Careers: How To Become A Esl Teacher

Have you ever thought of teaching non-Americans to speak English? For many, this can be a rewarding and exciting career opportunity.

If you enjoy meeting people, learning about other cultures, and working with communications, teaching English to non-native speakers can be a rewarding career. You can work with immigrants in the United States or another English-speaking country like England or Australia, or you can live abroad in places like China or Africa and teach others how to communicate in English, which has become the global language of commerce.

ESL means "English as a Second Language." Sometimes it is termed "English as a Foreign Language," or EFL, for example, with respect to the TOEFL, or "Test of English as a Foreign Language" which non-American students must pass, unless enrolling in a basic learning program, to study in an American institute of higher education.

Teaching English as a second language means training non-native people how to speak English in order to communicate in an English-speaking culture. ESL teachers can work with elementary through college-age students; it depends on where they are hired to work and the proficiency they are able to offer students of various ages.



Becoming a teacher of English for non-native speakers is similar to, yet different from, English teachers whose students are native-born. Typically, a four-year degree in English from an accredited college or university is required with average or higher grades. The coursework should include one or more elementary or secondary education classes, depending on which level of students you wish to teach.

Some colleges offer classes that are specifically designated as preparation for teaching English to foreign students. Consequently, college students can take these classes to earn a certificate or a specialty in English as a second language. But when this option is unavailable, students who desire to teach ESL can develop an expertise after graduating with a regular bachelor degree in English by volunteering at a language institute to teach immigrants how to speak English. Or they can enroll in a master's degree program at a campus where a graduate degree is available in this major.

Once the credentials are earned, you can pursue a job just about anywhere in the world. Many foreign government offices or agencies hire ESL teachers to train police officers, consular officials, and other administrators the language. Many technical professions like nursing or engineering require their students to learn English. Pick a country or a culture and chances are you can get hired to teach English at some level there.

The advantages to this job are that you can travel and encounter interesting experiences and people. Teaching often provides a fair income, often with good health care and pension benefits. Potential negatives include the possible need for an advanced (master's) degree, along with the advisability of going abroad for a job, although this is not always necessary by any means.

Find out more by checking the online job description sites that provide details about teaching positions. Or check at the local college or university near you for information about available teaching programs and ESL job opportunities. You can find great enjoyment and fulfillment by giving others the gift of language.

© High Speed Ventures 2011