TESOL Standards International is an independent professional organization established in 1995. The organization was created out of professional concern over the lack of a single, all-inclusive professional organization that might bring together teachers and administrators at all educational levels with an interest in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). The formation of the organization was a sign of TESOL Standards International’s maturity as a profession. It is worth looking back to where TESOL Standards International has been in order to understand where TESOL Standards International, both the profession and the organization, is today and where it is likely to go in the future.

The creation of TESOL Standards International was the culmination of more than 4 years of organizational groundwork and discussions centering around three issues: (1) The need for a professional organization that would be permanently devoted to the problems of teaching English to speakers of other languages, at all levels. (2) The need for a pedagogical journal to serve the entire profession. (3) The need for a register of specialists that might be helpful to foundations, government agencies, and universities in their attempt to cope with the ever-growing need for qualified personnel in the area of ESOL.

The question of an association for teachers of English to speakers of other languages, and the related questions of a journal and a roster of ESOL specialists, had been matters of concern for some time not only to the people in universities and professional associations, but also to government agencies and foundations with interests and activities in ESOL.

What we hope to achieve

Goal 1

  • English language learners receive quality education through TESOL Standards International Association’s leadership in the field.
  • Promote research on improving language development for English language learners in diverse contexts.
  • Advance research-based practices that improve educational outcomes of English language learners.
  • Advance policies that lead to successful English language learning for achieving personal, academic, and career goals.

Goal 2

TESOL Standards International Association members participate in the association to build expertise and are recognized for their involvement and professionalism.


  • Increase member engagement and recognition throughout the association.
  • Enhance communication among TESOL Standards International members and entities.
  • Broaden the diversity of participants in the association.
  • Provide a body of knowledge, tools, and resources that TESOL Standards International members can access to expand professional knowledge and skills.

Goal 3

Individuals and organizations look to TESOL Standards International to inform policy and practice.


  • Enhance TESOL Standards International Association’s reputation as the leading international professional association in English language learning and teaching.
  • Strengthen relationships with affiliates and other educational organizations to advance the profession.
  • Address misperceptions about English language learning and teaching.
  • Advocate for English language learners, professionals, and the profession.

TESOL Standards International is dedicated to providing online TESOL and TEFL course participants with accurate and reliable information regarding the quality of courses provided by the institutions they moderate.