Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)

Teaching English as a Second Language is a high-demand subject of instruction that continues to experience growth in schools across the country. As children from foreign countries continue to immigrate to the United States and enroll in schools here, the number of students whose native language is not English continues to grow. Thus, many schools have English Language Learners (ELL) programs, also known as English as a Second Language (ESL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).As the primary spoken language in a country with a rich history of immigration and cultural diversity, English and its mastery are an important part of educational development. ESL is offered for people of all ages, though it is not part of the standard public school curriculum as it is not essential to all students.

ESL is a supplementary, comprehensive English language program for students trying to learn the language to better function in American society. Though ESL is supplementary, ESL teachers may still be employed by the public school system. Many schools, especially in urban areas, have programs in which students set aside part of their normal school day to study the English language in a small group with the close supervision of an ESL teacher. Other ESL teachers may be employed by private institutes to offer English tutoring to speakers of other languages.

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The Master of Arts in Teaching online (MAT online) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares aspiring teachers for diverse and high-needs educational settings and can be completed in as few as 12 months.

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ESL Teacher Salary

ESL teachers can expect to make have a similar salary to most other teachers in their location, subject and with a similar amount of experience. Generally speaking, the longer you work as a teacher the more your salary will grow. Learn about specific ESL teacher salary offerings, updated regularly via the career and jobs community at Glassdoor.com. Also important to consider is the fact that teachers receive an annual salary based on nine months of in-classroom work during the school year. Not to say that teachers are not still hard at work during holidays and the summer break, but they can certainly pursue other income earning opportunities during those periods as well.

Bilingual Education

Like ESL, Bilingual Education is not a mandated part of the curriculum, yet many schools offer it to accommodate the influx of culturally diverse children. Most often found in urban areas, Bilingual Education seeks to help students whose native language is not English keep up with subjects such as Math and Science, which can easily be lost in translation without assistance. Bilingual Education exists in many forms, including Transitional Bilingual Education, Two-Way or Dual Language Immersion, and Late-Exit or Developmental Bilingual Education. In these forms, a student will be assisted with non-language subjects so that they can maintain the achievement level of native speakers while learning to speak English. Bilingual classes will often be taught by bilingual teachers, or will have a translator to assist.

Teaching English Abroad

For many new and inexperienced teachers, teaching English abroad is a great way to gain teaching experience, travel and be immersed in a new culture. The requirements to teach ESL abroad vary by country, but typically require at least a Bachelor’s degree and an ESL teaching qualification, such as a TEFL certificate.

A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate prepares educators for teaching English in countries where English is not the native language and few English immersion opportunities exist for students. The University of Toronto offers an online TEFL certification course, that is self-paced and can be earned from the comfort of home. To learn more about teaching English abroad and getting TEFL certified, visit teflonline – teachaway.