ESL or TESOL graduate programs may help you pursue a rewarding career teaching people to speak English. ESL stands for English as a Second Language and TESOL stands for teaching English to speakers of other languages. These terms are often used interchangeably to describe the field of study populated by professionals who specialize in teaching English to non-English speakers. Often the preferred acronym is dependent on regional conventions; for example, ESL is the acronym commonly used in the United States, Canada, and Australia while TESOL is commonly used in in England. Professionals in this field might also be referred to teachers of English as a foreign language, or teacher of English to speakers of other languages. Earning an ESL or TESOL degree might help students learn how to teach English to students a varying age levels, from elementary school to high school, and college, or even adult education. Additionally, ESL TESOL graduates who have been bitten by the travel bug might even pursue potentially rewarding opportunities for teaching English abroad.
High Employment Industries for Teaching Adult Literacy
ESL TESOL Graduate Degree Options
There are many English as a second language (advanced ESL TESOL) degree types that students might choose to earn, including; the M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, the M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning English, the Master of Education in Bilingual and Multicultural Education – ESL, the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – ESOL (K-Adult), M.A.-TESEL, and the M.S. TESOL. Students interested in enrolling in a TESOL doctorate graduate program might choose to earn a Doctor of Education in Teaching English as a second language, an English Ph.D. in Composition and TESOL, an Ed.D. in TESOL, or simply a Ph.D. in TESOL ESL.
In addition to traditional or campus based masters in ESL TESOL and doctorate of ESL TESOL programs, interested students might also be able to earn a degree from online graduate programs in ESL TESOL. For students interested in non-degree options, there are graduate certificate in ESL TESOL programs that might also be available. International ESL TESOL graduate programs are another viable and interesting option for students.
ESL TESOL Coursework
The number of classes you will need to take to earn a graduate degree in ESL or TESOL will vary among programs. In addition to in class instruction, ESL TESOL graduate programs might require students to complete a thesis, internship, practicum, or a capstone project/portfolio.
Some common coursework in an ESL TESOL program might include exploration of the following topics:
- ESL Foundations: Overview of the process of teaching English for foreign language learners
- Learning Theory: Instruction on research based teaching methods that may be effective in the classroom
- Second Language Acquisition: Exploration of the cognitive processes that occur as a person learns a new language
- English Grammar: Review of English grammar rules and conventions
- Assessment: Exploration of different assessment methods, quality of assessment methods, validly of assessment, and performance reporting
- Language and Culture: Diversity training on different cultural norms of potential students
- Curriculum and Materials Design: Instruction on developing course materials and curriculum design
- Research Methods: Overview of standard research, data collection, and reporting practices
Coursework in an ESL TESOL degree program may vary, and there might also be opportunities for students to tailor their individual course of study to focus on a specific area of ESL TESOL like teaching English to Adults, or teaching English K-12. Some students in an ESL TESOL graduate program might choose to focus on learning how to conduct educational research to advance the body of knowledge in the field.
Important Qualities of an ESL/TESOL Teacher
According to O'Net, some of the skills and abilities that may help one perform in the role of an ESL teacher include1;
- Instructing: The ability to teach others how to do something
- Speaking: The ability to talk to others to convey information effectively
- Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saysing, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills: Being able to understand written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents and communicating effectively in writing
- Learning Strategies: The ability to select and use training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation
- Service Orientation: The personal or professional focus on actively looking for ways to help people
- Social Perceptiveness: The ability to be aware of other reactions and understanding why they react in the way that they do
- Fluency of Ideas: The ability to develop a number of different ideas about a topic
- Originality: The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a topic or develop creative ways to solve a problem
Potential Salary and Career Information for ESL TESOL Professionals
After graduating from a graduate program for TESOL or ESL students may find that there are number of interesting potential career paths that they may pursue. The ability to teach English to speakers of other languages is a unique skill that plays an important role in the new global community.
ESL TESOL Career Options
Individuals who earn a graduate degree in ESL/ TESOL might pursue potential career opportunities in many different environments. Some might pursue employment in public or private schools, colleges or universities. They might also pursue employment opportunities in social services organizations like vocational training centers or rehabilitation centers1.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industries that employed the greatest number of adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers, an occupation similar to ESL TESOL teachers, in 2012 were2:
- Junior Colleges; state local and private
- Elementary and Secondary Schools; state, local, and private
- Other schools and Instruction organizations; state, local, and private
- Healthcare and Social Assistance Organizations
- Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; state, local, and private
BLS data provides information on the employment and job growth projections for select occupations. The information below is BLS data on the 2012 employment numbers and job growth projections for occupations that may be similar to ESL TESOL teachers.
ESL TESOL Salary Potential
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific information on the salary potential for ESL TESOL Teachers, it does provide data on the salary of workers in professions that may be similar adult literacy, kindergarten and elementary, middle school, high school, and special education teachers. These professions might serve as a benchmark for estimating how much you could potentially earn after graduating from an ESL TESOL program. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 adult literacy teachers earned a median annual salary of $48,5903 . Kindergarten and elementary school teachers earned a median annual salary of $53,090, middle school teachers earned $53,430, high school teachers earned a median salary of $55,050, and special education teachers earned a median annual salary of $55,0504 .
References: 1.http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-3011.00 | 2.http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and... | 3.http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and... | 4. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and...