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Research and Standards

Refine Your Best Practices Through TESOL Standards

Explore TESOL Standards

TESOL standards and best practices initiatives are created in response to the needs of English language teachers. Our projects are in various stages of completion, and you can find out more about any pending projects by contacting us 

Available as an e-book in EPUB format, these standards provide a framework for organizations to use in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs that prepare candidates to teach English as a second or foreign language that require 120–180 interactive hours.

Learn more and purchase the e-book.

TESOL's PreK–12 English Language Proficiency Standards represent a starting point for developing effective and equitable education for English language students. These standards were developed to complement the discipline-specific standards created by other professional associations and groups. Learn more and purchase this paperback book. 

View the framework for the standards. 

Buy the book

The TESOL Technology Standards focus on how English language teachers, teacher educators, and administrators can and should use technology in and out of the classroom.

Learn more and purchase the eBook. 

TESOL offers two sets of adult education standards available as paperback books: 

Confused about the Common Core and how it will affect your English learners? These resources will help you understand how the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) affect preK–12 ESL teachers and their students.

The CCSS is an initiative in the United States launched by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association in 2009 to develop common content standards for states to use in elementary and secondary education. The CCSS mathematics and English language arts standards were released in 2011 and implemented during the 2014–15 academic year.

Adoption of the CCSS is a voluntary, state-level decision. As of 2017, 42 states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted and implemented the CCSS. The latest federal K-12 legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, further mandates that the adoption of any curriculum is a state-level decision, with no control from the U.S. Department of Education.

Please feel free to share these resources with your colleagues. If you would like to contribute a resource, please contact David Cutler, TESOL's director of advocacy and outreach.

    • UNIDOS US: Common Core
    • This webpage from UNIDOS US (formerly the National Council of La Raza), provides a variety of resources on the Common Core State Standards for teachers, advocates, and parents, many of which are available in Spanish.
  • The Preparation of the ESL Educator in the Era of College- and Career-Readiness Standards
    In September 2015, TESOL International Association convened a meeting of 28 ESL teachers, administrators, university faculty, and leaders in English learner education policy to discuss the role of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers in the era of new content standards. This document provides an overview of the meeting findings and recommendations.
  • TESOL Press Common Core State Standards Book Series
    Books in this series, edited by Luciana C. de Oliveira, provide classroom teachers with practical ideas for engaging K–12 English learners and helping them to succeed with the Common Core (CCSS). The five books cover the CCSS in English language arts; mathematics; and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects.

TESOL International Association created these guidelines for anyone charged with developing EFL professional teaching standards in postsecondary institutions, government agencies, ministries of education, and other entities.

View Resources.

The Standards for Initial TESOL Pre-K–12 Teacher Preparation Programs outline the professional expertise needed to prepare effective Pre-K–12 TESOL educators in the United States.

The Commission for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) uses these performance-based standards for national recognition of teacher education programs. The standards were approved in late 2018 and succeed the 2010 Standards for the Recognition of Initial TESOL Programs in P–12 ESL Teacher Education (sometimes referred to as the TESOL/CAEP Standards or the TESOL Professional Teaching Standards).

For programs seeking CAEP national recognition, the 2010 standards are applicable to program reports submitted through 2021. Programs seeking CAEP national recognition can use either the 2010 or 2018 standards through Fall 2021. Beginning in 2022 programs submitting initial reports must use the 2018 standards.

Initial Program Report with
Two Applications of Data
Which Standards?
 Fall 2019 2010
 Spring 2020 2010 or 2018
 Fall 2020 2010 or 2018
Spring 2021 2010 or 2018
Fall 2021 2010 or 2018
Spring 2022 2018 only

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