Professionalizing Your English Language Teaching

Being a teaching professional is not simply about having the right teaching credentials and being in good academic standing, it involves a commitment to being innovative and transformative in the classroom and helping both students and colleagues achieve their goals.  A dictionary definition of professionalism reads as follows: professionalism is the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person; and it defines a profession as a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation (Merriam-Webster, 2013).  However, according to Bowman (2013), professionalism is less a matter of what professionals actually do and more a matter of who they are as human beings.  Both of these views imply that professionalism encompasses a number of different attributes, and, together, these attributes identify and define a professional.

In this plenary session, the presenter(s) will review the literature on professionalism and present definitions of what it means to be a professional.    Other content to be covered include the myths associated with professionalism and the challenges EL educators face when being professional.  General and field-specific strategies for improving one’s professionalism will also be shared.