A specialized field of study
Teaching ESOL 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. TESOL professional preparation course is known and available all over the world. In the United States alone, there are more than 200 institutions that offer BA, MA, and PhD programs to train TESOL professionals. England, Australia, Canada, and other countries plenty seminars trainings are held constantly.
Although a teacher education program may have the acronym TESOL in its name, it refers to the discipline in a general sense and does not indicate that the institution is affiliated with the association. TESOL doesn’t allow to use its name or logotype to different other organizations. TESOL does not have institutional members; rather, it is an individual membership association.
Central areas of interest in TESOL include:
- research and development of language teaching materials and methodologies,
- processes of language learning in communities, classroom learning and language acquisition in individuals, and
- teacher training and professional development
TESOL also incorporates such diverse areas as:
- computer-assisted language instruction,
- second language testing,
- program evaluation,
- curriculum design,
- development of second language literacy, and
- intercultural communication
While the focus of TESOL is on English as a target language, its findings and approaches are readily transferable to the teaching of languages other than English. For the present day it is not as common as teaching English, but in future it may happen. An advanced degree with a TESOL concentration allows graduates to work in a variety of second language teaching contexts (public schools, universities, private language schools), as well as in materials development, teacher training or program administration.