Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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  • Course description
    TESOL majors are prepared to teach English as a foreign/second language anywhere in the world.   You can combine your love of travel with your love and foreign languages and cultures while earning money and providing a valuable service in a field that is growing each year.

    Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL) prepares students to teach English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to speakers of other languages in both international and domestic settings.

    There is a huge demand for qualified TESOL professionals as English continues to become a common language in the areas of business and science. TESOL teachers are needed to assist with programs in business, education, government, medicine, the sciences as well as programs that work with refugees and immigrants of all ages.
    You could find yourself teaching around the world, or in parts of the United States where there is a large population of non-native English speakers.  As the world gets smaller and more people try to learn English, qualified teachers are a must! 
    Questions about TESOL
    What does an ESL teacher do?
    ESL Teachers help non-native English speaking students to develop their English-speaking and writing skills. Along with teaching grammar and vocabulary, many ESL teachers also assist their students in acclimating to American culture. ESL teachers may teach in elementary, junior high or high schools, or they may teach adults (typically at a local community college).

    What education and certification is required to be an ESL teacher?
    ESL teaching requirements vary from state-to-state. Various schools also have their own additional requirements. Typically, an ESL teacher is required to hold:
    • Bachelor's Degree in English or a related subject
    • Specialized coursework in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
    • Specialization in bilingual, cross-cultural coursework
    • Teaching credential or certification

    As a rule, most entry-level teaching jobs require a Bachelor's degree plus a teaching certificate. If you wish to teach at a college or university, you will need to hold a minimum of a Master's degree, even for an entry-level position.

    What is the earning potential for an ESL teacher?
    In 2004, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that K-12 ESL teachers earned a median salary of $41,400-$45,920. Some states even provide a financial bonus, like the $20,000 "signing" bonus in Massachusetts. Rutgers University in New Jersey recently advertised a full-time ESL teaching position for an 11-month work contract at $45,000/year.
    • English is the third most spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish (www.cia.gov)
    • 5% of the world's 6.6 billion people are native English speakers
    • The British Council estimates that 1 billion are currently learning English as a second language
    • English is the international language for academics and the Internet

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