English is unquestionably the most commonly spoken language in the world. About 12% of the world’s populace communicates in English. People with English as their mother tongue do contribute to this statistics. However, they are far outnumbered by those who pick up English as a Second Language or ESL.
English continues to be the lingua franca’ even today and the appeal of the language never seems to be waning. People belonging to different age groups and coming from different walks of life learn English as a second language. In fact, when it comes to transactions and interactions on an international level, English is the only means of communication. No wonder that TESL or Teaching English as a Second Language curriculums are gaining worldwide popularity. You will indeed render a great service to the society (as well as to yourself) if you resolve to become a certified teacher/instructor of ESL!
Requirements And Qualifications
Basic requirements and qualifications for ESL instructors vary from country to country. Some countries stick to relevant teaching qualifications of that particular country in appointing teachers of ESL, but most TESL jobs specify approved ESL certifications as the basic criteria. (Of course, ESL certifications themselves specify an undergraduate degree in English as a must).
ESL certificates and diplomas issued by UCLES ( University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate ) and Trinity International Examinations Board of Trinity College, London are recognized the world-over. UCLES CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) and Trinity CertTESOL (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) suffice as the initial qualifications for new teaching trainees. Diploma courses such as the UCLES DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) and Trinity LTCL DipTESOL (Trinity Licentiate Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) are considered ideal for recruitment to higher positions, say, to become ESL teacher trainers.
The US MA in TESOL is another widely acclaimed curriculum and qualification for TESL (as well as TEFL) jobs.
Remember, you must be at least 18 years of age to be appointed as a teacher of ESL abroad. In some assignments, the minimum age is 21 years and even more.
The typical job responsibilities of an ESL teacher involve planning and preparing teaching materials and delivering lessons to ESL students either group wise or on one-to-one basis. (With the development of communication, i.e., the improvement of the four basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing being the chief aim of TESL programs, you will be required to make the lessons interesting).
As an instructor, you will also be required to assess your students, providing them appropriate feedback. You will be required to involve your students in social and cultural activities.
The present times are ripe with opportunities for those who are training themselves as teachers of ESL. If you are one of those, you will have twin choices. you may choose to remain in the US, teaching speakers of other languages to speak, read and write English or else you may go to a foreign (non-English speaking) nation and teach the natives English.
Whichever be your choice, you will stand to gain! As such, the jobs offer lucrative pay packages. A career as an ESL instructor brings you in contact with many people belonging to different cultural and social backgrounds, creating enough scope for you to develop as an individual. Overseas assignments, in addition, pack highly interesting travel-packages for the travel-freak in you!
This article on TESL highlights the basic requirements, job profile and prospects for an instructor of the English language, Teaching English as a Second Language to non-English speaking populace in USA.