Changes in the Expertise of ESL Professionals: Knowledge and Action in an Era of New Standards

This professional paper published by TESOL discusses the shifting landscape surrounding the new Common Core Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and their implications for building and enacting ESL teacher expertise. The authors explain the challenges and the possibilities associated with the new Standards for the ESL profession in the K–12 context, and they also examine the ways in which their implementation raises important questions about long-established views on the teaching and learning of English as a second language. The paper discusses the CCSS, NGSS, and English language proficiency (ELP) standards, as well as the assessment of expected proficiencies. The authors also address key challenges facing ESL professionals in the new Standards era. Lastly, the authors suggest key ways in which ESL professionals can translate knowledge of changing theories about language and language acquisition into expertise and action in supporting ELLs’ needs in the new Standards era.

Content Comments 

This article discusses the shifting landscape surrounding the new Standards and its implications for building and enacting teacher expertise. It explains the challenges and the possibilities associated with the new Standards for the ESL profession in the K–12 context and to examine the ways in which their implementation raises important questions about our long-established views on the teaching and learning of English as a second language. It addresses two key challenges facing ESL professionals in the new Standards era: the language practices required by the Standards themselves and the issue of how ELLs can best be included in standards-aligned instruction.