Working in the field of Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) allows teachers to work with non-native English speakers, both in the United States and abroad. Students from around the world are in need of great teachers. Whether you want to teach in America, or teach internationally, TESOL teachers are in high demand.
Fields in TESOL Education
If you’re interested in becoming a TESOL teacher, the first step is discovering the various certification options and career opportunities that the field has to offer.
ESL (English as a Second Language)
Teaching ESL occurs in countries where English is the dominant language. Students in ESL classrooms are commonly referred to as ELL or English Language Learners. Certification for ESL teachers varies on location. Click here for more information about how to become an ESL teacher.
TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)
TESOL teachers can teach English to ELL in U.S. schools, or may work abroad by teaching English to students to gain their English proficiency. Certification for TESOL teachers varies on location. Click here for more information on how to become a TESOL teacher.
TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language – This field is also often abbreviated as EFL or English as a Foreign Language. This field is most commonly associated with teaching internationally. Click here for more information on teaching in international schools
ESP - English for Specific Purposes – This field is most commonly associated with Adult ESL education, and is often taught at the university level.
Core Issues in International Teaching
Culture – It’s important to keep in mind that international students, and their families, may have different views on education. Every culture has their own view of what’s important in education, including the perspectives on the educational system and what should vs. shouldn’t be taught. When teaching international students, be sure to immerse yourself in their culture so that you can best reach each student.
Language – Student language has an effect on their education. Whether you’re teaching ELL students in the United States, or teaching students internationally, students’ native language is a key aspect of TESOL education.
Location – Geography and region have an impact on teaching, especially in an unfamiliar international context (for both you and your students!)
International Teaching Skills
Teaching international students will present new and exciting challenges – and is also highly rewarding. In addition to providing high-quality education to students in need, international teachers also learn new things about cultures – and subsequently – new things about themselves. Click here for more information about careers in International Relations.