Bureau of Bilingual/ESL Education
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- Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota is one of National Language Resource Centers (NLRC), whose role is to improve the nation's capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively. Through United States Department of Education (USDE) Title VI Language Resource Center program funding, CARLA has sponsored a number of research and action initiatives designed to advance the quality of second language teaching, learning, and assessment. Information about the NLRC-funded projects is presented below in an historical framework to provide the reader with a sense of the development of the Center and its achievements in addition to providing information about the centers current and future activities.
- Center for Applied Linguistics
The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is a private, nonprofit organization working to improve communication through better understanding of language and culture. Established in 1959, CAL is headquartered in Washington, DC. CAL has earned a national and international reputation for its contributions to the fields of bilingual education, English as a second language, literacy, foreign language education, dialect studies, language policy, refugee orientation, and the education of linguistically and culturally diverse adults and children.
- National Association for Bilingual Education
The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) is the only professional organization at the national level wholly devoted to representing both English language learners and bilingual education professionals. We represent over 5,000 educators and parents and have affiliate organizations in 28 states. As our name implies, we were established to advocate for bilingual education. Now, however, we advocate for a variety of programs that provide language supports to English language learners.
NABE supports the education of English language learners through:
- Providing professional development opportunities for our members.
- Collaborating with other civil rights and education organizations to ensure that the needs of language minority students are met in every state.
Congress for adequate funding of all programs that
serve English language learners
- National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition
NCELA, the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs (formerly NCBE, the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement & Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA, formerly OBEMLA) to collect, analyze, and disseminate information relating to the effective education of linguistically and culturally diverse learners in the U.S.
New Jersey Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages-New Jersey Bilingual Educators
A professional organization for those concerned with the teaching of English as a Second Language, Bilingual Education and Standard English as a Second Dialect.
- Office of English Language Acquisition
The Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA) administers Title III of No Child Left Behind Act (2001). OELA also provides national leadership in promoting high quality education for English language learners (ELLs). Traditionally, this population has been known as limited English proficient students (LEPs).
OELA's mission is to identify major issues affecting the education of English language learners, and to assist and support State and local systemic reform efforts that emphasize high academic standards, school accountability, professional training and parent involvement.
Under Title III, the office is responsible for:
- Administering grant programs that help children develop proficiency in English and achieve high content standards.
- Recommending policies and promoting best practices for meeting the needs of English language learners.
- Strengthening collaboration and coordination among federal, state and local programs serving English language learners.
funded programs and providing technical assistance
that focus on outcomes and accountability.
TESOL -- teachers of English to speakers of other languages -- is an acronym that refers to both the field itself and the professional association.
TESOL is a Professional Association
Founded in 1966, the global education association, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL), headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, has approximately 14,000 members in over 120 countries, and is recognized as a non-governmental organization (NGO) of the United Nations Department of Public Information. Its mission is to ensure excellence in English language teaching to speakers of other languages. TESOL values professionalism in language education; individual language rights; accessible, high quality education; collaboration in a global community; interaction of research and reflective practice for educational improvement; and respect for diversity and multiculturalism.
TESOL publishes two serials: a scholarly journal (TESOL Quarterly) and a practical magazine (Essential Teacher). TESOL also publishes an electronic bulletin of employment opportunities (Placement E-Bulletin) and a newsletter of headlines and resource links related to the field (TESOL Connections). It also publishes books and materials on a wide range of theoretical and practical topics as well as professional papers and resources for newcomers. TESOL's annual convention, usually held in March in North America, attracts 7,000-10,000 participants. This weeklong event offers participants full-length papers, workshops, poster sessions, materials exchanges, plenary speakers, and other forms of professional stimuli and networking opportunities.
TESOL has more than 90 worldwide affiliated organizations representing another 50,000 ESOL professionals.
TESOL is a Profession
The field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) is a professional activity that requires specialized training. The fact that someone speaks English as a native language does not qualify that person to teach it -- especially to those who are learning English as an additional language. TESOL differs from English instruction for native speakers in that its primary foci are on language and cultural practices in English-speaking countries, as opposed to English literature.
English as a second language (ESL) and English as a foreign language (EFL) educators work all over the world in various contexts in the public and private sectors. They work in countries where English is spoken only as a foreign language, such as in Japan and Saudi Arabia, as well as in countries where English is the dominant language, as in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States.
In English-speaking countries, ESL teachers work with immigrants and refugees at all levels of the education system -- in primary, secondary, and higher education -- as well as in adult education in community colleges and community-based programs. In higher education settings, they work with international students in intensive and semi-intensive English language programs.
There has also been an increased interest in the specialized area of English for specific purposes (ESP), which focuses on language skills required for academic fields (e.g., engineering, medicine, computer science) as well as business and vocational environments.
TESOL is a Specialized Field of Study
Teaching ESL is a multifaceted, academic discipline requiring training in linguistics, second language acquisition, language pedagogy, methodology, materials development, testing and research, curriculum and syllabus design, program administration, and cross-cultural communication. Professional preparation in TESOL is available throughout the world. In the United States alone, there are more than 285 institutions that offer BA, MA, and PhD programs to train TESOL professionals. Similar training is available in England, Australia, Canada, and other countries. Graduate programs in TESOL also prepare teachers whose first language is not English so that they can become qualified to teach ESL and EFL.