Non English-Speaking Adult Immigrants Drive the Need for More ESL-Certified Teachers

With the influx of non English-speaking immigrants to the country, the demand for teachers with an ESL certification has steadily risen. The nation's public schools have long required the services of talented English-as-a-Second Language teachers to instruct the non-native children of immigrants. However, there is an increasing emphasis placed on teaching the adult immigrant population; a firm grasp of the English language results in many tangible benefits for those who have made America their adopted home. It is estimated that there are nearly 6 million permanent, documented residents who require English instruction, and that's just in this country. Given that English is the world's lingua franca, there is a great demand all over the world to learn it.

The demand for teaching English to adult-age immigrants is, somewhat surprisingly, a relatively recent development. For many generations, people have immigrated to the United States and never really learned English. As is typically the case, they are able to assimilate into a group of cultural and/or racial peers, while their children are the ones who break the language barrier, learning it in school and among friends. Increasingly, however, adult immigrants are realizing the benefits of knowing the language and are turning to private learning centers for instruction. It is this rise in demand that is fueling the need for more skilled teachers.

Possessing competency in speaking the English language helps an immigrant pass the naturalization test as well as participate in the breadth of civic life America has to offer. Moreover, for the estimated 2.4 million 17 to 24-year-old immigrants who wish to attend college without language remediation, there is great incentive to master English before beginning their postsecondary studies. Especially in business, the ability to communicate effectively in the world's de facto universal language leads to better jobs and a higher standard of living. On a general level, routine functioning in society is made that much easier when communication is not a barrier.

ESL teacher certification programs exist in most states, although some, such as the Carolinas, Utah and Kentucky, are still in the process of developing such curriculum. Many universities offer an ESL endorsement for licensed K-12 teachers, or one that is combined with a Masters Degree in language education. Online TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification programs are available as well. Upon completion, certified teachers find there are a wide range of employment opportunities both domestically and abroad. There is an important distinction between ESL and EFL teachers. The former teach in countries where English is the primary language (U.S., United Kingdom, et al), while EFL teachers work abroad where English is considered a foreign language, such as Korea, China and the Czech Republic.

Whether teaching at home or abroad, the future is paved with opportunity for certified English language instructors. Getting ESL certification is the first step toward a rewarding, education-based career. With long-term job prospects on the rise, teaching English either as a second language or a foreign language is an enriching experience that likewise enriches the lives of those receiving the valuable instruction.

Author Stephen Daniels highly recommends for those seeking the best jobs in the education field. They offer ESL teacher certification programs and Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees via alternative education programs, so students can continue to work in their chosen fields as they study simultaneously for their higher degrees.

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