She has realized it is time to begin the professional development to engross her resume. When she searches for professional development opportunities, say through a conference, a workshop, or a seminar, she finds a lot of available venues she could attend. As advice, do what Sandy does. The first step in deciding whether a given event is appropriate for your professional development is to ask yourself: What do I need to learn at the moment, and what am I going to learn from this event?

Events usually include talks by ESL teachers who have wide experience in the class. This knowledge is very useful because other teachers in your field experience similar situations to the ones you have.

Also, events offer talks by ESL professionals who have done research and might have been published in a journal. This research-based knowledge is also a great resource for you because it means that a scientific study has been applied with some interesting results and recommendations. Now, let's take a look at the types of professional development that can be great tools for you in ESL teaching.

TESOL

Like all ESL teachers, Sandy knows the importance of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) conferences. Thus, even as an ESL candidate, Sandy knows it is not too early to begin attending conferences where she can increase knowledge. TESOL offers ESL professionals the opportunity to:

  • Sign up for training that provides further certifications. There are interesting programs such as the Advanced Practitioner Program for ESL teachers who want to concentrate on an area of expertise or the Leadership Management Certificate for teachers who would like to pursue leadership roles, etc.
  • Attend TESOL online courses. The organization offers a variety of online courses ESL teachers can choose accordingly to suit their interests. These courses offer a huge advantage for teachers who do not have the time to travel to given venues.
  • Publish with TESOL. You can easily access the organization guidelines for publishing articles in the different journals the organization sponsors. There are diverse journals discussing numerous topics. One of them could be for you.

Join a Professional Organization

Sandy does not stop at attending TESOL conferences. She is also looking for a professional organization already. You can do the same. Check and see which professional organizations for ESL teaching candidates are available in your area. These organizations usually charge a membership fee, but they deliver to you the latest updates in the field, which will save you a lot of searching time. Also, membership often includes benefits such as discounted prices for conferences, materials, etc.

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