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:
In implementing these commitments:
- 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
- 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.
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
We advocate the respect and wide-spread acceptance of other
languages as well as English.
- 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
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.