ESL/TESOL Degree Programs
The US is a country brimming with people from diverse cultures. Because of this, there is often a need for teachers to help new students adapt culturally and to learn to speak a new language. Teachers in this subject may work with both adults and children to give them assistance in speaking, reading and writing English, and to give students practical knowledge that will help them in their everyday lives. Many teachers in this field also find work abroad, where learning English is often a desirable skill.
ESL programs will help to educate students on developing curriculum, managing a classroom effectively, teaching practices, and other educational fundamentals that will allow them to work well in the classroom with a diverse group of students. ESL students will likely have to take additional courses that help them to learn how students acquire a second language and that teach them about cultures and societies around the world so that they can better build lessons around these issues. Some students opt to become fluent in another language, but this is not always a requirement. Like most teaching degrees, students will need to complete a student teaching program that will put them in the classroom to gain hands on experience. Students must also complete the requirements to get certified if they want to be eligible for employment.
Students entering a bachelor’s level ESL program will need to have completed their high school diplomas or GED in order to be accepted. There may be additional requirements, but these will be set by each individual college. Any degree level past the bachelor’s will necessitate that students first finish their undergraduate programs. Those wishing to work in this field must be able to work well with and be patient with those from a diverse group of backgrounds. Good communication skills are essential and students who feel they are weak in this area should work to improve these skills.
ESL degrees provide teachers with many different opportunities and jobs to choose from. Some graduates will choose to travel overseas to work in schools in countries all over the world, where students are trying to learn English. Some teachers may choose work closer to home in positions at elementary and secondary institutions working with children of immigrants who need to learn English to better be able to work at school and fit into their communities. Additionally, graduates of ESL programs may be able to find work teaching adults who need to learn English in community programs or colleges.