California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL) www.catesol.org is an organization that offers support to Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages throughout California and Nevada in the USA. It was founded in 1969 and is a nonprofit organization open to anyone concerned with the teaching of English as a second or foreign language, standard English as a second dialect, or bilingual education. It has local chapters that cater to professionals outside the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. These include the Bay Area, Capital Area, Los Padres, Northern Nevada, Southern Nevada, Orange County, Saroyan, Steinbeck and Yosemite.

CATESOL is the largest U.S. affiliate of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), which has over 75 affiliates in the United States and abroad. Like TESOL.org, it offers a lot of beneficial resources for its members. There are conferences, job banks that list jobs in the local areas, ESL resources, interest groups that members can join, scholarly journals, and newsletters which are published five times a year. They even have their own travel website.

The annual state conferences, which are held in spring, feature three days of noted speakers, workshops and presentations on teaching techniques and current research, as well as publishers’ exhibits. The next state conference will be held in Pasadena, CA from April 16-19, 2009. There are three large regional conferences held each year in the fall – in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Smaller chapter conferences are also held throughout the year in California and Nevada.

A very useful link on the site offers additional information on the minimum qualifications that teachers need to teach in different types of ESL programs in the California and Nevada areas. These areas include teaching in Elementary and High schools, Adult Education, teaching at the Community College level (with clarification between credit and non-credit courses), Intensive English programs, and Colleges/ Universities.

If you live and work in California, it is worth looking into CATEOL. It is a way to get updates of the new trends going on in the field as well as staying connected to other professionals.