CATESOL Position Statement on Language Policy


CATESOL is a professional organization concerned with the teaching of English as a second or foreign language, standard English as a second dialect, or bilingual education.

CATESOL is committed to:

  • respecting the diverse linguistic and cultural heritages of non-native speakers of English,
  • promoting professional competence and professional standards in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages or dialects,
  • monitoring relevant educational policy,
  • representing the needs of non-native speakers of English and their teachers to decision-making bodies such as school districts and the state legislature, and
  • advancing the professional field of teaching English to speakers of other languages or dialects of English.
In implementing these commitments:


We affirm that language is a major source of individual, personal and cultural identity since it is central to intellectual development and socialization plus basic to learning and concept formation.


  • We support language policies which meet the needs of a pluralistic society in an era of global interdependence.
  • We support public policies and actions which further understanding of the importance of language and culture in the education process.
  • We recognize the rights of all individuals to preserve and foster their linguistic and cultural origins and to maintain their native languages.
  • We affirm the rights of non-native speakers of English to use languages other than English.
  • We support the right of all non-native speakers of English to have access to educational programs in which to learn to function in the common language of communication, English.
  • We support the study of languages other than English especially for native English speakers.
  • We affirm that all Californians have rights to government services and equal appropriate and fair treatment by the law regardless of English proficiency.
We advocate the respect and wide-spread acceptance of other languages as well as English.



  • We affirm that non-native speakers are entitled to positive affirmation of their linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
  • We advocate promoting multilingualism as a positive value to individuals and society.
  • We advocate that schools develop and encourage the potential for multilingualism in students.
We affirm the right of non-native speakers of English in California to have access to educational equity through adequate and appropriate English as a second language and content area instruction programs in both public and private sectors.


This includes the right to:

  • participate in a program that adequately assesses language proficiency through tests normed on non-native speakers of English and other appropriate assessments such as academic performance and motivation.
  • participate in programs taught by teachers with training and credentials appropriate for working with linguistically and culturally diverse students.
  • participate in a coherent curriculum using materials appropriate to the needs and levels of learners
  • participate in programs for a sufficient time to develop English and academic competencies needed for personal, social, educational and career use.