1.1 Belief Statement
The Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL) believes that it is vital to assist learners whose first language is other than English by providing them with the necessary language training and skills to achieve their goals in an English speaking society. Furthermore, we believe that ESL practitioners act in a manner that maintains the honor and dignity of the profession.
Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language will be regarded as essential and credible professionals duly respected and supported by the society at large.
1.3 Mission Statement
As the professional organization Teachers of English as a Second Language in Alberta, ATESL’s mission is to promote the highest standards of teaching and provision of English Language programs for learners in Alberta whose first language is other than English. We do this by:
- encouraging and providing professional development opportunities which are consistent with generally accepted principles of adult learning and with currently understood principles of second language learning and teaching
- encouraging and supporting the participation of learner s in the decision-making process which determine their educational choices
- communicating with English language program providers and learners to encourage awareness of issue s of accountability and program standards
- overseeing an ESL teacher accreditation process which encourages the highest standards of teacher preparation and performance
- communicating with government, business, and the general public to create awareness about immigration, settlement of immigrants and English language learning
- liaising with other organizations, local, provincial, national and international, which are engaged in education
- working collaboratively with government to develop policies and procedures which govern the provision of English language programs and related services for immigrants to Canada
- promoting the rights of immigrant learners and their unique identities (backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders, etc.) and by fostering understanding, acceptance, and inclusion by ESL instructors and the larger community.
The organization is designed to serve:
- Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL) members
- ESL Teachers in Alberta
- Student teachers in universities
- Learners of English as a Second language including:
- International students
- K -12 students
1.5 Aim Statements
Work with government, and community stakeholders to recognize English proficiency as an essential requirement for both basic academic achievement and meaningful social, cultural, political and economic integration of ESL learners into Canadian society.
Promote Best Practice Guidelines for teachers and program development throughout Alberta.
ATESL EDI Safer Space Policy
ATESL is dedicated to promoting and maintaining an environment that respects and values the diversity of all its members. We believe that embracing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is crucial to achieving our mission of supporting English teachers and learners throughout Alberta. Our commitment is to provide an inclusive and welcoming community that recognizes and celebrates the differences within our membership.
This policy applies to all ATESL members, including the executive committee, board members, staff, volunteers, and general members.
We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are vital for creating an environment where all members feel valued, respected, and supported. We adhere to the following principles and provide actionable items to reinforce our commitment:
Equity: We acknowledge the existence of systemic barriers and inequalities and are dedicated to addressing and eliminating them. Actionable items include but are not limited to:
- Ensuring accessibility to events and resources
- Advocating for fair representation in leadership roles.
Diversity: We value and celebrate the diversity of our members, encompassing aspects such as age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, ability, and socio-economic status. Actionable items include but are not limited to:
- Organizing events that showcase diverse perspectives
- Creating platforms for members from various backgrounds to share their experiences
- Actively seeking input from underrepresented groups.
Inclusion: We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment that cultivates a sense of belonging for all members. Our goal is to provide opportunities for every member to contribute, participate, and engage with the organization. Actionable items include but are not limited to:
- Implementing mentorship programs
- Offering various channels for communication and feedback.
- Actively encouraging members to take part in organizational decision-making processes.
Commitment to EDI
We are devoted to taking the following actions:
- Providing resources, training, and education to our members on EDI issues, enhancing their understanding and skills.
- Fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity by encouraging open communication and dialogue, which facilitates the sharing of diverse perspectives.
- Promoting and supporting initiatives that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion within our organization and the broader community.
- Regularly reviewing and assessing our policies and practices to ensure they uphold equitable, diverse, and inclusive principles.
- Addressing any concerns or complaints related to EDI in a prompt and confidential manner, ensuring a fair resolution process.
ATESL is dedicated to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion within our organization and the broader community we serve. We understand that this work is ongoing and requires the active participation and commitment of all our members. We pledge to continually learn, grow, and improve to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization.
From the best practices document: “Black, Indigenous, and Racialized learners and staff are safe, welcomed, included, protected, and supported. The program and instruction actively value and promote equity, diversity, and justice. Instruction welcomes multiple perspectives, challenges dominant assumptions, and aims to dismantle systemic racism” as a tenet of our Best Practices. The Board has committed to creating a Diversity and Inclusion policy in 2023.
Policy Created and Adopted: August 2023