[Key Assessment Courses] [TESOL Standards] [Professional Dispositions]


Key Assessments and National Recognition
Webster University’s School of Education is already an NCATE-accredited institution. As of 2013, Webster University's TESL program is the first and only TESL program to receive national recognition in the state of Missouri from NCATE (also the the first and only in the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas). This ensures that Webster's TESL program is aligned with national standards, strengthens the current TESL program, and will give graduates a special edge on the job market. TESOL and NCATE (which has now merged with CAEP) have agreed on 11 Standards that a TESL Program needs to cover to ensure that candidates are receiving the best education in the field. You may review these Standards by reading this document.

The final assignments of seven TESL courses have been aligned with TESOL standards. By completing these seven Key Assessments, students are assured to cover all eleven of TESOL's Standards multiple times.

Note that NCATE only provides SPA recognition for programs with a K-12 focus. Webster University, however, has been proactive to align not only the K-12 track of the TESL program but also the Adult track of the TESL program with these national standards.

NCATE and CAEP believe strongly in professional dispositions. Beginning soon, instructors in TESL courses will begin assessing teacher candidates in professional dispositions.


Key Assessment Courses

Seven TESL courses have been chosen as core courses. The links after each course listed lead to the Key Assessment assignment descriptions and the rubrics that will be used to rate students' performance on these assignments. TESL students should strive to meet each of the standards (a score of 3). Students seeking to challenge themselves further may work toward exceeding the standards.

Note that the below assignments and rubrics only account for the program-wide requirements of Key Assessments. Individual instructors may articulate additional and/or more specific instructions for each other these assignments. Additionally, the below rubrics only account for 50% of the grade for these final assignments.

NOTE: The following Key Assessment documents were updated in January 2015 based on feedback from reviewers during the SPA national recognition process, program faculty, and students. Individual instructors may add requirements or make Key Assessments more specific based on the needs of a particular class.



The Eleven TESOL Standards


Below is a list of the eleven TESOL Standards and the courses assessments that have been aligned with each of them. For a more detailed description of the TESOL Standards, read this document.

1.a. Language as a system
  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5139 - ESOL Methods
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture

1.b. Language acquisition and development
  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5139 - ESOL Methods
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture

2. Culture as it affects students
  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL

3.a. Planning for standards-based ESL and content instruction
  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5139 - ESOL Methods
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL

3.b. Managing and implementing standards-based ESL content instruction
  • TESL 5139 - ESOL Methods
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL

3.c. Using resources and technology effectively in ESL and content instruction
  • TESL 5139 - ESOL Methods
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL

4.a. Issues of assessment for English language learners
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL

4.b. Language proficiency assessment
  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL

4.c. Classroom-based assessments for ESL
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5220 - Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL

5.a. ESL research and history
  • TESL 5230 - Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 5139 - ESOL Methods
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL

5.b. Professional development, partnership, and advocacy
  • TESL 5311 - Principles and Practices of Language Testing
  • TESL 5030 - Language History, Planning, and Policy
  • TESL 5350 - Language and Culture
  • TESL 5040 - Practicum in ESOL


Professional Dispositions

Many of the assessment tools used in your School of Education classes focus on content. Successful teachers, however, must have strengths in more than knowledge of content. Successful teachers must demonstrate professionalism in terms of time management, communication skills, and the ability to work appropriately both alone and with others. In order to better prepare you to enter into the teaching field or to advance your career in education, your professors will assess your professional dispositions. TESL candidates will be assessed in the following three categories:

1) Reliability and Time Management
School administrators are looking for reliable teachers who consistently show up prepared to teach their classes. Multiple excuses reflect poorly on a candidate’s professionalism. Teacher candidates who give multiple excuses for tardiness, absences, and late or missing work will be considered to have an “unacceptable” disposition for reliability and time management.

2) Communication Skills
School administrators will be looking for teachers who can help both model and explain the features of standard academic English to all learners. Modeling this language often includes helping students who are speakers of other languages, dialects, or varieties in their acquisition of the linguistic features that will most help them to succeed academically and professionally. Teachers are expected to use communication skills not only to teach, but also to foster and maintain positive relationships with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators. Failure to demonstrate respect for others through speech, writing, and actions is a sign of “unacceptable” communication skills.

3) Independent and Collaborative Professionalism
School administrators will be looking for teachers who can work independently and collaboratively depending on the situation. Teachers must also be able to listen to students and collaborate with them to make course content more relevant to their needs, while maintaining the status of an expert in the classroom. Trying to get by with the minimum amount of work required is a sign of “unacceptable” professionalism.

See the Professional Dispositions Form and the Explanation of Professional Dispositions.


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