January 21, 2018

Using Your ESL Teaching Degree

Have you thought about getting an ESL teaching degree? If you like the idea of working with students who do not speak English as their native language, you will be thrilled to know ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers are in high demand.

Jobs That Require an ESL Teaching Degree

If you get your ESL teaching degree, you will find you have opportunities to work one on one with students outside of class, teach entire classrooms of young children, work with adults who need assistance or even travel overseas to teach English in foreign countries. Churches, schools and social service agencies will all be interested in hiring you, since they often provide English classes. These are significantly different teaching environments, so you will open yourself up to many varied opportunities.

Many ESL teaching positions are open for night classes or even for weekends at social centers, community colleges or churches. You will also find positions in traditional school environments.

Qualities required of an ESL Teacher

If you wish to work as an ESL teacher, you will need to be an exceptionally patient, positive and clear person.

You will need to be patient because your students will often have a hard time following you or understanding the material you are presenting. Not only will you teach people who speak a different language, you will also encounter situations where people have undergone significant stress (refugees, immigrants) or students of varying intelligence. You may have an entire class of Latinos, or you might have a mixed class where you are teaching people from all over the world, all in one class. This requires significant patience.

You will also need to be positive because teaching ESL can be quite challenging, especially if you are teaching adults. Many adults who take ESL classes have a difficult time grasping the new language and may need repetition and individual attention. They may also be coping with difficult family, financial and cultural issues.

You will need to be a clear teacher with excellent verbal and written communication skills. This is because you will not be able to assume your class can understand you. In many cases, your students will not even be able to understand basic commands, even when delivered with absolute clarity. If you have any sort of speech impediment or tendencies to slur, or if you’ve ever received feedback that your lessons are not easy to follow, you will need help overcoming these issues before you pursue an ESL teaching position.

Using Your ESL Teaching Degree

Once you get your degree, you’ll get to explore the many different opportunities to teach English to non-native English speakers. There are many different levels of ESL classes to teach, and many different teaching environments. Some teachers find they enjoy tutoring individuals more than teaching large classes; still others find the challenge of traveling to a foreign country and teaching in a new environment to be most exciting.

Whatever you choose, you can be sure there are plenty of job opportunities for those who have an ESL teaching degree!



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