An ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher’s primary function is to teach English to students who are not native speakers. They help students to understand common customs and expectations within American culture In addition, depending on a student's English-language skills and the teacher's institution, the ESL teacher’s job may extend into helping students understand their coursework in other subjects (such as math and science) or even teaching those subjects directly.
In addition to the duties specific to teaching English as a second language, the ESL teacher also has to perform the duties expected of any teacher, such as grading papers, keeping attendance logs, and keeping abreast of the latest educational techniques appropriate to the age of their students. ESL teachers generally work in an indoor environment, and the bulk of their work is mental (versus physical).
As with other teaching jobs, a bachelor’s degree with emphasis in education is required, and a master’s degree is highly desirable. Because there is such a wide range of ages among ESL students, additional coursework in specific areas such as early childhood education or adult education is also sometimes required. Certification by the specific state in which a teacher will be employed is a must.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Tasks
- Develop curriculums to suit both individuals who need overall education or education in specific skills.
- Utilize rote pronunciation, quizzes, textbooks, videos, and multimedia education to solidify skills.
- Teach individuals who are not native English speakers to speak, read, write, and comprehend English.