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HomeLanguage NewsnewsNew Guidelines for EFL Teaching Standards

New Guidelines for EFL Teaching Standards

ThinkstockPhotos-83299676TESOL Press, the publishing arm of TESOL International Association, has released a new resource for developing professional teaching standards in countries where English is not the dominant language. The new TESOL Guidelines for Developing EFL Professional Teaching Standards provides detailed steps and discusses important issues for postsecondary institutions, government agencies, ministries of education, and other professionals working to improve the quality of English language teachers in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts.

The guidelines include theoretical frameworks, organizational formats, and detailed recommendations for assessment and evaluation. They also discuss how to involve teachers and other stakeholders in the process of developing standards. To illustrate the process, the guidelines provide case studies from Albania, Ecuador, and Egypt, countries that have recently developed EFL teaching standards.

“Educators have very different needs based on the context in which they live and which variety of English they speak,” notes TESOL Executive Director Rosa Aronson. “Providing guidelines rather than standards respects those differences and allows all stakeholders to decide for themselves what is important based on their local needs and priorities. This document is aligned with TESOL’s principles-based approach to ELT policies and practices, as outlined in another TESOL professional paper, ‘A Principles-Based Approach for English Language Teaching Policies and Practices’ by Ahmar Mahboob and Namala Tilakaratna.”

The guidelines were developed for TESOL International Association by Natalie Kuhlman, professor emeritus of education at San Diego State University, and Božana Knežević, an associate professor in the Foreign Languages Department at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. They point out in their introduction that sharing these guidelines should be “perceived as a positive result of globalization rather than of linguistic, cultural, academic, or educational imperialism. . . . Guidelines is the key word.”

The TESOL Guidelines for Developing EFL Professional Teaching Standards was published under a Creative Commons license that allows anyone to download and adapt them for their own use. The guidelines will be especially useful for policy makers, administrators, English language teachers, ministries of education, and others charged with developing professional EFL teaching standards. For more information about TESOL International Association, visit the TESOL website or contact

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