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Terms and Conditions for Using TESOL's Career Services

General Policies
Job Seekers
A Note on "Native Speaker Proficiency"

General Policies

  • These terms and conditions apply to all ads accepted for posting in TESOL's CareerCenter, Placement E-Bulletin, and Job MarketPlace regardless of the geographical location of the employer, and they preempt any legal exemptions the employer may have. TESOL opposes discrimination that affects the employment and professional lives of the TESOL membership and English language teachers worldwide. TESOL reviews and edits all job advertisements for compliance with this policy.
  • To ensure that all advertisements for employment opportunities in the TESOL profession (including volunteer, exchange, and other aid-program opportunities) reach all job seekers, and to ensure that all employment advertisements are vetted for compliance with TESOL's terms and conditions, job advertisements are accepted only for TESOL's online Career Center, Placement E-Bulletin, and the annual Job MarketPlace.
  • Job ads are not accepted for TESOL Journal, TESOL Connections, or TESOL Quarterly; the convention Advance Program or Program Book; or for TESOL's member community e-lists. TESOL does not provide mailing labels for the purpose of mailing job announcements.
  • Applicants and employers agree not to hold TESOL responsible for any claims, damages, or losses incurred by the applicant, employer, or any other party as a result of use of TESOL's career resources.

For more information about posting employment opportunities with TESOL, e-mail


  • Job postings may include only one job description and must refer to a specific, available position.
  • TESOL does not permit job advertisements that refer to the applicants' race, sex, color, national origin (except with reference to visa policies), ethnicity, religion, native language or language background, medical or health condition (including HIV/AIDS status), gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
  • Job ads requiring or implying that applicants be "native English speakers" or have "native speaker proficiency" will be edited (See "A Note on 'Native Speaker Proficiency'"). The following language will be used: "An assessment of the candidate's English language proficiency may be required as part of the hiring process."
  • All job ads must comply with all applicable U.S. federal, state, and local laws relating to hiring and employment. Among the applicable U.S. federal laws are

Job Seekers

  • In recognition of global diversity and academic and institutional freedom, TESOL acknowledges the right of individual institutions, both public and private, to hire in accordance with their own hiring policies, local laws, and culture. TESOL does not review and is not responsible for employers' Web site content, print materials, or any information the employer has posted outside the confines of TESOL's career resources.
  • TESOL does not evaluate any employer and assumes no responsibility or liability for the employers' hiring practices, workplace facilities, or employment conditions. Only when provided with verified documentation that an employer has been legally cited for noncompliance with local antidiscrimination laws will TESOL consider rejection or removal of the employer's advertisement.

A Note on "Native Speaker Proficiency"

TESOL's Position Statement on Teacher Quality points out that "native speaker proficiency in the target language is not a sufficient qualification for teaching positions; the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages is a professional discipline that requires specialized training" (see also "NNS and Invisible Barriers in ELT"). Job ads requiring or implying that applicants be "native speakers of English" or have "native speaker proficiency" also discriminate against applicants based on their language background and ignore research showing that nonnative-English-speaking teachers are as effective in the classroom as native-English-speaking teachers.

Some researchers have suggested that nonnative English speakers bring a unique set of advantages to the classroom:

  • They are acutely aware of the differences between the first and second languages
  • They have a better understanding of language learners' needs, backgrounds, and potential difficulties
  • They provide good role models for language learners.

In short, it is training and commitment, and not language background, that makes an effective English language teacher.