- National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE)
- TESOL International Association
- International Language Testing Association (ILTA)
- National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
- International Reading Association (IRA)
Joining professional organizations is one of the best ways to remain current in your field, seize opportunities to make a difference and gain leadership experience, build up a network, and gain access to a wide variety of services and resources. This is especially true in a field like ESL teaching, which is ever evolving and can be a bit isolating. Here are five great professional organizations created especially for ESL teachers.
National Association for Bilingual Education
Founded in 1975, the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) has many years of experience creating positive educational change for students struggling with the academic challenges of being bilingual or multilingual. The NABE works to implement programs and policies that contribute to the well being and achievement of these students. For ESL teachers as well as parents and other professionals, they offer opportunities for professional development and advocacy. One if the most notable benefits of membership is the invitation to attend their annual conference. The 2020 event will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada from February 25th to 28th.
TESOL International Association
If the NABE is the nation’s leading professional organization for ESL teachers, the TESOL International Association is that of the world. TESOL is one of the predominant certification programs that ESL teachers must complete in order to be eligible for the most coveted careers available in the field. Joining the TESOL International Association is therefore a no-brainer, as it opens access to professional development opportunities and funding for special projects. This is an especially valuable organization for ESL teachers interested in research.
International Language Testing Association
One of the most difficult tasks that ESL teachers face is that of testing their students. Language testing is a primary measure of success and often the determining factor in which resources students are eligible for. There is constant controversy and development surrounding best practices in language testing. Joining the International Language Testing Association (ILTA)is a great way to stay ahead of and even participate in the development and implementation of changes. The ILTA takes a global approach, opening up a wide range of expertise and perspectives. The ILTA hosts an annual conference, the next of which is set for June 9th to 13th in Hammamet, Tunisia.
National Council of Teachers of English
ESL teachers who enjoy introducing their students to English literature and teach advanced English language arts will benefit greatly from membership to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). This organization offers opportunities to access and participate in research and other resources, networking groups, and of course, a wide variety of conferences and events. One of the most popular is the Conference on English Leadership Convention, which takes place in late fall each year. Stay tuned for events of the 2020 event.
International Reading Association
Literacy is at the heart of ESL education, making the International Reading Association (IRA) another excellent organization for ESL teachers to join. The IRA focuses its advocacy efforts on written and verbal communication resources and skills needed for students to succeed. Members enjoy access to a wide variety of resources and global events, such as the annual conference. The 2020 event is set for October 15th to 18th in Columbus, Ohio, and the IRL is currently accepting proposals from those who wish to present their projects or research.
Related Resource: Top 20 Best Master’s in English Language Learning Online
Whether you are looking for professional development opportunities, career advancement, the latest research in the field, a group of fellow teachers to network with, or all of the above, you will find what you need by joining these professional organizations. Each of them focuses a unique perspective of the ESL field, and all of them are dedicated to the success of ESL teachers and the achievement of their students. Whether you are a seasoned veteran of the field or just starting your education, you will both benefit from and contribute to to the advancement of the field.