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ESL Teacher

About ESL Teacher

If you speak English, you should be able to teach English to people who were born and raised speaking another language, right? As it happens, it's not that simple. After all, you may know English, but if you don't understand the differences between your language and the languages of your students, how are you going to explain them? This is a career that requires patience and understanding. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012) notes that qualities such as patience, strong communication skills and cultural sensitivity can be essential in this field.

How to Become an English as a Second Language Teacher

At minimum you must earn your bachelor's degree, and it's even better if you earn your master's degree, the BLS indicates. Even then, a graduate-level ESL certificate may be desirable. You can work on one through numerous online colleges, and many universities across the country offer ESL programs (sometimes referred to as TESOL, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, or a TEFL, Teaching English as a Foreign Language,) to their students.

The programs vary, taking anywhere from 20 to 130 hours of coursework to complete. Some ESL certificates don't require you to have taught before; other programs, especially the ones with fewer hours, are designed for people who have already completed a teacher's program and have obtained a license that enables them to teach in the state.

Career Earnings

Immigrants who live and work together in the U.S. may be less likely to build English-language skills. As researchers at Purdue University purport, this is because such 'enclaves' allow these new-comers to continue speaking their own language, making them less likely to reach out to gain skills for learning a new language. However, this is where the role of the adult ESL teacher can be important. These teachers can be an encouragement to immigrants who are doubtful about their ability to gain English literacy as well as have the capacity to make them feel welcomed and comfortable in a classroom.

Employment for ESL and GED teachers is predicted to climb 15 percent nationwide from 2010 to 2020, according to July 2012 BLS data. This could result in 12,700 additional positions during that time. The BSL reports that as of May 2010 the median annual pay nationwide for adult literacy and GED teachers was $46,530. Those in the lowest 10 percent made less the $27,090 annually nationwide while those in the top 10 percent made more than $83,580. If you are interested in helping adults gain knowledge of the English language, be sure to check out the list of schools below to explore your potential options.

Sources:

  1. Adult Literacy and GED Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-2013 Edition), http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm#tab-4
  2. Study: Immigrants who live, work together less apt to learn English, Purdue University, April 2013, http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q2/study-immigrants-who-live,-work-together-less-apt-to-learn-english.html

Teaching Schools

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BS: Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
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  • Accredited
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M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland

If education is your passion, Concordia University-Portland is your university. One of the most respected names in learning today, Concordia offers several fully online Master of Education (MEd) programs—most of which can completed in one year—and a fully online Doctorate of Education (EdD) program. Our graduates stand out with the skills, integrity, and compassion  necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of students today. Together, we're all making an impact in education.

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Master of Science in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics

At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We’re defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.

 

American University is a private, college-centered research university located in the nation’s capital. It was chartered by the United States Congress in 1893 to build public service, and is now home to a prestigious faculty, guest speakers and visiting world leaders who are influential practitioners and prominent thought leaders.

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Master of Education in Instructional Design & Technology
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
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Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies Concentration

Founded in 1869 as a land-grant school, the University is known today for its prolific faculty as well as a record of distinguished research and achievement in aerospace, engineering, technology, science, and math.

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