Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Demarcating Teacher Certification Tests vs. Teacher Qualifications: Curricular Challenges for TESOL Education




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



TESOL programs in the United States typically train teachers for the K-12 market where teachers face an increasingly linguistically and culturally diversified demographic of English-as-a-second (ESL) learners. The challenges for teacher training programs lie, naturally, in how to maximally prepare prospective teachers for different levels of curricular needs of this learner population. However, requirements for government certification of ESL teachers conceptually assume the so-called minimum qualification for entry-level teachers, which raises the question about the extent of the gap among three potentially conflicting elements in teacher education: 1) what a teacher-education program should expect of its teacher trainees in terms of the professional areas of training , 2) what minimum qualification means for a teacher education curriculum that strives for maximum level of rigor, and 3) what teacher trainees themselves believe to be adequate training in order to become competent teachers in real-world ESL teaching. A panel of expert TESOL educators will delineate the problems, challenges, and dilemmas in balancing out these different interest areas in K-12 teacher education from the point of view of teacher trainers, student perceptions, and certification assumptions, and call for a more stringent conceptual and operational definition of a minimally qualified teacher in certifying entry-level teachers.

Conference Name

16th World Congress of Applied Linguistics: Harmony in Diversity

Conference Location

Beijing, China

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