Major New Release: Avenue Standards for Technology-Enhanced Language Learning (TELL)

New Language Solutions is pleased to announce the release of our new learning technology standards. All concerned in their development hope the standards will benefit instructors, learners and programs in the settlement language training sector. The NLS team wants to reinforce the good practices sector pros already engage in and inspire them to reflect, explore and go deeper. These standards are not performance evaluation tools but rather best used for self-assessment and for guiding personal or local innovation.

Since February 2023, an eminent group of international TELL experts has worked in partnership with a leading light in the Canadian sector and our own NLS team of educational technologists to build the standards. Doctors Phil Hubbard (Stanford University), Deborah Healey (University of Oregon), Greg Kessler (Ohio University) have worked with Canadian settlement language training expert Sharon Rajabi. The group of four was aided by senior team members from Avenue – LearnIT2teach: John Allan, Rob McBride and Matthias Sturm. The booklets articulate the standards themselves but also their performance indicators.  Vignettes authored by professionals in the field illustrate how the standards come to life in day-to-day practice.

The Learner, Instructor and Program standards are available to read as three flipbooks on the landing page of To get Pdfs of the three booklets, simply fill out the request form available on

From the early days of our project, the NLS team has recognized that information technology needs to be integrated thoughtfully into language teaching and learning. The sector needed standards to support effective use of Avenue and Technology-enhanced Language Learning (TELL) in online and blended classes. The platform enables social engagement through a virtual classroom solution and the peer-to-peer and teacher-learner communication that brings language to life, all while providing a low-risk environment for language experimentation and skill-building. Leading team members concluded that existing technology standards from ISTE and TESOL were too broad for Canadian settlement language training purposes. NLS initiated a project to develop home-grown technology standards for Avenue stakeholders including instructors, programs, and learners. We had the good fortune to be acquainted with Drs. Hubbard, Healey and Kessler who had been three of the six authors of the TESOL Technology Standards. Their willingness to work on our Avenue standards was a true game-changer.

Now the Avenue team is making sure to put the standards to work. The standards will be threaded into NLS’s four stages of expertly mentored online teacher training. As well, the standards are already integrated into Avenue Leadership Training for program managers and lead teachers. The leadership training is formatted as ten micro-credentials, four of which explore the standards. The ten leadership micro-credentials culminate in a capstone assignment, requiring participants to devise either a personal or an organizational plan to enhance and deepen the adoption of learning technologies.

From top left, Dr. Phil Hubbard, Dr. Deborah Healey, Rob McBride. Centre: Sharon Rajabi, Matthias Sturm, Dr. Greg Kessler. Bottom: John Allan.

There is also a plan for a specialized course for Service Provider Organization (SPOs), tailored to facilitate local integration of the standards. The course will be designed as an Avenue Moodle course where all the educators and managers are enrolled in a local Community of Practice related to putting the standards to work, engaging all local stakeholders in constant improvement.

The Avenue standards for instructors, programs, and learners together with their support materials have been released under a Creative Commons license. Others may freely use and adapt them for non-commercial purposes (with attribution). NLS and the development team hope that the Avenue standards will guide development of learning technology standards beyond Canadian settlement language training.

It is worth noting that NLS has articulated standards for itself as well. These are presented as a Mission, Vision, Values statement at

A very recent article in TESL Contact magazine describes the standards in more detail and their development process.

Current versions of the standards and supporting documents can be found at