Individuals with an interest in other cultures, languages, and teaching may enjoy a career in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). According to a Nov. 2010 PR Newswire article, the need for English as a Second Language (ESL or TESOL) teachers continues to grow, largely due to the increased number of immigrants in U.S. schools needing to learn and improve their English skills. Due to this, there is expected to be a significant employment growth for English as a Second Language teachers through at least 2018 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
There are a variety of opportunities for ESL teachers both in the United States as well as overseas. ESL teachers are qualified to teach across a variety of age groups, including adult learners, as well as a variety of cultural backgrounds. While being bilingual or having a working knowledge of other languages is a huge benefit to a career in this field, it is certainly not required. It is more beneficial for TESOL teachers to be creative in developing ways to effectively teach ESL students English. Also, with technology increasingly being used to teach English skills, it is extremely helpful for TESOL teachers to have well-developed computer skills.
Earning a bachelor's degree in English as a Second Language is typically the minimum requirement for a career in this field, along with a teaching certification, although a master's in TESOL is becoming more common. Teachers in this field can teach at the early childhood, elementary, or secondary level and can teach in public or private schools. Some ESL teachers prefer to work in the classroom whereas others are more interested in becoming a district ESL coordinator where they're able to practice administration skills.
Grand Canyon University offers a Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program designed for certified teachers with an interest in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) students in the classroom or serving as a district ESL coordinator. The Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) standards form the foundation of this program. Courses are taught by experts in their respective fields who share knowledge and experience in the areas of linguistics, second language acquisition, and curriculum development. Opportunities are provided to apply concepts, theories and research throughout the program, but particularly in a TESOL practicum that guides students through observational and practice-based experiences.
Graduates of the program are prepared to become leaders in the ESL/TESOL initiatives that districts must undertake in an ever-increasing school climate of diversity. Applicants do not have to be bilingual but must have a current teaching certificate or evidence of a minimum of one year of teaching experience.
Zeldis Research Associates (2010). Triple-Digit Growth of ESL Student Population Provides Opportunities for More Video and CD-Based ESL Training Materials, New Study Shows. PR Newswire. Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/triple-digit-growth-of-esl-student-population-provides-opportunities-for-more-video-and-cd-based-esl-training-materials-new-study-shows-107240138.html